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Should Alamy delete all photos taken in France?

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Completely recognizable, more like a portrait that had been posed. Our friends called our attention to the cover. A long vertical telephoto shot with only the two of us occupying about 2/3 of the image, with enough extra room above and below for type. The ideal stock magazine cover shot, taken without our knowledge or permission, that connected us to an issue that we did not wish to champion.
Taking news photos of anyone in a public place should be a right, but only for news. A general stock scene that might include, but not feature, individual people should also be OK.
I think permission for shots of individuals should be sought if it is not news, even for editorial. By permission I agree with John. I do not mean a model release, but an acknowledgement from the subject that they know you are taking a picture and are OK with it. You do not have to speak the language, point at your camera.
Common courtesy, in my opinion. I must admit that my views have changed over the years.


This is the way I do it now get permission, but not as in model release. 

Often people are fie with it, The posing you can avoid by waiting long enough for the subject to behave natural again or taking some shots upfront.

Also I mostly use a 50mm, sometimes a 35 or 85 fixed focal length, so I have to get close to take a shot.

No way I can get away unnoticed with the beast of a Canon and its extra battery grip. 

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According to the reports our judges discount the Princess Caroline case because Campbell v MGN., which takes a contrary view, takes precedence in England.


http://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/constitutional-law/doctrine-of-precedent-and-principle-of-law-constitutional-law-essay.php Consider paragraph 3 or....vote no in the forthcoming referendum. :)



I may be using the wrong term, but the judge in Murray v Big Pictures said he would be following Campbell.

That essay merely says they must be 'taken into account'. They are not definitive.

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I often wonder WHY people object. Does it take 10 years of their lives if a picture is taken? Are they all out doing criminal acts which are not meant to be seen?


I remember - many, many years ago - taking shots at the city park in my hometown Ghent. There is a waterfall where you can walk under. So, I was waiting for people to walk under it to make the picture more interesting. Unfortunately it were American tourists which came in view first. The guy noticed me taking a picture (of the waterfall, not so much him as a subject), came straight to me and told me in an angry voice "I'm going to sue you!" When I asked him "Why? What's the harm done?". He stood there several seconds not knowing what to answer and finally said "Because I can!" I gave him a little lecture about Belgium - the land of the free - and moved on.


In Europe, we never had problems like that in the past. Unfortunately, sueing each other is now becoming a "sport" as well.......... Because we can!





There are times, such as women hiding from abusive partners (there are more than you realize). They certainly don't want their photo taken, especially if the location is quite easy to recognize.  And I suppose anyone in a witness protection program (not sure how many of those there would be).  


I know these are not the majority of the people you would run into, but, you just never know.



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If by chance I take a picture of Bansky painting a grafffity in the street I cannot sell it?

Yes, you can. He has no expectation of privacy on the street in the UK, nor in most states except, apparently, Quebec or France.

This is how French politicians hush up their two-timing.

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Philippe: The argument that only criminals expect privacy in a public place is not an argument for a free society. It is an argument for the exact opposite.

Duncan: Alamy is  a commercial enterprise, and when Alamy sell your images for money you are engaging in a commercial enterprise. There is an exemption for the commercial enterprise of taking news pictures, but not for anything else.
Editorial and news are two different things. Real news is OK, editorial not always. Being paid for a shot of tourists in a tourist spot, if used in a calendar, is not editorial. A calendar is a commercial object for sale. Same for a textbook or the cover of a novel. Same for a travel agent’s tour catalogue. Same for a poster advertising holidays in Spain.
The UK police are only commenting on your right to take pictures in a public place, not on what you do with them later.
There is a very good reason why the most successful people stock shooter in the world, confines himself to professional models shot in a studio.
The core of the problem of selling images of, not newsworthy individuals in the public space, is with automatic downloads of RF and RM. There is no practical way to filter out people who do not want their likeness used for either commercial purposes, or sensitive editorial issues.
To claim the publisher is responsible anyways, is only passing the buck.
The only way is the imperfect stock photography system we have now. First with the photographer making their picture making obvious, and heeding reasonable requests not to take images of people. Secondly when Alamy deletes images upon request.
News is an entirely different thing, morally and legally. Stock photography is not always news.
I would suggest if you are building a stock photography business based on images featuring photographs of strangers close up in the public space taken without permission, then you are building a business on grains of sand.
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I confess to having a few hundred shots taken in France, and even  a few in Quebec,  showing people, very few of which are model released. I have tended to take the same approach as shooting in the UK, i.e. I would not upload an image showing a person in a bad light, or if they were giving me the evil eye, or if they asked me not to use the photo.  If it is a head on shot, I normally ask permission, but, as John says above, you tend to get different photos if they are candid.


