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Stock photography is expensive. Thank goodness for Flickr! Flickr is a great site to grab some stock photos or photo samples to us in site and web design. Most of the images on Flickr are unrestricted but every once in a while you will get an image and it will download “spaceball.gif” which is Flickr’s default blank image for “protected images”. Want to know How To Get Around Image Restrictions On Flickr? Find out after the break.

Step #1 – Find a Photo

Obviously the first step is to find a photo that you want to use. Right click it and one of a few things might happen:

You can “Save As”
You can “Save As” but it is saving as “spaceball.gif”
A window pops up that says “This photo has some rights reserved”

If you can “Save As”, that’s it. You are done, enjoy your photo.

Step #2 – View Page Info

If you can “Save As” but it is saving as “spaceball.gif” or a window pops up that says “This photo has some rights reserved” right click it again until you see “View Page Info” and click it.

View Page Info
Step #3 – Get The Image

Once you have clicked “View Page Info” a new box should pop up with 4 tabs at the top. Click the media tab which will have links to all images on the page, click on one and it will display an image, scroll down and click until you find the link that corresponds to the photo. Then click “Save As” and you are all set. You get the image you want and off you go!

Flickr Media
Wrap Up

Let me know what you guys think about this post! Do you think this is a good tactic or it reaches into moral gray area? I debated posting it but it is useful info. Discuss below!

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9 Responses
Darling Stewie, on Feb 08, 2011

I always try to save images of little girls and goats! Thanks for this great tutorial. The goat lover in me is so excited <3


Dean Karasinski Reply:

Put them there just for you!


Matt, on Feb 08, 2011

There’s no “moral gray area” here. This is plain and simple theft. If the owner of the photograph has stated that they retain the rights to the image and you purposely go around that restriction to use it for yourself in a way that goes against those reserved rights, then you are stealing from the photographer.

Can’t afford decent photography? Search for a few extra minutes for some no rights reserved photography. Have a few bucks floating around? Check out istockphoto.com and get some professional photography for cheap.

There’s just no justification for this type of intellectual property theft.


Nick, on Feb 08, 2011

Those restrictions are there for a reason. This is post that accurately describes how to break the law. Be careful, no reason to get into trouble for people you dont know.


Dean Karasinski, on Feb 08, 2011

I love istockphoto.com I am a big fan of it, I use it all the time. I though that this was a cool trick and ultimately it is something that shouldn’t be able to happen. Flickr needs to fix it immediately.


smartsearchmedia, on Feb 08, 2011

Do you think this is a good tactic or it reaches into moral gray area

No, it reaches into a moral black area. I guess it’s okay if you don’t redistribute the image but want it on your computer for some reason, but obviously that’s not who this is directed at.


44 Best Places To Get Free Stock Images | deanographics.com, on Feb 15, 2011

[...] I caught a little heat the other day for my post How To Get Around Image Restrictions On Flickr. I by no means advocate stealing nor do I like people not getting paid for their work. So, to make [...]

Chuck, on Jul 09, 2012

No I think it’s cool.
Now I can tell friends how to download my pictures on Flickr without changing the licensing or other restrictions.

Spreading the knowledge on how downloading copyright protected stuff is not grey or black moral. Knowledge is clean. It’s if and how you choose to utilise the knowledge that can lead you into moral issues.

The Flickr crew is very clear on that there is no guarantee stuff cannot be downloaded (they only promise to discourage). It should be clear to everyone that if something can be seen in a web browser it technically can be downloaded (or already has been downloaded to your web browser), hence you cannot stop users from saving a copy. It’s the simple truth about the digital age we’re living in, good or bad.


Dean Karasinski Reply:

Chuck dropping some quick knowledge. I like it!


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