Selling pictures of people without permission.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Kerri Rae, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Kerri Rae

    Kerri Rae TPF Noob!

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    I'm a bit confused and was hoping somebody could help me clear things up. If you take a picture of an identifiable person in it, and intend on using it you should get a model release. But I hear about people taking pictures of of other people, or thier children (playing sports etc) and them selling them to them or the parent. How do the legalities in this work?

    If I took a picture of a minor and sold it to her divorced mother, couldn't her father (if he had custodial rights) come after me for not getting permission? Couldn't her mom?

    Can you just take pictures of people without permission and then turn around and sell them?

    (If it makes any difference, I'm in Canada)
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Whenever I photograph other people's children, on commission (it has in my case been two different dance school teachers who have asked me to come and take photos during rehearsals), I get myself release before I make the albums available to all the parents to sort through and order re-prints. Or before I show them in any public manner.

    And I have taken photos of groups of adults (within a room, not on a public place ->other, more lenient rules apply there!) and have never shown them to anyone just because I am quite careful.

    If, however, there is a parent among those who will order prints of their daughters practising dancing who have no custodial rights but still are a parent, while the other parent would not want this one to have any photos of their child, watching over that is beyond anything I can control.
     
  3. Kerri Rae

    Kerri Rae TPF Noob!

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    So with that in mind, if a professional photographer went to a back yard BBQ with their spouse's office people and was taking pictures and somebody asked for a copy of a few of them or thier dog, would this be an inappropriate time to refer them to a price list?

    (Hypothetical)
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmmmm.
    No?
    They all know he is a photographer by profession?
    Though if he just snaps a bit for his own pleasure and because he can't be without his camera near by, and can't let a nice photo op go, and they later like the photos, but had not commissioned him to take a pic of that hypothetical dog ... it might be nice of him to just give them the print for free.
     
  5. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Kerri-

    Remember that this is an international list and different countries have different laws on regarding "privacy". Whenever possible get a model release ... a proper model release gives you all the protection you need.

    Okay, that being said, in the United States, one loses their right to privacy the moment a person steps out onto a public street. While you are well within your rights to photograph anyone in public, (there are clauses to this general statement, some increase and some decrease your basic right), you cannot use that image for commercial enterprises.

    Typically, a commercial enterprise is considered advertising/marketing type of thing. Selling a photograph without a model release is allowed if it is an artistic expression .... not a commercial expression. So selling a book of people's faces snapped in Time's Square without model releases is allowed, but you cannot use those faces without permission for product endorsement or for advertising (say for a travel agent) and you cannot misrepresent the subject.

    I am not an attorney, but if you google "photoattorney" you can find precise language on what is allowed and what isn't.

    In the US there isn't any distinction between photographing children or adults in the public arena ... all are treated equally and all is allowed under the law. Also remember although the law is on your side doesn't mean that you cannot be sued ... what it does mean is that you will probably win in court.

    I shoot a lot of high school sports and high school events. I never obtain model releases ... but then again I don't sell any prints either, but, I doubt if that would make a difference as long as it isn't for a commercial purposes.

    Gary
     

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