Using Photos of Strangers?

Started Apr 16, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ralph McKenzie Senior Member • Posts: 2,049
Re: Using Photos of Strangers?

After reading the last to replies, all I can say is I'm glad I don't live in the USA.

To me it sounds like the most restrictive place that any serious amateur or professional photographer could ever have the misfortune to actually own a camera.

Frankly the view that the "vase" may be copyrighted is laughable. Assuming you aren't going to manufacture a copy of the "vase" in commercial proportions, the idea that said object is not able to be photographed renders me almost speechless with laughter.

Imagine for a moment if you will as bunch of enthusiastic American camera users visiting me in my (hypothetical ) pottery business. We have a nice cup of coffee and chat for a while, pose in front of my creations for the usual travel photo ( memories ) and wave a cheerful goodbye and come again soon.

Now the idea that all those people need to have me sign a release to say they haven't violated my copyrights is idiotic.

As a part time vocation I make high Hi-Fi speakers ( starting at the $5000 mark ). These are made to order for my clientele. They regularly show them off to friends etc, post pics of them in audio forums as I do myself. I have never asked for and never been asked for a release to be able to use the images. I have even seen them in online audio magazines. The point is, I made them, they have a hidden makers mark on them, if someones copies them (overseas) I view it as a compliment, and if anyone wants to know if theirs are genuine I can tell them if they are. I only own the copyright to these in New Zealand. International copyright is almost ruinous to pursue, so most smaller manufactures here don't.

A group here in NZ recently tried to trademark our tallest mountain ,Mt Cook. When I read this in my local photo magazine , I couldn't help but laugh. All those tourist being made to not take a photograph of what is a highly recognized international, hugely advertised, visitor/tourist destination, and then be told you cant take or publish an image of the mountain, is the stuff of the lunatic fringe or maybe the flat earth society. Either way it is/was pure stupidity.

The idea that I couldn't take an image of a listed building, say the Empire State Building for an example without first seeking a release to do so is plain !@#$%^ crazy.

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