Photographs use legality people public etc etc

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Destin_FL, May 10, 2005.

  1. Destin_FL

    Destin_FL Guest

    Hi all,
    I have a legal question, of course understanding that I am asking professional
    photographers not attorneys - but if anyone knows, you all will.

    I am wondering what my liability is in using people in photographs.... example
    1: Let's say I am at a festival or fair or something that is obviously open to
    the public, but is on sort of private property, i.e. a real estate
    development/community like or maybe on a church grounds or
    something. If I am walking around shooting images of people doing things and I
    anticipate using these images in things like websites or brochures or
    newsletters for realtors, am I allowed to have images of these
    arbitrary/stranngers people in my printed media?

    Does it matter that the photos were taken on (sort of) private property even
    though it was a public event?

    OK, example 2: Let's say I am walking down the street and want to shoot folks
    having lunch at an outdoor patio of a restaurant or something... am I allowed to
    print that image(s) into brochures, newsletters, etc.

    Does this stuff/legal issues change if I am using the images for things in an
    effort to generate revenue?

    Are there websites, etc. that you guys can point me to that might illuminate all
    this for me?

    Thanks in advance a ton for the help, answers, input.

    Very sincerely
    Destin_FL, May 10, 2005
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  2. Destin_FL

    Destin_FL Guest

    OK, if I do not specifically SELL the photograph to for instance, my client, but
    my client (usually a Realtor) uses the image in marketing materials to
    (hopefully) bring him more business, how does that effect the legalities?

    Also, I have gotten wonderful answers from several of you; thanks so much.....
    one of the common nuances seems to be "identifiable" persons; these of course
    would all be strangers to me, so does identifiable apply, or does that term
    identifiable actually mean = I need to walk up to them because I can
    specifically "identify" them as being in that shot I just took / am about to


    My submission for the most recent SI: "Parents" was taken
    downtown last week during a parade. As I don't expect to
    profit from this pic, I didn't worry about obtaining model releases.
    Destin_FL, May 10, 2005
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  3. Destin_FL

    Sheldon Guest

    I'm almost positive you can use the photos for news shots -- newspaper
    photogs rarely if ever have to get a release of everyone in a photo as long
    as it's in a public place (I used to work for AP). However, if the photo is
    to be used commercially you must get a release. I also think if the person
    is a public figure photos are much more lax. In other words, you can take a
    photo of the president or a movie star and you don't have to get anything
    from them. Now, if you are going to use the photo in an ad, you'll be in
    big trouble without a release.

    I got a photo of a movie star in a prison exercise yard from the building
    across the street. Made a lot of front pages and nobody said a word, except
    my editor who loved me. I think a lot of your answers will be in an AP
    Sheldon, May 11, 2005
  4. Destin_FL

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    You are kidding, right?
    Ken Weitzel, May 11, 2005
  5. Destin_FL

    Walter Banks Guest

    Most photo contests insist that people in photographs have
    given the photographer written permission to use their image.

    I know of a case where this in part also applies to objects
    as well. A friend of mine has a particularity nice restored
    old car and series of ad's that used this image without his
    permission (Including one with the license plate visible)
    were pulled because he objected.

    A local television station called my house a few months
    ago asking permission to run a story that had the house in
    one of the shots they intended to run. (Permission granted
    I had no idea they were even there and the story had
    nothing to do with my family or the house.)

    If in doubt get permission.

    Walter Banks, May 11, 2005
  6. Destin_FL

    Destin_FL Guest

    I want to thank you all for your time and input. The answers were about what I
    expected. Can't go around willy nilly shooting people. :)

    For specific scenarios I will check with a local attorney, but you all have
    certainly explained things perfectly.
    I really do appreciate it.

    I saw an idea that this might be worthy of being in a FAQ; I would
    think so too. As these fantastic dSLR's get into the hands of so many more
    people, there will inevitably be more instances of amateurs receiving payment
    for photography, and they should be informed when and where they can use images
    of people and objects.



    If in doubt get permission.

    Destin_FL, May 11, 2005
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