Photographers Rights and Photography Privacy Advice - Digital Photography School

Photographers Rights and Photography Privacy Advice

Photographers-Rights-Privacy

Do Photographers have Rights? It might seem like a bit of an unusual question but in fact if you’re going to be active with your photography – particularly if you’re going to be shooting a lot in public it’s worth noting what your rights are.

Over in the Forums NaturesPixel has put together the following List of links to Photographers rights around the world. Nicole added a few useful links too:

Great work NaturesPixel and Nicole.

If you know of more links with useful information on this topic please add them to the discussion on photographers rights the forum.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • http://inphotos.org/ Donncha O Caoimh

    In Ireland we follow the usual rules about photography in a public place. However, I was very surprised to hear that the Irish Minister for Justice considers that a private interaction between individuals is off limits. That could be two people having a conversation on the street, or meeting for a coffee.

    There are so many grey areas in the law that anyone making street photos is treading on thin ice. A few times people have recognised themselves in my street shots but thankfully they’ve always been positive. Someone even found a picture of his parents which he printed out for them as a Christmas present last December! That makes this whole photography lark worth it!

  • http://www.heavydog.co.uk Mike

    Great article, thanks for this – all very good information.

  • Ziv

    great article.
    Can you do one of the next posts about stereo photography?

  • Aliaksandr

    Great!

    Guys, but what about Europe?

  • Dave New

    I appreciate the link to the Canada article.

    Does someone have a link for Mexico, as well?

    Those that live close to either of these borders can appreciate the info, and remember when visiting those countries that you are not a citizen there, so an extra dose of caution and politeness can do no harm.

  • Michael Padnos

    I’d really, really like to know the situation in France, where I live and take pictures. Anyone know anything? I get hasseled A LOT about taking pictures of store windows in Paris, and I think the people who hassle me are full of sour owl manure, but I’m not sure.

  • http://achillies875.deviantart.com Ton

    I have found the U.S. Photographer’s rights card VERY helpful in my street photography. I printed it out and keep it in my bag. I haven’t had a chance to use it, because the only time someone asked me to delete the photo I was too creeped out to say no…even though hundreds of people were around me :)

  • http://www.randomn3ss.com Mike Panic

    Oddly enough, there are public sculptures in the US that have signs telling you you are not allowed to photograph them. Read the article here

  • Aalize

    Hi Mike, art is considered copyrighted i.e. public sculptures etc. so photographing them for profit is illegal. Stands to reason I suppose but it gets a bit much because even some buildings are copyrighted!

  • http://www.randomn3ss.com Mike Panic

    Aalize,

    That is fine and understandable, however prohibiting photography altogether is a different subject. The Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House are both prohibited from being photographed for profit.

  • Ray H

    Hey guys, I have a question:
    What about community centres (in Canada)?

    I didn’t believe I was doing anything wrong, but a lady volunteer told me to put my camera away. Is a community centre not a public place, can someone clarify that for me?

  • http://latogaphoto.blogspot.com latoga

    Great list of resources! This is a topic that every photographer needs to be constantly educating themselves on…

  • Garrett

    I am currently living in japan do you know of the photography laws here? I have tried searching online to no avail.

  • http://none mr stewart

    I enjoy taking photos of locomotives
    I have never been told NO!
    happy to take photos of locomotives and sunbathing Patty

  • Sameen Khan

    How about having a card in Singapore?

  • http://thegenericasian.wordpress.com/ the Generic Asian

    I live in Bangkok and recetly faced a direct confrontation with a store manager.

    Its tough. I am a hobbyist and it really makes enjoying this hobby harder.

    I blogged about it here for the details.

    http://thegenericasian.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.caradocsphotos.ifp3.com Richard Juggins

    At the moment I live in Holland and will be moving to Sweden later this year. Does anyone have info about rights in those countries? Would be very grateful for any information.
    By the way if you do a search on Youtube.com for Photographers rights you get some very intresting film .

    Thx
    Richard

  • http://kevincagle.com Kevin – Tampa, Florida

    I was taking a photograph of a large group of people at the foreground of an amazing skyline at a local park and was approached by a man who told me I can not photograph him that I must delete the picture. He stated I must have his permission to take his photo, and he clearly stated I did not have his permission.
    He was appropriate in looks, was doing nothing demeaning, and looked like no one famous. I was taking the photo for no monetary gain or institution of fame deriving from the photograph. Basically scrapbooking. I am just wanting to confirm that I was within legal limits to take the photo regardless of what he had stated.

