In Germany your photos are not always yours

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by darkosaric, May 26, 2014.

  1. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The Background:

    There are two, often colliding, legal positions in german legislation on photography, more than hundred years old:

    -) the ownership of the photographer on a physical photograph but also on all rights concerning publishing

    -) the right of a subject to prohibit any publication of his image (if not being a person of public interst, unimportant part of a scene etc.)


    Taking photographs of people in public spaces is free by law.


    BUT,

    There are recent court decisions stating that the act of taking a photograph implies publication and by that can be rejected by the subject or the film/file requested.

    This is quite puzzling as there no longer is legal certainty on this issue.
     
  3. zanxion72

    zanxion72 Member

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    The title here is a bit misleading. "Revenge porn" is something a lot different to just "your photos". Nude photos taken without the victim's consent have always been illegal no matter yours or not. Nude photos taken by both's consent gets things a bit more complex and requires approval by both sides to get published.
    Nude photos of models rely on the contractual terms at the time of shooting.
    Public nudity is something different and I have no idea where things fall in :smile:
     
  4. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    bleat

    In the US we bleat a lot about "freedom" but responsibility usually takes a hit. The "freedom" to post revenge photos of an ex is not freedom, it is chickenshit. In Europe they pay more attention to privacy issues than over the pond here. And, over here, your photos are not necessarily yours to do whatever you wish to do with them. It is like writing a letter. You send someone an intimate letter and they own the letter -- the physical paper and ink -- but you own the words. Some slimes recently tried to sell private Jackie Kennedy letters to a priest (she wrote about JFK fooling around with other women) at auction and got slapped down. We are real good over here at telling the world what to do but maybe we should look at our own sins of commission and omission once in a while. Just a thought. I know it is hard to run the most powerful empire the world has ever seen and still be thoughtful about silly things like privacy and rights but maybe we should.
     
  5. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    This guy had no intention of posting the pictures online, he was just possessing the pictures.
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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  7. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    What if pictures were taken on film? He could have scans somewhere - but if they destroy the negatives - it is pretty enforceable (if he did not made contact prints). This question is of course more in APUG spirit :smile:, probably pictures were digital.
     
  8. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I don't know if I should even post this, but I'm with the court on this one. Taking nude photos of a model is one thing, expecting to keep old photos from an ex is another. It doesn't matter what the photographer wants to do with them, the fact is we are no longer living in an analog world -- it's very digital, very global, and very hard to keep your private life private (especially in the hands of others). I don't think it's unreasonable for an ex to demand that nude photos of her (or him) be deleted or destroyed (or given back to said person). Even if you were the most honest, upright person in the world, that doesn't preclude the fact that someone else may come across those photos, or steal them, and use them in a way you never intended to. Is this something any (photographer) wants? Of course not. 20, 10, even 5 years ago this probably wouldn't have made news, but there have been enough horrible incidents that have happened to people around the world that revolve around photos of them in compromising situations, that I think it's something that people have to learn to accept may be part of "break up" agreements (or even just a change of heart).
     
  9. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    Not to mention thumb drives and memory cards hidden here and there... I think it is more to put him on notice that if they do show up anywhere, the court will come looking for him.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Not in Germany in case of public nudity.
     
  11. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I'm totally against this, it's idiotic.

    If the woman didn't want images of her naked body to exist, then she shouldn't have allowed them to be taken, period. If she doesn't like it, then maybe she will learn not to do it in the future....

    People want to take no responsibility for their own actions and their own mistakes and want to blame others.

    Some of my best nude work have been intimate moments with my ex's... Of course I'm smart enough to obtain a model release, but still, they are my photos, period...

    This kind of demand from the court would actually just make me lash out and post the images on the internet when I wasn't planning to... Don't mess with my photos, yes MY photos... And the government needs to stay out of MY personal business...

    Good thing I'm not German...
     
  12. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    I think if you have a model release, that's a different issue.

    Legalities aside, the considerate thing to do is respect the wishes of the person depicted, whether you used to have sex with them or not. You also have responsibilities for your picture taking behavior, which ironically, you are saying should always be blamed on the other party. People change (at least some do); what they agree to willingly now may become an embarrassment or a humiliation or cause all sorts of personal problems later. Unless you have a release, that seems to trump the affront to your artistic sensibilities
     
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I agree absolutely people have a responsibility to others...

