Creative Commons in court
Yesterday the verdict was published in the Dutch case of Curry vs. Weekend. What happened? Weekend (a Dutch tabloid) had taken taken images from Adam Curry’s Flickr.com page and used them to liven up one of their stories. Curry had licensed the images using the BY-NC-SA Creative Commons license.
BY-NC-SA means that the images may be copied, distributed, displayed and performed, and that derivative works may be made under the following conditions:
- Attribution. You must attribute the images in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
- Noncommercial. You may not use the images for commercial purposes.
- Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon the images, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one (i.e. BY-NC-SA).
Curry argued that Weekend has used the images in an inappropriate way. From what I read in the verdict this is a very positive case for Creative Commons. The verdict states that the Weekend tabloid did not use the images in correspondence with the Creative Commons license, and therefore was not allowed to publish the pictures. Weekend argued that the images are public – a text which can be found on the Flickr pages. Although the court understands that confusion may arise from the text, it argues that a professional publishing company would have to be more careful. Just clicking on the symbol would have been enough to reveal the conditions of the license.
Curry was, however, awarded only a comparatively low compensation. The court argues that the monetary value of the pictures is only very low, because they have already been published on the internet.
Right now, the Dutch legal team for Creative Commons is cheerfully studying the verdict.