Creative Commons is being sued!
If you're not a geek, here's some background:
Update, 2007-10-9: The rest of this post is a bit of a stretch -- which is to say, I've changed my mind about the conclusion. It's preserved below, but just for history.
You might have heard part of this story already, but to recap:
1. Virgin Australia found an an ordinary, charming snapshot on Flickr. The photo used a creative commons license that allowed commercial use.
2. Virgin cropped and colored that photo into a kind-of-insulting, borderline-racist cell phone advertisement.
3. Without ever contacting the 15-year-old girl in the snapshot, Virgin put the ad up on billboards across Australia.
Which is all well and good. But now the girl's family is suing Creative Commons, too, for "not adequately informing" people what "license this photo for commecrial use" means.
Aside from the sheer communitarian spirit involved in suing a cash-strapped nonprofit organization that has taken unparalleled pains to make legal language useful and comprehensible to ordinary people, there's also some small possibility that a negative ruling could affect Wikipedia—and, really, anyone else who's trying to fix our grungy copyright system by making an end-run around it.
So thank you, Virgin, for being such complete jackasses that you've possibly (though this is still unlikely) set back an entire global collaborative intellectual movement.
Nono, really—thank you. From all of us.