Legal Use of Images

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by pdurrer, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. pdurrer

    pdurrer TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to locate information on what images I can legally use in a commercial product. Goverment buildings would seem to be no problem, but what about historical buildings that are privately owned? What about commercial establishments (assuming no trademarks or such are in the photo). How about a photo of a painting in a museum?

    Is there any reliable source for legal details such as these?

    Thanks,
    Preston
     
  2. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Ok - I'm no lawyer but here's what I've been able to find. Buildings before 1991 are basically fair game - as long as you are on PUBLIC property when you take the shot. Buildings after 1991 are covered by copyright laws on the design. And even when you have the right to TAKE the image you can't always use it due to privacy issues and slander (for example - if you take a photo of someone sleeping on a park bench you can arbitrarily publish it with a caption or story about homeless people sleeping in the park). Newspapers have a LOT more leeway under the "fair use" clauses as they supposedly serve the public interest (I said "Supposedly" - stop howling!).

    Painting and other works of art are covered by copyright laws just like your photographs. Someone can't take a picture of your picture just because someone bought it and put it in a building. Same goes for other works of art.

    With people a release is a wonderful thing. However, in many instances they aren't worth the paper they are printed on without compensation of some sort and believe me that complicates matters. Its hard enough to get an average joe to sign over any and all rights to the use of their image and when money is involved it gets even worse!

    Hope this helps!
    ~LizM
     
  3. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    can you point me to where you read this? very interesting info for an architect :)

    people will copyright anything and everything these days :roll: it's ok to use to protect financial affairs, but beyond that i say it's a bunch of paranoid rubbish. i wonder if the bowl has been copyrighted... *runs to the patent office*
     
  4. Slowboat

    Slowboat TPF Noob!

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    Most reliable resource would be a Copyright attorney, no ither way around it, CYA

    From my understanding, If you can get signed "Model" releases for all people and buildings used in commerical for profit purposes then you should be okay.
     
  5. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Here's the link and I goofed - its buildings after Dec 1, 1990. Sorry.

    http://www.photosecrets.com/p14.html

    I've seen the info in other places too (the NPPA I think) but I can't find the link right now.
    ~LizM
     
  6. pdurrer

    pdurrer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info and links. Hopefully I'll find what I need from that. If I should need to consult and attorney, I just won't bother with the project ... wouldn't be worth it.
     
  7. StvShoop

    StvShoop TPF Noob!

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    thanks LizM, that was an interesting read.
    makes me wonder if they had a right to throw me out of walmart...
    it's a commercially-based building, but many members of the public go there (HAVE to go there, really)... so it seems that this fact would bend the definition of public/private in this case.

    i hate stuff like this. it's on the level of: "mrs. teacher lady, he's staring at meee!!". gov't hands should keep off of this issue
     

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