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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:56 PM   #1
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How can Disney sell a photo of me without written permission?

I took the kids to Disney last week, bought some tickets--never signed anything--and went on some rides. What a great time. My sons and I kept riding Dinosaur and when the big carnasaurus jumps out of the wall they take your photo as everyone screams. My smart aleck nine year old flashed the peace sign on the second go round and I noticed some people riding with us bought that photo. And I thought to myself, how can they sell our photos without consent? Or does getting attacked by dinasaurs imply consent?
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Old October 31st, 2007, 02:12 PM   #2
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I wonder if there isn't some fine print on the admission pass which grants them certain rights like this?
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Old October 31st, 2007, 02:15 PM   #3
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Most definitely.

It goes on the same lines as a club or bar will operate, they have posted either on the ticket or on signs that to be on the premises grants them the ability to use your image or likeness for advertising purposes. It sounds like the rule was just bent a bit to sell the pictures, but I'm not a lawyer, and they have tons. I won't argue with them. :)

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Old October 31st, 2007, 02:50 PM   #4
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Agree. Buying the ticket is just as binding as signing a piece of paper. The back of your ticket is probably full of fine print, and somewhere in there it talks about having your photos taken. If you don't agree to those terms, you can't go in the park.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 05:26 PM   #5
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I agree, there is probably some blanket coverage or disclaimer,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Carlson View Post
Agree. Buying the ticket is just as binding as signing a piece of paper. The back of your ticket is probably full of fine print, and somewhere in there it talks about having your photos taken. If you don't agree to those terms, you can't go in the park.
but the weakness in the argument is exactly where those rules appear. If on the back of the ticket, then you must first purchase the ticket before you can learn what their "rules" are. That strikes me as patently unfair and pretty darn presumptuous on their part, i.e. you can't know the full rules unless/until you purchase a ticket, and if you choose against it, you forsake the price of the ticket. (I know Disney honors tickets forever, but they don't buy them back).

I know I'm being picky, but I'd argue that an exact duplicate of the park-entry terms should be blatantly and conspicuously posted in a place easily found BEFORE one purchases the ticket. Our family has been to Disney about a dozen times, and I've never noticed those rules displayed in a place outside the park gates. (Though I can't say I've hunted them out, either).

Despite that, you say these photos weren't used by Disney, but purchased by another patron. (Frankly, I've never before heard of one patron purchasing photos of someone else). That strikes me as a different situation than I suspect most folks expect; it's not like you posed for a sample photo to fill picture frames for sale. If the buyer were to use that photo of you without permission, I think your concern might have a bit more validity.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 05:47 PM   #6
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"How can Disney sell a photo of me without written permission?" was the original question, and the correct answer is "They just did it." If the question is "Is it ILLEGAL for Disney to sell a photo of me without my permission?" The answer is "Maybe, maybe not."

It all depends on the terms of admittance to the park. Remember, the park is not PUBLIC, it is a privately owned place. You give up certain rights when you enter. Having said that, there ARE some arguements to be made about 'reasonable expectations' and 'right to privacy' vs 'right to publicity'.

If you're walking down a public street, and I take a great picture of you and your kid walking hand and hand. That's not illegal.

HOWEVER

If I want to sell that picture on a stock photo site... to other media agencies, then I'm in trouble. I don't have a right to benefit from your image without your permission.

The question in this case is, did/does Disney have the right to 'benefit' from your image without your express permission? Here's where the ticket fine print might come in. Remember, it's not a public place. Without seeing the ticket, I can't really hazzard a quess. There's probably something about publicity use in there somewhere.

