Discuss legality of taking pictures of strangers

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by frankiscool, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. frankiscool
    Offline

    frankiscool New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I've often wondered if it's legal to take pictures of someone in public and, say, put it here for critique.

    Discuss.
  2. Karalee
    Offline

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,849
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Here....there....everywhere
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +46 / 0
    As far as I know, as long as you dont use it for commercial use and make a profit, and you can see them from public property its legal.
  3. JPPLAY
    Offline

    JPPLAY New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    If you shoot in a public place of anything you should be able to publish it for profit. You don't need premission to take a picture of someone walking by then to publish it.
  4. LizM
    Offline

    LizM New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Heart of the Heart of Dixie
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0
    Not even close I'm afraid. The only time you don't need permission is if the person is not recognizable OR if it falls under "fair use" rules for news media. Lots of folks never push the issue with "street photography" but it can get you in deep legal doo doo.

    Ahh, the U.S.A. - land of beaurocracy. (I can NEVER seem to spell that right)
  5. voodoocat
    Offline

    voodoocat ))<>((

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +16 / 0
    You only need a model release when you are going to use the image commercially. What are they going to sue you for if you're not making any money off of it?
  6. walter23
    Offline

    walter23 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    A pacific island (canada)
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    Today I got yelled at by both a bank manager and a mall security guard (got a hopefully awesome photo of the latter) for taking pictures of a post-robbery situation (cops walking around the bank, customers and tellers filling out reports, police cars parked on the sidewalk, etc). The bank manager came out and asked me why I was taking pictures, and I said "because its nice to see the bank getting robbed for once instead of the other way around" (i'm really bitter about service charges and monthly fees). The security guard said "you can't take pictures in the mall" so I got a shot of her face with a blurry hand sticking out (off to the side, had to duck and shoot to get her face out from behind her hand). I think I pushed it about as far as it could go without risking a bit of a hassle. This of course has nothing really to do with the legality of normal public photos of people, but I couldn't resist sharing the small bit of excitment I got on the way to school today. And I hope that security guard photo turns out as awesome as it looked through the viewfinder.
  7. walter23
    Offline

    walter23 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    A pacific island (canada)
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    One guy got arrested recently for taking photos of people (in the mall) for his own personal use.

    I don't think it was the photography that got him in trouble, but rather the fact that his camera was hidden and his subjects were the bottom sides of random girls who were wearing skirts that day.
  8. mentos_007
    Offline

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    9,325
    Likes Received:
    102
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Poland, Sz-n
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +102 / 0
    in my country it is said that if a person fits less tha 13 % of the whole photo you can publish it without permission/agreement/knowledge of the person photographed. and you can publish it when there is a crowd but noone here specified WHAT the crowd is :) some claim that three is a crowd :p
  9. The People's Knee
    Offline

    The People's Knee New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    This is why it's good to have a nice long-range lense ;)
  10. santino
    Offline

    santino New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Austria, heart in Poland -->
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +12 / 0
    "because its nice to see the bank getting robbed for once instead of the other way around" :thumbsup: :LOL:
    great sentence!
  11. androo
    Offline

    androo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    West Yorks UK
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    this is interesting cos what if you take a candid pic but just for personal but at some later date you want to use it or part of it commercially? do you have to run up to everyone after they have stepped into a picture or whatever and make sure its ok with them?
    personally i have just been carrying on unaware but then i don't really use candid portraits/people pics commercially
  12. JonMikal
    Offline

    JonMikal New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    12,262
    Likes Received:
    327
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +327 / 0
    I'm certain you would have to have their permission if used commercially. I generally ask for permission unless the angle is from behind or the subject is unrecognizable. It's saves for hassels later on.
  13. GerryDavid
    Offline

    GerryDavid Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Virginia
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    I think its good to have a permision form signed if you can, even if its legal not to, just to have yourself covered. In public, I dont think you need one if you cant tell who it is, like if its a from the behind shot.

    One question ive been wondering lately is on the model and property release forms, there is a space for a witness signature, but it doestn ask for the witness location information. Can you, as the photographer sign the witness space yourself, or does there have to be a 3rd person involved? It would make it easier if the photographer could witness his own form but it some how doesnt seem like it would hold up in the court.

