Larry just posted about the Texas suit against Virgin and Creative Commons
Please read the rest of his post.LessigOn the Texas suit against Virgin and Creative Commons
Slashdot has an entry about a lawsuit filed this week by parents of a Texas minor whose photograph was used by Virgin Australia in an advertising campaign. The photograph was taken by an adult. He posted it to Flickr under a CC-Attribution license. The parents of the minor are complaining that Virgin violated their daughter’s right to privacy (by using a photograph of her for commercial purposes without her or her parents permission). The photographer is also a plaintiff. He is complaining that Creative Commons failed “to adequately educate and warn him … of the meaning of commercial use and the ramifications and effects of entering into a license allowing such use.” (Count V of the complaint).
This is a very good example of the complexities of copyright and other rights and the necessity of educating the public and ourselves about what copyright exactly is. As Larry points out, the posts on Slashdot are for the most part accurate and correct, but in a nutshell - Creative Commons is about copyright and NOT about privacy or other non-copyright issues. Just because something is licensed under a Creative Commons license, it DOESN’T mean that you can do anything you want with it. Different jurisdiction around the world have a variety of different laws, but depending on where you, property rights, moral rights, privacy laws and other laws may restrict what you can do with a photo. It is the responsibility of anyone reusing or remixing works to understand what rights may apply in their particular application. In particular, commercial use can trigger a variety of restrictions and a CC license on the photo by a photographer only relates to the rights that the photographer might typically have.
One of the things that I’ve been working on with our small group of photographers in the iCommons Photo-Commons node is to discuss things like model releases in combination with Creative Commons licenses to address exactly these sorts of issues. Above all, what is important is to create a way for subjects, photographers and people using these photos to have a clear way to decide and communicate what rights they would like to reserve and what rights they would like to permit. Creative Commons is one important part of this process, but we clearly need more than just CC to make this all work.