Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Publicity Rights and the Commercial Use of Photos Via Creative Commons Licenses

Christa Engel Pletcher, Florida State College of Law, is publishing "Are Publicity Rights Gone in a Flash?: Flickr, Creative Commons, and the Commercial Use of Personal Photographs," in the Florida State University Business Review. Here is the abstract.

Flickr and the Creative Commons Movement teamed up to expand the commons by making it easier to license copyrighted creative works, like digital photographs. Creative Common licenses with commercial terms, however, may give away rights that copyright holders do not have, such as the publicity rights of private individuals. To remedy this, Flickr and similar websites that facilitate CC licensing should educate copyright holders about publicity right infringement, create a tagging system to provide potential image users with notice of consent from private individuals, and facilitate royalty negotiations between photographed individuals and potential commercial users. Without these changes the possibility of publicity right infringement inhibits the integrity of commercial licenses and imposes additional costs on potential image users. This Article briefly summarizes the history and goals of the Creative Commons Project, illustrates cases where CC commercial licenses have encouraged publicity right infringement, and suggests ways to implement methods of restoring the integrity of CC commercial licenses.

Download the article from SSRN here.

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