[Pauldotcom] Pictures Taken In Public - With A Twist
David A. Gershman
dagershman_dgt at dagertech.net
Thu Dec 24 00:19:36 UTC 2009
I know I'm a bit late commenting on the subject, but I wanted to read
the various replies prior to giving my two cents.
My wife is an aspiring photographer (very good if I do say so myself)
who wants to specialize in photographing children. We have 2 ourselves
and as a security professional, but more as a father, I too want to
protect them from everything possible.
Per the reply including the professional photographer's comment of "stop
watching TV", blah, blah, blah. Stop. You're a professional
photographer, not a child security expert (few of us are). Sadly, I
live less than 1 mile from a registered sex offender as I'm sure many of
us do...its difficult to avoid. So trying to tell a parent to "chill
out" is bad form.
As for your rights while in public, I've learned the same. The
individual does not have many provided the photo is used "for editorial
purposes". Knowing that...
At the very least, I would right a very stern letter to the paper
regarding they're lack of ethical responsibility. It's one to thing to
follow the law, but when children are involved...or anyone really who
"doesn't know any better", a guardian's permission is just plain
courteous. If I were you, I'd be sure to mention in the letter the name
of the reporter who interviewed your son. And don't hesitate to spread
the word. Papers are businesses too who want to maintain customers.
Finally, as for the reply which said we may be taking this too far, I
think about that as well. However, unless a person is *expected* to be
seen by the press (i.e. being in a parade or at a sit-in, etc) it makes
sense the individual(s) be consulted first. And if it is a child in
question, then consult the guardian.
It just seems common sense needs to be used and from a *human*
perspective, the reporter didn't.
> While I know this is going to boil down to it happened in a public place
> stop my whining... but this still upsets me and I have no legal
> A few weeks back my son, 12 years old, was at the local library after
> school working on the computer when a local newspaper reporter came in
> and took pictures of the people in the library using its services. The
> story was regarding the fact that my county is considering closing some
> of the libraries. Now after the interviews were completed and the
> pictures were taken, the reporter told my kid to tell his folks his
> picture would be in the paper that coming Sunday. So as any parent who
> gave a flying crap about their kid would pick the paper up to look at
> the article. As said to my son his picture was nice and big with his
> first and last name along with a little blurb about why he don't want
> the library closed.
> At first this really pissed me off since my son is under age and no one
> asked for my permission, let alone offer a business card or a means to
> contact anything about the article. After a few days of mumbling, and
> some deep investigation I found that I have ZERO legal recourse for this
> happening so I rolled with the punch and picked my self up telling my
> kid he displayed himself very well and expressed himself in his
> statement like a young man should. Then it hit me...
> I was on the local newspapers website and noticed my son's picture in an
> article, not written the same as the newspaper itself but still
> displaying my son's picture, well now I get concerned and begin to do
> some digging on the metadata (thanks larry) to find misc normal data but
> nothing too detailed. Then it smacked me in the face like a truck load
> of bricks! Those (stealing a statement from Jack's comments earlier
> just because I can :-) ) "... monkey sodomizing rat bastards..." have my
> son's picture posted on the website for sale. They are selling my son's
> picture for profit, WHAT IN <many fool words omitted for John's safety>
> gives these people the right to make a profit off my 12 year old son!
> Well I had sent an email to a well known photographer regarding this and
> he consulted his lawyer only to find these newspaper organizations can
> take the pictures of children and then sell them on their website as
> "fine art", while I love my kid to death he is far from "fine art". The
> response this person got from their attorney was that unless a local law
> prohibits the taking of children pictures in public places and selling
> them I have no leg to stand on, which I have faced the fact. It just
> burns my butt that a child who knows no better, well didn't at the time,
> was exploited to save a library and someone else NOT trying to raise the
> money for the library is making a profit off this, no matter how small
> that profit might be. The attorney said if you want privacy don't leave
> your home, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT CRAP, he is a child! Does this mean a
> child predator can sit 100 feet from a school and take pictures of
> children walking home from school, throw up a website, call themselves a
> freelance photographer, and sell these pictures as "fine art".
> We can borrow money from China and bail out businesses that made bad
> choices but we can protect children from the basic protection of
> exploitation for any reason, so long as that reason is a sad story of a
> library closing and the newspaper can sell a couple prints.
> Sorry all this one just really hits me hard that a newspaper /
> freelance photographer has all these freedoms to exploit citizens while
> we fight to protect so much...
> - Robert
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David A. Gershman
gershman at dagertech.net
"It's all about the path!" --d. gershman
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