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Photography Question 
Juliette` Colpa-Thomas
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/11/2003
 

Can Someone sue you for taking your photo in publi


My son and I had this discussion on whether or not someone can sue you if you take a picture of them in a private place. I took a photo of someone in a private house (4th of July barbecue of my mother-in-law's home). She didn't mind having her picture taken at all, but my son commented that the person could have gotten offended and sued me. I would appreciate feed-back.


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7/23/2007 12:04:02 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2005
  If you take a picture of someone so you can tell who it is, and then, without their authorization, sell that picture or make money off of it, they can sue.


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7/23/2007 12:20:01 PM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Sue you for what? Trespassing? Use of their likeness for trade or commerce?

Trespassing can be the issue while on private property whereas use of one's likeness can be litigated whether you are on private property or not. This is really going to depend on how the image will be used. Since you were on private property and no one objected to your presence then trespassing appears to not be the issue. For the most part you could use the image editorally and this typically would not require a release. However, using it to promote trade or commerece (without a release) could indeed promote a legal action from the person whose likeness is being depicted.

Check out www.photoattorney.com This is Carolyn Wright's site and I think you will find some helpful answers there. She is an attorney (whereas I am not) and you can retain her services as well.

Ray


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7/23/2007 1:44:11 PM

 
Juliette` Colpa-Thomas
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/11/2003
  Thank you both for commenting. I will check out that site.


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7/23/2007 2:02:26 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  The question title and the situation aren't the same. Public vs being invited to a private home.
You're not describing a situation where you were taking images in secret even though you were invited, or even if you had any intent to get something that could be considered embarassing, or something like you were asked ahead of time don't take pictures but you did it anyway.


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7/23/2007 2:34:47 PM

 
Jesse C. Plummer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2007
  If you simply photograph someone in public or private, there is no basis for a lawsuit. However, attempting to use the same image in a profitable manner can result in a lawsuit or other legal action. If someone is in public, then certain rights to privacy are already removed for the fact of being in public.


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8/9/2007 2:27:35 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  So ray, are you capping for Carolyn nowadays? From Missouri ??? If so, I'll bet she doesn't know yet. LOL !!!
M.


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8/9/2007 3:37:39 PM

 
Marianne Fortin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/23/2006
  I was wondering about this issue in relation to the current Monthly Theme: "Pictures of People Taking Pictures".

This is a bit different from shots where people just happen to be in the background. You are actually selecting a person to photograph, in many cases.


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8/10/2007 7:05:56 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  I myself was logging in to mention
Carolyn Wright's site.
She is very informitive and has the
credentials one can truely trust.
That is why her site gets pass on as it does.
Anyone can give legal advise,she however has a site and daily work experiance that shows she is the
"Real Deal".
I continue to recommend her information, before people just take legal advise from myself, you or any other good intended person here.
I'm sure others would agree.
have a great day,
Debby


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8/10/2007 7:17:09 AM

 
doug Nelson   Today poor old Henri Cartier-Bresson would be accused of stalking the little Italian boy with the big wine bottle, and of being a pervert intruding on the sweet young couple at the outdoor cafe table (maybe someone's husband with someone else's wife). I hope Jesse P is right, but it seems street photography is dead. The lawyers have killed it.


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8/10/2007 8:56:25 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  That's a bit much. People's ever increasing narcissism, the growing use of youtube, the mis-use of camera phones, and the general problem of how one person can screw things for many, will make people more wary.
At the most you'll have to go thru a period of "did you hear?!" about something that may have gone wrong with one person and a camera. Followed by things are back to normal.
Don't underestimate how people react to how you carry yourself when what you're doing is sincere. Getting candid shots doesn't mean not being seen. When you're out in the open not caring that others see you, they quickly get used to you and go back to what they were doing.


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8/10/2007 2:32:05 PM

 
Jesse C. Plummer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2007
  I believe Gregory L makes a good point. You can't hardly take camera out in public without being considered a pervert. For some insane reason, people equate photographers with pornographers. I can't even begin to tell you how many time I have carried my camera strapped around my neck and people will look at you like you have a third ear growing out the back of your head.


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8/10/2007 6:08:10 PM

 
Jerry Frazier   The problem is that people do not know or understand your intent. You really have to make your intent clear and discuss this with your subjects before photogrpahing. Do not hide with a long lens and pick people off. That's just horrible. If I saw someone doing that, I'd go kick their ass; or at least confront them about it.


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8/11/2007 4:53:21 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Most of the time they do. And part of that depends on where you are and what's going on that you're taking pictures of.


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8/11/2007 6:26:30 AM

 
Juliette` Colpa-Thomas
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/11/2003
  Thank you all for responding to this matter.


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8/21/2007 11:53:31 AM

 
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