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A short while ago, Alamy had some complaints from street artists about using their murals without written permission. Alamy removed a number of these images in my collection and in other contributors collections as well. Okay, I understand this.

 

Are there any other subjects any of you have had removed from Alamy? 

 

Edo

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National Trust properties in the UK- stately homes and so on. The NT is misusing a byelaw from the 60s intended to control itinerant photographers to bully Alamy into removing images.

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A while ago pictures taken in railway stations were removed, then reinstated after consultation.

The Tate Modern asked for all stock (not live news) images to be removed.

There has been much talk of company logos - similar to graffiti, if they are not taken within context - but do a search for 'logo' and see what comes up.

The Olympic rings. But again, do a search,....

Edited by Phil Robinson
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I'm often puzzled by the jobsworths who wake up one morning and say to themselves: "I've got a great idea how to ruin some photographer's day" and set about imposing new or reinstating some out-of-date restrictions. National Trust are the most frequent perpetrators, but Transport For London don't do badly (or rather, they do badly). In The States I might be more worried about litigations from an ever increasing circle of chancers and The French can be pretty keen on their privacy. Best thing to do is make sure you include quite a bit of context. It probably makes for better photography anyway.

 

You might still get some hassle, but you will probably get off

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Two of a National Trust property in the UK. These were reinstated when I clarified that there was no charge for admission to the site. I don't understand why this should make a difference. But it did.

 

Gareth

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All Smithsonian Museums are free but all interiors are now verboten even for editorial. Mine were removed.

The main building (the red one) seems to be verboten from the outside too.

This is DC not UK.

 

wim

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Looks to me the biggest offender is the U.K. 

We have some restrictions, but minor in comparison. The only thing I had removed was the Olympic Rings, and had two murals given restrictions by Alamy.

I've walked on our state capitol grounds and shot our capitol building under renovation with no problems.

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I find restrictions are often put in place when you have a new executive at the complainers who overreaches.

They issue all sorts of orders, but eventually get batted back.

There are some places in Toronto who have had ever changing inconsistent policies in place, over many years.

Ontario Heritage Trust have a “doors open” event in Ontario once a year where private and public historic places throw their doors open free, for anyone. In most places any kind of no tripod photography, inside and outside, is usually OK as long as it is not disruptive.

From the Doors open website.

“Note about photography: Some restrictions may apply. Check with the host community before visiting.” They seem to be talking about tripods only.

http://www.doorsopenontario.on.ca/Events-en/Top-10-touring-tips.aspx

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Recently my wife wanted me to come along to a garden exhibit / trade fair. 

They charged entrance fee and specifically claimed all picture rights to themselves ?!

End of story, I did not go. 

 

I have a few murals in my portfolio, none removed or complaint about yet.

 

As long as I can take a photo from a public place, I assume no issues. 

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Interesting point about no restrictions at free admission venues. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is free admission, pay only for parking, but website and brochures state no commercial photography. Lots of images, both general and of specific sculptures are on Alamy.

 

Edited by pablo
omission
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Seem to recall that some bank shots were removed and than reinstated, but might be a figment of my imagination. 

 

Just visited a large house and gardens in Bavaria. No entry fee, but a notice (in English) saying that any  commercial photography had to be approved by the authorities. Took some shots, probably won't use them.

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This has been commented on in other posts, but...  There are an increasing number of places in London that appear to be public property but are not.  Examples include behind the Tower Hotel, (St Katharine's Dock) around City Hall/HMS Belfast and large areas around St Paul's. Getting a DSLR out will result in private security approaching you and telling you not to take photos.  There are also limitations in Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square; although the enforcement is patchy.  Paternoster Square  near St Paul's Cathedral is another example.  Commercial photography is not allowed in any of the Royal Parks without an expensive permit.  Likewise Windsor Great Park (I do not know the details but I have professional colleagues who have had to purchase permits)   I understand there may be others in West London, but I tend to stick to the City/Central London for my shoots.   

 

As a mostly news photographer this is a troubling state of affairs.  Permits tend to be prohibitively expensive for freelance photographers so it is is the likes of PA, Reuters etc who will pay out for these permits and thus gain a monopoly over some news stories.  

Edited by IanDavidson
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Geoff, there are two potential answers to this, I think.  The first is that (and am no lawyer). By entering the Royal Parks you are agreeing to their terms and conditions so there maybe a form of contract (offer, acceptance, valuable consideration).  This can also be applied to St Katherine's Dock -you are granted a licence to be on their land that does no include commercial photography.  Again, potential breach of contract.

