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Author Topic: Legal status of art photography  (Read 12895 times)
larsrc
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« on: January 17, 2008, 01:23:02 PM »
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I am somewhat confused as to the legal status of art photography.  I understand that there are two major groups of photography: commercial (e.g. advertisements) and editorial (e.g. in newspapers).  For commercial photography, a model release is generally needed for photos featuring recognizable people, whereas editorial photography generally can contain just about anything without need for model releases.  But where does art photography fall?  It's not trying to sell anything else, but I don't know if it can be called editorial either.  I've tried to ask local people who might know, but to no avail.  Has anyone here had experience with this issue, and/or can point to information on it?

Thanks,
-Lars
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alainbriot
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 01:46:17 PM »
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The differences you point out to are real, but they are artistic and professional differences, not legal differences.

Legally, the same laws apply regardless of these artistic and professional differences.  If you need a model or property release, because of the laws in your city, state or country, you will need this release regardless of whether the photograph is published in a magazine or exhibited in a gallery.   You should consult with a lawyer to confirm this but I'm pretty sure such is the case.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 01:47:30 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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bdkphoto
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 03:21:01 PM »
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Here's a good resource for information for US law on and model releases.  http://www.asmp.org/commerce/legal/releases/
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2008, 04:17:12 PM »
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But where does art photography fall?
Hopefully this article and this ruling will help you understand the legal guidelines. However, be aware that this legal precedent only applies to United State federal laws.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 04:18:23 PM by Chris_Brown » Logged

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sergio
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2008, 06:14:50 PM »
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It has more to do with what you intend do with your photographs, than with the type of photography you do. Even if you are making editorial use of a persons image you have to be aware of certain issues such as the context you are putting the photograph in.
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pcunite
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 10:32:08 AM »
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Quote from: Chris_Brown
Hopefully this article and this ruling will help you understand the legal guidelines. However, be aware that this legal precedent only applies to United State federal laws.

It should also be noted that even though this particular ruling did favor the photographer, the idea of taking a grab shot of someone without their permission and making $ from a limited print sale is a good way to turn the public's opinion against you. It is not illegal to do things that cause people to hate you but it probably won't advance your career very far. Eventually over time the general public could have such a disdain for photographers that it would be difficult to do certain things even though we have "rights".
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RSL
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 12:10:14 PM »
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Lars, I'm sure the laws are different in Denmark, but here's a great reference for U.S. photographers. It's a .PDF you can download, print, and carry around with you. http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm
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RSL
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 12:16:31 PM »
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Quote from: pcunite
It should also be noted that even though this particular ruling did favor the photographer, the idea of taking a grab shot of someone without their permission and making $ from a limited print sale is a good way to turn the public's opinion against you. It is not illegal to do things that cause people to hate you but it probably won't advance your career very far. Eventually over time the general public could have such a disdain for photographers that it would be difficult to do certain things even though we have "rights".

Exactly. That's why people like Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand are so disdained and even hated.
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 03:23:47 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Exactly. That's why people like Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and Garry Winogrand are so disdained and even hated.



Love your sense of sarcasm, but pcunite is morally correct (nothing to do with politically correct, which is a bag of garbage) insofar as he objects to the grabbing of unauthorised images of people.

At best it can be seen as intrusion, and at worst as exploitation, particularly where the making of money from anotherīs dicomfiture is concerned.

It is something that I find somewhat annoying, this random photographing of people just because you might want to do it. I give you an example: I live in a little town that, during summer, turns into a tourist hell. I might be sitting at a table having a coffee and somebody will stop, point a camera towards where I am and make a photograph. I am perfectly aware that I am not the subject, that I just happen to be in a nice spot, but I still donīt like the thought of being in some strangerīs holiday snaps. Worse, walking along the front by the sea, I am expected to stop every few yards to permit some dope to finish making his picture of the wife and kids looking out to sea. Guess how long it would take me to walk a hundred yards if I were still to give a toss about these people and their pictures! You see? The camera can breed a certain intollerance when it starts to intrude on your life. I quite understand why some "primitives" might want to cut photographersī throats.

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2009, 06:54:28 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Love your sense of sarcasm, but pcunite is morally correct (nothing to do with politically correct, which is a bag of garbage) insofar as he objects to the grabbing of unauthorised images of people.

At best it can be seen as intrusion, and at worst as exploitation, particularly where the making of money from anotherīs dicomfiture is concerned.

It is something that I find somewhat annoying, this random photographing of people just because you might want to do it. I give you an example: I live in a little town that, during summer, turns into a tourist hell. I might be sitting at a table having a coffee and somebody will stop, point a camera towards where I am and make a photograph. I am perfectly aware that I am not the subject, that I just happen to be in a nice spot, but I still donīt like the thought of being in some strangerīs holiday snaps. Worse, walking along the front by the sea, I am expected to stop every few yards to permit some dope to finish making his picture of the wife and kids looking out to sea. Guess how long it would take me to walk a hundred yards if I were still to give a toss about these people and their pictures! You see? The camera can breed a certain intollerance when it starts to intrude on your life. I quite understand why some "primitives" might want to cut photographersī throats.

Rob C

And so, when you look at Cartier-Bresson's or Frank's, or Winogrand's photographs what you feel is annoyance?

If a street photographer is doing his work properly, in most cases you'll probably never know you were photographed, or at least you won't be sure you were photographed. There are a lot of Winogrand's photographs I don't like because he used flash. That's an absolute no-no for street work as far as I'm concerned. But I'll have to admit, even though I'm annoyed by the idea of flash in those pictures I often still find them interesting comments on the human condition. I think that if people stop doing good street photography we'll all be diminished.

Yes, I agree about the cloddish tourists with their slow reaction and their flashes. What's even more annoying is that I no longer can take a camera into a museum because those clods have been in there flashing their flashes. Ever been to a play or a concert where people in the balcony were flashing their flashes -- too far away for the flashes to have any effect on what they're trying to photograph but close enough to annoy the performers. But none of this is good street photography. It's the difference between a meat axe and a scalpel.
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