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Morning all

 

Just back from my trip to Cologne via Dusseldorf.

 

On Tuesday morning I went to photograph the interior of Cologne cathedral and was promptly stopped from using my tripod.

 

To cut a long story short, I went and got written permission to use a tripod (I didn't sign it just has my name on it) but the letter says that the photos cannot be sold commercially or even put on the internet!!!

 

I see on Alamy that there are a few interiors of Cologne cathedral, so what in the heck can I/ can I not do???

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I would go ahead and leave it to a publisher to sort out what he can use and what he can't. Even if enforceable the restrictions could only apply in Germany.

Having done the same for Wells cathedral, the permit having similar wording, my view is that their only redress is to ask you to leave for trespass if they know you are going to sell photographs. If they don't know, there's no redress. But that's England, I don't know about Germany.

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Presumably you asked for permission at the cathedral first? I mean you showed them the letter etc when you arrived there?

 

My last trip to a cathedral was the one at Wells. You give them £5 and they give you a sticker (that very kindly says you're a photographer) and tell you please don't get in anyone's way with either yourself or your tripod. And off you go. I have a few images of that here on Alamy, so one can only surmise that things vary vastly from cathedral to cathedral around the globe.

Edited by Gervais Montacute
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Oh they do Gervais. Even here in France it varies wildly!

 

Here in Tours, you can photograph away to your heart's content. never ever had a problem. Just been to Strasbourg and it was the same. Notre Dame de Paris is another kettle of fish. You will be stopped immediately (I got two shots off in 30 seconds and that was how it took them to find me) and if you want to use a tripod it's at least 1000€!

 

In England, Salisbury is fantastic. Have got some amazing shots in there with no problems. The press office helped a lot. York Minster no one said anything to me back in May. I do know that Durham you have to pay. It's not overly expensive and if I had had the spare cash when I visited I would have done it.

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If the letter says don't use them commercially or put them on the internet then don't do it. The images that you are seeing may well have the proper permission. If you want to be a professional then act like one.

If someone tells me I can't do something I wonder if they're entitled to say it. The Koln cathedral interiors on here are mostly unreleased. It's not unprofessional to seek to use one's images, nor to clarify a restriction, and if one pays for a permit, in my book one has paid for something valuable, viz. a licence to use the photographs lawfully.

Edited by spacecadet
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Hi Jools,

 

Two very different opinions at the top there!

 

If it helps, have a look at the Alamy contract here

 

http://www.alamy.com/Blog/contributor/archive/2011/02/16/4860.aspx

 

Although it headlines with Museums and galleries, if you read it to completion it also covers other things like Heritage sites. If you feel you can live with that, then go ahead and put them on, maybe with a restriction on germany specifically, but if you suddenly see one day that its been sold to a (eg. german!) textbook and that would give you sleepless nights, then its not worth it!

 

The problem is with risk management. I suspect litigation in the use of this sort of image is in practice very rare, and also that you are more likely to sell images where most photographers have not published images in order to obey the rules.

 

I would be interested to hear from my more experienced colleagues whether anyone is aware of actual successful litigation in this sort of case (and also to hear from Alamy as to whether any Alamy photog, or Alamy itself has been successfully sued)

 

Regards

 

Kumar

Edited by Doc
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The recent famous case Doc is Le Corbusier furniture. Getty were, I believe, successfully sued by Le Corbusier and all images removed from their website. Another one was a car air freshener in the form of a tree.

 

I just don't get the hoo hah with some cathedrals. Even yesterday when I had shown one of the guardians/ priests my letter two others descended on me. I pointed to the first guy I had spoken to and even then it took him a bit to convince the other two to leave me alone!

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If the letter says don't use them commercially or put them on the internet then don't do it. The images that you are seeing may well have the proper permission. If you want to be a professional then act like one.

If someone tells me I can't do something I wonder if they're entitled to say it. The Koln cathedral interiors on here are mostly unreleased. It's not unprofessional to seek to use one's images, nor to clarify a restriction, and if one pays for a permit, in my book one has paid for something valuable, viz. a licence to use the photographs lawfully.

