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Photographer's Rights

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  • #16
    Re: Photographer's Rights

    Hey Marshall, an aside:

    I assume you work at Petco. What's the biggest lens a non-credentialed photographer can expect to bring in? I've toyed with the idea of the 70-200mm f/2.8L...
    Canon 40D w/BG-E2N
    Canon 20D w/BG-E2
    Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L
    Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
    Canon 85mm f/1.8
    Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5
    Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3


    My Website

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    • #17
      Re: Photographer's Rights

      Whatever you want!
      Marshall

      If I don't give you a hard time at some point then it just means I don't like you. It's all fun and games.

      Last Activity: 1 Minute Ago
      Current Activity: Daydreaming about his trips in November and December.

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      • #18
        Re: Photographer's Rights

        Originally posted by lostinthe619 View Post
        Whatever you want!
        Hehehehe... Sweet...
        Canon 40D w/BG-E2N
        Canon 20D w/BG-E2
        Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L
        Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
        Canon 85mm f/1.8
        Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5
        Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3


        My Website

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Photographer's Rights

          Always an interesting topic, particularly for those who engage in candid/street photography.

          I've only had two minor confrontations. One occurred in a Henry's market when, not knowing any better, I happily ran around taking pictures with my new camera. A security guard and the store manager questioned me. I just played dumb and told them I was taking pictures of my daughter. That was a while ago and I have since learned the difference between taking photographs from a public area, and taking photographs in a private venue.

          More recently, I was taking pictures at Cityfest in Hillcrest. Walking down the street, camera up to my eye, blatantly snapping away. Occasionally taking hip shots, or opening the LCD and taking pics from waist height. Not a peep or a bad look from anyone. Later on, down near a tavern on Fifth, I took some pictures of the building from the sidewalk. I wasn't even trying to get people in the photo, I was only interested in the building. My wife and daughter were looking at some jewelry in one of the street booths. I walked back over to them. Behind me I heard some woman calling out to someone. A few minutes later I heard some guy saying something about "The guy in the Cubs hat?"...I figured that was me, so I turned around. Some guy looked at me and said, "That woman wants to talk to you." It was some woman sitting on an outdoor patio of the tavern I'd taken pictures of. She had a pretty belligerent attitude right from jump street. I was polite. She asked me if I had taken pictures of her and kept looking in my eyes like she didn't believe me. I told her no (when I got home, I discovered that she was, in fact, in the frame...oh well...). I very politely tried to tell her that there were people who take candid photos and that if you are visible from a public area you are pretty much fair game. She told me she didn't agree with the law and I just smiled and walked away. It was ironic that I was confronted on an occasion when I wasn't taking a candid.

          A year ago there was an article in Popular Photography on this very subject. Link and part of the article below. Marshall, just so you know, I'm not posting this as an argument against anything you said. It just so happens that the PopPhoto article actually talks about an incident at Petco.

          It has been my understanding (and is apparently borne out by the court case cited in the article below) that, regardless of copyright, buildings can be photographed and the image sold commercially as long as it does not create "confusion in the marketplace". In other words, if I take a picture of Petco Park from a public street, then sell postcards of that image with the words "San Diego Padres" emblazoned across the bottom, I am giving the impression that it is sanctioned by the San Diego Padres ballclub (and the MLB). I am specifically trading off the image of their ballpark and therefore creating "confusion in the marketplace." If, however, I take a twilight shot of the street, or the skyline, in which the ballpark happens to appear, entitle it "East Village Twilight", and sell it in an art gallery (yeah...right...I should only be so lucky), I would probably win a suit on the basis of the 1998 appellate ruling.

          The War on Photographers - - PopPhotoJuly 2006

          Copyright laws contain a specific exemption for photographing buildings (only those built after 1990 can even be copyrighted). Nothing in copyright or trademark law prevents anyone from snapping a shot from a public place, even publishing it on a personal website, as long as they're not cashing in on somebody else's creation. The real issue is how that photo is used commercially.

          Copyright automatically covers original works “fixed in a tangible medium of expression” from the moment of creation. But the copyright must be registered for maximum protection, with major damage awards possible if someone doesn't pay to use the work commercially. A trademark, harder and more expensive to obtain, is “a word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof,” used to distinguish particular goods from any other on the market.

          You can find out if something's been copyrighted or trademarked at www.copyright.gov or www.USPTO.gov.

          Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum sued commercial photographer Charles Gentile for trademark violation after he sold posters of his photo of its trademarked building. In a landmark 1998 appellate ruling, one of the three judges on the Sixth Circuit panel wrote, “Not only may Gentile take a photograph of the building, he can sell a photograph of it. The Lanham Act only prevents him from ‘using in commerce' his photograph of the trademark in such a way as to cause a ‘likelihood of confusion' in the marketplace.”

          Gentile won the case. Since then, says attorney Bert Krages, “these kinds of lawsuits have disappeared, although some entities still make threats.”

          When challenged, private security guards have threatened citizen's arrest and police intervention.

          That's what happened to photographer Pablo Mason in early 2005 when stadium security guards stopped him from shooting a picture of the outside of Petco Park, the Padres' baseball stadium in San Diego. Mason was walking around downtown, testing a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II. He stopped in front of the new $474-million ballpark, which is 70 percent owned by the city.

          He set up his tripod on the sidewalk and took a few pictures, when two stadium guards rushed out and told him he needed written permission to keep shooting. “They said Petco Park itself was copyrighted and the name was trademarked,” he reports. “One said, ‘You're obviously a professional photographer, and you could use the picture commercially.' We got into an argument and they threatened to call the police.”

          Mason thought he was right, but the guards' attitude made him doubt his knowledge. “The irony is that it's the pros who are familiar with the copyright and trademark issues. I'm not going to infringe on somebody's trademark, but an amateur might inadvertently.”

          Another irony: Petco Park doesn't show up in the online government database as copyrighted. “We don't have a policy restricting photography at Petco [Park],” says Jeff Overton, executive vice president of communications for the Padres. “You can't stop someone from taking a picture.” Whoever accosted Mason, he adds, must have been “an uninformed employee.”

          Nor are there legal restrictions on photographing the name “Petco” on the building. “There is no trademark issue,” says Stan Little, general counsel of Petco Animal Supplies, Inc.

          Another photographer intimidated into giving up his civil right to take a picture. Even though, says attorney Krages, “a security guard probably has no right to enforce somebody else's copyright.”
          Especially when the copyright in question doesn't exist."
          Last edited by cyanatic; 09-05-2007, 02:12 PM. Reason: Trying to fix article link

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          • #20
            Re: Photographer's Rights

            Dale, not all of us who pap for a living are low lifes. 99% of the time we are tipped off by the celeb or invited to cover red carpet arrivals. Stalkarazzi are the one's who are the scum, not us.

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            • #21
              Re: Photographer's Rights

              Ok, so first of all...my new favorite word is un-mimely!!!

              second of all...I think the key points that were made are decency, and respect, and just in general being a good human being. There are jerks in every job and place, who take full advantage of their position and "rights." I am a firm believer in giving up your "rights" to be good and decent person. I mean, I don't think you should be a doormat, but have consideration for other people.

              Marshall, let me just say that I totally appreciate the job you do!! I can't imagine all the druken crazies you get to deal with all the time. And I agree with you about respecting each other. The saying is cheesy, but true...you attract more bees with honey than vinegar. In other words, do unto others...I could go on

              Anyway, this is the biggest reason I love this forum!! We can have a great discussion without anyone getting nasty or crazy!! I'm not recalling right this second who started the thread...but thanks for the info!!

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              • #22
                Re: Photographer's Rights

                Cyanatic, I know the exact incident that was talked about in that article, however we never received word from Padres Mgmt to the end result. I was not involved as it was on another shift and I was on grave at the time, that said... Both parties took actions that were not neccessary that the article doesn't mention and the incident went somewhere it never should have gone.

                Needless to say, this article points out a major breakdown of communication between even Padres Mgmt. We received word in 2004 when we first opened the park to the public from our Director Of Security and Transportation that the ballpark is indeed copyrighted which was the reason why he was approached. After reading this article that you posted, an e-mail was immediately sent to our Director asking for clarification on the subject. Like I mentioned, we're not bad people out bust photogs because, I am one so I know the pain that it can be. The officers were operating on what was a policy that was passed to us by our boss. So, I'll let everyone know what the word that we receive is...
                Marshall

                If I don't give you a hard time at some point then it just means I don't like you. It's all fun and games.

                Last Activity: 1 Minute Ago
                Current Activity: Daydreaming about his trips in November and December.

                Comment

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