Dutch Court enforce creative commons licence Curry v Audax Publishing BV

May 2006

All areas

LJN: AV4204, Rechtbank Amsterdam, 334492 / KG 06-176 SR

A Dutch court has decided that the use of photographs went against the stated terms of a creative commons licence which they were made available under could result in a claim in Dutch law. The Dutch magazine, Weekend, used photographs taken from the photographer’s Flickr public website . The photographs were published under a Creative Commons licence which did not permit commercial re-use: There was a link to this licence on the webpage. The photographer, Adam Curry, sued Weekend’s publishers, Audax, for copyright infringement in the Netherlands. Audax argued that it was misled by the flickr notice ‘this photo is public’; that the link to the CC licence was not obvious; and that the magazine had acted in good faith. Audax also claimed that (even if they were liable) no damage could have occured as the photos were freely available to the public on the Flickr site. The Court rejected Audax’s defence, holding that the effect of the link to the Creative Commons licence was that the limitations in that licence applied and the photographs were not in the public domain. The Court awarded damages of €1000.

From an article by Jonathan Mitchell QC on the IPKat Blog http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/

See also http://creativecommons.org

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