Just because there are unreleased images for sale it does not mean that they don't have the proper permission to be used commercially.

Paying for a permit does not automatically grant you permission to use the images commercially.

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It wasn't in this case a condition of entry, it was a condition on the permit. Arguably in such cases you're better off without one.

It's arguable in the UK that it's an unfair contract term anyway.

As to what is and isn't professional, I can live with myself taking and submitting photographs without explicit permission, on premises to which I have been admitted with a camera bag over my shoulder, and not told not to use it.

Edited by spacecadet
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The Alamy contract refers only to copyright and IP. I'm sure the NT doesn't own all the IP of every object in its properties. Most of it won't be in copyright. It won't stop the strongarming but there's some reassurance there.

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A couple of weeks ago I contacted the Chichester cathedral about taking a tripod I and doing some interior shots ( I have done the odd handheld shot before and for asked permission  and was granted it, But felt that I wanted better shots )

 

The original reply was that I could have a permit to photograph the interior  but would be only able to use the images for my own use .. absolutely no commercial gain and not to be put on the web at all..I got back in touch and let them know that the images would be for editorial use and where they would end up ( Alamy ) I was then told that I do not qualify for a permit and definitely would not be able to use them for the purpose that I wanted to use them and I would not even be allowed to put them on a personal website..

 

There must be images from compacts and phones of the Chichester cathedral interior all over the web, but I am guessing that when you have been told no you cant use them, then not using them  is morally and professionally the right thing to do.

Edited by Steve B
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It wasn't in this case a condition of entry, it was a condition on the permit. Arguably in such cases you're better off without one.

It's arguable in the UK that it's an unfair contract term anyway.

As to what is and isn't professional, I can live with myself taking and submitting photographs without explicit permission, on premises to which I have been admitted with a camera bag over my shoulder, and not told not to use it.

You are not told not to use it because photography is permitted for private use.

The Cologne Cathedral website states that photography is permitted for private use, it also states that you can buy a permit to use a tripod. But if you want to take pictures commercially you have to apply in writing.

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It wasn't in this case a condition of entry, it was a condition on the permit. Arguably in such cases you're better off without one.

It's arguable in the UK that it's an unfair contract term anyway.

As to what is and isn't professional, I can live with myself taking and submitting photographs without explicit permission, on premises to which I have been admitted with a camera bag over my shoulder, and not told not to use it.

You are not told not to use it because photography is permitted for private use.

The Cologne Cathedral website states that photography is permitted for private use, it also states that you can buy a permit to use a tripod. But if you want to take pictures commercially you have to apply in writing.

 

They didn't tell I could "buy" a permit to tale pictures and I didn't get the chance to apply in writing.

 

I think the best thing to do would be to email them and ask what I can do.

 

Edit: Chrissie, can you show me where you saw that info?

Edited by Jools Elliott
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when you have been told no you cant use them, then not using them  is morally and professionally the right thing to do.

So perhaps the thing to do is not to ask. Of course the restriction applies only to pictures you've asked about taking, not ones you've already been allowed to take.

The old idea of the tripod permit, surely, was that professionals would pay for the privilege of getting saleable images. It wasn't ground rent. Who knows what it's for now.

Jools, it's here

http://www.koelner-dom.de/index.php?id=faq&no_cache=1&sword_list[]=foto&contUid=70866#70857

Darf ich im Kölner Dom zu privaten Zwecken fotografieren oder filmen?

Es ist möglich im Kölner Dom zu privaten Zwecken, außerhalb der heiligen Messen, ohne Blitz und Stativ zu fotografieren und zu filmen.

 

Bitte bedenken Sie, dass der Dom eine Kirche ist und sowohl die Würde des Ortes, als auch die Andacht der Gläubigen in jeden Fall gewahrt bleiben müssen.

 

Für eine Genehmigung zu fotografischen Aufnahmen mit Stativ wenden Sie sich bitte an die Dompropstei.

