Monday, October 01, 2007

Flickr and copyright

The New York Times recently posted this story on the use of a Creative Commons-licensed Flickr photo in an ad campaign by Virgin Mobile Australia. The campaign appears to be mocking the subject of the photo (the ad can be seen here), and she and her family are suing. According to the article, Lawrence Lessig, who was served papers on behalf of CC, claims that the problem is not with CC or with the original photographer, but with Virgin’s commercial use of the photo.

As for giving more advice about the rights of the subjects who appear in photographs, Mr. Lessig said that Creative Commons has to be careful not to provide “what looks like legal advice.” But, he added, “this photographer did nothing wrong when he took this photo of this girl, and posted it on his Flickr page. What he did wasn’t commercial use, which triggers the legal issues. If there was a problem here, it was by Virgin.”

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