Permission needed for newspaper photo?

Joined
Nov 18, 2007
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A friend asked my opinion and thought I'd inquire here. His relative was partly visible at his home doorway, in a newspaper photo with police present. They'd been going house to house to search for a perp.

They wonder if the paper needed permission to publish an image of the relative. It was stated the paper's staff was very unfriendly and said they could publish such a photo.

Just throwing it around for opinions. Thanks for any input.


Best,

Alan
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Couple of issues to address here - the relative's privacy rights and their rights to publicity.

An editorial photograph that includes a person can be run without their permission. Privacy laws vary by state but in general a court would decide if the person in the photo had a reasonable right to privacy - if the relative was at the door, they would likely consider him to be in public view so the newspaper could run the photo just the same as if he were walking in the park.

Sean
 
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If it was taken from a public vantage point or from a place they had permission to be at they do not need permission to run the photograph.

Whether the staff was friendly or not doesn't matter. In this case I would imagine said friend of relative may have been confrontational if he/she actually went out of their way to talk to the staff about the picture.
 
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Jun 6, 2013
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dehli
This is accurate point, every citizen has his own privacy and this is up to that person who want to expose himself or not in any newspaper.I think you should consult to the lawyer for better consultation.
 
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Miami, Florida
Your relative will need to consult a local attorney, for as has been suggested, the right of publicity (or right of privacy as it is recognized in some states) is a matter of state law. Some states have recognized the right statutorily, while others only through common law, and a few don't recognize the right at all. Further complicating matters is the fact that some states that statutorily recognize the right only do so in very limited circumstances, or only do so for purely commercial matters (e.g., the right may only exist to prevent the use of a person's name or likeness in an advertisement).

With regard to editorial use of an image, some states (like Florida) have statutes that include an exception for editorial publication or bona fide news reports. At the risk of overgeneralizing, such exceptions exist to prevent a conflict with First Amendment considerations.

The following article includes a discussion on the right of publicity that may be helpful.

http://www.digitalphotopro.com/business/release-me.html
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
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NJ
Thanks for the all feedback. I don't think the family wants to sue, just upset they're in the (unexpectedly published) photo with police at their home.

I'll relay your comments. Much appreciated.

Best,

Alan
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
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NJ
Didn't we have that discussion a few weeks ago about those people who were photographed inside their appartments in NY? And wasn't the general concensus "if you don't want your picture taken, pull the blinds?"

If he's visible from the street he's fair game. If he wanted privacy he should have closed the door.

And then there's the newspaper... Newsworthiness, freedom of press? The 2nd amendment isn't the only holy amendment...
 
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Mar 17, 2010
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Portage, IN
Didn't we have that discussion a few weeks ago about those people who were photographed inside their appartments in NY? And wasn't the general concensus "if you don't want your picture taken, pull the blinds?"

If he's visible from the street he's fair game. If he wanted privacy he should have closed the door.

And then there's the newspaper... Newsworthiness, freedom of press? The 2nd amendment isn't the only holy amendment...

Difference I see is that in this photo it sounds like he is recognizable where as the others discussion the were not.
 
Joined
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Alabama
Difference I see is that in this photo it sounds like he is recognizable where as the others discussion the were not.

It doesn't matter. If the photographer is in a public space and the person is outside on their property, it doesn't matter if they can be recognized or not. If they are visible from the street the paper has legal rights to publish.
 

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