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  1. #1
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    Question Someone wants to sue for pics they gave me to put on the web.

    I received an email today that stated, "get my kids off your website or I'll sue you." This is the first communication that I have had with the person in almost two years.

    I hold an annual 'family' reunion that invites a lot of extended family that camp out and have bands perform. It is a private family event, but we do a website to get the information out since the location and details change every year.

    The owner of the property sent me pictures of his daughters that were used on the page that promoted his farm.

    The pictures of his girls are not on my current website, but are archived via my old host.

    Can I be sued for the pictures he gave me?

    Thanks



  2. #2
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    This is America where you can be sued for almost anything – I would say yes – if you do not have written notarized permission to post them on line. If it won’t hurt to remove then I would and send a screen shot, back to ensure they know you complied.
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  3. #3
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    You need to speak with a lawyer. If it goes to court the "I got advice from a photography forum" defense will not work.

  4. #4
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    Can you be "sued?" Of course. I can sue you if I don't like the font you are posting with. Can he prevail in court is another question entirely.

    I don't know your jurisdiction or anything, but since you didn't take the photos and presumably don't have anything in writing from him telling you to post them, I would go ahead and do whatever I could to remove them - if only as a goodwill gesture. Since you are not using them for commercial purposes, you are almost certainly legally ok, but they are not your intellectual property, so given that you have no use for them now anyway, I'd just reply that they've been removed and were only there for the limited purposes that he allowed "per our discussion on whatever date, blah blah blah." Include whatever self-serving details you feel are necessary, just to CYA, should it escalate.

    Lawyers are very expensive and most people would not be keen on paying one over a few snapshots, so I would not panic at all over this.

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    If he gave you the pictures to be put on the web and you have some proof in that regard then he cannot win a suit against you, unless there is something missing from the story that you have not mentioned

    This is where contracts are very helpful, since it would be all covered in writing.

    If he claims he just gave you the photos (no mention of your use), then it is up to a judge to determine whether he just gave you the photos and not any rights related to use, or that in giving you the photos he gave away his rights to their use as well. Judges in the US have ruled in the latter.

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    Speak with a lawyer and fast. Trust me.

  7. #7
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    Its a sad word and from his attitude he seems to be a sad individual

  8. #8
    The Naked Spammer
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    Here's the thing, as far as I know. It is perfectly legal for you to take and post any pictures of any person so long as they are in a public place. They have no expectation of privacy and legally do not have any grounds to ask you to take them down. If you were selling the pictures, then, absolutely he could sue you (and win), but aside from this, you are legally on solid ground.

    The definition of "public place" is a bit more broad than people think. In a truly public place, owned by the government, like a park or the sidewalk, there is no question. In a semi-public place, like a mall or a business, then the business sets the rules, but for people photography, it is still considered public so long as the owners of the establishment allow photography. Private locations include things like people's homes (not visible from public property, as in front yard doesn't count), or private venues, bathrooms, or anywhere a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    That being said, it might make this situation a lot calmer if you just took them down and apologized. I, on the other hand, don't shy away from confrontation

    Note: I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever (really) been in this situation. This is based on the understanding of photograhy laws I have gleaned from a good bit of reading so I'd have ammunition against the gung-ho security guards of the world.

    EDIT: Oh, shizzz, I missed that the phtos were his. Yeah, take those down ASAP.
    Last edited by clarinetJWD; 02-13-2011 at 12:54 PM.

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  9. #9
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    EDIT: Oh, shizzz, I missed that the phtos were his. Yeah, take those down ASAP.
    Was a nice post though..


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    Quote Originally Posted by Formatted View Post
    EDIT: Oh, shizzz, I missed that the phtos were his. Yeah, take those down ASAP.
    Was a nice post though..
    I enjoyed reading that post, gave me a bit of knowledge to work with for any future disputes lol.

    But honestly, if he asked you to put them down and you do so, you wont have any problems, if he said "ill sue you for having those pictures up on the website" than that would be totally different circumstances. Prob a bluff anyways, people like to make big threats to get their point across, but play it safe and take em down, no harm done.
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    no! they can't sue you man!!!!! a net is a public domain!!!! nobody really owns something!!!!! you have all the right, by internet domain law, to use any pics man!!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesas View Post
    no! they can't sue you man!!!!! a net is a public domain!!!! nobody really owns something!!!!! you have all the right, by internet domain law, to use any pics man!!!!
    I have always been told to have anyone sign a consent form if you are going to publish their mug anywhere....especially if their name or location is mentioned.
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  13. #13
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    you have all the right, by internet domain law, to use any pics man!!!!
    No you don't.


  14. #14
    I spend too much of my life on TPF!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesas View Post
    no! they can't sue you man!!!!! a net is a public domain!!!! nobody really owns something!!!!! you have all the right, by internet domain law, to use any pics man!!!!
    Please tell me this is tongue in cheek.

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    Getting legal advice from an internet forum, especially not even one geared to legal professionals, is a really bad idea. Might even say stupid idea!

    Would you refer a surgery question to this forum? Why would you?
    Same thing goes for legal advice, or any professional advice of any kind.
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