ScooptScoopt, the citizen journalism picture agency, is trying to woo Flickr users to sell their pictures.

Scoopt has written an open letter to Flickr members encouraging them to register with the agency and to tag their pictures with the company's name in Flickr to allow it to sell images to newspapers and magazines on their behalf.

The agency will then search the tagged photos for images that might be of interest to paying publications.

The move is hot on the heels of Yahoo's announcement, yesterday, of a new service, called You Witness News, that allows users to upload still and video images for use on its news website and to be distributed by Reuters.

"It is a pure guerrilla tactic, we're going directly to the members and saying 'right now you have got some brilliant pictures on Flickr and some of these you can sell'. There is no way on Flickr that you can do that, they wont let you," said Kyle MacRae, founder of Scoopt.

"Flickr terms and conditions forbids somebody from marketing their pictures on Flickr, you can't even say 'hey, my pictures are for sale'. I think this is crazy, this content is valuable, people should be able to sell their pictures if there is a market for them.

"What we are doing is going straight to them and saying 'all you have to do is just to tag and join Scoopt'. By doing that they are giving us permission to take pictures from Flickr if there is the demand."

Scoopt has established guidelines for images that are to be tagged, requesting that the person submitting the picture owns the copyright, each image is legal, decent and doesn't breach anybody's legitimate right to privacy and that the copyright holder is happy for it to appear in print.

The letter also encourages Flickr members to use a non-commercial creative commons licence that prevents publishers from using images for commercial gain without permission while still allowing non-commercial photo sharing.

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