flickr the photo agency?

I got a message on flickr today from the Director of Contributor Relations at It would seem that NowPublic, a site that publishes articles, photos and videos submitted by “citizen journalists” is now actively approaching content producers and encouraging them to participate on the site. I’m not surprised – a few months ago I wrote about how non-profit organisations and grassroots campaigners could use flickr to get the word out about their work.

I just wonder how long it’s going to be before flickr comes up with a tool that allows news and media organisations to search for, and purchase, photographs from users (?). Not only would a functionality like that probably kill off the start-ups like scoopt, it would probably also have a serious impact on the stock photo industry that churns out CD’s and online databases full of photos. Not that I necessarily think commercialisation of member photos on flickr is a good thing – I’m not sure what the impact would be, good or bad.