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12-10-2009, 02:24 PM   #16
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US Copyright Office

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06-04-2010, 05:45 AM   #17
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Australia - General

the following links were clipped from another thread, covering general australian rules

06-04-2010, 05:47 AM - 1 Like   #18
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Photography legal handbook

Stolen from another post, reported to be pertaining mostly to the US

Legal Handbook for Photographers ... - Google Books
06-06-2010, 05:28 AM   #19
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Don't know how reliable this is, but:
Vad får man fotografera? - Fotosidan

Lame translation, Swedish to English:
QuoteOriginally posted by Page above from Fotosidan, Google-translated to English:
What can you photograph?
Law and Justice As a new member of I found a long and interesting discussion on what can and can not shoot. Many who wrote messages showed great knowledge of the laws that apply, but it was perhaps a bit messy. Therefore I thought it might be good to gather the rules are about what you can and can not shoot.

I will go through different situations that can come in and see what the law says. Sometimes I will enter the legal clauses that apply in the following manner: first the text is mentioned, I write out the entire name; Law on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works (1960:729). Since I write just an abbreviation (lou) and the section, § 2.

Who am I and what do I know about this stuff?
I've been working with advertising photography since 1988 and has assisted several photographers before I became my own. After we got into a quarrel with a customer at my first job, they had sold a picture without permission, I have been interested in these issues. Previously, I was a member of the Swedish Photographers' Association (SFF) and had contact with the League when it was stuff I was wondering about. Faced with this article, I checked a few things with a lawyer. In addition, I studied law myself, I am certainly no lawyer but I have read including intellectual property that is about copyright and the protection of trademarks.
Babbled enough, over the topic.

The most important issue first, what do you shoot?
Simple answer, you may take pictures of everyone and everything except some of protection that can be both military and civilian facilities.
When you can not photograph it is clearly signposted.

Can I take pictures of people on the street?
Yes, you can shoot anyone you want, anywhere you want (I'll take it up with where you want later in the text). It does not matter if you're shooting several people in a crowd or an individual at close range.

Do I not ask first?
No. But of course it is good to question, unless you're looking for snapshots of course.

But if I start shooting, and he asks me, friendly or threatening, to stop shooting, do I keep taking pictures?

But it must surely be no limit to how close I may be when I take pictures?
Non, you may in principle contain a macro lens in the eye of the person if you want, but, you must not prevent the person to move and certainly did not hold any of your jacket or destructive act. Then it can act on molestation which does not have to be shooting to do!

But the offensive images, it may, I surely do not take?
There is no such thing as offensive images. Again, you can shoot anyone you want and whenever you want.

We assume that you are standing outside a nightclub and a pretty drunk girl comes up and lifts up her dress in front of you, she wobbles to the confused and mumbles something about "this should get you something to take pictures of." There must surely go the limit?

No, it's perfectly okay to take pictures, although many do you think is a disgust that do not care about the girl-child does not know what she does. As I said, you can shoot anyone you want and nobody can stop you.

How then may use the images we will soon enter.

The classic then, the neighbor across from your apartment does not care to draw the curtains when he changes for the evening, you get a bout of window tittning and develop your 300 / 2.8 and start shooting. Guess if you are right or wrong?

That's right, you may photograph. It does not matter that he is in his own home or that you are using telephoto lenses.
Nor that he has a thread on the body or that you do it secretly against his wishes.
Now in August 2004 that the district court in Malmo that it is not a crime to photograph / shoot someone against his will. There was a young man who secretly filmed during sex acts with his girlfriend. There are two previous cases in the Supreme Court where the decision is made that it is forbidden to film / photograph someone against his will. However, it may be spreading slander about the pictures, but that is another thing. Photography is permitted.

With more than people may be shooting?
Again, there is nothing that you can not shoot, except where the protection objects.

But I was in Paris last summer and took a picture of a nice house and it became the world's trouble with the gendarmes who rushed and upset homeowners?
In many countries there may be other rules about what is permissible in France, home owners can not actually forbid you to picture a building but be prepared for that you do have the police on you.

But, I'll not take a picture of Ola Billgren Panel without permission?
Oh yes, and I quote (lou) 2nd chapter 12 §, "everyone may make single copies of published works for private use" You can take a picture, but you may not publish it or profiting from it in any way . More on this later.

