Picture North Carolina wrote in post #16656596
Thanks, Dan. Unfortunately, still apprehensive. The individual has much, much more money than I do. A lawsuit intended to intimidate, whether based in law or not, would be pocket change for him, but would blow me out of the water.
Right on target here ... sometimes, it's not about the law per se, it's about one person either getting upset and bringing suit just because s/he can. We have to remember here that in any lawsuit, half the participants lose, which means half the attorneys lose - but the attorneys get paid anyway. So, it often becomes a lose/lose situation for the individuals.
Aside from that - it's always a fine line, especially in marketing/business side of our work, that we take the proper amount of care with what we create.
For the most part, journalism brings the photographers out of that dilemma, but once the 'commercial component' enters, we'd for sure need to be more careful. If for no other reason than what PNC said below - occasionally, it becomes about harassment instead of true harm - and even sometimes just about ego.
My personal thoughts would be - when you have a doubt, approach the 'owner' and ask. AND, always carry a release with you, everywhere. I got in that habit when shooting sports, as I frequently sold 8x10 of the players, and pretty often sold to other than 'family', especially at the college levels - lots of folks want the 'team leader' or the record-breaking local 'hero' ... so it became a part of my work, automatically getting release.
One other piece of experience plays here too. Whenever I'd do a "profile" of either a person or a business, I'd get a release for the premises. For example: Did a timber development story in the Sierras, and was allowed into the old mill buildings and shot old style saws and machinery, and the buildings too. Got a release - just in case I someday want to create "old building' calendar, or some other use.
So, if you plan ahead (when possible) you never know when it might become relevant later on ... if your plans change or you business model expands.