Scandal over use of Creative Commons photo on Flickr results in lawsuit

The details on this are still sketchy, but according to this article, the mother of a Texas minor has sued in state court over Virgin Mobile’s use of a Creative Commons attribution-only licensed photo found on Flickr. From what I can tell, Virgin Mobile found the photo on Flickr, cropped it, did a horizontal flip, and added the moniker “Dump Your Pen Friend.” A guy in Australia noticed the Creative Commons work in the add, posted a picture of it on Flickr [here], where the subject of the photo noticed it. [This story unfolds in the comments for the picture.]

I’m sure that more details will emerge and we’ll get a better picture of what’s going on here. There’s one nagging question that in my mind needs answering. Why is the plaintiff suing Creative Commons? Apparently the claims in the lawsuit are state-based right of publicity claims. How, by merely providing a licensing mechanism for the copyright in a photo, could Creative Commons be liable for anything in this situation?

Hat tip to Michael Geistfor alerting me to this story.