This is Hyde Daily Photo Volume 1 (2006-2011) which is now in archive mode. For recent photographs please visit Hyde Daily Photo Volume 2. Additional material and links to blogger friends can be found at Hyde DP Xtra.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

You are being Watched

The local Photographic Society held an exhibition in Clarendon Square Shopping Centre last weekend. I took a couple of photos of the displays and was approached by an official of the Society. I was told that I wasn't allowed to photograph the photographs for copyright reasons and I most certainly couldn't put anything on the Internet.

If I'd been reproducing individual pictures I could perhaps have understood their concern. As it was, I only had my little camera with me and the shots I took of the displays turned out to be not much good anyway.

Instead then, keeping with the photographic theme, here's a shot of the sign outside the back entrance to the mall.


Chadders said...

Funny one this, isn't it? As far as I understand it (and I'm more than willing to be corrected on this, of course), but a photograph of a copyrighted work is allowed, as long as it's incidental in the photo, i.e. a picture of somebody with a picture behind them does not infringe copyright. If this wasn't the case, it'd be practically impossible to take photos without infringing somebody's copyright.

In this case, a picture of the display, rather than a picture of an individual photo, doesn't seem to be covered by copyright, it's the display that's the subject of the photo. I may, of course, be wrong, and that wouldn't be the first time. It'd certainly be interesting to see whether (if any) test cases along these lines have occurred.

Jules said...

Gosh it sounds so complicated - I think I will just avoid taking photos of photos.

Nice one of the sign though - I think you'll be safe with that!!

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Sometimes officials just like to be . . . officious. It's my first time here. I really like your banner, it's a great way to showcase your area.

julia said...

Shop keepers have told me not to take photographs in their shop. I guess thay think I'm spying on their stock!
Received news thanks.

Hyde DP said...

Chadders is absolutely correct.

I hope I don't give the impression that I haven't published a pic of their display because of what they
said -- reason is the ones I took just weren't good enough.

In the case of shops and things, then if a shop doesn't want me to photograph inside then that's OK with me - it is their loss not mine.

Old Wom Tigley said...

It's a shame your pictures did not turn out to well and another shame about what was said to you.
I saw the picture display there myself, and I was very impressed, if I'd have had more time I would have spent longer browsing.
It is a shame what was said as it would have been a good way of advertising their group and I would have thought some the group would be pleased to have their work on here... in the background of a shot or other wise.

jb said...

I've had similar experiences (including people challenging me for taking photographs of a building from a public road. Go figure)
I can't really see the downside of allowing your photographs to be photographed. Does the same apply to any work of art? Sculpture, for example?. Will it allow someone else to reproduce the image? And at which resolution?
Some people are just too precious. Or officious.

Neva said...

Too bad your pictures didn't turn out..I would have loved to see them....copyright protected and all! Because, of course, I would reproduce them from the blog and blow them up and hang them in my house....where all those officals could come and see in Inverness....hahahaha

barkfoot said...

You should have stood next to the photo and then asked as is your legal right for a copy of the CCTV image!

Mancman said...


Just for the record: As a general rule, in the UK you can photograph anything you like from a public place. There is no law against taking a photograph and nobody has any right to challenge you.

There are a few exceptions to this, mainly in relation to national security, in these cases, specific exceptions are written into law.

You cannot, of course, breach someone's copyright, but that only occurs if you publish their work, or use it for some other form of gain. The copyright issue still does not give anyone the right to prevent you from taking a photograph, other than to hide their work from view. Indeed if they obstruct you, or touch you in any way, it is they and not you that are breaking the law.

Should someone have reason to believe later, that their copyright is being breached, they have the right to take you to court in the normal way.

My advice: keep taking the photos, don't let these jobsworths infringe your rights and civil liberties. But be sensible..look after yourself.

Jilly said...

This is a fascinating subject. I took a photograph of items for sale in a shop in Monaco the other day and the shop assistant rushed out and told me I couldn't do it. Very strange cos the shop is actually a charity shop selling children's clothes. I will probably publish it at some point but I find the whole copyright thing highly confusing.

And Gerald, I left a message for you on Naples DP about the spaghetti but may have got the story about the Queen and the BBC ALL wrong! J x

isabella said...

I had the same experience as Jilly. Tried to photograph a window display at a Parisian clothing boutique and a salesgirl ran out to stop me (btw - I have a photo of her yelling at me...and the window display ;-)).

Ame said...


OK, this might not be proper Brit grammer...but I think you should just tell them to BUGGER OFF! ;)

Let them take their little society somewhere ELSE!

We're ALL artists...they should have been honored you wanted to snap THEIR stuff!

Should have "snatched" it inSTEAD!


Andrew said...

Hi everyone. There are signs at many shops and street stalls here in Bangkok saying 'No Pictures'. I have often wondered if they are legal but never got around to finding out the exact laws here.

Gail's Man said...

I've been reading many such stories in Amateur Photographer magazine about what photos you can take and where. It seems you can take pictures of anything across Europe, but in the UK, you can get into trouble. Don't know what it's like in the States.

On the subject of CCTV, Nottingham now has talking cameras. The watcher can now speak to the individual (or gang) that is being watched. So if you drop a crisp packet you'll hear "pick that up and put it in the bin".

Big brother (or sister) certainly is watching you now.

Unless otherwise stated, all photographs on this site are copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Gerald England.

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