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View Full Version : Image rights in anglo-saxon countries vs France


TheoAsk
17th Dec 2014, 14:26
Hi,

Recently I read on French Internet forums that according to French law one is authorized to take photo shots of people in public places without the consent of the people being taken if and only if it is for personal use.There is a big debate arount this issue.

The question is: if I do the same in an anglo-saxon country, can the person being filmed or photographed ask me to delete the picture from my camera or cell phone?

According to the French jurists on this specific Web forum, only police authorities have to right to do that, and not a simple citizen without police authority.And even so police authorities need a special authorization from the "Procureur de la république" because the photo you do is your private property.

Interesting....Once you make a picture of somebody, this picure becomes your private property and therefore nobody (not even police) can seize it?

So if I understand: if X is the photographer and Y the "victim", Y can state his refusal to be taken into photography by X but can't do anything to stop it?

Dr Jekyll
19th Dec 2014, 10:51
In the UK you can generally photograph what you like if you are in a public place, if anyone doesn't like it, tough. One exception is if you peer into places where the subject has a 'reasonable expectation of privacy' which applies to (EG) long lenses looking into someones premises or using step ladders to see over garden walls. Another is places designated under various bits of security legislation.

As for requiring you to delete the picture, it's very doubtful whether even the police can do this. Either you took it legally in which case it's none of their business, or it was illegal in which case it's evidence.

If you are on private property (even though a public place) like a station or shopping centre, the owners can dictate whether or not you can take pictures. But that's in their capacity as property owners and nothing to do with the laws on photography.

mikedreamer787
19th Dec 2014, 10:58
Or just simply smash the camera/iPhone/whatever if the request is refused. You can always say when the argument broke out it appeared the photographer was going to use it as a weapon against you and you acted accordingly. Because you didn't lay a hand on the dork you'll probably get away with it. Certain celebs do it all the time so there's your precedent.

Sallyann1234
19th Dec 2014, 11:08
I've recently had a need to take advice on this, after providing police with video to assist with a case and having to give evidence about it in court.

Dr Jekyll has summed up the legal position very well.

I should add though that if you take photos or video at the scene of a police operation, they may have cause to accuse you of obstructing them.

Gertrude the Wombat
19th Dec 2014, 11:11
As for requiring you to delete the picture, it's very doubtful whether even the police can do this. Either you took it legally in which case it's none of their business, or it was illegal in which case it's evidence.
Ah, but, the cousins will jump in and say that the correct way to avoid being shot by the policeman is to obey his unlawful command to delete the photo, and argue about it later in court.


Quite how the court can, in due course, order the reinstatement of the deleted photograph is not entirely clear to me.

Capetonian
19th Dec 2014, 11:12
according to French law one is authorized to take photo shots of people in public places without the consent of the people being takenDon't know, but here's what happened to me.

I took photographs of a bus driver in France using his cellphone with both hands, whilst steering with his knees, on a motorway. I phoned the bus company to report the matter, and they predictably asked me to write in, thinking that would sweep the problem under the carpet. I wrote in with full details and, equally as predictably, they wrote back saying they had contacted the driver and he had denied the events. 'He would, wouldn't he ....'.

So I wrote back to them and said 'he's a liar ....... and here's the proof'. The photos clearly showed his face and what he was doing.

I then got a letter saying that it was illegal for me to photograph the driver as it was an intrusion into his private life. Err ... hello ..... whilst he's driving a public bus, on duty, on a public road, with 50 or so fare paying passengers on board.

And then people like Airship wonder why I despise the French!

Edit : In fact it was a tablet, and he was messaging by the look and sound of it.

Mechta
19th Dec 2014, 11:19
Whilst on holiday in Dorset recently, the BBC series, 'Broadchurch' was being filmed on the beach. Any members of the public seen taking pictures were asked by the security staff to delete them, although the legality of enforcing this on a public beach must be pretty doubtful.

Checkboard
19th Dec 2014, 11:22
You can always write back, pointing out that whether or not you committed an offence is a separate issue and thus irrelevant to the guilt of the original complaint about the bus driver...

MagnusP
19th Dec 2014, 11:25
On the drive from Rome down to Sorrento, I spotted a truck driver with a book propped on the steering wheel. Interesting.

ian16th
19th Dec 2014, 11:36
Quite how the court can, in due course, order the reinstatement of the deleted photograph is not entirely clear to me. As long as the memory card has not been written over, there is plenty of software around to recover deleted files.

It is more difficult to completely erase a file.

papabravowhiskey
19th Dec 2014, 12:28
On the drive from Rome down to Sorrento, I spotted a truck driver with a book propped on the steering wheel. Interesting.
The German and French police forces have resorted to various tactics (including posting vehicles on motorway overbridges and using their own tractor units to give their officers the height) to detect lorries being driven by drivers who are looking at screens playing DVDs/TV. They reckon that this is now a major problem.

PBW

Sallyann1234
19th Dec 2014, 13:02
You can always write back, pointing out that whether or not you committed an offence is a separate issue and thus irrelevant to the guilt of the original complaint about the bus driver... IANAL and IANIF, but in some circumstances if evidence has been obtained illegally it may not be admissible in court.

UniFoxOs
19th Dec 2014, 13:16
Certainly around here plod believe it is illegal. We were told by them to alter the angle of the security camera so that it didn't film the footpath outside.

A couple of weeks later a buglary was committed a few doors away and the cheeky barstewards came back to ask to see our footage. It gave us great pleasure to tell them we hadn't got any as we had moved the camera as they had demanded.

west lakes
19th Dec 2014, 13:39
and using their own tractor units to give their officers the height) to detect lorries being driven by drivers who are looking at screens playing DVDs/TV.

The police round here are doing that as well.

Certainly around here plod believe it is illegal. We were told by them to alter the angle of the security camera so that it didn't film the footpath outside.


Unsurprisingly they are wrong, there are some parts of the Data Protection Act that apply to cameras operated by businesses but not to private individuals

funfly
19th Dec 2014, 13:47
west lakes, clarification please.

I 'understood' that any cameras on a private property must not show people on a public highway, pavement or adjoining land.

I seem to recall the parents of yobbos causing trouble and being recorded by a property owner managed to sue the property owner for invasion of privacy.

FF

west lakes
19th Dec 2014, 13:50
Well ours at work show a public road!

i doubt it is little different from standing in your garden & video recording onto the street outside, totally legal.
More likely the police are trying to prevent illegal action by others destroying the cameras

Perhaps this will help
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/aug/31/householders-cctv-public-highway-film

ain't gooGoo wonderful?

eticket
19th Dec 2014, 15:00
Taking a daylight picture of the Eiffel Tower and then putting it on Facebook etc is legal.

Taking a night-time picture of the Eiffel Tower and then distributing it is illegal.

The illuminations on the tower are considered an artwork and are subject to copyright.

An article by the Daily Mail:
Eiffel Tower visitors warned they're breaking law taking photos of landmark at night | Daily Mail Online (http://tinyurl.com/kmdpjda)


The Metropolitan Police have published the advice that they give to Officers. The problem is that in the heat of a confrontation I imagine that trying to persuade plod to look at the relevant Internet page would probably be a lost cause.

Anyway here it is should you want to bookmark it, or print it out and stick it in a pocket of your camera bag:

Photography advice - Metropolitan Police Service (http://content.met.police.uk/Site/photographyadvice)