Creative Commons CEO Apologizes To Virgin Mobile

Posted on 12/3/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

"As CEO of Creative Commons, I apologize for any trouble that confusion about our licenses might have created," said the nonprofit's founder and CEO Lawrence Lessig, referring to the lawsuit alleging inappropriate use of a minor's CC-licensed photo in an ad campaign for Virgin Mobile of Australia.

The image of an underage girl was placed on Flickr, where the original photographer allowed its use by others under a Creative Commons license. In accordance with its terms, the image was subsequently used in an ad campaign for mobile phone services. As we anticipated, the girl's mother Susan Chang filed a lawsuit in Dallas, Texas, based on privacy-rights violations. Apparently, the advertiser did not obtain model releases for any of the Flickr-hosted images it used in this campaign.

Initially, Chang named Creative Commons, Virgin Mobile USA and Virgin Mobile of Australia as co-defendants. Last week, however, she voluntarily dismissed Creative Commons and Virgin Mobile USA from the suit, deciding to pursue the case against Virgin Mobile Australia alone.

According to Lessig, this is the result of the plaintiff's counsel recognizing that Texas and U.S. laws do not hold Creative Commons liable for this type of content misuse. He pledges that the nonprofit will work hard to ensure misuse doesn't happen. In essence, he is giving Chang exactly what she sought: Her original lawsuit did not ask for monetary damages from Creative Commons, but it did ask that licenses be modified to more fully outline what rights are and are not being granted to the end user.

"It is always a problem (even if not a legal problem) when someone doesn't understand what our licenses do, or how they work... We thought the meaning was clear. We work hard to make this as clear as we can. We will work harder," said Lessig. He also asked Creative Commons' users to help recover the $15,000 cost incurred because of this suit by supporting the licensing scheme, joining its online community or spreading the news of the lawsuit's end.

Flickr is routinely criticized by content creators for not explaining Creative Commons licenses to its users, rather than allowing the image owner to determine reproduction rights. Yahoo!-owned photo-sharing company is not a party to the Chang lawsuit.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff