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Are Publicity Rights Gone in a Flash?: Flickr, Creative Commons, and the Commercial Use of Personal Photographs

Florida State Business Review, Vol. 8, p. 129, 2009

26 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2009 Last revised: 1 Jun 2014

Christa Engel Pletcher Burger

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP

Date Written: April 22, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Creative Commons, Flikr, licenses, intellectual property, privacy rights, commercial licenses

Suggested Citation

Burger, Christa Engel Pletcher, Are Publicity Rights Gone in a Flash?: Flickr, Creative Commons, and the Commercial Use of Personal Photographs (April 22, 2009). Florida State Business Review, Vol. 8, p. 129, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1476347

Christa Engel Pletcher Burger (Contact Author)

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wcsr.com

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