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  1. #1
    The Giraffe
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    Photographer's rights question...

    Hey everyone, I was shooting today at the beach, and as usual i was shooting skimboarding. Two pros showed up and I got some really cool pictures of them, but I was just wondering... what are my limits with the pictures? Can I submit them to a magazine or sell prints of them or post online? Or do I have to get their permission before doing any of that?

    The cool thing about skimming is that the pros are really nice and appreciative, so they'd be glad to be getting exposure, and wouldn't mind if i made any gain from pictures of them. But I was just wondering what my actual rights are...
    -Aaron Kaplan

  2. #2
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    There are others here who have more experience w/ this, but I can come at it from the legal side. Briefly...

    The question hinges not so much your rights, but theirs'. Your rights, as a photographer, are basically that you own any image you take and you may do with it as you wish (exceptions being illegal things, like certain pornography).

    However, when there are "identifiable" persons in your images, then their rights come into play as well. If you are merely using the images for your own use - prints for yourself, sending prints/files to your family, friends, and including posting on the web - then there is no problem, you are free to do this.

    The problem is when you sell photos, because then you're making money from someone else's likeness. If you're going to do that, you need a model release. Search around this forum or the net if you need more info on that.

    The magazine is one of those border-line things... I'll let the pro guys take that one. Technically you (or the magazine) should obtain a release before publishing them, but the reality is that many such "pros," as you point out, love the exposure and would not have a problem with it at all.

    Disclaimer: this does not constitute legal advice; merely my opinion. Good luck and post your shots in the Sports forum!
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  3. #3
    The Giraffe
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    Thank you so much. That helped alot. I'll post them on here later.

    It wouldn't really be a problem getting their permission to submit or print, because I could see them some other time on the beach or at a contest. But I would have to make a release I suppose...
    -Aaron Kaplan

  4. #4
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    recognizable people = release

    unrecognizable people = don't need a release, but still a good idea.

    Photos to be in a magzine = cover your butt, get a release.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  5. #5
    Member Bigcity's Avatar
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    I always wondered about this too, but thought wrong in that unless you give their names you don't need a release. How do the paparazzi post photos without releases?

  6. #6
    wannabe
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    I seen this on another web site.

    Photography and The Law: Know Your Rights .

    Say youíre out for a photographic stroll, taking pictures of that cool old power plant on the edge of town. Suddenly seventy security guards swarm you and demand you hand over your camera.

    "What is this," you ask yourself, "a Michael Moore movie?"

    Youíre sure you havenít done anything wrong, but you donít know whose side the law is on. Fret no more- weíve got a list of things you can and canít do, and itís a lot more permissive than you might think.

    Now grab your camera back from that Rent-A-Cop and letís hit the books.

    The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography*

    *Charlton Heston not included

    p.s. Thanks to everybody who entered our "Monday Stinks!" contest! Congratulations to Notorious D.A.V., Warren Photography, evaded, mommaozzy 84, biancaprime, berdandy, spade, AnasBananas, trenity00, andreskrey, determinedforce01, ladibug, killbyte, Nellofcourse and Mia!


    Before we get started here, we have to point out that even though weíre smart and awesome and devastatingly attractive, weíre not lawyers. None of this should be construed as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, get in touch with a lawyer. Much of this information was gleaned from attorney Bert P. Kragesí website, so weíll go ahead and recommend him.
    The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

    I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though itís technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.

    II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, itís fair game.

    III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.

    IV. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.

    V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.

    VI. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:

    *
    accident & fire scenes, criminal activities
    *
    bridges & other infrastructure, transportation facilities (i.e. airports)
    *
    industrial facilities, Superfund sites
    *
    public utilities, residential & commercial buildings
    *
    children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
    *
    UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, Chuck Norris

    VII. Although "security" is often given as the reason somebody doesnít want you to take photos, itís rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a companyís trade secrets.

    VIII. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor to you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by a law enforcement officer.)

    IX. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.

    X. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you donít have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.
    What To Do If Youíre Confronted

    *
    Be respectful and polite. Use good judgement and donít escalate the situation.
    *
    If the person becomes combative or difficult, think about calling the police.
    *
    Threats, detention, and taking your camera are all grounds for legal or civil actions on your part. Be sure to get the personís name, employer, and what legal grounds they claim for their actions.
    *
    If you donít want to involve the authorities, go above the personís head to their supervisor or their companyís public relations department.
    *
    Call your local TV and radio stations and see if they want to do a story about your civil liberties.
    *
    Put the story on the web yourself if need be.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member retroactiv's Avatar
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    racedraper, thank you for posting this. EVERYONE that is or thinks they are a photographer should read this, there have been many times when I was photographing something and I've had someone approach me and tell me I'm being unlawful..

    Some extra points I want to add to this.

    If you are on Private Property and photographing and you are asked to leave by anyone don't question it just get out of there

    You can be asked to back up if you are shooting at something critical, like car accidents, police standoffs, fires, etc (example: Car accident, Fire Dept. is cutting the person out of the car and you are 3 feet from them doing there work). For the most part use common sense in this area.
    In most states there are laws against interfering with police, firefighters, and Medical Personal.
    Chris Johnson
    Nikon Samurai # 30 chrisjohnsonpic.com
    Nikon D2Xs, Nikon D50, SB-800, AF Nikkor 80-200 D ED f2.8, AF Nikkor 50 D f1.8, AF Nikkor 18-55 G ED f5.6

  8. #8
    Senior Member retroactiv's Avatar
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    Something else I forgot to add to the above that I was thinking about last night, that shopping malls are private property and if they ask you to stop shooting you have to immediately. Even though it is open to the public doesn't make it a public space as the above states. Well at least in Indiana where I live that is how it works. (I personally wouldn't push it)
    Chris Johnson
    Nikon Samurai # 30 chrisjohnsonpic.com
    Nikon D2Xs, Nikon D50, SB-800, AF Nikkor 80-200 D ED f2.8, AF Nikkor 50 D f1.8, AF Nikkor 18-55 G ED f5.6

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Re: Photographer's rights question...

    For the scenario you've described you should be just fine submitting to a magazine with no model release. The property issue was well addressed. In the most general terms, work is usually broken down into either news or advertising use. If the images were used to promote a product or appear as an endorsement, then the person in the photo would need to give their permission and a model release would be required. If the photo is used for news purposes (which many magazine articles would fall under) then it's merely reporting.

    I used to photograph a lot of motorcycle racing. If I had a great shot of, say, a motocross racer in Fox gear then I could license that image to Fox Racing for advertising...without getting the racer's model release or consent. How, you say? Because the racer had signed a contract with Fox allowing their image to be used for such purposes. So, going the long way around, you might even be able to license the image of a pro skimboarder to one of their sponsors (for advertising) without needing a release. But nothing should ever be assumed.

    Now with all of that said, the best advice is to get a signed release when you can.

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