  • http://www.wakefieldstudios.co.uk Wakefield photography studio

    All good information, and for all those reading this, the next time you see a copper, just ask yourself what qualifications they have concerning the law. Tha’t right, most of them don’t have any, same as you or me.

  • Michelle

    Does anyone have any links to photography rights in NZ? I read the article from the link provided above, but was wondering if anyone else new of anything.
    But judging by what a soft and PC country this has turned into, it is probably now definately illegal in all shape and form.
    Anyone got any links? In the meantime, I will continue to Google…

  • poonam

    Does anyone have info about rights in India??are there any set of rights to be followed??plz help

  • Anthony

    Have the rights been updated since 2006? Do these same rights apply to children’s sports? Not school sports. Do I need the parent’s consents?

  • http://kevincagle.com Kevin – Tampa, Florida

    As far as I know, the rights havent been updated or changed from anything drastic.
    Public sporting events are allowed to be photographed as long as no revenue is generated from the photo. Some locations, such as buildings/stadiums/structures/artworks have limitations to photographs and may prohibit the taking of such a picture. But people in a public place is fair game. even if a guy is streaking across the field and you snap it, its legit to have as long as you do not sell it without his written consent, giving you rights to the photo. However, he can not, nor can law enforcement, force you to destroy or change in any way, the photo you took. Unless the institution/facility you took the photo has a policy preventing its photo from being taken or the use of a camera. For further clarification, contact the facility management or corporate human resources or public relations department.

  • http://www.jonaslee.com/ Paul

    @ray: community centres in canada are open to the public, but are still entitled to location-specific policies. simply inform the (field manager, guard) that you are there. when somebody harasses you, tell them you spoke to the field manager. with sports, make sure you don’t get in the way of a play or fire the flash in somebody’s eyes. you might not be breaking any laws, but a coach might be tempted to! ;)

    @anthony: i do not know of the law [re sports photography] ever delineating between adults or children. (except in canada, where we are not allowed to publish photos of young offenders even though we wouldn’t know one if we saw one.) at our elementary school, parents can put their kids’ names on a “not to media” list, and the school office (obviously) makes this list available. some sports leagues might have a similar list.

  • Brian

    Hey guys,
    I attend my daughter’s dance competition that are often located at a public high school. My question is, does the dance companies that lease this space for their competition have the right to restrict you from taking pictures? I’m in a public space and feel that I have the right to take pictures of my daughter. In most of these dance competitions, they will have a professional photography company taking pictures and then making them available for parents to buy. If the dance companies do have this right, fine; but if not, what can I do if they say I can not take pictures? Thank you.

  • Jeff

    If I attend a dance competition that’s held in a public high school, can the dance company legally restrict me from taking non-flash photography? Some competition production companies employ professional photographers to capture and sell photographs of dance performances. In such cases, photography by audience members is typically prohibited so as to provide an exclusive market for the official photographers. If I am in a public space, I should be able to take pictures…right?

  • Kevin

    Typically, photography on school property would have to be approved by the school, whether or not an event is taking place, the school is the ultimate authority on photography on their property.
    The dance production agency can restrict the use of any photography if you purchase entry. However if the entry is free and open to the public as a public event, then it would be the school’s decision.
    Safest option would be contact the schools administration and get their approval.

    Photographers are legally able to photography in public venues without the permission of the photographees if the photos are not to be sold or not used in a manner where profit would eventually be attained. Basically, if your gonna make money or personal gain, you need their permission. If you dont get squat or better yourself with the photo, and plan to put it in an album in your attic for 25 years, you dont need permission.
    Also know that city and county property are different, and may not be classified as ‘public’ areas. Get the info from the school and the property owner before you go snap-shotting.

  • http://srahulbose.com S Rahul Bose

    For rules in India, this blog has some information : http://blog.sujitshetty.com/2009/04/photographers-rights-in-india.html?spref=fb

  • Lallen

    Hello,
    I recently took a photgraph of a beautiful decorated doorway to a home that had a rustic statue standing beside the door. Above the statue, there is a custom made home address sign (I.e. 21 Smith Street). No city is shown on the sign but the street name clearly is.
    I love this photo and want to make prints to sell as a fundraiser for a charity. Am I allowed to do this? I live in Ontario, Canada.
    Thank you for having this forum to seek answers.
    Lallen

  • Jessy

    Hi, my client is asking if it is possible for them to receive the right to use my photos for promotional material like brochures. It is for graduation photoshoot and I wonder what might be an issue to accept this.
    Could you please advice?