But I'll also take a guess at this. I doubt that Disney would be happy if the knew that this transaction took place. I doubt that it is Disney policy to sell photos of one guest, to another. My guess is the kid running the photo booth didn't even think about it. And if you brought it up, Disney might take exception to the kids actions. There's just no monetary incentive for Disney to make such a transaction a standard business policy.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 06:50 PM   #7
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I should add that I'm not upset Disney took my picture without permission. If they can make money selling my ugly mug, well that's disney magic at its finest. Nor do I really mind them selling my son's photo. In fact I told him to tone it down because other people might want to buy a picture of themselves frightened to death and some kid giving the peace sign would wreck the photo for everybody else. On the Dinosaur ride there's 12 passengers and they snap a shot of all twelve passengers. This happens over and over again for thousands of people daily. So if one person buys the photo, they buy everybody's mug on that ride. This includes Chuck and Sally from Georgia and Vito from Brooklyn. I'm curious what there workaround is. I just read the back of my tickets

It only says this:

If you purchased a ticket, the following terms apply: nontransferable, must be used by the same person on any and all days. Disney is not repsobsible for lost or stolen tickets. Parks, attactions or entertainment may change operating hours; close due to refursbishing, capcity, weather or special events; and may otherwise change or be discontinued without notice and without liablity to the owners of the WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort. Ticket and Ticket Tag Biometric confirmation required for entry. Not valid for special or premium events or other acticivies which are separetlely priced for for any park commencing operation after May 1, 1998. It is agreed between owners of the WALT DISNEY WORLD resort and ticket users that all claims for injury or loss arising incident to presence on owners' property shall be litigated in Florida.

Nothing about selling my photo to other people. Again, I'm not mad, I just wonder if they know something we don't. Part of me thinks that it is illegal, only everybody knows Disney has an army of five-thousand pound gorillas dressed up like attorneys.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 03:16 PM   #8
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They do this in the theme parks in the UK as well, in fact most of the major resorts and attractions do it; they are simply trying to sell you a part of your memory by taking your photograph at specific moments on the ride, e.g. at the bumpiest bend with your arms in the air shouting "aaaaaaaaa" or the natural shock on your face when the dinosaur comes out at you. If you want to buy the picture to remember the memory then they charge you say 5 or some other rate typically over priced as any other theme park gift, which is merely what they are doing it for because you can't take your own picture in the moment of sheer fright, excitement, or whatever so they do it for you.

Thats it. Nothing illegal about it, I don't think you'll find you face on the next "Come to Disney World" adverts on the tele or on the web, they are doing it to sell you your portrait enjoying yourself on a ride, nothing more.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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Russ, I think you missed the point of the post. The Park sold HIS KID'S picture to someone else. No one minds being offered the chance to buy a picture of themselves, the question is around the legality of shooting and selling pictures of someone to the general public WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION.

In other words, at what point does copyright/right to publicity/right to privacy intersect such work in a 'seemingly' public forum, which is in reality a private property.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 07:02 PM   #10
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Precedent is set as currently legal...if you choose to go up against their flotilla of lawyers, you are free to do so, but it'd be a hell of a fight, and would change precedent for every ride park everywhere.

If it were a problem, then you would take it to court knowing that it would be expensive to begin with (you'd recoup the costs if you were to win - but the chances of that would be small). The actual question I hear is: "Why can they take pictures of people in public without consent when we are not supposed to if we are making projects that we intend to profit from?"

The answer to this question is because you don't have as many legal resources at your disposal as they do. As a former Network admin for a large corporation (well known), I used to throw the name around when we needed faster action...example. We were being zombie attacked by a host in a managed hosting company. The zombie were trying to brute force password crack one of our internet facing machines via SSH.

I traced the administrative contact of the hosting company and called them asking them to disconnect their client. When I mentioned the company for which we worked, then the threat of a full building for of bored lawyers flashed through their heads (the data we housed was very sensitive as well, exacerbating the issue - and that was common knowledge), they literally pulled the ethernet cable physically from the offending host.

Legal action costs money, if you have it, you are at a legal advantage...Disney has money to throw around, they are at a legal advantage...in this case, they'd also get help with finding the case from six flags and other associated parks, plus ride manufacturers and the companies that make the gear that takes the photos. Portions of their revenues depend on those pictures.