Individual use may be that you want to print up a T-shirt for yourself that you have when it is a party or you want a picture on the wall next to your computer for inspiration.

Where can I shoot?
In a public place, only to let the engine rattle film camera, no barriers to photograph the forest and meadows, on the beach, the streets and the like. However, you can ban photography on private property. Examples of this can be in someone's home, in a restaurant, a shop in a shopping center, at Scandinavium, at a nightclub, a museum, a school, in a factory and so on. Anyone who has the right to use a property has the right to make demands on you to ensure you get to be there. One of the requirements may be that you can not shoot. Other requirements may be that you need a tie, be sober, be a man or weigh at least 120 kg. The organizer of such a party could ask, almost, the demands on you at any time as a condition of you may be in the room. It's called having a nice word for kontraheringsfrihet and gives an example business owners the right to refuse to sell to a customer just because the customer has ugly shoes. Oops, now I started to digress, back to photography.

So you can be banned photography at a concert, but, and this is important, you must have learned of it through the signs prohibiting photography or text on the ticket. It's also possible that the guard tells you 'sorry but you must not take any pictures here. " Then it is just to obey or leave the premises. Until it is apparent that there is a shooting ban as it is no ban on photography!

And then we come back to the case of the stripping (?) Neighbor. The reason you can not be banned photography is that you either are in your own home or in public places. You're not in a neighbor's home! Just as you can shoot in to a company's area, although there are photo ban, as long as you just stand outside the fence. If it is not classified protection of course.

Okay, I get that you may photograph who and what you want. But, one may take film or camera from me if I shoot where I do not have permission?

No, a decision by prosecutors to make you have to give away the movie. And it is very rare, the likelihood that you as an ordinary man to get a decision against you is probably smaller than you to go home from Jägersro as millionaire. Police may not take the film or camera from you and not upset taxpayers of the city's streets.

But, is there different rules for professional photographers and amateurs us normal?
No. A press photographer, for example, has no special legal clauses on what he may photograph. However, it is often the case that a photographer with valid press credentials can get permission to shoot in places like concerts and release parties. But the organizers of an event also has the right to ban anyone with press credentials to photograph! This has also been on some concerts with some great bands who want maximum control over the images of them circulated in the media.

Now it's time to get into how images may användas.Det are two laws you can use to gain insight on what is allowed to do.

Act on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works 1960:729 (lou)

The Law on the name and image in advertising 1978:800 (lonb).

Copyright has two parts, one nonprofit and one economic.

The economic concerns that the creator of a work has the right to determine whether a work is made available to the public and if it is duplicated / copied. You have control over where an image is displayed and how often. 2nd § (lou).

An advertising agency buys such as the right of you to use an image to an annual report. They might pay you 4000 crowns for the use of the image in an edition of 35 000 copies. Would they use the picture to something else or to print new copies, they ask you for permission.

The non-profit making sure you have the right to act as the creator of a work, no one else can take credit for having created the beautiful picture you painted last fall. You can call (or refuse) to get your name exposed in publishing and you are also entitled to prevent the picture changed or used in ways that may seem offensive to you. This is called a bit fine for droit moral. 3rd § (lou).

Note that if someone buys a photograph (the photograph that is) to you as the person has the right to sell the image on without asking for permission. 19th § (lou). In contrast, those who bought the physical picture does not use the image for an advertising brochure or similar, it is still you who decides if the image is reproduced. There you sold in this case is a tangible to hold in your hand, not right to make new copies or change the picture. Pressing it in a brochure is to make new copies.

The same goes for your right to photograph works of art, for example, you may not take a picture of a painting and print postcards that you sell in markets.

However, you take photographs of buildings and use the picture for a postcard that you make money. The same applies to works of art "... if they are permanently placed on or in public places outdoors." How to photograph a sculpture in the park and push the card is quite in order. 24th § (lou).

Before we move on to pictures of people, we must define what a work is.

Some examples of things that can be executed are books, speeches, paintings, photography, ballet, opera, cinema, computer, poetry, architecture, maps and the like. In order to be protected by copyright, it must have level of originality, which means that two or more persons not to write a book that is exactly or very similar to what you have written or paint a picture that looks just like yours. A dash in a paper can not be protected by copyright.

