The what, when, why and how of getting permission to take photos.

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Reply by Sean

June 7, 2016

If I have taken a photo of someone on private land, and gave them the photo stating private use only, are they breaking the law by using my copyrighted images of them on Facebook?

Reply by Andrew Hudson, PhotoSecrets

June 8, 2016

Hi Sean,

You took the photo, so you own the copyright, so you say how the photo can be used. If you don’t want the photo posted on Facebook, tell the person to remove the photo from Facebook. If they do not, you can ask Facebook to remove it by submitting a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice. Here is the link.

Note that there is some debate as to what is “fair use” on websites like Facebook. Also, since you gave the person approval for personal use, that might weigh in favor of tacit approval for use on Facebook, if the photo is not being used for commercial purposes.

Reply by Anonymous

September 1, 2015

Will I need permission to do the following:

Make several photographs of a friend posed in front of a graffiti-like mural; painted on the exterior wall of a restaurant. These images can only be seen and or photographed from the resturant’s parking lot. We would post them on social media with no intended commercial use.

Thank you.

Reply by Andrew Hudson, PhotoSecrets

January 12, 2016

No, you would not need permission for that.

There are several factors which would tend to make this fair use: Your friend is the subject, not the mural; you are not making money from the mural; you are not reducing the market value of the mural; this was a public view; your use may be considered personal use; there are little if any damages.

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