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I think I know the answer to this, but want to double check.


in UK Law....


A friend who's also a photographer has a photograph of a well known artist

working in their studio.

A Gallery who's showing work by this artist wants to print a large copy of this

photo to show it along side the artists work, but also produce a small to

medium limited print run to sell.


My suspicion is that because the photograph was taken on private property the

photographer will need the artists permission (release form) to sell the print.

Is this correct ?

Or would they only need their permission if using the photo in some other

context e.g. advertising an unrelated product ?


I have photographs in other such situations which I why want to sell one day,

but as pieces of art - NOT in any other context.




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Asking for legal advice on a photographers forum... you get what you pay for.


However, as I understand it, in the UK once you have a photograph lawfully taken, you can do pretty-much anything you like with it which is not, of itself, unlawful.


In so far as you can't use it for advertising a product, this arises because the subject would be able (and in fact would have to demonstrate to the court) that his (or her) reputation had suffered by the association and therefore he or she had thereby been defamed.


As far as a privacy argument goes, the UK has no right to privacy, nor does it recognise as a tort (wrong) an invasion of privacy. It does recognise articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which stipulate for a right to a private and family life, and a right to freedom of expression respectively - but the implementation of these has so far been "shoehorned" (to use the word from one of the links below) into the Tort of "breach of confidence."


I don't think anyone but the judge your case is heard by could tell you whether the gallery would be breaching a confidence by publishing the photograph.


Overall, it seems, that to sell a photo as 'art', no you don't ever need permission from the subject, wherever it was taken (subject to the lack of the "reasonable expectation of privacy" test.)


On the other hand, seeing as there is little statute or case law (at least that I can find out about) that much of what you can or can't do boils down to what a lawyer could persuade the judge.


You might find some comfort in what Linda Macpherson (who unlike me is a lawyer) has written in her pdf guide, which you can download here:




On the other hand (again) wouldn't common courtesy dictate to ask the subject, seeing you know who they are? On the other hand (once more) what are you going to do if the artist says no?...


I shall wait to be shot down in flames by someone better qualfied than I am. Meanwhile the following webpages are somewhat relevant:





this page is about the situation in Australia, which is similar to the UK (and mentions the UK in passing)



and there is also this photo.net thread:




I hope that interesting and helps somewhat.

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Thanks for that - will pass it on. <BR/>

Should be fairly handy.<BR/>


<I>"Asking for legal advice on a photographers forum... you get what you pay for"</I><BR/>

Yep realise that - think he might cosult a lawyer too.<BR/>


<I>"On the other hand (again) wouldn't common courtesy dictate to ask the subject, seeing you know who they are?"</I><BR/>

True. Guess photographer is expecting a 'No'.<BR/>

Should have added though that it was of the artists back too - slightly busy as they're working.

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