Sunday, 2 June 2013

Street photography, privacy, and the law


As soon as this chap passed me, I knew that I wanted a shot with him walking the track around Willoughby Park. It is a great little park not far from my house with this track, a skate-board hill, a footy field, and two playgrounds, together with BBQs and picnic tables. There is a pre-school up the other end, too. The land was purchased from the Forsyth Family in 1907, who were looking to get out from under their tannery business which had gone belly-up during the depression of the 1890s.

So ... to the title of my post. To the best of my knowledge, this photograph is not illegal under the laws that operate in my state. I did not ask the subject for permission to take his photograph, and it stands to reason that neither did I ask his permission to post said image onto the web. Yet, these actions are against the law in other jurisdictions, eg France where Article 9 of the Civil Code states that people have a right to privacy, a right that is interpreted by judges, not laid down in law. And Australians travelling abroad, have to abide by the rules of the country through which they are passing.

13 comments:

Jim said...

Quite a colourful outfit.

VP said...

I understand why you wanted this picture, the guy fits perfectly there. More difficult to understand the law, here and there...

Stefan Jansson said...

We have a brand new law in Sweden concerning privacy and photography. It is now illegal to take a photo that would violate a person's privacy. What it means is photos taken in a locker room, bathroom and similar places. You can still shoot anything you like in public spaces.

cieldequimper said...

I would have had no qualms about taking this pic!

Julie said...

Ah ... now that is interesting to know, Ciel. Although, if I am right, it is still in contravention of Article 9. Yes?

Julie said...

Steffi

That is how the law in Australia works, too. Although taking photos of someone in a locker room, or a bathroom, where they are in a compromised position, ie naked, is against the criminal law, not just the civil law. Meaning it is pornography, to some extent.

Carole M. said...

that is tricky - great image Julie; but I'd always consider it fine when there is no recognizable face. That is, having taken the photo from behind should be fine (surely).

Julie said...

Not necessarily, Carole. It is him. He has the 'right' to censor anyone else using HIS image for their own purposes. He has the right to charge a fee, or to deny access. It is HIS image to do with as HE pleases.

Surely ...

Joe said...

I remember you clarifying the legal status of photographing people for me in one of my very early posts Julie. I often deliberate when I post a photograph of a person and prefer their identity to be unrecognisable.

Joan Elizabeth said...

There are a zillion CCTV cameras taking your image without permission.

Photography is Ok in public places but there are all sorts of odd wrinkles in the law on the topic. Hubby has been doing the research to publish an ebook on the topic.

FigMince said...

Alternatively, Julie, you could adopt this attitude:

http://paristhroughmylens.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/non-madame-pas-de-photos.html

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Ann said...

http://4020.net/words/photorights.php

is a good site for NSW photographers' rights. I recently received an email asking me to take down a photo I took and posted over a year ago with the permission of the participants and posed by them. I think I even told them I was going to use it for my blog. I probably will take it down but I'm in no hurry.