Laws and ethics with regards to pictures of people

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gekko513, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. gekko513 macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #1
    What are the laws and ethic considerations with regards to taking and using pictures of people from public places?

    I think I remember reading something about this before on these forums, but I can't find it. One of the things I seem to remember is that there is some kind of standard agreement one can make people sign. Does anyone know more about that? How about pictures of crowds? It isn't possible to get everyone to sign something then. Does it make a difference if it's a person that's clearly the eyecatcher in the picture or if it's a random passer by?
     
  2. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
  3. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #3
    I didn't think you needed to get a release if the picture was taken of a subject in a public place or of a subject on private property if taken from a public place.
     
  4. gekko513 thread starter macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #4
    Thanks. So there are very few restrictions with regards to people in public places. I hope I can find some similar articles for Norway, but I don't think it's that different.

    Edit: After some searching I think I've established that one can use photos of people in public places in Norway, too, with the exception of suspects in a criminal case. Suspects can't be photographed even if they're in public places. Not that I was intending on doing that. :)
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    Additional: The pictures, taken in public places, shouldn't focus on any particular individual, so even if you take a picture of a crowd, if one person, easily identified, stands out the legality of publishing those pictures goes into the grey area...

    On the other hand, if you follow TV2's lawyers, you can take whatever pictures you want, of anything, from a public place and publish it, even shooting through the windows into a private home... though I'm not sure the courts agrees... ;)
     
  6. gekko513 thread starter macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #6
    Mitthrawnuruodo, that's interesting and a lot more restrictive than the American article. Do you have a link to somewhere that explains this?
     
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    Nah, don't have any links for you... We just discussed this a number of times internally and with TV2 back when I worked for Viscom/Nordisk Film, and we made documentaries for TV2. And I've just followed the debate since...
     
  8. baleensavage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    On an island in Maine
    #8
    I work at a newspaper and have been to seminars on this very issue. One thing to watch out for in American law (not sure about Norway) is taking pictures that may "invade privacy." An axample would be taking a picture up someone's skirt. Now if someone was running around naked that would be fine, they are not presuming privacy, but when you go arond clothed it's presumed that no one is going to take a picture of your underwear. Also it's better to stay away from private property which goes into a gray area. Generally on someone's front lawn, you are fine, but don't go taking pictures through someone's window. The home is sacred in terms of privacy and that is asking for a lawsuit.

    Also don't go using the pictures of people in public places in ads. That moves into a whole different territory. By doing this you are making it look like the person is endorsing your product and which is misrepresentation. There was a really big case in the US about this so there is definitely precedent set.

    As for focusing on a particular individual, I have never heard anything to substantiate that. As long as you are in a public place and it is not invading your personal privacy then you are fair game.
     
  9. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    The agreement that you talk about is called a model release. The way that i understand it is that you only need a model release if you are going to use the photographs commercially, otherwise just snap away. But it is always nice to ask the subjects permission.
     
  10. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10

    so the article says i can take pics in any mall or shop because they have no expectation of privacy there.

    can i take pics then in an apple store? (i remember somebody was told be steve jobs himself to not take pics in an apple mini store!)

    can a mall or shop post somewhere "no cameras allowed" and does that prohibit me from taking pics?
     
  11. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #11
    Neither the mall or shop would be considered public property so you would need the permission of the property owner I believe.
     
  12. baleensavage macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    On an island in Maine
    #12
    I don't think this is true. The mall is open to the public. If you can go there legally, you can take pictures there. If the mall security tells you to leave and you refuse, you can get in trouble for trespassing, but not for taking the pictures. Heres a really good PDF on the issue. www.kantor.com/blog/Legal-Rights-of-Photographers.pdf
    They have a whole page outlining examples of taking pictures in a mall. Also remeber, NO ONE aside from a legal officer can ever take your film or camera, period, so don't give it to them if they ask.

    Plus as Steve Jobs is a public figure and, if he is there in a capacity to announce something or other, I think you have even more protections because of the freedom of press. Just don't go sticking his picture in your ad for Windows...
     
  13. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    i agree, that's actually how i understood the article in the link. so you can take pics until mall security tells you to leave.

    with steve of course it's different. if he tells you to stop taking pics you stop. to make it simple: do as steve says. immediately. period.
    i guess it's been a while since somebody did not what steve said.;)
     
  14. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #14
    I always wonder about the pics used on TV news whenever they do a story about obesity (seems quite often). They always seem to have a half dozen or so shots of some wide loads. Can they sue?
     

Share This Page