Laws concerning photos.

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Karl, May 11, 2009.

  1. Karl
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    Karl New Member

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    Hey!

    I'm wondering .. is there any "book of photography and legalities" somewhere? I'd like to know stuff like; Can I photograph people without their prior consent? Can I photograph public workers (police men, firefighters, etc.) during their work? Can I photograph celebrities without their prior consent? Can I photograph buildings without the owner's approval?

    So on and so forth.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    You need to look at this, copy it and keep at least 1 with you whenever you are out making images times.

    Question #1. Yes, you can. But only if they are in public.
    Question #2. Yes, you can. You cannot impead their work or get in the way.
    Question #3. Yes, you can if they are in public.
    Question #4. Yes, you can. What you might do with the image later could be questionable. You can make images of the Eiffel tower and sell them where ever you want whenever you want. Make those same images at night and you have to have permission from the proper french authorities to sell them.

    I recommend also reading THIS.

    You might find this court case interesting.

    A worthy subject to become well versed on.
  3. Karl
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    Karl New Member

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    Such a great response, thank you so much KmH.

    Just to make sure; Are you 100% sure and certain I can, according to the Canadian law, take pictures of -anyone- on the street/park/mall? Regardless of age? (Although I'm a teen myself, taking pictures of kids in the park shouldn't give out a too suspicious vibe. :lol:)

    I keep seeing people doing priceless stuff/with priceless reactions/in memorable situations but always feel awkward snapping a picture of the moment; what if they complain? What if they tell me they don't want me to take their picture? Can I sell a picture of people if the people didn't approve to it?

    Anyways, I'll read the two links you gave me, thanks a lot. :]
  4. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    Remember that laws can differ depending on where you are. If you are in France for example, the law might be different. So if on a trip, its wise to do some research about photo laws
  5. Karl
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    Karl New Member

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    Thanks bigtwinky, that's good advice.

    As for KmH, I've printed and read all these documents and read them in the bus on my way to college. :p

    It's pretty interesting and clarifying, however now I'm worried about Queebc laws. Anyone would know where I can find more information? Apparently the laws in Quebec/Montreal may or may not be different, I can't seem to find any concrete information concerning the subject and since I intend to do some street photography soon (specifically tomorrow too), I'd appreciate any hints or tips concerning the matter. ^^;

    Thanks in advance.
  6. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think that no matter where you are, you are required to have a model release form if you plan on selling the image or using it for promotion.

    In Quebec and France (which are both under a Napoleonic code), you require permission by the subject if the picture will be seen by the public, unless its a newsworthy event or a crowd. Essentially, the law states that no matter where you are, you are the owner of your own image while the rest of the world considers the photographer the owner of the image.

    Here is an interesting write up from a local newspaper about a guy crusading against this

    Acticle found here Montreal Mirror : The Front Page : Privacy
  7. skieur
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    skieur New Member

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    Question 1: Yes, you can with few exceptions such as in washrooms, change rooms etc.

    Question 2: Yes, you can, as long as you are not interfering with their work.

    Question 3: With celebs, yes, but there is a move to change that. The proposed change is that celebs have a right to privacy in their daily activities removed from shows, performances, professional appearances etc.

    Question 4: Buildings: You can still take a photo of a copyrighted building since photography does not violate a building copyright. The Eiffel Tower affair is questionable from a legal point of view, since the issue is over the light display which is NOT copyrightable since it does not have permanent form and substance which is necessary for copyright to apply.

    Read my article on Photography and The Law in the articles section above.

    skieur
  8. Karl
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    Karl New Member

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    Wow, I truly HOPE you are wrong, otherwise farewell street photographing in Quebec. :/
  9. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    Some of us still do it, and you are usually fine. You can still take a picture if you want, as long as you are on public grounds, you are defaming the person. You simply cannot DO anything with that picture.... no publishing, no emailing, no flickring, no posting it on your website,...

    And of course, rules are made to be broken, you jsut have to suffer the consequence if you do :)
  10. Karl
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    Karl New Member

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    So if someone intercepts me, I can politely explain that it's not illegal to take the picture and that I won't publish, sell or share it with anyone?
  11. bdavison
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    bdavison New Member

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    The best information is on www.danheller.com
    He has TONS of resources regarding this topic along with published books regarding it.
  12. Karl
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    Karl New Member

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    Thanks davison, I'll check it out. :)
  13. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    As long as you are standing on public property, aren't impeding cops and the like, aren't taking pictures that defame / mock / ridicule someone, you are fine. Pictures of airports and the montreal subway system are not allowed

    I'm always careful about children though.

    I've been warned a few times that I was on private property as I was shooting something and kept moving around and ended up off the sidewalk and onto the business' property, so I just moved back to the sidewalk.

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