Chang v. Virgin Mobile

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United States

Court name
Northern District of Texas


More decisions in this case


Flickr CC BY photo used in an Australian phone advertisement

Case summary


An Australian mobile company used a CC BY licensed Flickr photo of a minor subject as part of its advertising campaign launched in 2007. In September 2007, Plaintiffs brought suit against the mobile company under a number of causes of action, including invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and breach of contract. They also brought suit against Creative Commons alleging CC had negligently failed to sufficiently warn creators that CC licenses only address copyright and not privacy and publicity rights.

RESULT Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed CC from the lawsuit in November 2007. In January 2009, the Texas district court dismissed the case against the mobile company for lack of personal jurisdiction

TAKEAWAY Creative Commons licenses only address the creator's copyright. It does not affirmatively affect publicity or privacy rights. Users of CC-licensed material should make sure to clear the publicity and privacy rights of any works containing human subjects before reusing CC-licensed works.