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Virgin sued over Flickr pic

A family is suing Australia’s Virgin Mobile phone company, claiming it ‘sourced’ a photograph of their teenage daughter from the web and used it in an advertisement without permission reports Associated Press.

The family of Alison Chang says Virgin Mobile took the picture from Flickr , the photo-sharing Web site, and failed to credit by name the photographer who took the photo.

Chang’s photo became part of a Virgin Mobile Australia campaign called “Are You With Us Or What?” which features pictures downloaded from Flickr superimposed with the company’s ad slogans.

The picture of the teenager flashing a peace sign was taken at an April church car wash by her youth counsellor, who posted it that day on his Flickr page.

When the image was used in the ad, the line ‘Free text – virgin to virgin’ was added, which it is alleged damaged Alison’s reputation and exposed her to ridicule.

However Virgin Mobile Pty refuted the claim and said “The images have been featured within the positive spirit of the Creative Commons Agreement, a legal framework voluntarily chosen by the photographers. It allows for their photographs to be used for a variety of purposes, including commercial activities.”

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