Legality of posting pictures of strangers

Discussion in 'Personal and Professional Photography Websites' started by litebulb1, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. litebulb1
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    litebulb1 New Member

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    Does anybody know the technical requirements of posting images of strangers on a website? Is it legal, do you have to have permission? I would obviously have the option of having the picture removed upon request.
  2. jstuedle
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    jstuedle New Member

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    I the person is in a public place then they are fair game. However, if you plan to use there image for profit, say an ad campaign, then you will need a model release. I assume you refer to U.S. law.
  3. litebulb1
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    litebulb1 New Member

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    Yes this is all in US and no I would not be selling the image. thanks for the info.
  4. Alex_B
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    Alex_B New Member

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    Exactly the same in Germany and parts of Europe ... maybe even in all of Europe.
  5. Aye-non Oh-non Imus
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    Aye-non Oh-non Imus New Member

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    Assuming you wish to make profit of your photo of people, I can understand the need for a release for the featured model(s). If you capture a small group at a street market of 4 or 5 people in focus or at a house party, or say a large group at the beach, or else a very large group at a sporting event.

    Do you run around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to get everyone in sight to sign the form? Is there a cut off or guideline as to whom you need a release for?

    I am refering primarily to US law, however, I do travel abroad.
  6. cloudmorning
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    cloudmorning New Member

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    If you wish to sell images commercially, you need a release signed by every person in the photo. Otherwise, no worries.
  7. leopardforest
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    leopardforest New Member

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    I would like to expand off this question. Do you only need a model release if you plan on selling the photo? So if you take a picture of a stranger and you only plan to add it to your portfolio to represent you as photographer are you ok?
  8. c_lawrence
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    c_lawrence New Member

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    "It may surprise you to know that the photographer isn't ultimately culpable for images that are published without a release. It's the publisher of an image that carries all the liability. Yes, whoever it is that puts the image into use needs to have the photo released. Who puts the photo into use? The user of the photo. The photographer is usually not that person. That the photographer sells the photo (or licenses it) is not what triggers the need for a model release." -- Dan Heller Photography

    For more info:

    http://www.danheller.com/model-release-primer

    http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html#4

    This website addresses just about everything... checklist for model releases, copy of a model release, fair use, property release, pets, satire, photos on the web..... whew!

    Also, here's a book I was recommended (haven't read it yet, so if anyone has... would love feedback):

    "Legal Handbook for Photographers:The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images" -- Amherst Media, Inc. (2d ed. 2006)
  9. skieur
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    skieur New Member

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    It might also surprise you that a photographer can make a profit from a photo of a stranger, as long as it is not used for advertising purposes. A photographer got $20,000 for a photo of a person in the street in New York. The person in the photo sued, but the photographer won.

    skieur
  10. ksm
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    ksm New Member

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    My understanding is that you can take photographs of strangers all day long and even sell prints of those photographs for a profit (asuming they were taken at a public place with no reasonable expectation of privace etc....).

    The important thing is, that image cannot be used "commercially" for profit ie. advertising. The key is if you are in effect making that person look like he is endorsing or representing something (ie product) that he had no intention to represent.

    But if you took a picture of someone walking on the street and someone asked you for a print because it looked cool as a poster you can sell a print of that.

    My opinion only

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