The other day, I ran across an article (which I can’t seem to find now) from Relevant Magazine’s Slices that mentioned a lawsuit against Virgin Mobile AU for using a picture with a CC License from Flickr. Here is another article from MSNBC. The person in the picture knew nothing of the ad campaign nor the caption that would be added to her picture.
My first thought was that this has to be a concern for youth ministers. There are lots of youth ministers who take pictures at events and post them on Flickr for easy distribution. Some of these youth ministers are of the “sharing” kind and mark their photos under one of the many Creative commons licenses. Which is not an issue – until one gets used in a major ad campaign.
I would caution any youth minister to always keep your pictures “All Rights Reserved” if they involve people in your ministry or church. Now, if it is your personal photo of your backyard swingset – that is your decision.
Now, I know that CC has a non-commercial option (which I highly recommend). Just know that there are big companies who will try to save some money and use a “free” picture to make a few more bucks.
One of the advantages of the CC license is that people can find many quality pictures without much effort. They can be used in so many forms, but be careful you are not taking advantage of the photographer’s generosity.
To read some of the discussion going on over at Flickr about this, go here (I have not read all the comments, so I can’t say what all is being said or not said) Some of the discussion is just people going back and forth, but some of it is really good discussion on what can be done when someone takes advantage of a CC.