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Photo Privacy

2002-03-07 17:35:13+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

Salon has an annoyingly light look at the ethics of photography of public events. Among the questions I'd like answered: What's different between a "news" organization selling pictures in a magazine or newspaper, and a porn site? If both are representing the pictures as of the event, then I agree with the moral outrage expressed in the article, but I have trouble saying there's anything ethically wrong.

[ related topics: Photography Privacy Sexual Culture Ethics Journalism and Media ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-03-07 19:17:25+00 by: alecmarlow


#Comment made: 2002-03-07 21:15:27+00 by: Anita Rowland

bad url?




moral outrage? if you are in a public spot, your picture could be taken (no expectation of privacy).

#Comment made: 2002-03-07 21:26:40+00 by: TheSHAD0W

If you take photos of private people in public places and give them out, say, on the internet, that's not a problem. Well, you might get SLAPP'd, but that's always a risk.

If you take photos of private people in public places and use them to make money, that's another matter. You are required to have releases for the people, and in some cases the places, in your photos, and if sued, you may wind up getting taken to the cleaners.

#Comment made: 2002-03-07 22:35:30+00 by: Dan Lyke

Actually, Shadow, I believe that you're required to have releases if you intend to use those pictures for any purpose other than portraying the events at hand. I can include a picture of Clint Eastwood if I'm talking about Clint Eastwood, but not if I'm using it as an illustration for, say, an advertisement.

Anita, I guess I'm too touchy from having taken on so many of the "but you were doing it in front of everyone" folks at Burning Man. Context counts for a lot, and it's possible, as magazines like National Enquirer[Wiki] and such do regularly, to take a picture, even of the event you're writing up, and use it in such a way that it completely misrepresents reality because it has no context. That's what I have an issue with.

#Comment made: 2002-03-08 00:45:37+00 by: Shawn

In general, I think I agree with the legal definition as it stands (or appears to stand). Pictures can be taken and used to portray an event (assuming event organizers allow it), but the moment the photo becomes involved in marketing, sales or is sold itself, the subject's permission is required.

Not something I've ever really thought about, truth be told. I tend to operate under the assumption that anything I do or say can/might be seen and heard by anyone.

#Comment made: 2002-03-08 13:00:21+00 by: Uncorked

Random anecdote: Hubby and I put some 'fine print' in our wedding program 'respectfully requesting that no photos be posted publicly in any medium without permission of the subjects.' We had some non-Web people there and didn't want them feeling uncomfortable about all the digital cameras. Also, I loathe having my picture taken, and I especially loathe having it posted somewhere that I don't have control over.