Copyright to You? Guess Again.

So you think that picture of yourself you just put on that social network is still yours to control eh? You might want to think again. It seems the truth about the Creative Commons license is just coming to light, and just like the GPL, it's not good for anyone.

Seems Virgin Atlantic decided to be assmunches and grab up a bunch of pictures from Flickr and run a multi-million dollar ad campaign out of them. Much to the dismay of at least one family who is now fighting back. They didn't even know what Virgin was doing with the picture because they apparently didn't even know they had given up any rights.

So just how does one surrender the rights to their own photograph and likeness without knowing it anyway? Maybe British law is a bit different on this kind of thing but it seems to me that you can't unknowingly surrender such rights unless there's a verifiable agreement of some kind. Simply posting it to a website isn't enough, even if buried somewhere in the ToS there's a clause saying this will happen. It's certainly greedy and evil of a mega corporation to swallow up a bunch of pictures from around the net when they would otherwise need to compensate these people. I've heard tell of cases where this happened even in the absence of such communistic licensing.

Want to release that bright shiny new program you've spent years on? Do yourself a favor. Release it with your rights intact. Don't give in to software communists by turning it over to the GPL or Creative Commons. Once you do the deed is irreversible and people will start commercializing your hard work without your consent, even if that's not what you originally intended. Get a lawyer, craft a good license, and guard your rights.

There's also a certain irony in all this given the amount of code I release to the public, but I went into it all knowing the stuff was already licensed evilly and that I had little choice but to go along with that. If I ever get around to scratch writing something of my own it's certainly not going to be one of the communist licenses.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Sep 24, 2007 11:18 pm by Samson in: | 1 comment(s) [Closed]
*sigh* So nice to see that even something as simple as ownership of your own pictures of yourself could be compromised by something so innoculus as uploading a copy of it to some stupid site. :(

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