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  1. #1
    Master BHUZzer Sonja2's Avatar
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    Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Okay, this is a new one for me. If someone takes your photo at a show that was a ticketed event, can they sell that photo for profit? Can they offer it to you, the subject, for financial gain if they were not expressly hired to be the show photographer? If someone posts a photograph to a public site (e.g. facebook) that was taken without your permission, can you ask them to take it down? In this case, photographs were allowed, but does that automatically grant someone the right to profit from those photos?

    Hmm. i don't necessarily care that someone took my photo without my permission, actually they were quite good. but when I asked for copies I was told I would have to pay for copies...which is odd, considering the person was not hired to photograph the show.


  2. #2
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    If you are in a public location you have no expectation to a right of privacy. If the photo in question is being used in an unflattering or defamatory/degrading matter you can file a complaint against the photographer.

    If the photo was taken of you in a private setting (or public place with expectation of privacy, like a bathroom) the photographer must recieve permission either written or otherwise.

    Usually as far as I understand it the photographer retains rights to the photo if snapped in public and can charge for a print or reproduction rights. I'm not sure on the ethics of selling you an image of yourself, especially if the photographer in question was not hired for the event.


  3. #3
    Advanced BHUZzer Ainsley's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by _Tanya_ View Post
    Usually as far as I understand it the photographer retains rights to the photo if snapped in public and can charge for a print or reproduction rights.
    Yes, that's my understanding as well. So the photographer would be well within his/her rights to post the photograph online or produce prints for sale.

    On the other hand, I believe that commercial use of any photograph, even one taken in public, where the subject's likeness is recognizable requires a model release. In other words, the photographer could not sell a photograph of your smiling face to a company that would use the photo to advertise its products without first obtaining a signed contract from you authorizing that use.


  4. #4
    Mega BHUZzer aazura's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    If the image was taken in a public location, then no model release is required. And yes, the photographer retains rights and can sell the image for profit. How do you think paparazzi make their living?


  5. #5
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by aazura View Post
    If the image was taken in a public location, then no model release is required. And yes, the photographer retains rights and can sell the image for profit. How do you think paparazzi make their living?
    Ah but this is actually not for commercial use. You can't snap a picture of Britney Spears smoking a menthol ciggy and then sell it to Phillip Morris for an ad campaign. You can sell it to US magazine for a story on Britney or sell prints of the image to people who want to purchase one offs.


  6. #6
    Master BHUZzer Sonja2's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    But, is it a "public location" if it is a ticketed event? So, for example, if I went to see Cirque de Soleil and took photos of them, could I then turn around & sell those photos?


  7. #7
    Advanced BHUZzer _Tanya_'s Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    It depends where the ticketed event is held. I'm pretty sure that restaurants, and stores are considered public locations. Theaters are tricky because often times though they may be technically puclic, they announce that "photography is strictly forbidden" thus eliminating the issue at hand. If the event organizer was allowing photography you may be SOL.
    Last edited by _Tanya_; 06-12-2009 at 02:29 PM.


  8. #8
    Master BHUZzer Sonja2's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Interesting. Well, I really don't much care, other than I'd like to have copies of the pics, and I think it's an odd business practice to go around taking pics without permission and then demanding payment. Particularly when we had a hired photographer present. Oh well. To me, it's like going to a wedding in a park, taking pictures of the bride & groom, posting them online & demanding payment...when the bride & groom had already hired a photographer. I'd hate for us to have to stop allowing any photography, because people's families like to take pics, but I'm afraid that's what will happen in the future as a result of this incident. Now I see why some theaters won't let you in if you have a camera.


  9. #9
    I could get used to this! mysterywoman's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    This thread has muddied three different kinds of photography-for-profit:

    1. Photographer takes pictures of you and sells them to you
    2. Photojournalist covers your PUBLIC performance as a "news story" and sells them to the news media
    3. Photographer sells images to a business entity for them to use on their web site or in ads

    In #1, any idiot with a camera can take pictures of you in a publicperformance and offer to sell them to you. He doesn't have to be "official". If you like his photos then fine,buy them. If you don't, or if you think he charges too much, then don't buy them. That same idiot can postthem on the web saying "lookat this cool performance I saw."

