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08-25-2015, 12:46 PM   #1
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Photographer Loses Copyright Suit Over CC-Licensed Photo on Flickr

Ouch, I have my Flickr set to "Attribute NonCommercial NoDerivatives" At least I hope this is the most strict way, yet allowing people to still see the photo. This guy had it on CC which stands for... I think Creative Commons?

http://petapixel.com/2015/08/24/photographer-loses-copyright-suit-over-cc-li...oto-on-flickr/

08-25-2015, 12:58 PM   #2
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'Creative Commons' is a basically set of rules for sharing (or not) materials (not just photographs). There are different types of licences:
About the Licences | Creative Commons Australia

Licences grant certain baseline permissions to users in advance, authorising them (or not) to use the material, provided they comply with a number of well-laid conditions.

I am very familiar with CC, that I use for my works. In most cases, I use CC BY-NC 3.0 (non commercial).

In the case listed by the OP, the photo was licensed under BY-SA-2.0 which do allow anyone to use the photo, incl. commercially. The photographer had no rights to sue Kappa IMO.

Personally I would encourage everyone to become more familiar with CC licences, because this is worthwhile IMHO.

Last edited by hcc; 08-25-2015 at 01:21 PM.
08-25-2015, 01:07 PM   #3
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Yep, the photographer screwed up if he didn't want it available. Rookie mistake.

STILL, I do find it surprising that people publishing things like that don't check up on the image, i.e. contact the photographer. (But not that surprising, they are probably hoping the photographer never finds out about it.)

The reason being anybody can upload anything at all to flickr and stick a CC license on it, and that work might not necessarily be owned by them, and they have no right to be granting licenses since they stole it themselves. So if it something appears to be free & clear, it seems not wise to just grab it for publication without telling anyone. So I'm waiting for that case where the publisher "does everything right" (technically), but are using a license "granted" by someone that doesn't even own the copyright to begin with. Then who is liable?

I think we've seen some cases already where the image was given a CC license, but the person IN the image hasn't given permission to anyone. Not an issue in this case when there are no people...

Last edited by vonBaloney; 08-25-2015 at 01:13 PM.
08-25-2015, 01:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Ouch, I have my Flickr set to "Attribute NonCommercial NoDerivatives" At least I hope this is the most strict way, yet allowing people to still see the photo.
The strictest licence you can select on flickr is "All Rights Reserved", this won't in any way influence who is allowed to see it. That's under a separate setting ("Viewing this photo", which can be Public, Private, Friends, etc.)

The guy in this lawsuit would have gone out of his way to select that particular CC licence. The resulting lawsuit was a waste of everyone's time and money.

08-25-2015, 01:15 PM   #5
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I once had someone contact me about a Flickr image asking to use it. I gave them a quote and they of course said they didn't have a budget for it but that they could use it anyway because it was licensed as CC! I checked and it certainly was not licensed that way so I think they just believed all Flickr photos were fair game for any use. I pointed this out and they stopped responding.
I only upload low-ish res images with watermarks just because of people like that. It won't stop all unauthorized use but it would prevent one from becoming a magazine cover.
08-25-2015, 01:29 PM   #6
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All rights reserved is the most restrictive license; but Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International should work also. Flickr allows you to elect for the "All rights reserved" or a CC license. The CC site gives a nice flowchart for determining which CC license you might wish to use:

http://creativecommons.org/choose/
08-25-2015, 01:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeDave Quote
Ouch, I have my Flickr set to "Attribute NonCommercial NoDerivatives" At least I hope this is the most strict way, yet allowing people to still see the photo. This guy had it on CC which stands for... I think Creative Commons?

http://petapixel.com/2015/08/24/photographer-loses-copyright-suit-over-cc-li...oto-on-flickr/
You're still using a creative commons license. Anyone can use your image for non-commercial purposes so long as they mention your name. They can't edit it in any meaningful way (resizing and minor cropping to change aspect ratio are probably allowed). HCC's images can be used for non-commercial purposes as long as they mention his name, and the image *can* be edited in any way the user desires. The guy in the article had his set so his images could be used for any purpose, edited in any way the user desired, as long as they mention his name and make any edited images available to the public under the same licensing terms.
08-25-2015, 02:04 PM   #8
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This is interesting, this is very close to me, so I wonder if I know who this person is. I am guessing that may not be his real name, but I could be wrong. FYI, this is part of the National Park System a C&O canal campsite

I do know a few people who have done this, had images on maps and phone books locally and none of them were paid. I am so paranoid putting things on flickr that I eventually delete all my photos after a few weeks

08-25-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
The strictest licence you can select on flickr is "All Rights Reserved", this won't in any way influence who is allowed to see it. That's under a separate setting ("Viewing this photo", which can be Public, Private, Friends, etc.)

The guy in this lawsuit would have gone out of his way to select that particular CC licence. The resulting lawsuit was a waste of everyone's time and money.
After reading the article I agree completely.
08-25-2015, 02:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
"All Rights Reserved"
That's what I use. For good measure, I also include that in the EXIF/IPTC, and the JPEG Comment, in what I upload to flickr.
08-25-2015, 05:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
The reason being anybody can upload anything at all to flickr and stick a CC license on it, and that work might not necessarily be owned by them, and they have no right to be granting licenses since they stole it themselves. So if it something appears to be free & clear, it seems not wise to just grab it for publication without telling anyone. So I'm waiting for that case where the publisher "does everything right" (technically), but are using a license "granted" by someone that doesn't even own the copyright to begin with. Then who is liable?
Unless the music industry has special copyright laws (and honestly, I would not be surprised if they don't), any misuse is punishable even if the user believed the use to be fair and acceptable. There is no credit for good faith or due diligence. Example: you sell bootleg CDs that appear to be legitimate and think they are and you can be busted. We saw this with all the file-sharing cases; in some of those cases, the perpetrators were people who didn't likely know any laws and legitimately thought there was no issue in sharing music. Doesn't matter. They were still busted.

We also see this with patent trolls. Company buys patent from defunct company that never made a product with the patent. New company sits on it for years until someone else markets a product that looks like it infringes. LAWSUIT! No due diligence credit is given, even though there's no product released under said patent and searching for a patent may not yield results. How would you know that your refrigerator was patented (but never marketed) as an "ammonia-based compression piping for preservation of organic substances"? Those aren't words you would ever dream to search for!
08-25-2015, 06:43 PM   #12
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I agree that this lawsuit was a waste of time and money. However, I do wish that Flickr would make downloads of CC licensed material first "click through" a page that explains what are permissible uses for a given CC license - for example, a page like this - before giving access to the JPG itself. Would not have helped in this case, as the photographer explicitly chose a license that allows for commercial use. But for many others, it would contribute to educating people about permissible uses. It seems like some people see the download link and just think that because the image is downloadable, they have permission to do anything with the file... They don't even look at the "Some Rights Reserved" line under the photo...
08-31-2015, 02:00 PM   #13
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The most logical decision is to share online only what you accept to offer to the world. And at least to select options that make sense if you want to advertise your pictures but still limit the risk: picture of limited size, all right reserved licence, an artistic watermark that doesn't ruin the photo.
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