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Re: filmscanners: OT: photographing on the street

On Sat, 19 May 2001, Johnny Deadman wrote:

> Does US law really provide for someone to sue for invasion of privacy? 

Yes, but I don't think a snap in a public area would implicate it in most
if not all states.  It's a matter of state law, not federal law, so it's
impossible to draw a general rule about what "US law" is in this
context.  California and New York could be very different.

A more likely problem is an area generally called "right of publicity"; it
basically allows an individual to prevent the use of his likeness to aid
in the sale of a product (in California, it's in Civil Code section 3344;
I don't know about other jurisdictions).  An interesting case is where the
product being sold is the image itself -- for example, if you sell a photo
of a street scene including an individual.  I know that Tiger Woods has a
case pending trying to prevent someone from selling paintings of him; I
don't know how that case has progressed.

I am a lawyer, but this area is a little outside of my area (which is
copyright, patent and licensing), so don't take any of the above to the
bank -- if you have concerns, check with someone who knows the law in your
particular jurisdiction, or err on the side of caution and get the

Terry Carroll       |  "Denied."
Santa Clara, CA     |      Baltimore Ravens v. Bouchat, no. 00-1494,
carroll@tjc.com     |      (U.S. Supreme Court, May 21, 2001)
Modell delendus est |      


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