The wonderful Torrez blog pointed us over to a really fascinating discussion on photo copyright law going on hot and heavy right now. The quick rundown is that Virgin found a photo on Flickr that had an open, free-to-use-however Creative Commons license and used it in a series of billboards and bus ads, complete with a link printed on the bottom to the original Flickr page owned by a young woman. She found out about it and it’s become this big stink of back and forth legal battles (which will, of course, ultimately end in a settlement that wasn’t worth the time for anyone but the woman’s attorney). Here’s a CNN story for the whole quick synopsis (as well as enjoying listening to the anchor try and stumble through what Flickr is exactly). But for the real fun, go to the original image on Flickr itself and read the bazillion comments. Every once in a while, after you’ve cut through the babble, there’s some really interesting debates therein about copyright and usage with Creative Commons licenses.
UPDATE: It looks like the Flickr photo in question has been made private, taking all the comments along with it. Congrats to those who got to skim through them, apologies for those who didn’t.