How Metabrainz stood up to a predatory copyright lawsuit and won

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This is great news for Metabrainz, but I must confess that I am a bit dismayed that Creative Commons has suspended the use of Wikimedia Commons images until the risk has been addressed. I understand it, but by my accounting, Ed Cavazos and Metabrainz won, Larry Philpot’s lawsuit was dismissed (so he didn’t win, but he didn’t lose either), and the Commons community (and by extension, us) lost by no longer being able to use the Wikimedia Commons images.

So to me, this feels like a pyrrhic victory; Commons fought the good fight and won, but the perpetrator went unpunished, and we all lost a resource.


It’s not CC that’s going to discontinue its reliance on Wikimedia Commons, it’s Metabrainz.


Ah! My mistake, thanks for pointing that out.


His thing seems to be that he makes photos available with a CC-BY license, and then waits like a trapdoor spider for someone to violate the terms, which are more complicated than most people expect.

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

I wonder what would happen if Mediawiki Commons decided he was more trouble than he’s worth, and dropped his photos?


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