 

Für Aufnahmen zu kommerziellen Zwecken wenden sich Fotografen, Journalisten sowie Film- und Fernsehteams bitte an die Dompropstei:

 

It doesn't refer to the permit terms.

Edited by spacecadet
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I agree Mark , Had I not asked I would have still been in the cathedral taking images with my RX100 on it's mini tripod as when I asked about taking images with the RX there didn't seem to be any problems, it was only when I thought I would gain permission to do it properly I had to sign my name to this ...I/We confirm that any photography taken in the Cathedral, or on Cathedral owned land or property, will not be published and/or used commercially in any way. I also confirm the images will not be added to any websites or posted on the internet in any way.  then of course the images are worthless to me...

 

when you have been told no you cant use them, then not using them  is morally and professionally the right thing to do.

So perhaps the thing to do is not to ask. Of course the restriction applies only to pictures you've asked about taking, not ones you've already been allowed to take.

The old idea of the tripod permit, surely, was that professionals would pay for the privilege of getting saleable images. It wasn't ground rent. Who knows what it's for now.

Jools, it's here

http://www.koelner-dom.de/index.php?id=faq&no_cache=1&sword_list[]=foto&contUid=70866#70857

Darf ich im Kölner Dom zu privaten Zwecken fotografieren oder filmen?

Es ist möglich im Kölner Dom zu privaten Zwecken, außerhalb der heiligen Messen, ohne Blitz und Stativ zu fotografieren und zu filmen.

 

Bitte bedenken Sie, dass der Dom eine Kirche ist und sowohl die Würde des Ortes, als auch die Andacht der Gläubigen in jeden Fall gewahrt bleiben müssen.

 

Für eine Genehmigung zu fotografischen Aufnahmen mit Stativ wenden Sie sich bitte an die Dompropstei.

 

Für Aufnahmen zu kommerziellen Zwecken wenden sich Fotografen, Journalisten sowie Film- und Fernsehteams bitte an die Dompropstei:

 

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Well you're not bound by what you

 

I agree Mark , Had I not asked I would have still been in the cathedral taking images with my RX100 on it's mini tripod as when I asked about taking images with the RX there didn't seem to be any problems, it was only when I thought I would gain permission to do it properly I had to sign my name to this ...I/We confirm that any photography taken in the Cathedral, or on Cathedral owned land or property, will not be published and/or used commercially in any way. I also confirm the images will not be added to any websites or posted on the internet in any way.  then of course the images are worthless to me...

 

Well you're not bound by what you didn't sign, and it doesn't apply to photographs you had already taken because you didn't know about it.

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Getting away from the legal limitations for a minute, Jools: you need to loosen up in your need to always work on a tripod. On the street in NYC now, using a tripod is downright dangerous, with the heavy foot traffic. Technically, we now have other tools beside the tripod: higher, usable ISO's, vibration control, and noise tools in our software. 

 

Personally, I always try to follow Alamy's "suggestions" as to what is permitted or is not. I do this even though it's easy to find thousands of people breaking the rules when they submit images. But, as I've said before, with 40 million images, Alamy cannot possibly have enough staff to police the collection. 

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Getting away from the legal limitations for a minute, Jools: you need to loosen up in your need to always work on a tripod. On the street in NYC now, using a tripod is downright dangerous, with the heavy foot traffic. Technically, we now have other tools beside the tripod: higher, usable ISO's, vibration control, and noise tools in our software. 

 

Personally, I always try to follow Alamy's "suggestions" as to what is permitted or is not. I do this even though it's easy to find thousands of people breaking the rules when they submit images. But, as I've said before, with 40 million images, Alamy cannot possibly have enough staff to police the collection. 

 

Sorry Ed, but the style of work that I do and the light in which I work dictates a tripod. Yes, in some situations like a bustling street in New York it would be forgoed but in other situations then I cannot do without it. Having to get back to the digital workstation and faff around with the horizon etc because it's not straight or whatever loses valuable data for me.

