"Legal" Question

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Oly53, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Oly53

    Oly53 TPF Noob!

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    Alright. Here's the situation:

    I was taking pictures at a High School Volleyball tournament. With the schools yearbook camera. I took pictures of the team in general, and then a couple of the coach.

    I took the camera home, downloaded the pictures onto my computer and then put a few of them on my personal Facebook.

    I get told by the yearbook advisor that I am not allowed to do this. And that I may face consequences. I talk to a higher up and she says that I should just take them down. Which I have done until I find out what's actually the law. I was also told by her that I could not put them up even if I took my own camera there, and took pictures myself, because I could "be sued".

    These are pictures of the teacher (coach) and the team in general, as I said. This was at a public high school, at an event that was open to the public. I was not using any images for commercial use, just to have on there (facebook) as a "gallery" of my pictures.

    Thoughts? Advice? If you can help at all, I'd appreciate it. Also, any sources you have on the matter would be helpful as well. Before I forget, this is in Illinois. (That might be important..haha.)
     
  2. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thats ridiculous! Tell them to put NO CAMERA IS ALLOWED sign at the front LOL. I dont understand why you cant do that.
     
  3. Oly53

    Oly53 TPF Noob!

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    The tournament was at a different school. And other people were taking pictures as well. This is just an administrator at my school telling me I "can't" do this. So, cameras were allowed. Just to clarify.
     
  4. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know cameras are allowed. I was just making fun of why they are giving you a hard time. Unless the coaches are at home in their own houses, you can take their pictures.
     
  5. Oly53

    Oly53 TPF Noob!

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    Haha. Alright. I was just trying to be as clear as I could.

    See, that's what I thought as well. But I just wasn't sure.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes you can take their pictures. The question is what you can (or can't) do with them after they are taken.

    Since you were using the school's yearbook camera, work-for-hire rules may apply and the school may own the copyright to all the photos you took.

    If they do, yes, you could be sued.

    As for sources, visit:

    www.copyright.gov

    Are you of minor age: http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-who.html#minor

    Can a minor claim copyright?
    Minors may claim copyright, and the Copyright Office issues registrations to minors, but state laws may regulate the business dealings involving copyrights owned by minors. For information on relevant state laws, consult an attorney.

    Then you'll need to seek legal counsel there in Illinois.

    As far as 'work for hire': http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html#made_for_hire

    What is a work made for hire?
    Although the general rule is that the person who creates the work is its author, there is an exception to that principle; the exception is a work made for hire, which is a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or a work specially ordered or commissioned in certain specified circumstances. When a work qualifies as a work made for hire, the employer, or commissioning party, is considered to be the author. See Circular 9, Work-Made-For-Hire Under the 1976 Copyright Act.

    So click on the link and study Circular 9, closely.
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    If you were working on the yearbook as a student, then it was NOT a work for hire, since you were not being paid, and whether you were using the school camera is irrelevant.

    As the photographer you are the first owner of copyright under the law, and the situation as you described it, does not change that premise. Although the school may not want school activity photos on a social network, they cannot claim any copyright, assuming you have provided the complete story of the affair.

    Since the photos were apparently taken with school permission in a public place of an education-related sports activity, there would seem to be no legal grounds for a law suit from anyone.

    skieur
     
  8. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    It doesn't sound like a copyright issue, but more like policies. Different schools boards have different rules for images taken of kids while participating in school activities. At the school board I work for, it is a negative policy. This means that all students are considered okay to publish to school web sites, newspapers etc unless a parent has explicitly written the school board to indicate otherwise. My own kids are in a different school board because I commute about 45 minutes to work. Their board requires all parent to submit a form indicating that it is ok to use any pictures that may be taken of their child. In Canada, it is all about the "safe schools" act and protecting students from predators.

    Edit: forgot to mention, that as a student you're not necessarily privy to who has allowed and who has disallowed images of their children being posted outside the school.
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I still think that a student could NOT be sued for not being aware of, or not following school policy, since I doubt that school policy has any legal standing outside the school. Moreover any liability if there was any, would more likely be with the school rather than the student.

    skieur
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It sounds more like paranoia on the part of the faculty than anything else...

    OMG! Pictures of teenagers ... online!! We must put an end to this!
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That sounds more like a model release than anything else...

    I know that somewhere in the fine print I signed when I hired on to my job, it says something to the same effect... That they can take pictures of me at work and do whatever they want with them.

    It doesn't sound like that is stopping anyone from taking their pictures, it is just allowing the school to do whatever they want with them.
     
  12. Oly53

    Oly53 TPF Noob!

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    I was not paid, so work for hire is not the case. Also, it's more of a "can they make me take them down" or "face consequences" deal than anything else.

    I mean, had the person in question asked me to take them down, I would have. But no, they decide to make an attempt to escalate the situation when it wasn't needed.

    Also, for clarification. It's not the STUDENT pictures they have a problem with. It's the few of the faculty member.
     

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