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Thread: street picture legality

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    street picture legality

    If you ask someone for their picture out in the public arena and they agree are they owed anything if you sell/make a profit from that image.
    Last edited by olympuse620; 15-03-2010 at 6:58pm. Reason: forgot a bit
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Try having a look at model releases oly.
    Andrew
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    If their image is used 'commercially', ie you sell it and it is used to advertise a product, promote an event etc) you can be sued, if you do not have a signed model release.

    Some big photographic competitions also require that you have a signed model release for any portrait entered.
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    I am not talking about selling the digital image to a commercial vendor who may or may not sell it on. I am talking about if I take a photo of a person with their permission then I make a print and sell it is the model release still required

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    I personally get one signed to cover any eventuality....easier to do it at the time than try and chase it down the track.
    Cheers, Lani.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    I personally get one signed to cover any eventuality....easier to do it at the time than try and chase it down the track.
    So you carry around a form for them to fill in. And what if the person can't read or write (which can be an issue around this neck of the woods)

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    It depends what you have in mind, if it is just candid street photography then no, I don't....but if it is more formal and then you ask them (and it is going to be a worthwhile image).... then yes I do have a one page general model release. I don't shoot that way much, so it's not that big of an issue for me.

    About the reading/ writing issue, good question....and I am not sure what the answer is.

    It depends also as to what your market is for these type of shots...if it is a stock library for example, they may have specific requirements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    If their image is used 'commercially', ie you sell it and it is used to advertise a product, promote an event etc) you can be sued, if you do not have a signed model release.
    I think that the bit in bold is something that is often missed in this context - it is the using of the image to endorse a product or event which is the potentially illegal bit, not the image or the taking of the image itself. And even then it may be just in the event that the person is a celebrity or a well known endorser of products.

    So for example taking a tasteful picture of someone and selling it as an art print would not require a release. On the other hand stock agencies, who presumably live and die by people buying images to promote something with them, will generally err on the side of caution and require a release.

    Some really good info from the Arts Law Centre:

    1. Unauthorised use of your image: http://www.artslaw.com.au/LegalInfor...edUseImage.asp

    2. Street Photographers' Rights: http://www.artslaw.com.au/LegalInfor...hersRights.asp

    Both of those sources should be taken in precedence to any of my info, but subject to any change in recent times, what I've said above is pretty much taken from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maccaroneski View Post
    I think that the bit in bold is something that is often missed in this context - it is the using of the image to endorse a product or event which is the potentially illegal bit, not the image or the taking of the image itself. And even then it may be just in the event that the person is a celebrity or a well known endorser of products.

    So for example taking a tasteful picture of someone and selling it as an art print would not require a release. On the other hand stock agencies, who presumably live and die by people buying images to promote something with them, will generally err on the side of caution and require a release.

    Some really good info from the Arts Law Centre:

    1. Unauthorised use of your image: http://www.artslaw.com.au/LegalInfor...edUseImage.asp

    2. Street Photographers' Rights: http://www.artslaw.com.au/LegalInfor...hersRights.asp

    Both of those sources should be taken in precedence to any of my info, but subject to any change in recent times, what I've said above is pretty much taken from there.
    Thanks Tony I had a quick read and it was very informative
    Cheers Oly

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    this seems like very good things for even a newbie to consider.. as i am sure the law wont say OH she did not realise... so thank you all for this information..

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympuse620 View Post
    I am not talking about selling the digital image to a commercial vendor who may or may not sell it on. I am talking about if I take a photo of a person with their permission then I make a print and sell it is the model release still required
    Agree, but what if you sell it to someone, giving them all rights to the photo. Then 12 months later they start a business and decide to use the photo to promote their business? Getting a model release is easy, and a lot cheaper than a legal dilemma in future.

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    True I suppose you just have to cover all bases

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    Re: street picture legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Fathom
    MODEL RELEASE
    In valuable and good consideration of my engagement as a model
    As I mentioned in another post recently ld be careful of this statement. My readings into model releases have stated that a material exchange must take place for the contract to be binding (which is what "in valuable consideration" means). In a studio situation, this is easy -you just print them a single image, or burn them a CD and that's enough.