 

This is the kind of work inside cathedrals and I'm sure you can see why a tripod is necessary for me to create such images:

 

CPE90E.jpg

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If the letter says don't use them commercially or put them on the internet then don't do it. The images that you are seeing may well have the proper permission. If you want to be a professional then act like one.

If someone tells me I can't do something I wonder if they're entitled to say it. The Koln cathedral interiors on here are mostly unreleased. It's not unprofessional to seek to use one's images, nor to clarify a restriction, and if one pays for a permit, in my book one has paid for something valuable, viz. a licence to use the photographs lawfully.

Just because there are unreleased images for sale it does not mean that they don't have the proper permission to be used commercially.

Paying for a permit does not automatically grant you permission to use the images commercially.

Further, you do not know how all those photographers (that already have cathedral images on Alamy and elsewhere) are managing their liability and other legal risks. Contracts? Permissions? Business and E&O insurances? Incorporated photography business? Hope and pray? Nothing?

 

These are the options you have to figure out for yourself.

 

GI

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In Germany, there is no law that grants or protects rights to make photos (whether for private or commercial use) INSIDE property. There is no permission implied. There IS legal protection for property owners/administrators, especially in the form of protection of personal and property rights. Owners/administrators have the right to apply whatever restrictions they like. Further, religious buildings enjoy additional protection due to laws that protect the practice of religions within these buildings.

 

There is NOT even a requirement for property owners to display photography restrictions in the form of signs, printed on tickets, etc (as stated by the court in the second example below). YOU are required to obtain explicit permission to make photos for commercial purposes INSIDE buildings and property since regulations for commercial photography may be in place. 

 

Here are a couple of cases (sorry, full text in German, tested in court, photographers lost the cases, many others can be found):

 

Palace Tegel: Private photography allowed. Photographer found guilty of infringement of property rights since he breached the regulation that only private photos permitted. He did not obtain permission to make commercial photos (were used for postcards and calendars). In this case, there was a sign indicating photography for private use was allowed (which was actually irrelevant for the ruling related to commercial photography... it was not about him ignoring the sign, but about failing to obtain permission, as the next case also confirms).

 

Potsdam Palace: Photographer made stock photos and submitted them to an agency. Found NOT guilty of copyright infringement since the architect was died more than 70 years ago. Since the photographer did not obtain permission from the property owners, he did not HAVE permission to make commercial photos (there was a restriction in place). He was found guilty of property rights infringement. Note the court stated that it was NOT required that the restriction on commercial photography needs to be visible (sign, ticket etc! See red text below). Not knowing will not help. Further, the stock agency was also in trouble for distributing photos made "illegally". There was a very heavy fine and legal costs to carry.

 

The cases above, and numerous others, confirm that there need not be a sign or other statement indicating commercial photography is not allowed. This is important, since many assume commercial photography is allowed if there is no visible statement of restrictions. In Germany, if you do not have a permit/permission for commercial photography INSIDE the property in your hand, you may be on thin ice. Best to enquire, and stay informed of the property owner's position on commercial photography. These days, most interesting properties have a website a contact email address! There are certainly many more photographers who get away with it (as we can see on alamy!) than those who end up in court. A risk decision.

 

 

  1. Das Urheberrecht war nicht verletzt, da die Urheber des Schlosses (Architekt, Baumeister) schon seit über 70 Jahren tot sind.
  2. Aber das Eigentumsrecht war verletzt. Denn die Parkanlage gehört der Stiftung und unterliegt damit ihrer Sachherrschaft. Und wenn das Betreten einer Anlage von der Zustimmung des Hausrechtsinhabers abhängig ist, sind gewerbliche Fotos nur mit dessen ausdrücklicher Erlaubnis zulässig. Das Gericht sagte, dass dazu nicht ein mal ein Hinweis ausgehängt werden muss!
  3. Der Fotograf hatte keine Fotoerlaubnis und ist damit Störer. Das Fotoportal haftet als Mitstörer, weil es sich die rechtswidrigen Fotos “zueigen” gemacht hat.
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