Legal Question About Street Photography

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by krazykat, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. krazykat

    krazykat TPF Noob!

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    Is it OK to photograph subjects at public events, such as festivals, parades, and rallys, then post them on an internet gallery for sale? I was thinking of taking photographs at a local festival, then selling them on my website. Is it OK to post photos on the net of people that anyone else could purchase for themselves?
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This Q has been asked over the last 2 weeks.
    Search it and you'll find what people have mentioned.
     
  3. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    If it's on private land, if they ask you to desist, then you must. If they don't, even if on private land, they can't do anything.

    Sale of photographs individually is non-commercial, so you don't need a model release.
     
  4. FinerWorks

    FinerWorks TPF Noob!

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    In general if the person(s) are recognizable you should get a release. There are exceptions for the press but for photographers in general it is not wise to do so without that signed paper. Keep in mind that falls under civil law and is applied within a civil court. There is a lot that goes into this on the legal side such as the ability to show damages or that you profited on someone's photo but again, to save any headaches it would be wise that if any people are recognizable in the image to get a signed waiver.
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Although in most areas, your plan is not illegal, it is certainly not anything that I would do, or suggest to anyone else. There are too many uses that your customers could put to the photos or visual implications that could lead to a law suit. Yes, the customer is responsible legally for his use of the photo but often the photographer is included in any law suit anyway by the plaintif.

    skieur
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  6. dleightley

    dleightley TPF Noob!

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    An interesting thread - thanks guys for providing some answers - I have always tried, when ever doing street photography to always try to get the side shot some someone, not a full frontal - Guess that notions pays off in the long run.
     
  7. krazykat

    krazykat TPF Noob!

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    OK. It has been over a year since I posted this. This past week, I ran into a guy that is taking photos of people tubing on the rivers in New Braunfels, TX. The guy is making a killing selling his photos. Does anyone see any potential problems with his business model?

    Photos of Tubers on the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers
     
  8. krazykat

    krazykat TPF Noob!

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    No one? Really?
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    *sigh*

    First off, what that dude is doing and what you are describing are quite different. That guy is marketing pictures of people to the people who are the subject of the pictures.

    Secondly, it's important to understand that you are asking a legal question to a bunch of faceless yahoos (me included) on the internet. Odds are that none of these people (me included) are lawyers, and therefore not qualified to answer your question.

    Third, it's important to keep in mind that laws for this kind of thing can vary by state and country. You need to understand your local laws to understand how it applies to you.

    Fourth, this topic comes up constantly. As do many. Use the search bar. Search is your friend.

    All that said... GENERALLY... in my experience (again, I'm not an attorney... you should consult one) you can take pictures of people and sell them as you please. You cannot use them for commerical purposes (advertising a product or service), but other than that, you're fine. You do not need a model release. Is it good to have one? Sure, why not? However, good luck getting model releases from everyone you shoot randomly in the street. There's also that element of someone may actually tell you they don't want their picture used, and then if you're a nice guy you're kinda compelled to not use it, which can be very annoying if you get a really good shot.

    Generally, the only rule on this is the people need to have no reasonable expectation of privacy.... so, you could certainly take a picture of someone strolling down main street or hanging out in a store... but you can't shoot a picture from outside of someone sitting in their living room.

    BTW, it's also perfectly legal to take pictures of kids, as long as the shots are not pornographic or exploitative. People have a tendency to lose their minds if you're taking pictures of kids and assume it's all illegal. It's not. It may appear to some people to be somewhat creepy, but it's not illegal. (again, check local laws)

    Here is a very interesting link to a very famous case on this topic:

    Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I also carry around printed copies of this document in case someone decides to go bananas on me: (which has happened to me on a couple occasions- once when I shot a picture of some cute kid looking exceedingly bored on a kiddie ride at an amusement park... :lol: Love that shot. :) NOTE: I'm not a very nice person when it comes to this. :lol:

    Bert P. Krages Attorney at Law Photographer's Rights Page

    And AGAIN... check your local laws and consult an atty.
     
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  10. Bgagnon127

    Bgagnon127 TPF Noob!

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    Good info even if coming from a yahoo lol just kidding
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    heheh
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, it's highly seasonal. What do you consider 'making a killing'?
     

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