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rhymegirl
10-27-2010, 10:02 PM
Legal question, I guess.

If I go around photographing people's yards decorated for Halloween as part of a story for the newspaper, do I have to have the permission of the people who live there?

mtrenteseau
10-27-2010, 10:37 PM
Legal question, I guess.

If I go around photographing people's yards decorated for Halloween as part of a story for the newspaper, do I have to have the permission of the people who live there?

Legally, you shouldn't need permission if you're taking the pictures from somewhere public, like a street or a city park. If you have to enter their property to do it, you definitely need their permission to be there, let alone take pictures. And I wouldn't mention their name or specific street address without their permission.

whacko
10-27-2010, 10:40 PM
I don't know. But I don't remember Google asking if it was alright to put my front door on Street View.

rhymegirl
10-27-2010, 11:22 PM
I don't know. But I don't remember Google asking if it was alright to put my front door on Street View.

Yeah, really!

So far, I've tried to just zoom in on the yards from the street, leaving out any street number or names.

whacko
10-27-2010, 11:46 PM
I think you should be okay then. It'll probably do wonders for circulation too. People will buy the newspaper as a souvenir!

Now that I think about it. My parents once lived in a charming old house of some history. Imagine my surprise, upon reading a published history book, to see a picture of the said house within the pages.

So you should be alright.

Regards

Xelebes
10-28-2010, 12:08 AM
In the United States, it's legal if the pictures are taken from public property and are not directly invasive (taking photos of the happenings inside of a building through a window.) However, this does not stop police and security guards from harassing you.

PeterL
10-28-2010, 12:09 AM
I believe thaq mtrentesseau is right. If you photograph things that are in the public view, then you do not need permission. If you have to look around the end of a fence, then you would need permission. If yoou photograph people, then you need permission, and it is a good idea to avoid identifying street numbers, etc.

Gool=gle has been banned from doing their photos in some places. There was a controversy in Europe within the last few weeks.

underthecity
10-28-2010, 05:24 AM
No.

A few years ago a picture of our Halloween-decorated yard (with visiting trick-or-treaters) appeared in the local newspaper along with a brief article about the trick-or-treating. It was flattering, to say the least, and we had no idea the photo was taken.

It's legal to take photos of people and events that take place in public. There's probably a fine line, but I don't know what that is.

frolzagain
10-28-2010, 05:38 AM
It depends on where you live, but in the US, as others have mentioned, it's legal to take pictures if you are on public property~that includes pics taken from the sidewalk. Out of respect just try and stay away from things like adresses and street names.

blackrose602
10-29-2010, 12:36 AM
It's perfectly legal in the US to take photos from the street, or even the edge of the property line, as long as whatever you're photographing is readily visible from said property line--no zooming to catch something in a window, for example, but zooming for clarity on something that you can see in the yard is fine. Listing addresses should also be fine, but as others mentioned, I always ask for permission out of respect. I would encourage you to speak with the homeowners...they might be happy for the publicity, and you might get some cool quotes/soundbytes. But if you don't want to, you're fine photographing the yards.

JimmyB27
10-29-2010, 07:17 PM
This is UK-centric, but I'm pretty sure it's at least similair Stateside.

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

mtrenteseau
11-01-2010, 04:53 PM
This is UK-centric, but I'm pretty sure it's at least similair Stateside.

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

There was a recent case where a man was harrassed by security at a passenger train station because he was taking photographs - to enter a photography contest sponsored by the railway.

I was once harrassed by a security guard because I was sending a text message outside his shop window and he thought I was taking a picture of the display. Ironically, the same stack of artlessly arranged Louis Vuitton suitcases is in a picture in this article:

http://straightfromthea.com/2009/10/15/atlanta-area-gucci-louis-vuitton-scammers-sentenced/

That describes how an employee at the store participated in a million-dollar fraud scheme.

rhymegirl
11-05-2010, 05:00 AM
Thanks for all the responses.

I ended up taking a number of Halloween shots around town. I made sure to crop out any numbers on houses. And didn't mention any street addresses.

Editor seemed happy with the results.

poetinahat
11-05-2010, 05:03 AM
I would imagine that if paparazzi get away with the horrid stuff they pull, then some benign, non-invasive, non-identifying photos of Halloween decorations would be fine. But the editor would be the one to ask, and you passed that test. Congratulations!

A couple of years ago, a friend called me at work to tell me that, in Hyde Park here in Sydney (obviously not in the US), there was a giant photo - as in three by five METERS - of my wife. It was an entry in an annual citywide exhibition and contest. It was surprise to me and certainly to my wife.

No permission had been asked or given. But I followed up with the festival organisers to get the photographer's name so I could order a print. Because it was my wife in the photo, she gave me a deal on the print, and that was it.

The photo placed third in the contest. My wife won't have it framed or hung.

Silver King
11-05-2010, 05:59 AM
Wow, Rob, that must have seemed very strange to you and your wife. Stranger still is that you were charged for a print of her likeness. And it would seem the photographer would be compelled to share a royalty of sorts with your wife, since he or she is profiting from that shot.