    In #2, any idiot can take pictures of you performing at anewsworthy event and sell them to the news media as a "story". For example, if you're on stage at your city's apricot festival and someone snaps your picture, it's fairgame for the local paper to run it the next dayas part of their coverage of what occurredat the festival.

    In #3, this is legal ONLY if you signed a model release.

    Each of these has different laws defining what is allowed. Events that reuiqre a ticket toget in or are private can forbid photog if they want. But if they allow photog then #1 and #2 above can happen.


  10. #10
    Advanced BHUZzer badriya_al_ahmar's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja2 View Post
    But, is it a "public location" if it is a ticketed event? So, for example, if I went to see Cirque de Soleil and took photos of them, could I then turn around & sell those photos?
    I believe it would depend on the terms of the ticket sale and the terms of admission in general. For example, I have a friend who takes excellent amateur photographs of baseball players. She cannot sell her photos for two reasons. One is that the MBL owns the rights to all images of team emblems, even in the form of a photograph taken by a non-MBL photographer. That is probably not so relevant to dancers. But the other reason she cannot sell her photos is that the admission policies of the individual stadiums state that photos taken at the games are for personal use only and not to be resold. If she were a licensed press photographer, the situation would be different, but as just a random person taking photos, she has implicitly agreed not to sell her work.

    She can give her work away, though--she's donated photos to charity signing events that have the approval of the MBL.


  11. #11
    I could get used to this! JGilchrist's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Some of the above answers are correct, some of them are not. All of them seem to be USA-based. The rules are very different in other countries. For a very good rundown on the law in the USA, visit this website (it's a lawyer):

    Bert P. Krages Attorney at Law Photography and Art Law Page

    Whether the venue had hired an official photographer is pretty much completely irrelevant.

    From the original post, the answers to each question is "Yes." They may or may not be able to sell the picture for advertising usage without a release depending partly on whether or not the subject is identifiable, but they can certianly sell prints to individuals. You can always ask someone to take a picture down, but they are not always legally obligated to comply. They are not obligated to provide you with free copies, either.

    There is no ethical question whatsoever about taking someone's picture in a public place and then charging them for copies. No one is entitled to the free benefit of someone elses' work. Prints or copies of photos are not free.

    As for the bride/groom, they hired a photographer and paid for a photographer, and will likely buy from that photographer. If another photographer happens along and takes pictures worthy of purchase, there is no reason they cannot offer them for sale (given public place and all that). But there is also nothing forcing the bride and groom to purchase them. The second photographer is not "demanding" payment, he's offering a product at a price. You don't like it, you don't buy it.

    There are a lot of twists in photographic copyright law, and IANAL. But for the most part if you are performing, people can and will take your picture and they can and will sell copies and they don't have to give copies away.


  12. #12
    Master BHUZzer Sonja2's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Huh. Ive learned alot, thanks! Well, I wasn't going to go yelling at this person, she clearly takes great photos, and hopefully enjoyed the show. Ive just never seen this happen before. Live & learn!


  13. #13
    Advanced BHUZzer Ainsley's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by JGilchrist View Post
    There is no ethical question whatsoever about taking someone's picture in a public place and then charging them for copies. No one is entitled to the free benefit of someone elses' work. Prints or copies of photos are not free.
    Yes.

    There's no reason to let this sour you on allowing photography at your events. It just gives you another option for buying professional-quality photographs of your dancing.


  14. #14
    Master BHUZzer kiyaana's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    I think this is applicable to the conversation:
    Family Surprised At Czech Meaning Of 'Say Cheese' : NPR


  15. #15
    Established BHUZzer haleemachandani's Avatar
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    Re: Facebook, photos, and intellectual rights?

    [QUOTE=JGilchrist;440955
    There are a lot of twists in photographic copyright law, and IANAL. But for the most part if you are performing, people can and will take your picture and they can and will sell copies and they don't have to give copies away.[/QUOTE]

    Are you by any chance related to Charles Gilchrist, who took photos of Ates Altiok? GPC: People: Fabulous Turkish Belly Dancer, "Ates Altiok"


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