Some older comments

  • S Rahul Bose

    March 18, 2012 08:02 pm

    For rules in India, this blog has some information : http://blog.sujitshetty.com/2009/04/photographers-rights-in-india.html?spref=fb

  • Kevin

    March 12, 2012 09:43 pm

    Typically, photography on school property would have to be approved by the school, whether or not an event is taking place, the school is the ultimate authority on photography on their property.
    The dance production agency can restrict the use of any photography if you purchase entry. However if the entry is free and open to the public as a public event, then it would be the school's decision.
    Safest option would be contact the schools administration and get their approval.

    Photographers are legally able to photography in public venues without the permission of the photographees if the photos are not to be sold or not used in a manner where profit would eventually be attained. Basically, if your gonna make money or personal gain, you need their permission. If you dont get squat or better yourself with the photo, and plan to put it in an album in your attic for 25 years, you dont need permission.
    Also know that city and county property are different, and may not be classified as 'public' areas. Get the info from the school and the property owner before you go snap-shotting.

  • Jeff

    March 10, 2012 12:21 pm

    If I attend a dance competition that's held in a public high school, can the dance company legally restrict me from taking non-flash photography? Some competition production companies employ professional photographers to capture and sell photographs of dance performances. In such cases, photography by audience members is typically prohibited so as to provide an exclusive market for the official photographers. If I am in a public space, I should be able to take pictures...right?

  • Brian

    March 4, 2012 05:40 am

    Hey guys,
    I attend my daughter's dance competition that are often located at a public high school. My question is, does the dance companies that lease this space for their competition have the right to restrict you from taking pictures? I'm in a public space and feel that I have the right to take pictures of my daughter. In most of these dance competitions, they will have a professional photography company taking pictures and then making them available for parents to buy. If the dance companies do have this right, fine; but if not, what can I do if they say I can not take pictures? Thank you.

  • Paul

    May 11, 2010 11:18 am

    @ray: community centres in canada are open to the public, but are still entitled to location-specific policies. simply inform the (field manager, guard) that you are there. when somebody harasses you, tell them you spoke to the field manager. with sports, make sure you don't get in the way of a play or fire the flash in somebody's eyes. you might not be breaking any laws, but a coach might be tempted to! ;)

    @anthony: i do not know of the law [re sports photography] ever delineating between adults or children. (except in canada, where we are not allowed to publish photos of young offenders even though we wouldn't know one if we saw one.) at our elementary school, parents can put their kids' names on a "not to media" list, and the school office (obviously) makes this list available. some sports leagues might have a similar list.

  • Kevin - Tampa, Florida

    November 4, 2009 08:12 am

    As far as I know, the rights havent been updated or changed from anything drastic.
    Public sporting events are allowed to be photographed as long as no revenue is generated from the photo. Some locations, such as buildings/stadiums/structures/artworks have limitations to photographs and may prohibit the taking of such a picture. But people in a public place is fair game. even if a guy is streaking across the field and you snap it, its legit to have as long as you do not sell it without his written consent, giving you rights to the photo. However, he can not, nor can law enforcement, force you to destroy or change in any way, the photo you took. Unless the institution/facility you took the photo has a policy preventing its photo from being taken or the use of a camera. For further clarification, contact the facility management or corporate human resources or public relations department.

  • Anthony

    November 4, 2009 02:59 am

    Have the rights been updated since 2006? Do these same rights apply to children’s sports? Not school sports. Do I need the parent’s consents?

  • poonam

    September 4, 2009 02:16 am

    Does anyone have info about rights in India??are there any set of rights to be followed??plz help

  • Michelle

    April 16, 2009 03:17 pm

    Does anyone have any links to photography rights in NZ? I read the article from the link provided above, but was wondering if anyone else new of anything.
    But judging by what a soft and PC country this has turned into, it is probably now definately illegal in all shape and form.
    Anyone got any links? In the meantime, I will continue to Google...

  • Wakefield photography studio

    February 14, 2009 02:49 am

    All good information, and for all those reading this, the next time you see a copper, just ask yourself what qualifications they have concerning the law. Tha't right, most of them don't have any, same as you or me.