But you are free to try to take them on...that's the great part about democracy in a litigious society!
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 07:23 PM   #11
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Well if you're concerned then why not ask them to clarify their policy? https://secure.disney.go.com/wdw/con...=ContactUsPage
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 07:26 PM   #12
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Cole wrote:

"The actual question I hear is: "Why can they take pictures of people in public without consent when we are not supposed to if we are making projects that we intend to profit from?"

Funny, that's not the question I heard in the original post at all. The question I heard is -" how can they sell our photos without consent? " - Or to paraphrase - Is it illegal for someone to sell pictures of my kid to someone else, without my permission?


Like I keep saying, there are many legal issues here. The right to copyright. The right to publicity. The right to privacy. And the fact that the subject occured 'in public' on 'private property'.

You're right of course, big corporations have high paid lawyers. I know, I'm married to an Intellectual Property Attorney. And money goes a long way in deterring suits.

Taking pictures of people 'in public' is fine. You can shoot away to your hearts content, take them home, hang them on your wall, throw them in a drawer, salivate over them... whatever. As long as they were taken in a public forum.

In SOME circumstances, you can sell those photos for profit. I see Paris Hilton walking down the street, I take a picture, I sell it to a magazine because SHE'S A PUBLIC FIGURE and it's 'newsworthy'. (yeah yeah, I know) I can take a picture of Joe Blow on the street, and it MIGHT be newsworthy, depending on the circumstances... maybe he's in the background of a PARADE down Mainstreet... the parade is newsworthy.

My picture of Joe Blow, and his child, walking hand in hand through the park with the sun setting in the background with beautiful lighting... would look GREAT on a greeting card for Fathers Day... but I CANNOT SELL IT without Joe Blows permission (assuming he's identifiable in it of course) (This is closer to the example of the theme park)

Back to Paris Hilton... I take a picture of her sitting at a cafe'... I can sell it to the Magazines... fine. But I CANNOT put that picture in my furniture store to advertise the chair she is sitting on. "Right to Publicity" is the issue, I cannot profit from her 'publicity'.

And that's not even getting into taking pictures when people have a 'reasonable right to privacy'... whether such person is a 'public personna' or not.

It's complicated.

So the original - " how can they sell our photos without consent? " is answered in part by your assertion that "They have more money and lawyers, and you can't aford to fight them"... Or as I said "Because they did." But it doesn't address the legality of their actions. I think he was hoping for some sort of legal precedent for this... and frankly, because it's inside a theme park, on 'private property', I'm not sure what rights you give up with the purchase of the ticket. That's why I can't say whether or not it's 'legal' for them to sell your image without consent. Maybe our resident legal wizard Paul Tauger will weigh in on this. It's a good question.

(Yeah, I'd ask my wife but she's out of town in a seminar.)


A question just occured to me, that maybe isn't clear in your original post. Are the people who bought the photo of your kid, ALSO in the picture with him? IN other words, is it a 'group shot' of four or five people, INCLUDING your kid??? That's not clear in your post I think. IF that's the case, than yeah... it's probably fine to sell the 'group shot' to a member in the group.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
A question just occured to me, that maybe isn't clear in your original post. Are the people who bought the photo of your kid, ALSO in the picture with him? IN other words, is it a 'group shot' of four or five people, INCLUDING your kid???
I think that was addressed here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Buys View Post
On the Dinosaur ride there's 12 passengers and they snap a shot of all twelve passengers. This happens over and over again for thousands of people daily. So if one person buys the photo, they buy everybody's mug on that ride. This includes Chuck and Sally from Georgia and Vito from Brooklyn.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 08:31 PM   #14
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Ahh right. I didn't see it in the first post it was further down. SO yeah.. it's a group thing.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 09:28 PM   #15
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They took my picture too and sold it. Apparently someone mistook me for Goofy. :-)
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