Here we go again

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by bobatkins, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Arkansas bill SB79 has apparently passed
    TO ENACT THE PERSONAL RIGHTS PROTECTION ACT; AND TO PROTECT THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S NAME, VOICE, SIGNATURE, AND LIKENESS.
    http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2015/2015R/Bills/SB79.pdf
    To quote the ASMP: ( http://asmp.org/sb79 )
    The implications of this bill are staggering. For example, an image showing recognizable people posted to the Internet for a use that would not require written consent anywhere else in the world could leave you open to a lawsuit just because someone in Arkansas could view it online.
    SB-79 places an unprecedented burden on all photographers whose work could be viewed within the state of Arkansas to either get explicit consent from every individual whose likeness appears in all of their photographs or risk defending themselves in a lawsuit where they will have to shoulder the burden of proving the use of their photographs qualifies as an exempted use

    There are some "Fair Use" exceptions, but they are very specific (and need a lawyer to interpret for the rest of us) and don't appear to cover much of what is currently regarded as "street photography". For example they allow images "Solely to depict the individual's role as a member of the public if the individual is not named or otherwise singled out", which would pretty much rule out any street photo which has a person as the main subject, since that would "single them out".
    See http://asmp.org/SB79#.VRmL6fzF9pZ for the ASMP's interpretation of the bill.
     
  2. Yeah, why didn't they protect non-citizens? Otherwise, I'm not sure this says what the ASMP suggests it does. May need to read it a few more times. How does this compare to current Arkansas privacy/publicity legislation?
     
  3. These may explain more
    http://blog.pacaoffice.org/?p=2620
    http://asmp.org/pdfs/MPAA_SB-79_Letter.pdf
     
  4. I suppose that sitting back and collecting royalties, because someone once took and showed someone else a photo that had you in the background, beats working for a living.
     
  5. This is thoroughly bad, ill-conceived law.
     
  6. So hypothetically:
    • I take a photo of someone here in Virginia and post it on a website based in Germany. I offer copies for sale. Any random person in Arkansas can sue me for that? Wouldn't they need to establish standing?
    • Or is it that a subject who isn't a resident of Arkansas can still sue me under Arkansas law if they file suit in an Arkansan court?
    • Or is it that a subject I've photographed outside of Arkansas can move to Arkansas, and then being an Arkansas citizen, protected under this most enlightened law, they can sue me?
    I'm very confused.

    Does this problem go away if I close down my struggling photographic business entirely? Can I still display photos of a documentary nature? (I think the answer is yes, but I'm not sure.)

    Also what happens with regard to photos I've already licensed out, that are on display on the Internet? I suppose the folks displaying their photos might be sued, but could I be conjoined in the lawsuit? I have no right to ask former clients who have legitimately licensed my photos to stop using them!
     
  7. A bit of common sense?
    http://governor.arkansas.gov/press-releases/details/governor-asa-hutchinson-vetoes-sb79
     
  8. On the other hand, this Arkansas bill guarantees the right for people to photograph public officials as they are doing their job: http://www.thearkansasproject.com/arkansas-to-be-first-state-in-the-nation-to-protect-photographers-rights/
     
  9. Never wanted to go there anyway.
     

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