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Thread: Canada laws

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    Canada laws

    Is there any restrict on taking pictures in public in Canada??? Such as, it is ok to take street pictures in Canada cities.

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    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Ha! Here's the funny thing about Canada: you can take pictures of anyone you please (within the limits of National Security of course), but you can't SELL or PUBLISH these pictures without proper model release.

    At least that's what the Supreme Court judgement on the Duclos affair says, which you can read in English here:
    http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/199...8rcs1-591.html

    Or in French here:
    http://csc.lexum.umontreal.ca/fr/199...8rcs1-591.html

    The basic contention is between the right to control one's image and the right to information. There are no "artistic rights" in Canada. Either your picture is publicly interesting (like a news picture) and therefore you don't have to ask permission for publishing it; or your picture is not newsworthy and then your subject's right to control how his/her image is being used take precedence, which means Screw you HCB, we won't hear any of your bleeding heart humanistic art!

    You have to bear in mind that the Supreme Court judgement is in fact just a validation of an earlier judgement that was made in a lower Québec court, so that if someone really is to blame, it's the first judge who accepted the elements of proof, which are disputable according to the dissenting judges (this was not a unanimous decision). The Supreme Court decided to take the conservative approach and simply respect the prior decision, which they often do.
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    BWKate's Avatar
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    Does this law apply if you have the images of said people in an art gallery and it is not deemed "commercial"?

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    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    Ha! Here's the funny thing about Canada: you can take pictures of anyone you please (within the limits of National Security of course), but you can't SELL or PUBLISH these pictures without proper model release.
    That applies only in Quebec not in the rest of Canada.

    A little known fact about copyright though is in Canada, the copyright owner is the person who PAID FOR THE IMAGE not automatically the photographer.

    Regards, Art.
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    jd callow's Avatar
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    Art,
    how does that apply to music, books, etc...?

    *

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    thebanana's Avatar
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    Theoretically, you can be on public property and photograph to your heart's content, but in recent years what constitutes "public property" isn't always clear. For example, most "public" facilities such as skating rinks, libraries etc. have instituted their own rules about photography (as in "not allowed"). Taking photos of kids in public parks is also generally frowned upon, unless they're your own.
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

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    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart View Post
    That applies only in Quebec not in the rest of Canada.

    A little known fact about copyright though is in Canada, the copyright owner is the person who PAID FOR THE IMAGE not automatically the photographer.

    Regards, Art.
    Actually, what I've read so far about the decisions was just that the rest of Canada was in a limbo because the case was decided in Québec first. If you have some references or if someone has any legal experience, I would really like to have more details.
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    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWKate View Post
    Does this law apply if you have the images of said people in an art gallery and it is not deemed "commercial"?
    AFAIK, if you are selling prints, you are making commercial usage. Again, the important point is that with respect to this judgement, art does not exist. But as Art (namesake!) has mentioned, this may apply differently in other provinces.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dxphoto View Post
    Is there any restrict on taking pictures in public in Canada??? Such as, it is ok to take street pictures in Canada cities.
    I presume your question relates to getting into trouble taking pictures, not copyright. And any view that can be seen from public property is allowed to be photographed for your personal usage.
    Bill

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    This case was a case originating in Quebec, decided under Quebec law. The Quebec statute cited appears to be a codification of certain provisions of Quebec civil law, which is distinctly different from the common law provisions in the other provinces, and territories.

    My quick reading of the decision, (both the majority reasons, and the dissents), indicates to me that there is essentially no guidance on the question in respect to any place other than Quebec.

    In essence, the compensatable right on which the claim is founded appears to arise from Quebec civil law, as codified in a Quebec statute.

    The only general guide I might take from this is the impression that the court is sympathetic to the interests of the person whose photograph was published, without their permission being sought.

    My sense is that the photograph in question essentially featured the claimant, and might on its face imply that it was published with the claimant's consent.

    For a more informed opinion, you will need to hear from a Quebec lawyer.

    Matt

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