Thursday, February 22, 2007

Photographers' rights

There are problems with photographers' rights on both sides of the atlantic. Police officers, security guards and citizens are often taking the (imagined) law in their own hands and harassing both professional and amateur photographers who are doing nothing wrong or illegal. In the US it is often suspected "terrorist" activities, in the UK the big hysteria is children in photos. (Why anybody would be fearful of peadophiles getting their sweaty hands on photos of fully clothed children, I can't imagine.)
Find some current UK news here and here.
Well, at least the government is not involved yet, see the article in Amateur Photographer.


Anonymous said...

My uncle was arrested for taking pictures of a police car. He collects them (models ect.) He was booked on suspicion of being a terrorist. He's a painter lol. What's he gonna do, terrorize people with his paint brush?
Another friend of mine was arrested for photographing a nude woman inside her own home! She was 19.
He's still in jail. No bond was allowed! Obscenity they called it!
The woman's sister was escorted out of a local tavern because she was wearing tight jeans that exposed part of her underwear!
She was banned for life at the bar!
Yep, good ole Bush would have made the gestapo proud!

Wonko outside the asylum said...

It can be a bit of a mine field.

There was another good article on the subject in Photography Monthly a few months ago. In the UK its advice was to basically assume the worst and plan for that.

If you're in what could be classed as a public space - the street for example - then in theory there is no restriction on what or who you can photograph or what you do with those images. If I remember correctly this is provided that you do not identify anyone in the images.

As soon as you get to buildings or places that charge an admission fee it gets more complicated. Providing there are no signs specifically banning photography you can take images for "personal use" (read into that what you will!). The difference is that if you intend to sell the images you must have the explicit written permission of the owners of the building/place. Again, you don't need permission from any people in the image as long as you don't identify who they are, and you can reasonably claim that they should expect photography to be happenning, which they may or may not appear in.

Of course photographing models has it's own rules depending on whether the model is paying you, you are paying the model or your doing a time for print arrangement. It's always best to have a signed model release in these cases.

Where you should be careful, especially these days, is taking photographs near Government buildings or during demonstrations/protests/riots. Even a Press card won't protect you there!

Interestingly the way Police will often use to move photographers on is to say that they are causing an obstruction. This is especially so if you are using a tripod.

By the way I have to agree with Eolake about the photographing of fully clothed children - rediculous!

Anonymous said...

Tripods can be deadly.
I've seen "War of the Worlds".

And wearing clothes doesn't protect you one bit! If they "shoot" you, you're disintegrated regardless. What parent would tolerate THAT?
Monsters, that's what they are!