Thursday, September 27, 2007

Not Good News

From the Register

Filmmaker Damon Chang uploaded a family photograph of his young niece Alison to Flickr, only to discover weeks later that it was being used by Virgin Mobile in an expensive advertising campaign....

Both Changs believe the use of the photograph was insulting and demeaning, as Alison - a minor - became known as the "dump your pen friend girl". And after taking legal advice, the Chang family is now suing Virgin Mobile USA and the Creative Common Corporation.[more]

Page 2 of the article is very critical of Creative Commons licenses.

Found at Metafilter


gurdonark said...

I think it's wrong that Creative Commons got sued, speaking as a citizen and supporter of CC rather than putting on my "lawyer hat". I trust our local north Texas courts to handle the suit appropriately.

I do think that using a minor's photo without thinking about the rights of privacy and publicity was very short-sighted by the advertiser, whatever the legalities. But that's not a CC issue.

I think it's a fair comment to say that users of Creative Commons licenses need to understand that a CC BY license is just tha--a license to use CC material with attribution only, so far as copyright issues are concerned.

But I disagree in the strongest terms with the article's argument that CC is some odd cult. CC is a real step forward in devising user-friendly license forms. It's not new--open licenses are almost as old as copyright itself. But they're standardized, and that's a very good thing.

It's a funny thing that people have such strong emotions about these things. One camp hates all copyrights. Another camp hates any effort to just share and give away intellectual property for free or for attribution.

I personally am fine that copyrights exist, and so happy that CC gives those who wish to do so ways to participate in a sharing culture.

Could Creative Commons do an even better job of writing FAQs? Sure-especially about why and when to use the NC license. Is CC really a "big problem"? Of course not.

spinmeister said...

the article is by Andrew Orlowski

say no more ...

fourstones said...

The opinions expressed are my own and I do NOT represent CC here:

yea, orlowski is a long time CC critique, he's one of those loud mouth pundits that doesn't know how to get his point across without being an asshole (or at least I haven't seen it).

not that there's anything inherently wrong with being an asshole (I can only wish it is the worst thing ever said about me) it's just the author's insecurities forcing himself on you to do the extra work to tease out fact from opinion. (e.g. just because something benefits the net doesn't mean it doesn't benefit the artist, it's obvious to me the reverse is true and that better culture is better for everbody)

his most valid critique is that CC does a lousy job at informing folks what the lics mean and that users don't bother to find out. I agree. It's why I refuse to use the Sampling lics on ccM even though the site was created to celebrate them lol. Did you know that technically a ccM track licensed under Sampling+ can NOT be used in a YouTube video?

the thing that he's always missed is that ARR doesn't scale to the web and was never intended to. ARR was designed with an environment where there were a LOT of consumers and very, very few publishers. You write a song and take it around to the 12 publishers who could distribute it widely and you are protected from one of them stealing your art because they have to ask to even distribute copies of it.

since the WWW however, EVERYBODY is a publisher so ARR just doesn't make as much sense, especially since I WANT people to share my music and I don't my inbox filled with people asking permission to do so. I want to encourage people to do so and if the CC brand helps do that, then great.

mike has the official faq here

more later...

fourstones said...

btw, any lawyer, pundit or other asshole who tries to use the above comments out of context, without asking me personally for clarification is guaranteed to get it wrong so don't bother.

teru said...

I'd really like to find out what happens with this case. Gurdonark, could you post stuff here if it makes news down there that we might not hear of?

plurgid said...

I start thinking, how many souls hip-hop has affected /
How many dead folks this art resurrected /
How many nations this culture connected /
Who am I to judge one's perspective?

The spirit of CCMixter (if not creative commons in general) has been living through the culture of Hip-Hop as long as I've been alive.

Creative Commons provided a legal framework that made possible a playground where we could all do what we do, and share it without worrying about that legal knock on the door.

A lawsuit may attack that legal framework, but the playground is forever.

-Plurgid :-)

teru said...

CC case dismissed

spinmeister said...

15k and who knows how many hours down the drain and an apology for being the victim of a baseless legal bullying attempt? I'm speechless and sad ...