Belgian Court Rules That Violating Creative Commons License Subjects You To Copyright Infringement Charge
from the legitimate-license dept
There hasn’t been too much case law around the legitimacy of Creative Commons licenses, and some have questioned whether or not they’re really legitimate. I’ll admit that I do have some questions about certain aspects of CC licenses, but over in Belgium a court has pretty clearly claimed that Creative Commons licenses are perfectly legitimate. The case involved a band that had released its music under a CC attribution-non-commercial-no derivatives license. However, a theater apparently used the music (in a modified form) as part of an ad for its upcoming season, and the ad played on national radio.
The band sued, noting that the theater violated the CC license and, thus, had violated copyright law. The court agreed, noting the near total failure of the theater to respect the specific license terms, and found the theater’s defenses unconvincing:
The theater defended itself by arguing a mistake (the court said that as a professional of the cultural sector, they should pay more attention to licensing conditions) and its good faith (traditionally not accepted in Belgian as a defense to copyright infringement).
This is certainly at least a nice boost to the legality of Creative Commons licenses, though it does sort of highlight how many users of CC-licensed content don’t really understand (or pay attention to) the specific restrictions in the licenses of content they use.