    There's are many models I don't display online because they have asked me to only include their work in published books, I respect that.

    That said, I don't ALWAYS have a release, but do often if it's a long term thing and I'm shooting art content.

    But the fact is, owning them and displaying them are different.

    And I feel that I should not be told I can't own something once freely given because they changed their minds about it.

    That's like saying if I had sex with someone, and then next week or next year they decided they didn't want to have sex with me, that they could have me charged with rape... I'm using this extreme to illustrate the point...

    It's a slippery slope... Next the court will say I can't own photos of my ex in clothing because she doesn't want me to look at her anymore. Or that all family photographs with Aunt Judy in them need to be confiscated an destroyed because they are having a family fued...

    It's ridiculous. You made your choices in the past, if you believe you made a mistake, learn from it and move on, but you can't change the past, and you shouldn't be able to take things away from people that were freely given.... Simply because you changed your mind later...
     
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  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I will stop posting, apparently my perspective isn't ok to share here because it is unpopular.
     
  16. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Don't stop Stone, in Ethics and Philosophy subforum is often like that. Every perspective is appreciated :smile:.
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Stone:
    Your perspective is fine to share. It is just that you need to be able to understand that there are good reasons why it might not be shared by others.
    If someone in an intimate relationship agrees to an intimate photograph, and then later has second thoughts, then I think that change of mind needs to be taken seriously.
    The original nature of the relationship is important, as is the understanding in place at the time the shots were taken, and the subsequent use of those photos.
    If the photos were intended to be shared only between the photographer and the subject, that intention should be honoured. If the intention was always clear that the photos would be shared publically (the signed model release would be excellent evidence of that), then that intention should be given good weight.
    That being said, if the subject in a nude photograph doesn't want it shared, and that wish can be honoured without breaking other commitments, it is a really respectful choice to honour that wish.
     
  18. Wayne

    Wayne Member

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    Its all about control. I think a better analogy to your rape analogy would be that the photographer would expect the subject to still have sex with them even though they have changed their mind. When you possess sexually explicit photos, you have control over the person. People change their minds. The agreement to take the photos involved two (or more) people, and one of them is now absent.
     
  19. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    Control seems a bit strong. That would be tantamount to extortion.

    I do not presume to tell Germany what to do. However, with no model release, they should be kept private. IMHO.

    While I have never photographed nudes, were it an ex, they would have been deleted/destroyed long ago. When a relationship was over, the last thing I wanted to look at was her picture; with or without clothing...
     
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    -) this is not a government thing

    -) even the legislation I hinted at is not a government thing

    -) this is a court decicion, contrary to photographic law. It can be tested at higher courts.
     
  21. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    But the guy never planned to publish those photos - they would stay only between those 2 persons. What I see as problematic is that they ordered him to destroy the photos simply because he was having them - not because he was planing to publish them.

    Let's not go into enforceable thing again. And yes - I see potential damage (it is not clear situation), that is why I called it a dilemma. But all this is potential. Are we are going in "Minority report" movie (short story) direction?
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There are recent court decisions stating that the act of taking a photograph implies publication and by that can be rejected by the subject or the film/file requested.

    -) this is not covered by the photographic laws

    -) in this very case the right to urge the photos back was even granted time after they had been taken.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The strange thing is that there is one movement into the direction of more protection of the "right of ones own image", and on the other side much more tolererated with taking and publishing as in the case of aerial photography (now Google and Bing, in future everybody).
     
  24. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Yes. I was always surprised how many houses are blurred in google maps in Germany. But then friend explained me that many thieves are using google maps to look which car you have, how are your locks on the house, do you have "nice" back yard...
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Well, not that long ago whole Kodak Park was veiled on aerial views.

    Google started their Streetview project in Germany, but stopped it after protest. The cities already online stayed there though. Seemingly streets photographed but not yet online were kept off the net.
     
  26. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    snapguy, you are in eminent danger of being proposed to. By me.

    How very refreshing to read someone in the 'Union' who speaks with both reason and candor. We learn a LOT by selfless observation of matters outside ot the eye of the storm; that privacy issue's importance across the pond is a striking example of how chuzpah (the American style) unfortunately trumps common sense here, and, eminently and too often, nullifies a genuine consideration for others.

    'Freedom' is a much abused term in America; one that elevates to become but tailor-made facile expedience of the worst kind. Well said, sir. - David Lyga