    In the street tho, this becomes harder. I've considered getting a polaroid Pogo printer for exactly this reason - plugs directly into your camera and instantly prints a dry, waterproof photo you can hand over in exchange for the signature.

    I'm no lawyer, so I encourage you to do your own research, but I've read this in a number of places back when I was searching for a form to use.

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    Does this still apply to photos taken where a person's face is indistinguishable? I was working on a shot for the Feb POTM where I framed a homeless guy sitting on a corner with people walking past ignoring him. The idea was to use a slow shutter speed so people passing by would have a bit of motion blur to them. Obviously the homeless guy would need to sign a waiver, but what about passers by? You'd only be able to see backs of their heads or they would have been blurred anyway. Sadly I never found the right setting to make it all work...

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    Not typically

    Any my understanding is that you do not need a release if you are selling individual prints either in like a gallery or online via your website unless you are doing so in commercial quantities. Your conditions of sale should state for private and domestic use and non secondary commercial use only.

    It's an issue ive done a lot of research on and believe this to be true - please, if you know different please enlighten me
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    Kiwi that's correct - it's actually a really interesting developing field of law, once you start getting in to some of the "back stories", as you no doubt know from your research (such as the case about the unathourised biography of Ricky Ponting which sought to use an image of him on the cover).

    That's why mileage may vary on advice - at the moment, there is various case law that is binding in Australia, but there is the chance that the next case that goes to court will develop the law further, and the best indications can be say English, Canadian, or even god forbid ( )NZ case law.

    I mean I can tell you that as at this very point in time in Australia you probably don't need a model release to use an image commercially if the subject is not either a celebrity or well known as a product endorser, but you don't want to be the test case (that's why I use the word "probably") and it would only take a court action where a judge was persuaded that the law should be different for that advice to fail.

    Another reason to use the word "probably" is that the cases that would be the test cases don't always proceed to finalisation, and thus no new law is actually created. Maybe the parties settle out of court, or a party, thinking it might lose, discontinues the action.

    It is one of the frustrating things about the "common law" legal system that we have, but the benefits of having a living, breathing law that develops (slightly behind) with the times outweighs those disadvantages.

    BTW Davros you certainly wouldn't need a release for the purposes of a POTM entry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maccaroneski View Post
    It is one of the frustrating things about the "common law" legal system that we have, but the benefits of having a living, breathing law that develops (slightly behind) with the times outweighs those disadvantages.
    No more so than in 'IP' law, especially ©, patent, and ® trademark.
    The US DMCA etc. Technology vs artists rights. iTunes etc.
    Bittorent (and all peer to peer) file sharing.

    The lag in law is a pain with the fast moving change we are undergoing.

    My industry (software) feels that a lot. Software patents are a BIG issue right now.

    The bio/drug industries with gene © and patent - what a can of worms!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post

    The lag in law is a pain with the fast moving change we are undergoing.
    Imagine the pain you'd feel if we were waiting for the legislators! You'd know where you stood, but you'd probably be sweet knowing where you stood in relation to using Compuserve right about now... or maybe sometime in 2012

    Some lag is almost necessary by definition - not every set of circumstances can be foreseen, and it's only after those circumstances have happened - heck even in some cases only after a set of circumstances has been through trial and appeal in the State courts - can the law be "made".

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Not typically

    Any my understanding is that you do not need a release if you are selling individual prints either in like a gallery or online via your website unless you are doing so in commercial quantities. Your conditions of sale should state for private and domestic use and non secondary commercial use only.

    It's an issue ive done a lot of research on and believe this to be true - please, if you know different please enlighten me

    I should say that the reserach was done becuaes of a run in with a parent unhappy with me flogging for sale pictures of her child playing sport on my website - she believes that I was breaking the law by doing so, and she lodged complaints with both the police and also contacted the sporting club, their lead association, even AIPP and got quite conflicting advice from almost all of them (in fact the police were the only ones that in my opinion got it right). Her point was that I hadnt a release and doing what I was doing was commercial usage.

    Anyhow, so did I so decided to research more obviously. I even contacted the lawyer who wrote that 4020 guide. I contacted the police, I contacted AIPP, I talked to William Long (a member here) who talked to a QC

    It's NOT a black & white area at all. There is a surprising lack of case law as Tony has said.

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