Dump Your Pen Friend

Saw this while I was walking into the city earlier today - down in the bottom corner it says that the photo is from flickr.com/photos/chewywong.


I wonder if he knows that his photo is being used here (most of his photos seem to be using a Creative Commons Attribution license). Anyway - congratulations!


For clarification, this is an advertising campaign being ran by Virgin Mobile in Australia. There have been sightings of these billboards containing photos from Flickr in both Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) and Adelaide (South Australia, Australia).


There is a post in the FlickrCentral group about this photo - www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157600541608353/

  • Joel Courtney PRO 7y

    @: what of the Australian Virgin Mobile?
    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
  • Robort 7y

    To quote the legal document reproduced in Lessig's post: "Plaintiffs ... voluntarily dismiss Defendants Creative Commons Corporation and Virgin Mobile USA, LLC without prejudice and without costs to be awarded to any party." (They hadn't sued Australian Virgin Mobile; I imagine it's far more costly to do so internationally.)
  • Joel Courtney PRO 7y

    @: Then I'm not surprised that they dropped the action. They didn't really have a choice as they never sued the actual company that used it. I thought the original lawsuit was included Virgin Mobile Australia (to actually ensure that the company who used the image was included).
    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
  • cunparis 7y

    "without prejudice and without costs to be awarded to any party."

    They could have settled with the advertising company that did the ad or Virgin Australia or any other party that wasn't in the lawsuit.
  • Michael Rowley PRO 7y

    Even in the Creative Commons license you have to contact the owner of the art and ask them how they want to attributed. Still, you have to have a signed model release.
  • Casey McKinnon 7y

    If anyone is going to get sued over this it should be chewywong. He is the one who released it under a CC-BY license and he is the one who also didn't get a model release. Why sue Virgin when they were following the license? And why sue Creative Commons when they have a variety of different licenses to choose from? It's chewywong who chose that particular license, and he obviously chose wrong.
  • Laura Bryant 7y

    I never knew that this was even going on i was just browsing pics and found this pic. After reading the above and from personal experience when you first get a flickr account if i remember it is automatically set to CC so maybe he didn't know he could change it to rights reserved. Only reason i say this is cause someone actually had to tell me because i had pics of my son up at one point. And even if it was on CC they still should have to notify the photographer because i mean that would just be common sense. I also heard that several other companies were doing it as well, so Virgin isn't the only one. And the girl should be able to get something for it even if the picture taker doesn't . And she wouldn't have to sue the photographer if him and her both agree that there was a verbal agreement only allowing him to put it on flickr with him having to notify her of anyone wanting it. And I think that with the lawsuit going on the original was taken down because a lawyer suggested they do so. I think that not only should Virgin be sued but flickr as well for not getting a model release. Maybe if Flickr and any advertisers had common sense instead of being money hungry they would have gotten that in the first place. Because the way i understand it is even if someone takes a picture of a hand and it has a recognizable feature on it that you have to get a model license. I personally "all rights reserved " all of the pics. Flickr needs to put a page up between the upload and edit title pages of photos with little check boxes that you click on using lamens terms that way no photo can be put under a license a person didn't want it to be in. And it should also ask if a model release was signed or if one was "not needed" with animals and public buildings. I personally feel she should sue Flickr for lack of responsibility for giving rights where none were had.
  • Edward Pearse 7y

    Robort says: "Lawrence Lessig (of CC) blogged that the lawsuit was withdrawn on November 27, 2007. "

    If you read his post again, it just says that Creative Commons has been dropped from the lawsuit, not that the whole lawsuit has been dropped.
  • Alexander Short 7y

    I am guessing, but since chewy's stream now says all rights reserved under the pics, he does know about it and this whole business...
  • mellowmark 7y

  • Chris Copp 7y

    I also heard of a photography competition winner (his prize was $100) finding out too late he had signed over ALL rights to profits that came from reproduction of his image and so far he has found the image used in a book; on a billboard; on countless web sites; magazine ads etc.... a cheap way for the competition organizers to make bucks from his efforts....competitions are a con too...they make $thousands$ and pay out $100$
  • Joel Courtney PRO 7y

    @: Different issue entirely. Those form part of the Terms and Conditions of entry. It's his failure to read them that screwed him up.
  • iquanyin moon 6y

    well, this thread is old but as a former editor, i'm pretty sure that yes, a model release is required here. wonder whatever happened with this?
  • david_woods023 6y

    Well as I have seen yes this is old. But I do have to say as a photography student this has made a great case for my business law class. For those of you wonder the case has not been settled yet...
  • gopherboy76 6y

    Being a Photographer by trade, I've come to be very cautious on how to apply Creative Commons to any images I upload to the internet. I personally think Virgin took advantage with how they gathered the images although they were following the Creative Commons copyright, which is flimsy at best. If it was one of my images they had used, i would have preferably liked some sort of notification from them prior to publication, although they are technically not obliged.
    My main concern is to previous posts and other articles that mention the issue of Paedophilia, I would say this is utter nonsense. There are two professional photographers in my family, me and my father. Over the years we have taken countless photographs of family and friends, including my 3yr old son and 1yr old niece, if taking pictures of family members is classed as Paedophillia then we, and half of the world, would be guilty. It's pure rubbish and isn't even relevent, why it has even been suggested is beyond my fathoming. Just another example of political correctness going out of control.
  • A A 5y

    so after the campaign did alison receive one of these ad posters from Virgin so she could atleast pin it up on her bedroom door? :)
  • D Pimborough gone 4y

    and the moral of the story is use the all rights reserved copyright license.

    and advertising companies stop being so lazy and contact the photo owner before use (which is an anagram of sue LOL) honestly the quality of advertising staff these is really poor.
  • Yeremilla 3y

    Well, I think the creative commons licensing model was designed to give knowledge a chance, but in all fair spirits. It is wrong to take a picture out of context or just plain insult the models.

    I saw a post that addresses what you can do and cant do in a with a flickr royalty-free picture
  • Magi Edos 2y

    the photographer did nothing illegal or wrong by publishing the photo under the CC license, which applies only to copyright. The photographer gave permission for commercial use of his copyright. Individuals appearing in the photo have the publicity/privacy right which usually applies only for advertisement use. I don't know whether Virgin would be legally obliged to get permission for the publicity/privacy right, but if they were obliged to have permission then it is their error from a legal viewpoint. From an ethical viewpoint I think Virgin did the right thing and I support Virgin in what they did, in my point of view the publicity/privacy right is wrong and immoral.
  • mc_flick 2y

    To the Chang family: while I sympathize with your situation, I completely disagree at your actions. The biggest mistake was for filing lawsuit against Virgin USA and CC. Obviously, you hired the wrong lawyer - no competent lawyer in the field of copyright law would spend efforts in suing parties that had no involvement. Second, you filed the lawsuit in Texas. The ad did not appear in Texas (or even within US), the company involved (Virgin Australia) does not operate in Texas or US. If anything, the lawsuit should be filed in Australia under Australian laws.
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Taken on May 27, 2007
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