Photographing the public in public displays - Legalities and more?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Iraxl Enb Guest

    This is getting interesting, though getting kind of
    OT... Can someone be sued if they give legal sounding
    advice on a usenet group without claiming any legal
    training ot knowlegde?

    Iraxl Enb, Nov 9, 2005
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  2. You really agreed. You listed several exceptions already. I am sure
    there have been others. The answer is blowing in the wind. Case law
    abounds and may be contradictory. It just just not as clear as you would
    make out.

    I agree that in most cases it would not be a problem, bit I don't
    believe that was the question.
    I would suggest that it is more prudent to error on the side of possible
    infractions than to suggest that there would be no infraction.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 9, 2005
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  3. Frankly I don't think so.
    Apparently not a very good one. A good attorney would not have said
    "Sorry, but that's completely wrong" in my opinion. What is your area of
    practice? How much experience have you had in the subject under discussion?
    40 years ago I would have said yes, today... it's a different world.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 9, 2005
  4. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    No, I didn't. You made a generalization that was incorrect.
    No, I didn't. Public display isn't precluded. Defamation is actionable, as
    is commercial appropriation, without regard to public display.
    No, the answer is what I said.
    It is not. The difference between me and those who make statements like
    that is I've studied the case law and they haven't.
    On the contrary, it's quite clear -- some of the statements that you said
    were simply wrong as a matter of law.
    I wasn't addressing the question, as I don't give legal advice to
    non-clients, and never over the internet. I was addressing a couple of
    misstatements that you made.
    I would suggest that, if you're not a lawyer, you refrain from telling
    strangers what the law might be regarding specific situations.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  5. AIUI you can be sued by anyone for anything. The issue is whether you
    can be sued successfully.

    In the Netherlands I'm pretty confident you would be at no risk unless
    you really went out of your way to present yourself as an expert whose
    advice one could absolutely rely on. (In fact if you claimed to be
    qualified lawyer when you were not, I think you might be committing a
    criminal offence, depending on how credible your claim was.) In the USA:
    I would hesitate to hazard a guess.
    Stephen Poley, Nov 9, 2005
  6. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    And where did you receive your legal education? What states have licensed
    you to provide legal advice?
    Do a google search on my name before you make any more truly stupid
    Why? You're completely wrong.

    I'm a partner in a national law firm. My area of practice is intellectual
    property law. As I said, do a google search before you dig yourself into an
    even deeper hole.
    The law (and the Constitution) hasn't changed in this regard.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  7. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Frank ess Guest

    "...more nearly accurate...", one of the more nearly great legal
    wafflisms of the modern era.
    Frank ess, Nov 9, 2005
  8. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Frank ess Guest

    A basic question that remains unanswered:

    Do people become lawyers because they are _personae non grata_* or
    must one become _persona non grata_ in order to be a lawyer?
    Frank ess, Nov 9, 2005
  9. PTRAVEL wrote:

    My my, you seem to be having a bad day. I am sorry to hear it.

    Really, I suggest you come back and re-read all this in a couple of
    days. Maybe it will all be better then.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 9, 2005
  10. What legal advice have I offered other than to suggest checking with a
    local attorney?
    Having a bad day are we?
    So you are really out of your area?
    40 years ago I doubt if someone photographing a bare bottom toddler at
    the beach would have had any problems. Today, I would not touch a photo
    like that.

    40 years ago I was in professional photography.

    Times have changed, I would want a lawyer who realized that if I were
    choosing one today.

    Joseph Meehan, Nov 9, 2005
  11. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    PTRAVEL Guest

    You miss the point, which is not whether or not you have offered legal
    advice, but, rather, who are you to tell a licensed attorney who practices
    in this area that he is wrong.

    Um, no, I'm not. You, however, said some things about the state of the law
    which were wrong. Do you think you're the Pope? Do you think you're
    No, I'm not out of my area. As I said, do a google search before you
    embarass yourself further.
    As I said, neither the law nor the Constitution has changed in this regard.