Reading the above it appears that I could be in trouble. although the probability is probably close to negligible. Don't think that I will be deleting any shots, unless asked.


I have a couple of Quebec photos with people among my bestsellers. No potential problems unless they get published in La Belle Province, which is highly unlikely.

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There is quite a good article on this topic from the NYT a couple of years back: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/paris-city-of-rights/?_r=0 (Apologies if it was already posted, have come into the discussion a little bit late, but on a quick scroll, couldn't see it.)  Personally, over the last 4-5 years, I would say I have been leaning more and more towards Bill's views on this one, irrespective of the strict legal position.  Perhaps it is the rise of Facebook/Instagram/Etc, but I do believe that people have become more cautious (or even hostile), and as Bill's example shows, with good reason.


Interesting article. I too find that my attitudes toward photographing people in public have been slowly changing during the past couple of years.


The age of fake street photography (i.e. posed and with "models") may have arrived.

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The point about Nick Turpin's book not being published in France is interesting. One assumes he's at least considered the law, if not taken advice. It suggests that a geographical restriction for stock might work out. But I'm not going to apply one. The organ-grinder will have to lump it.

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The point about Nick Turpin's book not being published in France is interesting. One assumes he's at least considered the law, if not taken advice. It suggests that a geographical restriction for stock might work out. But I'm not going to apply one. The organ-grinder will have to lump it.


I leased an image of a sidewalk organ-grinder recently. As I remember, I gave him a decent tip after taking the shot. If I ever run into him again, I'll give him another one.

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Carlo, a search for "France people" on Alamy produces 329,473 images. "France" alone shows 1,954,832. It's a guess, but I don't believe Alamy is planning to delete all those images. 


"If someone is in a photo but not an essential element – or when the person is not recognizable – or is an accessory by chance – say in an image of a public monument, or statue, then it is generally considered that consent is not necessary, even though people have taken photographers or publishers to court over this. The same goes when the person is part of a crowd. But again each case is taken on its own merits, as to what is considered a crowd or an accessory or not."  From Geoff's quote of the French law in question. 


That's helpful . . . but people end up in court, in a lawsuit, because they disagree with the interpretation of a law


Is this about one image that is sitting in your 5948 collection, Carlo? Or has it sold? Deleting the image would be a good way to close the matter and move forward. Deleting all you France images? No way. 




The title of the thread was somehow provocatory but..strictly speaking any photo taken in France featuring people who did not give consent is a breach of copyright.

As for my Alamy collection, I'm not particularly bothered as I don't make much money here, I see it as one more reason to do commercial photography only.

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A breach of France's civil code, maybe, and perhaps it isn't what you meant, but copyright is a property right that is recognised internationally. It's not a breach of copyright.

French images are a decent market for me, about 10% of images and 15% by value, some with IP, some with people taken without permission, all unreleased. I won't be deleting them any time soon.

Interestingly I've never had 'France' in a licence detail. Most European countries, but not France.

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Not stock photography, but art.


...... an interesting article relating to someone who wasn't happy being photographed in the street. He lost his case.



It got to court, though, and no doubt this photographer could afford to defend himself. I couldn't.

(In the US winning in court is a lot less likely to get you an award of costs- Daniel Morel didn't get his in the infringement case against AFP/Getty.)

So you can win and still lose, as Morel appears to have done.

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