  • Kevin - Tampa, Florida

    February 3, 2009 09:14 am

    I was taking a photograph of a large group of people at the foreground of an amazing skyline at a local park and was approached by a man who told me I can not photograph him that I must delete the picture. He stated I must have his permission to take his photo, and he clearly stated I did not have his permission.
    He was appropriate in looks, was doing nothing demeaning, and looked like no one famous. I was taking the photo for no monetary gain or institution of fame deriving from the photograph. Basically scrapbooking. I am just wanting to confirm that I was within legal limits to take the photo regardless of what he had stated.

  • Richard Juggins

    January 30, 2009 05:57 pm

    At the moment I live in Holland and will be moving to Sweden later this year. Does anyone have info about rights in those countries? Would be very grateful for any information.
    By the way if you do a search on Youtube.com for Photographers rights you get some very intresting film .

    Thx
    Richard

  • the Generic Asian

    June 30, 2008 04:10 pm

    I live in Bangkok and recetly faced a direct confrontation with a store manager.

    Its tough. I am a hobbyist and it really makes enjoying this hobby harder.

    I blogged about it here for the details.

    http://thegenericasian.wordpress.com/

  • Sameen Khan

    September 3, 2007 04:07 am

    How about having a card in Singapore?

  • mr stewart

    August 7, 2007 08:02 am

    I enjoy taking photos of locomotives
    I have never been told NO!
    happy to take photos of locomotives and sunbathing Patty

  • Garrett

    July 6, 2007 01:17 pm

    I am currently living in japan do you know of the photography laws here? I have tried searching online to no avail.

  • latoga

    April 2, 2007 09:09 am

    Great list of resources! This is a topic that every photographer needs to be constantly educating themselves on...

  • Ray H

    March 23, 2007 05:31 pm

    Hey guys, I have a question:
    What about community centres (in Canada)?

    I didn't believe I was doing anything wrong, but a lady volunteer told me to put my camera away. Is a community centre not a public place, can someone clarify that for me?

  • Mike Panic

    March 22, 2007 04:31 am

    Aalize,

    That is fine and understandable, however prohibiting photography altogether is a different subject. The Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House are both prohibited from being photographed for profit.

  • Aalize

    March 16, 2007 05:06 pm

    Hi Mike, art is considered copyrighted i.e. public sculptures etc. so photographing them for profit is illegal. Stands to reason I suppose but it gets a bit much because even some buildings are copyrighted!

  • Mike Panic

    March 15, 2007 11:36 pm

    Oddly enough, there are public sculptures in the US that have signs telling you you are not allowed to photograph them. Read the article here

  • Ton

    March 15, 2007 09:16 am

    I have found the U.S. Photographer's rights card VERY helpful in my street photography. I printed it out and keep it in my bag. I haven't had a chance to use it, because the only time someone asked me to delete the photo I was too creeped out to say no...even though hundreds of people were around me :)

  • Michael Padnos

    March 15, 2007 07:51 am

    I'd really, really like to know the situation in France, where I live and take pictures. Anyone know anything? I get hasseled A LOT about taking pictures of store windows in Paris, and I think the people who hassle me are full of sour owl manure, but I'm not sure.

  • Dave New

    March 15, 2007 05:14 am

    I appreciate the link to the Canada article.

    Does someone have a link for Mexico, as well?

    Those that live close to either of these borders can appreciate the info, and remember when visiting those countries that you are not a citizen there, so an extra dose of caution and politeness can do no harm.

  • Aliaksandr

    March 15, 2007 04:33 am

    Great!

    Guys, but what about Europe?

  • Ziv

    March 14, 2007 11:24 pm

    great article.
    Can you do one of the next posts about stereo photography?

  • Mike

    March 14, 2007 09:57 pm

    Great article, thanks for this - all very good information.

  • Donncha O Caoimh

    March 14, 2007 08:58 pm

    In Ireland we follow the usual rules about photography in a public place. However, I was very surprised to hear that the Irish Minister for Justice considers that a private interaction between individuals is off limits. That could be two people having a conversation on the street, or meeting for a coffee.

    There are so many grey areas in the law that anyone making street photos is treading on thin ice. A few times people have recognised themselves in my street shots but thankfully they've always been positive. Someone even found a picture of his parents which he printed out for them as a Christmas present last December! That makes this whole photography lark worth it!

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Receive a FREE SAMPLE of our Portrait Photography Ebook

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

Sign up to the free DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download

GET DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS Feed

Sign up to the free

DPS PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE

  • Guaranteed for 2 full months
  • Pay by PayPal or CreditCard
  • Instant Digital Download
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER
DPS NEWSLETTER

DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed