Creative Commons was dropped from the lawsuit filed against them (and Virgin Mobile) in September.  Apparently the problem was that a photographer posted a picture of a minor on Flickr with a CC-Attribution license license, and Virgin picked the photo up for an ad campaign.  (Amusingly, Virgin apparently failed the Attribution requirement as well!  But: that’s not the topic of the lawsuit.)

The lawsuit is about whether Virgin and the photographer violated the privacy rights of the minor, and about whether CC contributed by having a confusing license.  Lessig has a nice discussion of some of the issues here, in which he touches on how the right to privacy relates to the creative commons license.  (In short: the licenses currently don’t say anything about privacy.  He sees an opportunity here for an extension/modification to create a license that would include permission from the people who were photographed.)

Overall I think this is another example of how confusing privacy rights are in a networked world.  After all, the risk of an amateur’s photo being picked up by Virgin Mobile and used in a ad campaign weren’t very high in the pre-Flickr world.  (How would they even find it?!)  It should be interesting to see where we end up …


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