Photographing the public in public displays - Legalities and more?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. Hello,

    I'm curious about something. I've recently educated myself (or at least
    barely tried) on the subject of photographing or videotaping the
    public....something I don't care much about. I respect every tom, dick and
    jane's privacy in this regard.

    BUT, I wonder what rules or laws there might be in regard to photographing
    and/or videotaping folks participating in a parade or a major sporting
    event? I understand how the laws may very well differ from state to state in
    the US. But wouldn't people taking part in a major parade be subject to
    losing their rights to some extent in as far as being photographed by anyone
    other than the major media? I mean as long as the photographer isn't
    profiting from these photos or videos?

    I'd appreciate any experiences or constructive comments on the subject.
    Thanks in advance.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005
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  2. Granted and well appreciated.
    I think I might post this message within a LEGAL NG.
    Thanks by the way.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005
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  3. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Bill Funk Guest

    All they can do is refuse or comply.
    Bill Funk, Nov 9, 2005
  4. Thank you Christopher and everyone else. But it's funny, I would've thought
    this to be an easier issue to target than others. Considering how I
    mentioned Specifically, Parades and Major Sporting Events. Alas, I would be
    off now to post this question in a legal Newsgroup.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005

  5. If you walk up to a stranger in the street and ask if you can take their
    picture, they could comply but that doesn't mean they know what your
    intentions are thereafter.

    Of course if they're marching in a Major Parade
    then I'd think they would know that they're going to be videotaped and
    photographed repeatedly....Say, a hundred thousand times or more?

    In a city such as mine, virtually every single parade is covered by the
    local media....Of Course, some more than others with attendances usually
    surpassing beyond half a million.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005
  6. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Bill Funk Guest

    Parades and major sporting events are very different things.
    Parades are, for the most part, very public, while major sporting
    events aren't.
    Public events can be shot to yoru heart's content, while the sporting
    events very often have limits placed on all sorts of things by the
    owners of the event. Like photography.
    Bill Funk, Nov 9, 2005
  7. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Bill Funk Guest

    If they don't know, but want to know, they can ask. I don't have to
    answer. They don't have to say yes. I can still take their picture.
    So what's that got to do with asking someone to be in the photo or
    turn this way or that?
    Bill Funk, Nov 9, 2005
  8. OH, you see, I didn't know that. That is your mention of limitations on
    photography at sporting events.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005
  9. Of course you can. Actually in almost any major city that attracts throngs
    of tourists, you can easily find them shooting photos and video to their
    hearts content with total disregard for their surroundings and those folks
    around them.

    BUT, they would not know what your intentions are after you take the photo.
    That is, whether you're going to go off and post these photos on a website,
    or put up a video on the web. THUS, the legal ramifications.

    Nothing at all Bill. I'm simply trying to revert the direction back to my
    original question which IS ABOUT parades and sporting events. I in turn
    could of course ask what your input had to do with the original
    question?...but your input is appreciated by me regardless....So thanks.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005
  10. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    Always, not usually.
    More nonsense. There's no _legal_ impediment to photographing anyone in a
    public place.
    It may, depending on the jurisdiction.

    Good idea.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  11. That last sentence is the key. Our original poster has asked the wrong
    question. I assume that when he asks his question in a legal newsgroup, his
    error will be pointed out to him, and he'll get more nearly accurate
    Phil Stripling, Nov 9, 2005
  12. Point taken and appreciated Phil.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005
  13. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    Sorry, but you're wrong. If you are in public you have no expectation of
    privacy and anyone can take your picture -- no permission is necessary.
    Taking the picture and using it are two completely different questions.
    Regardless of whether you are in public, right of publicity laws in most
    jurisdictions preclude the commercial appropriation of likeness without
    permission (note the word "commercial").
    Sorry, but that's completely wrong.
    I am an attorney.

    Paul N. Tauger, Esq.
    Cal. State Bar No. 160552

    There is a difference. However, if a minor is in public, they are fair
    game, just like anyone else.
    That's a completely different issue and unrelated to the statement re: not
    photographing minors in public.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  14. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    Why not? Commerical appropriation of likeness is precluded, as are uses
    that might constitute defamation. The mere act of public display, however,
    is not precluded.
    All the more reasons why the non-attorneys in this group should be careful
    about their pronouncements regarding what is and is not legal.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  15. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Iraxl Enb Guest

    This is getting interesting, though getting kind of
    OT... Can someone be sued if they give legal sounding
    advice on a usenet group without claiming any legal
    training ot knowlegde?

    Iraxl Enb, Nov 9, 2005
  16. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    No, I didn't. You made a generalization that was incorrect.
    No, I didn't. Public display isn't precluded. Defamation is actionable, as
    is commercial appropriation, without regard to public display.
    No, the answer is what I said.
    It is not. The difference between me and those who make statements like
    that is I've studied the case law and they haven't.
    On the contrary, it's quite clear -- some of the statements that you said
    were simply wrong as a matter of law.
    I wasn't addressing the question, as I don't give legal advice to
    non-clients, and never over the internet. I was addressing a couple of
    misstatements that you made.
    I would suggest that, if you're not a lawyer, you refrain from telling
    strangers what the law might be regarding specific situations.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  17. AIUI you can be sued by anyone for anything. The issue is whether you
    can be sued successfully.

    In the Netherlands I'm pretty confident you would be at no risk unless
    you really went out of your way to present yourself as an expert whose
    advice one could absolutely rely on. (In fact if you claimed to be
    qualified lawyer when you were not, I think you might be committing a
    criminal offence, depending on how credible your claim was.) In the USA:
    I would hesitate to hazard a guess.
    Stephen Poley, Nov 9, 2005
  18. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    And where did you receive your legal education? What states have licensed
    you to provide legal advice?
    Do a google search on my name before you make any more truly stupid
    Why? You're completely wrong.

    I'm a partner in a national law firm. My area of practice is intellectual
    property law. As I said, do a google search before you dig yourself into an
    even deeper hole.
    The law (and the Constitution) hasn't changed in this regard.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  19. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    You miss the point, which is not whether or not you have offered legal
    advice, but, rather, who are you to tell a licensed attorney who practices
    in this area that he is wrong.

    Um, no, I'm not. You, however, said some things about the state of the law
    which were wrong. Do you think you're the Pope? Do you think you're
    No, I'm not out of my area. As I said, do a google search before you
    embarass yourself further.
    As I said, neither the law nor the Constitution has changed in this regard.

    Most people want a lawyer who understands the law. You, evidently, are one
    of those people who wants a lawyer who will agree with you, even when you're

    You were wrong, and you remain wrong.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  20. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Bill Funk Guest

    Wow! You've never neen to a major sporting event?
    I have been to very few, but I know many who have been to a lot (even
    Az Cardinals games!). I've even seen tickets for such events. :)
    Photography is one of the things limited there n(but usually not
    prohibited). Outside food isn't allowed either.
    Bill Funk, Nov 9, 2005
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