Interesting brouhaha overviewed at Slashdot concerning the use of a Creative Commons photo in an advertising campaign.  A church counselour took a photo of one of his charges and posted it on Flickr using a Creative Commons licence.  Virgin used the photo in an ad campaign and credited the photographer by his Flickr tag (the only condition of the licence).

Now the family is suing – saying (among other things) that by using their daughter Alison’s image, Virgin has damaged Alison’s reputation and exposed her to ridicule from her peers and scrutiny from people who can now Google her.  They are also suing Creative Commons and have named the photographer as a co-complainant.

Interesting times here.  When applying an attrubtion only, Creative Commons licence — what rights do the subjects of our photos have in relation to publication? 

Do we need to get releases if our photos have people in them? I would have advised the counselour not to publicly publish a photo of a student under the age of 18 without one.

OR do we need to apply a more restrictive licence when our photos involve other people? Because, an adult could equally be offended or feel cheated by the use of their image by a commercial entity without her/his permission.

As a cheeky side note, while I can understand not wanting one’s daughter to be Googled without consent, I find it a tad ironic that they feel the ad has damaged Alison’s reputation — considering they are allegedly devout Christians and would, therefore, assumedly not have an issue with the implication that their daughter is a virgin. 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing!