Photography and the Law

alvarez57

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I actually had an NYPD officer, stationed at the Holland Tunnel, pull me aside and hostily harass me because I made a photo (out of my stationary car window) of the Holland Tunnel. He proceeded to tell me that photographing the tunnel had been ruled illegal (as well as many other structures and buildings throughout NYC) since 9-1-1. It was hard not to laugh or let my frustration show. I simply pretended to delete the images upon his request and then played dumb and drove on. It's a crying shame that such ridiculous and erroneous laws are being used to bully photographers. It has become such commonplace that I have long since resigned myself to protest - I simply choose my battles, which are far and few in between these days.

Toronto Wedding Photographer


I live here in New Orleans. I was taking photos of a ship on the Mississippi Levee when someone on a car shouted to me I couldn't take pictures. I shrugged my shoulders and left. Pulling off to the road, I saw the guy give me a hard look whilst on the phone. Next day I got a call from the given Parish Homeland Security Officer inquiring if I was the lady shooting the picture on the levee!!!! :confused: I asked him if it was illegal and he said no...but they just wanted to make sure I "was not a terrorist"(????) and that no one had stolen my car..... so no, it's not illegal but puts you on the spot.
 

alvarez57

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Consulting an attorney, sounds very logical, but attorneys are not generalists who are familiar with all the laws. Unfortunately you would need a top media lawyer who knows the case law and the most recent interpretations of laws affecting photographers in your area.
That caliber of lawyer tends to be only in large cities, so "talking to a knowledgeable lawyer" is much easier to ADVISE, than to actually DO for most photographers, particularly if they just need some answers to straightforward questions.

So try some more reasonable suggestions, people!!!!

skieur


Which I appreciate.
 

skieur

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I actually had an NYPD officer, stationed at the Holland Tunnel, pull me aside and hostily harass me because I made a photo (out of my stationary car window) of the Holland Tunnel. He proceeded to tell me that photographing the tunnel had been ruled illegal (as well as many other structures and buildings throughout NYC) since 9-1-1. It was hard not to laugh or let my frustration show. I simply pretended to delete the images upon his request and then played dumb and drove on. It's a crying shame that such ridiculous and erroneous laws are being used to bully photographers. It has become such commonplace that I have long since resigned myself to protest - I simply choose my battles, which are far and few in between these days.

Toronto Wedding Photographer


I live here in New Orleans. I was taking photos of a ship on the Mississippi Levee when someone on a car shouted to me I couldn't take pictures. I shrugged my shoulders and left. Pulling off to the road, I saw the guy give me a hard look whilst on the phone. Next day I got a call from the given Parish Homeland Security Officer inquiring if I was the lady shooting the picture on the levee!!!! :confused: I asked him if it was illegal and he said no...but they just wanted to make sure I "was not a terrorist"(????) and that no one had stolen my car..... so no, it's not illegal but puts you on the spot.

Taking photos of buildings, levees, railways, boats etc. is NOT illegal in the US, Canada, and all other western countries that I am aware of. In the US, there is a small limited list of installations that are top secret such as the not-so-secret Area 51 but most photographers are unlikely to be close to those installations.

skieur
 

ereldar

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I work for a company that does 3D panoramic "tours" and we previously only did private businesses that asked, but we would like to do a "street view" that would show the downtown part of the city with links on the image to the businesses we've previously worked with. Is this considered photography for advertising, do we need release or is this all good?
 

skieur

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I work for a company that does 3D panoramic "tours" and we previously only did private businesses that asked, but we would like to do a "street view" that would show the downtown part of the city with links on the image to the businesses we've previously worked with. Is this considered photography for advertising, do we need release or is this all good?

Since you are using LINKS as well as the images, it would be a good idea to get a release since the businesses would probably be happy to get the publicity in any event It also reminds the businesses of your services which is to your benefit.

skieur
 

ereldar

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I work for a company that does 3D panoramic "tours" and we previously only did private businesses that asked, but we would like to do a "street view" that would show the downtown part of the city with links on the image to the businesses we've previously worked with. Is this considered photography for advertising, do we need release or is this all good?

Since you are using LINKS as well as the images, it would be a good idea to get a release since the businesses would probably be happy to get the publicity in any event It also reminds the businesses of your services which is to your benefit.

skieur


Thanks for your quick reply. The links would only exist if we did advertising work for that company, the issue is with people who might be in the picture, do their faces need to be blurred or is it ok to just leave it?
 

skieur

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I work for a company that does 3D panoramic "tours" and we previously only did private businesses that asked, but we would like to do a "street view" that would show the downtown part of the city with links on the image to the businesses we've previously worked with. Is this considered photography for advertising, do we need release or is this all good?

Since you are using LINKS as well as the images, it would be a good idea to get a release since the businesses would probably be happy to get the publicity in any event It also reminds the businesses of your services which is to your benefit.

skieur


Thanks for your quick reply. The links would only exist if we did advertising work for that company, the issue is with people who might be in the picture, do their faces need to be blurred or is it ok to just leave it?

If it is a "street view" that does not centre in on a particular individual, I would just leave it.

skieur
 

jaykilgore

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skieur

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Books are certainly helpful, but sometimes it is necessary to "read between the lines" since some writers have an agenda as well. I always remember a famous lawyer whose sessions on copyright I attended. One session I attended as an employee/user of copyright and the other I attended as an employer/administrator. The lawyer had 2 completely different "spins" on the law for each group. For the employees/users it amounted to don't even think about "bending the interpretation of copyright law" or you will get sued. For the administrators, it was more that you are likely to get sued only in more extreme situations and many issues can be settled without the courts. She also for the administrators pointed out defenses for threatened law suits.

skieur
 

jaykilgore

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Books are certainly helpful, but sometimes it is necessary to "read between the lines" since some writers have an agenda as well. I always remember a famous lawyer whose sessions on copyright I attended. One session I attended as an employee/user of copyright and the other I attended as an employer/administrator. The lawyer had 2 completely different "spins" on the law for each group. For the employees/users it amounted to don't even think about "bending the interpretation of copyright law" or you will get sued. For the administrators, it was more that you are likely to get sued only in more extreme situations and many issues can be settled without the courts. She also for the administrators pointed out defenses for threatened law suits.

skieur

The problem is the law is written to NOT have any specific end result. It's illegal to kill someone, but here in Colorado, we have "Make my day" law which is I have the right to shoot you in the face if you come into my home and nothing will happen to me.

The above books are to get familiar with laws. Most cops won't bother you if you start to spout it off. We're photographers, lets stick to photography and let lawyers do their thing.
 

jaykilgore

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You can come to my home, just don't come in the middle of the night..with the intent to rob me.

I tend to get paranoid at that time of night lol
 

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