legal issues


TPF Noob!
Apr 2, 2015
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Is there a website that would list photography laws in a specific state? For example, If I take some street photo's of buildings, landscapes et., and there are people in the shot, do I have to get their permission to sell and or publish those pics? If I take a picture of a street performer doing his thing, do I need a release from them?
If I recall correctly, any people in images in a public place are open game, no release needed. USA.
Yes, that's my understanding. Think about all the people at sporting events who are broadcast on commercial TV...
There are not photography laws, there are laws that may affect you as a citizen (with photography as a hobby).or as a small business owner (of a photography business), etc.

You may be allowed to take photos someplace, but there's a difference between taking the photos and how you use them.

The guidelines for what should be done in how you use your photos are that for editorial use like in a newspaper or magazine you usually wouldn't need releases signed - but the media outlet may request one, especially if you're a photographer they haven't worked with before.

Usually the guideline for retail use where you're making money selling photos (on T shirts, mugs etc.) is that you'd need to get releases signed; usually for a fine art print you wouldn't (the print being intended for the buyer's personal use).

For commercial use, which means for use in advertising or promotions/marketing by a client, usually you'd need releases signed.

You can get information from professional photographer organizations like American Society of Media Photographers or PPA on model and property releases, licensing, contracts, guidelines for usage, etc.
You should look at the terms on any site you consider using, even the LawTog's site - scroll all the way to the bottom to find them.
Free Legal Guide for Online Publishers and Media Creators | Photo Attorney

Are Photographs Posted On the Internet Published? | Photo Attorney
Update on the Lawsuit Against Benjamin Ham for Photographing Private Property | Photo Attorney

Selling photos that have people in them is generally considered an editorial use and the publisher of does not need permission from people in the photos to sell the photographs. Let me repeat part of that - Selling photos that have people in them is generally considered an editorial use . . .
Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Permission from recognizable people in photos is needed if a photo is used for a commercial purpose.
The publisher of the photo needs that permission.
Once a photographer sells a photo the photographer then has no control if the buyer subsequently publishes the photo in a commercial use.

However, note that the photographer may want to publish a photo with people in it for a commercial purpose - like advertising and promotion the photographer's business. At that point the photographer become the publisher of the photo. As the publisher of the photo the photographer will likely want to have valid model release documentation on file.
But even then the photographer is allowed some latitude as far as needing permission from people in a photograph. The photographer only needs permission if the photographs were made in private, or under controlled circumstances.

In summary - the entity that may or may not need a model release is the publisher of the photograph.
A photographer is there at the time a photograph is made and is thus is the logical person to get signatures on a model release from people in photographs that might be published as a commercial use.

Final note: Photographs with people in them have more sales value if the photographer has valid model releases on file signed by the people in the photographs.
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Yes, that's my understanding. Think about all the people at sporting events who are broadcast on commercial TV...
All those people's likeness broadcast at sporting events on TV is an editorial use, not a commercial use.
Model Release Not Needed for GGW Video | Photo Attorney

If you put a bunch of people in those stands so you can shoot an advertisement that will be aired to sell a product during the broadcast of the sporting event then you would want valid model releases on file from each person in the advertisement.
Thanks everyone for you input. I'll check these sites, looks like it will answer any other questions I may have
Here in the US, if and how an image is published has a lot to do with if a model release is or isn't needed to protect the rights of the image publisher, and the rights of any people in the image.

Your profile has no location information.
Here in the US model/property release law is state law, so there are 50 somewhat different versions, 1 for each state.
So to be sure of what's what where you are, you need to check with a qualified attorney.

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