It does not matter if it is nice or "artistic" or if it took a long time to do for it to count as work.

What counts as work is protected under copyright law seventy years after the creator has died. Picasso died in 1973 so in 2044 years, it is free to copy his art. 43rd § (lou).

Photographs have their own little protective variant. A photograph that does not count as work is protected for fifty years after the work is created. 49th § (lou). Not all photographs that achieve full protection. It can sometimes take the view that it is possible that two independent photographers can create similar images. Here you have different people / organizations disagree about what counts as work. You can probably assume that your photos are looking really works but it is perhaps not very important, the protection is the same except that it only applies for 50 years.

Must I use the ©?
No, not the 147 countries that signed the Berne Convention on Copyright. It requires no registration for copyright to be valid but it is smart to use the © in combination with your name and the year to show those who are unaware that this image has a value.

How do I use pictures of people?
Is the image used for marketing (advertising), it's easy, you have to ask for permission to use the picture. Or rather, as a photographer you have no question but that use image (advertising agency) must issue. 1st § (lonb). And you have to ask for every time the image is used.

Keep in mind that if you are a picture buyer, you have to question both the photographer and the person on the image for permission every time you want to use one image for marketing!

Exhibitions then, I have to ask the person on the image for permission?
No, you hang up the pictures only.

But the newspapers then, how does that work with them?
As soon as it's not about marketing / advertising, it is OK to post and view photographs of people. (PUL and the Internet, I skip this, there is lots of information about that.) This means you can view your pictures on a show, they may be published in articles in newspapers, they may be printed in books, both fiction and non-fiction books such as school books and so on. It is only authorized by the photographer needed.

Do I need a written contract with a model?
No, the oral agreement but, excuse me, you're stupid if you do not try to arrange for agreements on paper because it can be difficult to prove what is agreed.

Writing a contract with a model whereby the latter will allow you as a photographer to use the images for what you want in perpetuity, and sell on to anyone you want can give problems. It is best to be clear about what has to be made and broken down further into the uses you expect that you will use the picture to, the model can claim to not understand conditions. "I never understood that images could be used to sell a porn site on the net ..."

If I get trouble with pictures that I sold?
There are various associations can be consulted, some require membership:

Swedish Photographers' Association (

Bildleverantörernas Association (BLF - Bildleverantörernas förening - Startsida)

Please contact a lawyer.

There was a lot of information, it is so complicated?
No, remember this:
You may shoot who and what you want, you are inside the private area, you can shoot prohibited. No one may take the film away from you. If it does not apply to advertising, you may use images of people without permission. Images of artwork requires a permit unless it is for personal use.

I hope this is of little help for those who want to know what applies when shooting. It may be that the jagskrivit is unclear or that any errors crept into the text, please do not hesitate to make a comment on this page.

© Michael Pertmann / Malmo (mipert)

This article was written March 23, 2002 and is protected under Law on Copyright in Literary and Artistic Works 1960:729.

So basically in Sweden you are allowed to take shots of everything unless you're informed you're not, and any such claimed can only be made on military or civil "skyddsobjekt" (something like areas and units which are protected because they are deemed necessary for society and must be protected) or within private property. As long as you're not informed otherwise or stay out of the protected/private area no-one got the right to stop you, even if you decide to shoot parts or people within said area (don't know about the skyddsobjekt part, if it's ok to shoot as long as you are outside the fence, even if you shoot things within. Guess so, but no guarantees.)

The wikipedia entry mention how photographing people having sex for instance may be slander/libel. Don't ask me how/why, laws regarding such don't make sense at all because you can still be guilty for it even if what you say is the truth .. So it's really confusing.
And they also write about taking photographs of work belonging to others. But my understanding is that you're still allowed to take them for your personal use, just not spread them because then you've created a copy of someone else work and the rights belong to them.
The wikipedia also mention that you're not allowed to take photographs during trials.
And it also seem like if you break a ban of photography within private property then it's not a criminal offense and they can't ask for compensation for damages, however they got the right to tell you to **** off (and you got to do it to ;D), don't know how true the first part is. Seem weird that you can just break the ban without risking any consequences except being asked to leave.

So, something like this then:
1) You're not allowed to shoot military or civil protected compounds with explicit photograph ban.
2) You're not allowed to shoot or record trials.
3) Anyone can decide what you're allowed or not allowed to on their private property and they got the right to ask you to leave.
In all other cases it should be fine.

