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Lori_Clapp
01-14-2008, 05:20 PM
If I have photographs of homeless people, like from a big city - the people who live on the streets, or the people who stand there with a sign that says, "will stand here with a sign for food", lol, can I enter them in competition or no because I don't have a release from them? Yes, I could go get one, but No, I'm not going to.

Jeff_Dachowski
01-14-2008, 05:52 PM
Lori,
just because they don't have a home, doesn't mean you don't still need a release. If you were to use an image for comp, you are putting yourself at risk that this person might see the image or subsequent website, once it goes loan!! It might not be a big risk for you.


Jeff

Mark_Levesque
01-14-2008, 06:08 PM
You are so bad.

Marc_Benjamin
01-14-2008, 06:23 PM
I'd just enter it Lori. Think of it this way, ever wondered how albums are acceptable knowing that there's absolutely no way that every single person at that wedding has singed a release? Yet those albums are publicly displayed during the unveiling and a few pages are sometimes published in the loan book?

Also, I've always wondered about the Pulitzereque type competitions where we all know that it's very very unlikely that the subjects in that war torn scene signed a release. Ok for the news piece but probably not for competitions and other uses beyond the original news item.

Just enter it!

Valerie_Harte
01-14-2008, 06:30 PM
Isn't there some kind of clause about if you are in a public place you don't need a release? If not how would the tabloids stay in business- you know those stars are not signing releases for the ummm.... interesting photos... that are published. And they are sold for money not even entered in competition.

Marc_Benjamin
01-14-2008, 06:32 PM
If not how would the tabloids stay in business- you know those stars are not signing releases for the ummm.... interesting photos... that are published. And they are sold for money not even entered in competition.

"Newsworthyness"... and I remember reading somehwere that it's not really only about being in a public place but the "press" is also given a little bit more leeway when taking image of public figures or something to that effect.

Jeff_Dachowski
01-14-2008, 07:28 PM
Lori,
just because they don't have a home, doesn't mean you don't still need a release. If you were to use an image for comp, you are putting yourself at risk that this person might see the image or subsequent website, once it goes loan!! It might not be a big risk for you.


Jeff

Lori,
when I wrote this, I guess I had not read it a bit slower....when I said it might not be a big risk for you, I wasn't implying that it wouldn't go loan, you have already proven you can do that. I was saying that the likelihood of the homeless person coming acroos a loan collection book is low. I still think they deserve the option when possible to release a photo though.
Sorry if it sounded snippy. I didn't mean it to.
Jeff

Lori_Clapp
01-14-2008, 07:41 PM
Jeff - haha. Yeah, don't think that one slipped by me!

Val, good point - how do the paparazzi get away with it?

I'm just wondering about this because I am taking a lot of images with people in them, and if one just happens to be the main interest in the photo, why would he have to sign a release, but not everyone.

Anyway, I know this has been discussed before, because now that Marc brought it up, I remember the issue with wedding reception images. I guess if I have one that I just HAVE to enter, I will check into it more.

Lori_Clapp
01-14-2008, 07:43 PM
Jeff, your last post hadn't shown up yet when I posted my last post.

You - snippy? NO WAY!!! I totally thought you were just joking. Even before I met you in person, I would never have taken it snippy coming from you. I laughed out loud when I read it. Then I read it a couple more times to see if it really said what it said. Then I just figured you were being funny, which you usually are!

so no worries!!

Linda_Gregory
01-14-2008, 08:21 PM
Tabloids get covered under editorial news rules which, because an image is being used for news, it does not need a copyright release. You will not find any of those images in a book or calendar that someone is making other money from.

Look at it this way...a homeless person sees their image somehow used in an illegal manner and they have nothing. 1. will they have the means to go after you? Probably not. 2. will they find someone who could go after you? probably not 3. have they got anything to lose by not going after you? Definitely not but they would have a pretty cut and dried case against you.

Not all homeless people are without families who are better off than they are.
I have refused to use images from my travels where people get into them either on purpose or accidentally. I KNOW I have a loan image of three kids from Haiti but I will not use it.

That's just me.

I entered several while working for the newspaper in state contests for the newspaper, I have no idea how they handled it yet when our advertising dept wanted to use an image I had of a local event for a calendar, all stops came out by the publisher because we did not have a release from the subject. I have no idea where the things break down but I'd use caution.

Lori_Clapp
01-14-2008, 08:41 PM
I agree Linda. And I hope no one thinks I'm saying I should be able to use it because the person is homeless and probably wouldn't see it. I probably worded my post wrong in the first place. I should have just said any person on the street. Although I guess I put in the homeless part because it's a lot different getting a signed release from a homeless person than it would be getting one from a tourist.

