License creep on some web2.0 sites

September 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Below is a scenario that happened to a colleague.

..getting images off Flickr under cc-by only to go back and find they had changed (c) all rights reserved,  (the individual user changing the licence, not Flickr.)

the thing that intrigues me is without a version control system does the new licence automatically apply retrospectively? I suspect not – in fact I assume the stated licence at the time applies, the new licence only applies since it was changed. Actually the real question is to whom goes the burden of proof? Will the user of the image under the prior license have to prove they are allowed to act or is the responsibility with the owner or the repository (Flickr in this case)?

An open and shut case I’d imagine, but its easy to forget these services are being bankrolled by hard-nosed venture capitalists who would probably sell their mothers for a second Ferrari, its not the web like it was 15 years ago.

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