1) You don't have the right to reproduce copies of the work of someone else.
2) You can't use images of others in commercial advertisement, publish them on the Internet (actually handle personal data digitally it all), .. without their permission.
3) Your photographs may count as slander/libel (or maybe it's the action of actually showing or spreading the photos to others which are.)

Last edited by aliquis; 06-06-2010 at 07:56 AM.
06-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #20
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Don't think anyone has posted this:

Has a printable guide on your rights for US and UK and links to information on Canada and Australia.

Photographers Rights and Photography Privacy Advice
06-15-2010, 01:04 PM   #21
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NYC permits

nyct permits - Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting - Permits
07-13-2010, 12:05 PM   #22
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An update on rights in the UK after the European Court of Human Rights overturned sections of their Terrorism Laws under which photographers were being harrassed.

Photographers Rights And The Law In The UK - the law and photography

Photographers wary after terror law change news - Amateur Photographer - news, camera reviews, lens reviews, camera equipment guides, photography courses, competitions, photography forums

07-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #23
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Downloadable pdf of photographer's rights in the US. I carry a copy of this in my camera bag.

Bert P. Krages Attorney at Law Photographer's Rights Page
08-06-2010, 10:08 AM   #24
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Photography in the District of Columbia, US

Since I regularly visit D.C, I thought I'd just ask the Mayor. My question was deferred to the D.C. Police Dept for reply. Here it is:

"Breul, Nicholas (MPD)
to me

show details 9:08 AM (2 minutes ago)

Good Morning,

We have received your inquiry regarding photographing in D.C. and the law. Anything that is on public space and out in the public venue can be photographed, which includes police officers. When entering some museums, theaters, or other venues, and privately controlled areas, photography may be restricted. However, you should have no problem taking pictures of DC landmarks, monuments, and our popular sights.

There have been instances when people photographing crime scenes, and taking pictures of Juvenile suspects in custody have drawn the attention of our officers. Juvenile criminal suspects should not have their faces posted on websites or other media sources and officers should inform photographers of that.

If citizens have taken photographs of active scenes, or video of active scenes officer may approach and ask them for their name, as they may have recorded important information of evidence that the police department and prosecutors have not had an opportunity to view.

I hope this information is helpful.

Lieutenant Nicholas Breul

I'll be carrying a copy with me next time I visit.
10-22-2010, 06:14 PM   #25
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Arrested photographer vindicated:

Photography - Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips
10-23-2010, 04:46 AM   #26
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Now we can cite the ruling when approached. Of course, they left wiggle room since they mentioned an exception for a "local written rule, regulation or order." Even the wording of the exception is important though as it requires a "written" policy, not just some "word of mouth" rumor that the guards have heard. You can thus demand a copy of the written policy or at the very least they must be able to provide the title and number of the policy to you.

They also left room for the gendarmes to ask you about what you are doing if they think it's suspicious (which I guarantee they will), so while in the end, they may not be able to impeed you they can still legally hassle you.

I've attached a pdf of the ruling (which as a government document is public property and is not subject to copyright) since it is extremely difficult to find a easily downloadable (w/o having to log into scribd or facebook) version.


Last edited by MRRiley; 10-23-2010 at 04:54 AM.
11-09-2010, 02:54 PM   #27
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Photography law in New Zealand (more copyright oriented):
Clendons - Photography Law in New Zealand
01-28-2011, 08:04 AM   #28
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Here's the official Federal Protective Service bulletin regarding photographing the exterior of federal facilities. Probably a good one to print out and keep in your bag.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 47627164-FPS-Information-Bulletin.pdf (2.94 MB, 382 views)
02-24-2011, 01:14 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by birdoprey Quote
Here's the official Federal Protective Service bulletin regarding photographing the exterior of federal facilities. Probably a good one to print out and keep in your bag.
Many thanks, birdoprey. Isn't it interesting that this had been kept from the general public? And I wonder what has been deleted - those blank boxes. Wouldn't you think that Homeland Security (boy, that name has unpleasant resonances!) would have the resources to present a clean document?

At least we're not automatically "threats."
04-18-2011, 07:53 PM   #30
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anyway, is there someone who can enlighten me regarding the law of street photography in Singapore?

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