    Most people want a lawyer who understands the law. You, evidently, are one
    of those people who wants a lawyer who will agree with you, even when you're

    You were wrong, and you remain wrong.
    PTRAVEL, Nov 9, 2005
  12. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Bill Funk Guest

    Wow! You've never neen to a major sporting event?
    I have been to very few, but I know many who have been to a lot (even
    Az Cardinals games!). I've even seen tickets for such events. :)
    Photography is one of the things limited there n(but usually not
    prohibited). Outside food isn't allowed either.
    Bill Funk, Nov 9, 2005
  13. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Bill Funk Guest

    What legal ramifications? I don't now of any. Can you point some out?
    I read the question or comment to be that there are legal problems
    with people not knowing what I might do with photos I take at a
    I'm saying, "What problems?" I can't find any.
    That someone doesn't know what I will do isn't a problem to me. Their
    *not knowing* may be a problem to them, but not to me. And if they
    don't know, that's certianly not an implication that I will do
    something illegal.
    Bill Funk, Nov 9, 2005
  14. I'm not going to get into an argument on symantecs with you buddy. So I'll
    let this go as is. 'all the best.
    and if you own a website that gets a huge number of visitors and is
    frequented by enough folks in your area then there you go. Putting up photos
    of someone who's been in a parade might rub them the wrong way When and If
    they come across such posted photos. A court of law would of course decide
    that in the end after such person decides to pursue a lawsuit. Thus the
    reasoning behind my original question.

    Whether you don't do something illegal has nothing to do with it. No one
    wants to have to deal with the headache of a lawsuit. Let's face it. It's a
    Lawsuit-Happy world we live in today.

    BTW, loosen that girdle of yours and don't be so defensive. I'm not
    attacking you.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 10, 2005
  15. I have but that was long before I ever had an interest in photography. I was
    thinking about the future.
    WhoTurnedOffTheLights, Nov 10, 2005
  16. I'm Joe Meehan. If you are wrong, then you are wrong. Frankly I don't
    believe you have been "wrong" but I do believe you have offered some
    incomplete advice and seem unwilling to accept that. I accept that mine has
    been incomplete and even some of it could be wrong, which is why I recommend
    that if anyone has a serious question in this matter that the consult a
    local attorney so the details of their specific situation may be fully
    discussed and advice given based on those needs and not the general needs we
    can offer here.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 10, 2005
  17. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    cjcampbell Guest

    All of this is mostly wrong, which is why you should get competent
    legal advice. Specific comments follow.

    Yes, that is true. It is also true that if those you photograph are on
    private property but you are on public property you may legally take
    the photo, unless they are inside someplace where they have a
    reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a private home. Even then,
    someone sitting on a windowsill would have a tough time claiming an
    expectation of privacy. In general, freedom of the press trumps most
    privacy rights.

    You may not have the right to walk up to a window and start
    photographing everyone in the room, but you may take pictures of people
    standing in doorways, on top of buildings, etc.

    Most major sporting events take place on private property. The owner
    has the right to restrict photography while you are on his property in
    any way he sees fit. Most commercial teams do not mind you taking
    pictures of the event. They will want a fee if you publish them,
    because they make big money selling the right to publish to networks
    and news stations. He cannot send his goons out to stop you from
    standing across the street and taking pictures of people entering or
    leaving the stadium.
    Complete nonsense.
    Also complete nonsense. If it were true, all the newspapers in the
    world would be out of business tomorrow. In the USA, freedom of the
    press is such that anyone can call himself a news photographer.

    Using the pictures to advertise a product is more restrictive, and
    using pictures of children to advertise products is more restrictive
    still, depending on the state.
    cjcampbell, Nov 10, 2005
  18. Frankly, you stuck your foot in your mouth and bit it off up to
    the knee.

    You obviously don't actually have any expertise, but will say
    anything necessary to support your opinion of what the facts
    should be.

    That one had me rolling on the floor. You are trying to claim
    your opinion on Intellectual Property Law is authoritative, and
    you don't even know that is what you are talking about.
    Floyd Davidson, Nov 10, 2005
  19. The success of such a suit might be very unlikely... :)

    However, one of the odd quirks is that you and I don't run much
    risk, but PTRAVEL does. He actually *is* licensed to provide
    "Legal Advice" and while you and I can claim any damned fool who
    thinks we gave them legal advice got what they deserved, he has
    to be very careful to not accidentally indicate to someone that
    his personal opinion is a valid legal opinion.
    Floyd Davidson, Nov 10, 2005
  20. WhoTurnedOffTheLights

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    In the UK to claim to be a solicitor when you are not is a criminal
    offence (fraud).
    Neil Ellwood, Nov 10, 2005
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