JimmyB27
11-05-2010, 02:17 PM
And it would seem the photographer would be compelled to share a royalty of sorts with your wife, since he or she is profiting from that shot.
Not really. How much do you suppose Britney gets from the pictures of her in OK magazine?
If you're in a public place, you have no expectation of privacy. Mostly because it's impossible to enforce, and any such law would make pretty much all photography in a public place impossible. Imagine you're taking a photo of a monument, and a dozen tourists are recognisable in your shot. Do you pay royalties to all twelve of them?

Silver King
11-06-2010, 03:06 AM
Not really. How much do you suppose Britney gets from the pictures of her in OK magazine?
I don't think Rob's wife is a celebrity. She's quite lovely, though, and much better looking than Britney.

I understand the photographer owns the rights to the image and can sell prints or whatever. But say Rob's wife begins to appear on magazine covers and billboards and television ads while her likeness is used to sell products and so forth. Don't you think she deserves a cut of the action? I do, and I'd make damn sure I hired the best attorney available to ensure she received her fair share of the profits. In fact, I'd sue the photographer right now just for selling prints, and I wouldn't stop hounding him unless or until an agreement was reached to pay royalties for the sale of her likeness to any entity whatsoever. And that's no joke.

JimmyB27
11-06-2010, 04:15 AM
I don't think Rob's wife is a celebrity. She's quite lovely, though, and much better looking than Britney.

I understand the photographer owns the rights to the image and can sell prints or whatever. But say Rob's wife begins to appear on magazine covers and billboards and television ads while her likeness is used to sell products and so forth. Don't you think she deserves a cut of the action? I do, and I'd make damn sure I hired the best attorney available to ensure she received her fair share of the profits. In fact, I'd sue the photographer right now just for selling prints, and I wouldn't stop hounding him unless or until an agreement was reached to pay royalties for the sale of her likeness to any entity whatsoever. And that's no joke.
I don't see what celebrity has to do with it.
And you could sue until you were blue in the face (and empty in the pocket), but - here at least - you'd lose.

Ken
11-06-2010, 04:37 AM
... you'll be fine. The only very small potential for trouble would be if you took a photo of a Halloween decoration that was handcrafted, a drawing of a zoombie, and you zoomed in on it. As a creative work the homeowner could possibly sue. That would be incredibly rare though. Even so, if you see an elaborate decoration that is clearly handcrafted you might want to make a point of not focusing on it or maybe not even photographing it at all. Most would be flattered, but there's always that one in a thousand ...

Silver King
11-06-2010, 05:25 AM
I don't see what celebrity has to do with it.
And you could sue until you were blue in the face (and empty in the pocket), but - here at least - you'd lose.
Are you sure about this? You mean in the UK, a person's image, without their knowledge or consent, can be used for any manner of commercial purpose in which the photographer deems fit?

JimmyB27
11-06-2010, 06:50 AM
Are you sure about this? You mean in the UK, a person's image, without their knowledge or consent, can be used for any manner of commercial purpose in which the photographer deems fit?
I'm reasonably sure that's the case in the US too. Else how do you explain the aforementioned shots of Britney in less than flattering circumstances?

JimmyB27
11-06-2010, 06:53 AM
... you'll be fine. The only very small potential for trouble would be if you took a photo of a Halloween decoration that was handcrafted, a drawing of a zoombie, and you zoomed in on it. As a creative work the homeowner could possibly sue. That would be incredibly rare though. Even so, if you see an elaborate decoration that is clearly handcrafted you might want to make a point of not focusing on it or maybe not even photographing it at all. Most would be flattered, but there's always that one in a thousand ...
This isn't true either. Sure, that elaborate decoration took a lot of effort in designing and creating. But so did the Eiffel Tower. Would I need to pay royalties to the owners of the Eiffel Tower if I want to publish a photograph of it?

Silver King
11-06-2010, 07:21 AM
I'm reasonably sure that's the case in the US too. Else how do you explain the aforementioned shots of Britney in less than flattering circumstances?
I think you can sell a photo of Britney with her crotch exposed to a tabloid without too much fear of retribution. But if you tried to use that shot to sell products, say fish and chips for example, why then she might have cause to expect compensation.

I'm reasonably sure that's the case in the UK, too.

Ken
11-06-2010, 02:32 PM
This isn't true either. Sure, that elaborate decoration took a lot of effort in designing and creating. But so did the Eiffel Tower. Would I need to pay royalties to the owners of the Eiffel Tower if I want to publish a photograph of it?

... believe it or not, yes. You have to get permission to photo the Eiffel if you snap pics at night because of the creative way the lights are arranged on it:


The tower and its representations have long been in the public domain; however, a French court ruled, in March 1992, that the night-time light display is protected under copyright, except in a panoramic view. SNTE (Société nouvelle d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel) installed a special lighting display on the tower in 1989, for the tower's 100th anniversary. The Court of Cassation, France's judicial court of last resort, decided that the display was an "original visual creation" protected by copyright.[51] Since then, the SNTE considers any night-time image of the lighting display under copyright. As a result, it is no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in France and some other countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower#Image_copyright_claims