Valerie_Kieselhorst
01-14-2008, 09:12 PM
I would go with Linda on this one, it is not worth the risk...

D._Craig_Flory
01-14-2008, 09:12 PM
If ... you ever set up to do a character study of a bearded street guy you will definitely need a release.

Peter_Bauer
01-14-2008, 09:32 PM
Hi Lori,
Here's a rather comprehensive look at model releases:
http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html
Section 8.5 addresses art and competition.
I'm not a lawyer (although I'm actually married to a law professor), and I generally take a more conservative approach than that put forward in the link above. The author approaches model releases as a First Amendment issue -- your right to free speech.

Alternatively, model releases can be seen simply as contracts: For some consideration of value (a print, a dollar - it must have value) you get the right to use the photo of that person in the manner(s) specified in the release.

If you use an image of a recognizable person without a release and that person objects, he/she would generally need to prove damages to obtain an award in court. (Again, I'm not a lawyer, but I proofread enough of my wife's Contracts exams to think I might have a bit of a handle on such issues.) If the image portrayed the individual in a demeaning manner, if the image implied that the person advocated a certain position or promoted a certain product, or if you gained monetarily from the other person's image, there might be a claim to damages.

But take a look at that link and see if it doesn't, in fact, provide exactly the answer that you want to see. ;-)

Pete

Valerie_Kieselhorst
01-14-2008, 10:25 PM
Thanks for the reading Peter, very interesting!

Elizabeth_Pokela
01-14-2008, 10:30 PM
From my days in publishing, this is how I understand the rules/ethics, but it may not be the law:

If you are practicing "street photography" in a public place, any person within the public scene, unless they express a desire for it to be otherwise, has given you implicit permission to be photographed, due to their presence in a public place. We are all photographed everyday in ways we don't even know about. So the 3 kids in Haiti can absolutely be published or exhibited any way you chose. Now three housewives out drunk from your town--maybe not the best choice, even though you can, to make their images public.

Celebrities have made their image part of the public domain of information, therefore they can be photographed anywhere at any time under any circumstances, technically. However, ethics ought to limit the types of pics that are used in the media, but we all know it doesn't. In fact the less ethical pics make more money. But a celeb doesn't have much of a case against you because of the public domain issue. Those 3 housewives, though, might because they may feel you slandered their image within your community.

It is true that we ought to have model release for each and every pic we take. But the reality is that journalists and other documentarians and artists rarely do, particularly for travel or documentary work, because interacting with the subject or subjects in such a way alters the purpose and content of the photograph. If however, you ask a person on the street if you can take their photo, or you pose them in any way, you are expected in all of these arenas to have a photo release before publication.

More knowledgeable forum members feel free to correct me as I am going from memory. As someone who wants to do a documentary book-length project though, I am researching this issue tonight.

Elizabeth

Mark_Levesque
01-14-2008, 11:31 PM
If ... you ever set up to do a character study of a bearded street guy you will definitely need a release.
I don't know why you would state this so categorically. Certainly Philip-Lorca diCorcia and quite possibly Erno Nussenzweig would disagree (though the latter might not be happy about it.)

KirkDarling
01-15-2008, 12:30 AM
Ok for the news piece but probably not for competitions and other uses beyond the original news item.


but the "press" is also given a little bit more leeway when taking image of public figures or something to that effect.


Tabloids get covered under editorial news rules which, because an image is being used for news, it does not need a copyright release. You will not find any of those images in a book or calendar that someone is making other money from.

There are no special free rides for "the press." Newspapers have no special rights over anyone else. "The press" is anyone with a copy machine--or these days, anyone with a blog.

States vary enormously, but Florida has just had a case in which the court ruled for the photographer and against the subject--with absolute specificity--that "commercial use" means using a photograph to sell third party services or products--and never means displaying or selling the photograph itself or copies thereof.

The major issue with photographs of the homeless is not the lack of model release itself, but whether it presents the subject in an unnecessarily humilating light--a charge that even the press is not immune to. Newspapers have lost suits on those grounds when they've published defaming or humiliating photographs of private citizens for no better reason than that they happened to have the picture.

Liz_Vance
01-15-2008, 05:11 AM
At first glance, I thought the title of this thread was "released from homeless people", and all I could think of was that Lori had been kidnapped.

I'm glad you're safe, Lori. :)

-e

Tracy_McGee
01-15-2008, 09:56 AM
Liz...... OMGosh! You have no idea how badly I needed that laugh just now this morning. LOL! :p I needed it so much I think I'm going to be giggling for the next several minutes. :p

Good question, Lori! I have wondered this a few times myself. Nice AV. :p Of course that wasn't quite what I had in mind when I said it was time for a new av LOL!