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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 31 Jan 2014 (Friday) 16:28
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Release for old building in scenic

 
monkey44
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Jan 31, 2014 16:28 |  #1

I remember a Supreme Court decision a while back that states "scenes from the road do not require a release." ... So, that if we shoot a mountain or desert scene and it has an old barn (even a new barn) publish it (even when it's not journalism - say, calendar or something like that) we don't need a building release.

Does any one know where this law might appear? I'm trying to find it and can't get an authority ... also applies to downtown scenes of a business district or a residential streets ... it's referred to as a "View from a public roadway or a public area"

Thanks ...




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jan 31, 2014 21:55 |  #2

You won't find the law because it doesn't exist - as in there is no law under which you are required to get a release for physical property (regardless of if the photo was taken on private or public land). There have been a couple of cases where property owners tried to sue.

http://www.photoattorn​ey.com …use-for-an-advertisement/ (external link) - the property owner lost the case.

http://www.photoattorn​ey.com …raphing-private-property/ (external link) - the case was settled in favour of the photographer before the court made a final judgement but the judge did make some important rulings worth reading.


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monkey44
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Jan 31, 2014 22:13 |  #3

Thanks Dan -- It might have been a court decision and is not an actual law ... but I remember reading a Supreme Court decision regarding it -- some wealthy individual decided a photographer took an image of his ranch ... horses and such grazing as I recall it (probably more complex than that) but the guy lost at the level (Not positive is USSC or state court) ...

Will look at these links--




  
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Jan 31, 2014 22:37 |  #4

Post #6 & 8: Company wants to license real estate image


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Feb 01, 2014 03:02 |  #5

Couldn't have said it better myself ;)


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Feb 01, 2014 06:59 |  #6

The aspect of property "rights" is something I have always been fascinated with in regards to photography. However, as in the two thread posts linked above, 90% of all discussion about it seems to revolve around marketing.

How does this apply to fine art sales (galleries, online, commercial decorating, etc.)?

For example, one specific case: a few years back I shot pics of rare objects for a magazine assignment. They were private property and all pics were taken on the owner's private property. Some of the pics show buildings on the property in addition to the items. All magazine-generated restrictions of my usage of the photos are long past. The images are sellable in the fine arts arena, but I have never attempted to use them because I was told property releases were needed. Are they? Does everything said here and in the other thread also apply to fine art applications?


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Feb 01, 2014 09:41 |  #7

The two threads linked too aren't specific to marketing. Marketing (as in "commercial use") just gets mentioned more because more people have heard about extra restrictions [But don't really know what they might be].

The information applies equally to fine art etc sales - no release is needed for physical property.


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Feb 01, 2014 21:12 |  #8

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.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Feb 02, 2014 04:12 |  #9

That's good to know and a good starting place to do my research to see if Canada is the same. There is a place in town that has rolling hills and a very nice barn on it and if the weather cooperates, it has a very nice pink sunset. The better photo would be on the property to eliminate the need for cloning out an ugly fence and power lines but upon asking the owner she said no. I'd love to be able to get some shots of this without getting in trouble so if I can take them from the road, I'm good.




  
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Feb 02, 2014 04:44 |  #10

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #16656596 (external link)
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.

You can be sued by anyone at any time for any thing. Ultimately that is what indemnity insurance is for.


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monkey44
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Feb 02, 2014 06:41 |  #11

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #16656596 (external link)
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.




  
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breal101
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Feb 02, 2014 08:48 |  #12

monkey44 wrote in post #16657316 (external link)
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.

This is the best policy, ASMP says obtain a release when it's possible. I have a suspicion that Dan doesn't work for many advertising agencies. No way in hell would the many I work with put themselves at risk by using an unreleased photo of a property.

It's common practice to pay for locations, with release. Do you really think that they would pay if they thought they could send a photographer out to get pictures for advertising without releases if they thought they could do so without risk?

It's still unclear to me what effect a couple of state court decisions would have on the court in another state. Following Dan's advice could be dangerous and most assuredly will kill your sale to responsible ad agencies.


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Feb 02, 2014 09:45 |  #13

Dan Marchant wrote in post #16657233 (external link)
You can be sued by anyone at any time for any thing. Ultimately that is what indemnity insurance is for.

I understand what you are saying, but it is not always about the money. Time is valuable, too. If completely covered and yet sued, I would still have to take time to contact the insurance company, write up testimonies, go to court, etc. It would fragment my day... perhaps many days... which would impede if not eliminate productivity.

Sometime just being "right" is not enough. You also need to decide if, even being right, actions and plans are prudent. You need to calculate if at the bottom line, it will be profitable.

monkey44 wrote in post #16657316 (external link)
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.

Very, very good advice. Planning ahead and preventing problems is better than any insurance policy that can be purchased because insurance always comes into play after a disaster has happened. Which, as said above, even when right can ultimately be a loss.

Unfortunately, in this case I cannot approach the person. I shot a ton of images and they are potentially usable and profitable. However, the person got very angry about the pictures that were published. I cannot count the times I pleaded my case, trying to communicate the understanding it was the magazine's AD who chose the pictures, and I had absolutely no say in the decision. Ultimately, I ended up being the bad boy. And a potential friendship which was started during the shoot ended up being instantly terminated the day the magazine hit the stands.

Just one of those exceptions to the rules. Only solution here is to move on and forget about it.


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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Feb 02, 2014 11:01 |  #14

Picture North Carolina wrote in post #16657652 (external link)
Unfortunately, in this case I cannot approach the person. I shot a ton of images and they are potentially usable and profitable. However, the person got very angry about the pictures that were published. I cannot count the times I pleaded my case, trying to communicate the understanding it was the magazine's AD who chose the pictures, and I had absolutely no say in the decision. Ultimately, I ended up being the bad boy. And a potential friendship which was started during the shoot ended up being instantly terminated the day the magazine hit the stands.

Just one of those exceptions to the rules. Only solution here is to move on and forget about it.

I'm missing something here. A guy allows you to shoot some (his?) rare objects on his property for a magazine and he is upset because they got published?




  
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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Feb 03, 2014 09:19 |  #15

the flying moose wrote in post #16657843 (external link)
I'm missing something here. A guy allows you to shoot some (his?) rare objects on his property for a magazine and he is upset because they got published?

What I said was "about the pictures that were published" not "that the pictures got published", but yeah.. I should have been more literal and said that the anger was about the choice of a few of the pictures that were chosen to be published, not all.


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