 

second issue for me is I have a national press card.  That can ve revoked and should I lose that it would be very difficult to undertake news photography in London.  So, while unlikely, the Parks Police could object to my card if I break the rules.  A not completely unrelated issue.  I was granted press accreditation to a high security event.  Then (my mistake) I took photos of an anti war event and asked to be put on their mailing list for future events.  Three days later my Press accreditation for the high security event was revoked.  

 

Sometimes freedom of of the press is somewhat constrained...

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You're not bound by conditions you're not aware of. So unless there are unmissable signs at all entrances (and at St. Katharine's Dock there aren't) you're not constrained. However if you are told by a goon, you may then be bound, but, assuming the restriction is valid in law, the photographs you have already taken aren't affected because the condition wasn't explicitly brought to your attention before you took them. It must be explicit to be valid because it's onerous- it purports to restrict lawful activity. If you continued you would potentially be a trespasser and could be removed.

IMO.

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46 minutes ago, IanDavidson said:

Geoff, there are two potential answers to this, I think.  The first is that (and am no lawyer). By entering the Royal Parks you are agreeing to their terms and conditions so there maybe a form of contract (offer, acceptance, valuable consideration).  This can also be applied to St Katherine's Dock -you are granted a licence to be on their land that does no include commercial photography.  Again, potential breach of contract.

 

second issue for me is I have a national press card.  That can ve revoked and should I lose that it would be very difficult to undertake news photography in London.  So, while unlikely, the Parks Police could object to my card if I break the rules.  A not completely unrelated issue.  I was granted press accreditation to a high security event.  Then (my mistake) I took photos of an anti war event and asked to be put on their mailing list for future events.  Three days later my Press accreditation for the high security event was revoked.  

 

Sometimes freedom of of the press is somewhat constrained...

That you lost accreditation  leaves me flabbergasted. 

that sounds to me like the start of influencing the "free press"? 

 

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It's not City Hall that is the problem - and I've never had problems with them. It's a public building after all and they are aware of the problem.

The real problem is the area surrounding City Hall called More London Riverside. Although it's public access, it's a privately owned area and guards used to pounce on photographers, especially those with tripods. I remember one incident when we were invited by City Hall to photograph Tower Bridge with the Olympic Rings (yup, another problem), and we were told by security that tripods were okay as long as we only photographed the river/Tower Bridge. Even for events, PR companies need to get photography passes. 

One day photographers' protested outside City Hall regarding the More London treatment and, as if by surprise, no security guards dared to rear their ugly heads that day.

 

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Like many others, I was hit by the recent street art removals/additional restrictions campaign. I found this to be very disappointing, as I had always gone to great lengths to attempt identification of the artists and credit them accordingly. I was also surprised by the street artists' concerns as their work is normally extremely transient in nature, perhaps only lasting a matter of days before being defaced, replaced or removed, and hence thought that a photographic record of a professional nature (with the associated publicity) would be welcomed by them.

 

It would be nice to hear the views of street artists themselves. Has anybody seen any recent media articles expressing street artists' views on photography?

Edited by Number Six
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Agree it's a very complex subject. Many street artists grow and later move on towards commissioned work. The only way for them to reach that status is by becoming more popular/well known, and for that to happen they need publicity. For publicity to happen in today's media landscape, their work needs to be shared and looked at on traditional, online and social media.  A street art mural on a wall, however fantastic it may look, and even if it does last more than a few days, is worth little unless it gets shared and distributed publicly. The bigger artists know this fair and square. See - Banksy, Stik, et al. There is then of course at some stage (when the artist becomes very well known) a market for "authorised" distribution, the Banksy gallery/shop in London would be an example. But the unauthorised market is many times larger, and whether the artist likes to admit it or not, he/she still needs that distribution, and they also the "unauthorised" re-sale market for them to continue to grow. I sometimes try to chat to street artists and many seem to have a fairly warped idea of what an editorial image might sell for. Especially those at the beginning of their career when they earn hardly anything themselves. Alas, they are entitled to want to protect their work, and my point whether or not that is in their best interest is irrelevant for lawyers anyway.

 

There's little that can be done about it I guess, and the bottom line as it stands, is that they can sue. With so many law firms eager to represent on a "no win no fee" basis and hunting for clients that they can find copyright infringements for, I can understand why alamy are wary, even though it still makes me mad. :D Many firms fire off copyright infringement claims  left right and centre after doing online searches for images, in the hope that just some of them will be successful. So I'm going to photograph less street art, which is a real shame as I love it.

 

My own pet hate place for being chased away is Broadgate Circus. I can usually get away with charming the security guards in other privately owned areas in London, but the guys behind Liverpool Street Station are fierce as hell.  :ph34r:

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