Photography and the law

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Dubie, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. Dubie

    Dubie TPF Noob!

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    Where is a good place to find out about what you can do in public or not? If your out about town and find some interesting people to shoot without their knowlege, say from far away, what are the legalities of that? Or if you want to shoot someone just as a model, do I need them to sign something?

    I'm in california. Is there a Gov. guide online or something?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    goto www.photoattorney.com (I think)

    The basic law is that if you are shooting in the public arena (a public street, park, et cetera), then everybody is fair game to shoot. There are exceptions to this rule ... some expand while others reduce this basic right. One of the exceptions is if a person is seeking out pricacy you can't go chasing after them. Say, a person has a wardrobe malfunction and slips into an alley or even a doorway to fix said malfunction ... you can't go chasing after them ... unless they are a public figure (another exception) in which case it's okay.

    Remember, just because you can photograph them doesn't mean you can use that photo for commercial purposes. Additionally, portraying the subject in a misleading and/or misconstrued fashion can get you in trouble. Commercial business relates to marketing/advertising and/or endorsing a product or cause.

    You can post the images and pretty much do what you want. You can even sell the images as art ... just don't use them for advertising.

    Gary

    PS- Children are not exempt from the basic law (Jack McCellan notwithstanding.)
    G
     
  4. Dubie

    Dubie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the links!

    Yeah, I am thinking more a long the lines of art rather than commercial .
     
  5. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    I was taking photos in a public shopping area ( outside area with lots of shops linning the street) and an officer for the shopping center told me I could not take pictures there because it was private property:( But I read that even if it is private property if the public is allowed entrence than you can take pictures:)
     
  6. Dubie

    Dubie TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, that sounds like a grey area. I mean, would that apply to a mall to?
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is true in America if a area is accessible to the public you can take a photo in there. If you were actually on the street then even more so, despite who owns the property around it a street and usually the first few metres next to it are public too.

    In Australia where I live what the officer said applies. I must be on true public property, so if I go into say Westfield Chermside security has every right to ask me not to take a photo, and then evict me if I do after the warning. But if I was standing next to the street taking a photo then I was on public land.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    You can take pictures whether it is on private property or not, BUT the owner or the property or his\her representative (example: security) can tell you that you are trespassing and must leave. If you do not, then they can use minimal force to evict you from the property or call the police. If the police are called, they will likely just tell you that you are trespassing and that if you do not leave, you might be charged.

    Of course, if the security guard does NOT tell you that your are trespassing and must leave, then the decision is up to you...whether you put the camera away permanently while you are there or temporarily until he leaves.

    NOTE: You have not violated any law by taking pictures on private property.

    I should also add that this is the law in most of the western world because it is a basic right of photojournalism.

    skieur
     
  10. Dubie

    Dubie TPF Noob!

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