Friday, July 20, 2007

Not so innocent Virgin

A month or two ago the latest Virgin Moblie campaign started appearing on bus and tram stops here in Melbourne.

The ads are pretty quirky and all feature slightly odd, almost mundane photography.

As I walked past a poster one morning I noticed in the bottom left corner a tiny credit for the photo.

The reason it caught my eye, was because the photo had come from someone’s Flickr site.

This resulted in much discussion in the office, as we’d recently used a pic we’d found on Flickr for a concept layout, and were wondering how to gain permission to use the photo if the concept was approved.

Our ad eventually bit the dust, so it didn’t really matter, but I wonder what the team behind the Virgin campaign did?

Not too much if the current discussion on the Flickr blog is to be believed.

It seems most photos on Flickr are covered under a Creative Commons licence. This means anyone can use them, so long as they acknowledge the source of the image.

Problem is, this doesn’t cover the use of the people in the pics. They surely need to sign a model release for the use of their image?

Many of the people whose photos have been used in the campaign have contributed to the Flickr discussion and they’re starting to get pretty hot under the collar, as you can imagine.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this debate, as it could have wider repercussions. In the mean time, click here to see what the Flickr users have to say.