Are Publicity Rights Gone in a Flash?: Flickr, Creative Commons, and the Commercial Use of Personal Photographs
Christa Engel Pletcher Burger
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP
April 22, 2009
Florida State Business Review, Vol. 8, p. 129, 2009
Flickr and the Creative Commons Movement teamed up to expand the commons by making it easier to license copyrighted creative works, like digital photographs. Creative Common licenses with commercial terms, however, may give away rights that copyright holders do not have, such as the publicity rights of private individuals. To remedy this, Flickr and similar websites that facilitate CC licensing should educate copyright holders about publicity right infringement, create a tagging system to provide potential image users with notice of consent from private individuals, and facilitate royalty negotiations between photographed individuals and potential commercial users. Without these changes the possibility of publicity right infringement inhibits the integrity of commercial licenses and imposes additional costs on potential image users. This Article briefly summarizes the history and goals of the Creative Commons Project, illustrates cases where CC commercial licenses have encouraged publicity right infringement, and suggests ways to implement methods of restoring the integrity of CC commercial licenses.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: Creative Commons, Flikr, licenses, intellectual property, privacy rights, commercial licensesAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 22, 2009 ; Last revised: March 27, 2010
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