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Old May 10th, 2014, 04:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: ITALIA
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Privacy Issues when shooting on public places

Hi,
I would like to have your experiences and (if any) anecdotes about your experiences when shooting on public locations normal people on the street (not VIPs). How does it work in your country? Have you ever been sued? For what?

I live in Italy and the legislation is very fuzzy.
They say you can but people must not be recognisable! That's ridiculous. And in fact, on other books, you read that they can be recognisable but you must not follow one specific person (is it a 5 sec shot of a person on the mobile phone considered too specific?) and that you can't damage this person's reputation (ok.. I understand if he's poking his nose.. what if he's supposed to be at work, or if he's with his lover, etc...?).

Also.. what about minors? Are they ok. If with their parents is ok if alone not? Or if I am connecting them to something like smoking or drinking no, if they are doing nothing bad yes?

Also.. I have a 4K camera and even if you take 1/16th of the screen you can have a closeup at SD resolution! So what? And what about the use of long tele-lenses...I shot portraits with a 300mm lenses (on BMPC4K is like 450mm full frame) that show full face. Etc...

Please note I am talking of NO COMMERCIAL USE of the pictures... Not selling anything, just promoting myself. The pictures of the people are in not way associated to brand or to a theme (like shooting people and commenting in audio "50% use drugs").

I would like to know the country you live in, the laws (if you are sure.. maybe in US vary from state to state), and any personal experience (good or bad) about this. Thanks

Please use this video as a reference:
Marcello Mazzilli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2014, 04:31 AM   #2
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Re: Privacy Issues when shooting on public places

So if i'm a tourist shooting a video on my 4K resolution Handycam and people are in it ... it's not allowed ?

Stupid laws. That make no sense ...

Basically shoot video with any thing but a large camcorder and you will receive no complaints. Whip out a camera that stands out too much and the trolls will come out from beneath the rocks.
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Old May 10th, 2014, 04:42 AM   #3
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Re: Privacy Issues when shooting on public places

I've done some research here and there is no clear position. Italy is very messy with laws.. everything is fuzzy... And you can't say you're right or wrong until the end. Maybe you americans know from Amanda Knox's story.

Basically it summarise too "You can do it if nobody complains" but the"complain" part.. doesn't just refer to the shooting day... but can be years after with a letter from a lawyer!
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Old May 11th, 2014, 05:43 PM   #4
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Re: Privacy Issues when shooting on public places

Generally in "public" places there is not an expectation of "privacy" - nowadays there are cameras EVERYWHERE, security cams, ATM cams, traffic cams, and on and on. As unfortunate as it is, the "expectation" of privacy and anonymity has been traded for virtually nonstop "monitored safety"...

BUT as soon as you are making a profit (or attempting to, by say "promoting yourself"), there is a question of the ability to use and capitalize on the "image" of another, even if they aren't "famous". What if a third party wants to purchase and use the image you take for an ad campaign for hemorrhoid crème? And the person in the image is now negatively associated? That and of course the questions of illegal uses of otherwise "innocent" images... pictures of children/minors and such...

You're asking an "unanswerable" question - at least in the US, anyone can in theory sue for almost anything, and no matter how silly, get at least a day in court before dismissal, costing the defendant thousands of $$ in the process. I've read enough about the Knox case to shake my head about the Italian "justice" system...

Shoot your stuff, takes your chances... and if you have to ask, err on the side of caution. No one wins if it ends up in Court... except the attorneys!
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