Saturday, March 18, 2006

Creative Commons tested and approved

Last week an Amsterdam judge chaired a case brought by iPODfather Adam Curry against the Dutch boulevard magazine Weekend. The weekly had used photographs of Adam Curry which he had published on Flickr.

The weekly had the photographs copied from the site and published in the weekly without an indication of the source. Adam Curry put that the Weekend had violated the copyright rules governing the photographs. By publishing them on Flickr the photographs are ruled by the alternative copyright system Creative Commons license, created by Lawrence Lessing, an American law professor. Everyone can copy and use the photographs, unless they agree to the license conditions. But they can not be used for commercial purposes and the source has to be mentioned.

The commercial magazine Weekend had violated all these rules. It had copied photographs of Curry’s daughter and published them without mentioning the source. The judge told the magazine to stick to the Creative Commons license rules. In practice the commercial magazine is not allowed to use copy and publish the photographs.

It was the first time that the Creative Commons license was tested and approved in the Netherlands. The license was introduced in the Netherlands in 2004. The Dutch Institute for Information Law in the person of Professor Bernt Hugenholz, adapted the license for the Dutch situation.


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