Discuss legality of taking pictures of strangers

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

  1. frankiscool

    frankiscool TPF Noob!

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    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

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    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

    JPPLAY TPF Noob!

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    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

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    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

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    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

    walter23 TPF Noob!

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    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

    walter23 TPF Noob!

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    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

    mentos_007 The Freshmaker!

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    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

    The People's Knee TPF Noob!

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    This is why it's good to have a nice long-range lense ;)
     
  10. santino

    santino TPF Noob!

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    "because its nice to see the bank getting robbed for once instead of the other way around" :thumbsup: :LOL:
    great sentence!
     
  11. androo

    androo TPF Noob!

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    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

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    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

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    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

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    And I thought USA banks were bad!
     
  15. nomav6

    nomav6 TPF Noob!

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    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
     

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