Curry v. Audax

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Court name


More decisions in this case


Dutch court upheld CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 unported license when Flickr photos were used in a tabloid

Case summary


Adam Curry, a former MTV VJ and one of the pioneers of podcasting, published photos onto his Flickr account under a BY-NC-SA license (BY-NC-SA 2.0 unported).

A Dutch tabloid reprinted four of the photos in a story about the Curry family's public persona verses real private life.

Curry sued the tabloid for violating the portrait rights of his family and for copyright violation over the improper user of his Flickr photos.

Curry argued that the tabloid violated the BY-NC-SA license by using the photos in a commercial magazine and by not including a reference to the CC license.

The tabloid argued that it thought the photos could be taken and used because they were marked as "public" on Flickr. It also argued that in terms of compensation, the photos had no value because they were available for anyone to view online.


The Dutch court held that, in the future, the tabloid could not use any of the photos from Flickr in the future unless under the terms of the photos' CC license or with permission from Curry.

Several years later, a different tabloid published some of Curry's CC-licensed photos in an article about him, but the parties settled outside of court.


Curry's case was the first lawsuit that ever focused on the CC licenses.

His victory on the copyright claims demonstrates and set the precedent that Creative Commons licenses are enforceable in court under copyright law.