Usage rights when a picture is of YOU

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by stsinner, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Just curious, and I know we're all from different countries, but what is the law when you find a picture of yourself, and I mean you are the main subject, so it's obviously of you, on a website and it has a copyright watermark? Since it's of you, do you have assumed rights to use it?

    I'm ot talking about a portrait where you paid to have it taken and signed a release, but I'm a firefighter, and our picture is often taken and put on websites.. If some random photographer takes my picture, do I have the right to use that picture as I see fit?
     
  2. nmerrick

    nmerrick TPF Noob!

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    An interesting question and this can be a fuzzy area. But, here is my understanding:

    The photographer owns the copyright - unless they signed it over to the person using the image. They probably licensed it for use by the user instead. You, as the person in the image, do not have any copyright to the image at all.

    Generally speaking, the use of the image can be considered editorial if it's used in a news item, on a newsletter or in some similar context. For that, no model release may be required. However, if the photographer is selling the image to a magazine or something like that, and it is not considered editorial then the model should be entitled to a fee if they did not sign a model release.

    If the photographer sold the image as stock photography, then he should have obtained a model release from you - unless it is only sold for editorial purposes.

    The exact interpretation is probably unique to each case though.

    Hope that isn't too confusing!

    Nigel
     
  3. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    I don't think he's asking so much about the rights of the photographer as much as his rights (as the "model") to the photo that he didn't take....since he is the main subject of the photo.

    To my knowledge, you have no rights to the photo except to prevent it's use as advertising or sale due to your ability to deny a model release. As far as you using the photo as you please, I don't think you have rights to do that, but I'm no lawyer.
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you're in public, then they can take your photo.
    They don't need a release unless they're using it commercially.
    It can be sold as art without a release.
    You have no claim to copyright on the photo.

    I think that about covers it.
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    I did not know this one. That is very interesting to know (from a photographer's perspective).
     
  6. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I should indicate that editorial or artistic purposes of photos taken in public places without the need for a photo release covers almost everything but advertising where you do need a release.

    You can also sell such a photo to a magazine and editorial is often considered simply as a contextual use. That means that if you were writing an article on firefighting for example then a photo of a firefighter taken at a fire could be used without a release.

    skieur
     
  7. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I know the picture you're talking about.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Eldrich

    Eldrich TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, not to be off topic, but that is a strange picture tharmsen!

    a bunch of firefighters posing for a pic when there is a fire blazing in the background. I'm sure there's no lives in danger, and that there was nothing they could do at that particular moment, but it still strikes me as odd.
     
  9. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Hehe, I think that's the point... it's supposed to be funny. The idea of firemen showing up to a raging fire then posing for a group shot in front of a burning home before going to work.

    It's probably a training exercise, that or a good Photoshop.
     
  10. stsinner

    stsinner TPF Noob!

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    Many times towns will give us a house to burn for training and do a controlled burn. Houses that are condemned and need to come down, anyway.. We know the house is a total loss, and that's usually when pictures like that are taken.. It's a pretty neat picture and at an opportune time.

    Here's a picture we took in front of a car fire-that's my fat ass on the far right:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2009
  11. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    That's a great picture! I knew you guys took pics like that... crazy firedudes.
     
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :)

    To the original question though, the copyright stays with the photographer and unless he/she transfers the rights through a sale or work for hire agreement they will remain so.
     

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