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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Jediboy on January 12, 2020, 03:59:32 PM

Title: Model release form / public photography
Post by: Jediboy on January 12, 2020, 03:59:32 PM
Hi,

Does anyone here have a good knowledge of model release forms/photography in public?
Its something that has popped up for discussion at work and I'm trying to find some clarity.

I have googled this subject and done some reading, although many articles are peoples own take on the matter.

It seems that if people are in public, they can take photos of people and buildings, and can use them for journalistic or artistic material. Using a persons photo for a commercial purpose requires the person to sign a model release form.

I think this, although a simple view, is about right.

Any thoughts or knowledge from anyone here?
Cheers

Chris
Title: Re: Model release form / public photography
Post by: Beaux Reflets on January 12, 2020, 04:46:03 PM
Here in France, as I understand it; It is breaking the Law to publish any image of a 'recognise-able nature' of a person or people without signed Model release forms (regardless of any commercial aspects).
Title: Re: Model release form / public photography
Post by: jinky on January 12, 2020, 05:15:15 PM
Different in the UK to France. If people and you are on public property you can take pictures - as long as they`re not indecent! This link pretty much sumarises the position in the UK. https://www.blpawards.org/competition/photo-rights

The issue it misses is that if you take an image that might represent a person in a bad light or add  text or commentary that might do so lays you open to a lawsuit. An example I remember is a guy that was shot through a cafe window sitting under a poster about rapists. He sued the photographer successfully and the 2ndary issue coming up was whether he had permission to shoot cafe interior. The legal case was won on the association with the poster though. The other problem is that it is not always obvious which places are indeed public. I think the gherkin in London has copyright on its building even when  shooting exterior from the pavement and I know that the main square in Leeds that accommodates most public events is deemed a private place as they quietly removed the right of passage across it and require model release forms to be used for all photography in such as the German market, parades etc. 
Title: Re: Model release form / public photography
Post by: anglefire on January 12, 2020, 06:16:46 PM
You can't take pictures of military buildings and airfields unless permission is granted as far as I recall - obviously air shows thats a given.

Trafalgar Square is another one - at least for commercial use.

If shooting someone commercially (with a release) and you have the "public" in the background, you don't have to get everyone to sign a release as that would be impracticable - but if they are distinguishable and are prominent in the image then its a good idea to clear it - but I don't think it is technically a legality.
Title: Re: Model release form / public photography
Post by: anglefire on January 12, 2020, 06:19:19 PM
I should also say in the UK there is no right to privacy - you can take pictures of people on private land from public land and they can't do anything about it - unless you are using very long lenses and effectively are spying (AFAIK!)- for private none commercial use at least
Title: Re: Model release form / public photography
Post by: Jediboy on January 12, 2020, 06:51:20 PM
Thanks for the replies. Some good points.
I am on the right track mostly. Found some good stuff online but some can be slightly contradictory.

It can get a bit murky around the issue of public vs private place, as in some public areas are in fact private. Shopping centres for example.

I had read that you can expect 'right to privacy' if you are in private, but will check up on this.

Thanks again for the replies, makes interesting reading.
Title: Re: Model release form / public photography
Post by: Hinfrance on January 13, 2020, 08:03:03 AM
Here in France, as I understand it; It is breaking the Law to publish any image of a 'recognise-able nature' of a person or people without signed Model release forms (regardless of any commercial aspects).

It's a bit more complicated than that Andy. The same rule about crowds applies, allowed, and in addition public figures going about their duties and any public event. Things like graffiti are deemed to be copyright of the creator (insane) as are the exteriors of buildings (also insane).

But, it's France, so basically the rules are ignored. At my camera club we have a retired ex Paris press photographer who takes pictures of anything and anyone he likes. If you are taking photos to sell then use the model release forms, otherwise, basically just ask people if you want to take and use their photos, and unless they are professional models who quite rightly would want to be paid, most people have a bit of vanity in their bones and feel flattered :)