    Hehe, I understand. My bank just raised the limit from $1000 to $1500 cdn before you dont get charged bank fee's, and they like to charge you for about anything.

    I was thinking of switching banks since my bank raised the limit, and I was paying like $6 or so for bank fee's *I know its not much but it adds up* and I was surprised by all the things they charge you for.

    I dont remember the exact figures, but it goes something like this. If you dont use your bank account for a year *you give them money for a year and you dont take it back* they charge you an inactive fee of $10 or something like that. AFter something like 5 years they charge $30 for inactivity. You give them your money, and let them use it, and they bill you for it, go figure.

    Each month I get like 4 or 5 cents interest and they now charge me $3 or so minimum if I only withdrawl money once a month.

    I believe the banks use to be free to go up to the teller and do your banking. Now to use a human teller, they charge you more than they charge if you use an atm. They charge you for using an atm that doesnt cost them very much money to operate.

    Im thinking if everyone withdrawls all thier money out of the banks, it will make them think twice about the fee's they charge, but that wont happen, and I dont want to see what it would do to the system if people did, hehe.
  14. LizM
    Offline

    LizM New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    823
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Heart of the Heart of Dixie
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +11 / 0
    And I thought USA banks were bad!
  15. nomav6
    Offline

    nomav6 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    where could you get one of these forms? can you find them on the net and print them out or do you need a lawyer to write one up for you?
    Thanks
  16. markc
    Offline

    markc New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Rochester, NY Velocity: Unknown
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0
    I said this in another thread, but I really wouldn't take any answers about law as law from an Internet message board. This is nothing against any of us here, but we aren't lawyers, and the laws vary so greaty not only from country to country, but they can from state to state (in the USA). Talk to an experienced local photographer who is willing to spend some time with you (a lawyer would be best, but you might have to pay). Make sure it's someone who knows what they are doing. If you get sued for copyright infingement or invasion of privacy, you could end up paying big bucks.

    Malls and banks are private property, so the rules are usually very different there than when you are on the street, where they are different than when you are attending a newsworthy event, but it really depends on where you are and how you use the photograph. The differences may be subtle at times, but can be important. Too make matters more complicated, the US government is coming down on what was (and I thought legally still is) legitimate photography of public places, like bridges and such.
  17. logel
    Offline

    logel New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    another side answer: here in China you feel like thereĀ“s no legislation on anything at all, but a friend of mine was some days ago taking pictures on the street (in Kunming) and a cop came to him and said that foreigners need a permit to do photographs anywhere... Usually there should not be any problem, that time first of october was approaching, and they were "getting tougher", in a broad sense; i guess here it just depends on the mood on the official in charge, as always happens...
  18. cactus waltz
    Offline

    cactus waltz New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0

    I happen to be a law student. Funnily enough, I must agree with you - laws in immaterial rights vary enough to cause confusion between borders for there to be one strict definition. However, you can stay assured that pretty much wherever you'll go, you will need permission from a portrayed person if you're going to use the portrait for financial purposes, or for web publishing. I would keep that in mind as a
    rule of thumb, not a guarantee. Check out your local regulations if you are serious about putting out your photos to the public, including the Internet.

    Domo arigato.
  19. jadin
    Offline

    jadin The Mad Hatter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Down the Rabbit Hole.
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +9 / 0
    Crikey Gerry, go find a credit union. Usually much better.

    I remember one time my bank charged me for insufficent funds. But the thing is they didn't allow the charge to go through. Meaning I never actually went below zero balance. So they shouldn't be able to charge for insufficent funds. Makes you want to smack somebody.
  20. GerryDavid
    Offline

    GerryDavid Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Virginia
    Gallery:
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    Well I know how paypal works now. Before I thought my credit card was the default source of money after the paypal ballance, but it seems paypal makes the bank account be the default source no matter what. Now that I know that, it wont happen again. Paypal is just nicer to use since people trust it and you can send the people the merchandise same day as the end of the auction if they pay fast enough.

    Different banks let you do different things. I can get overdraft protection so if I go over, I get charged interest, which is like 200 times higher than the interest they pay me, go figure. :0)

Share This Page