Like most people I see myself as a law abiding person but I've recently become aware that things are not quite so simple and I may be leaving myself open to a lawsuit by offering my images for sale on DA
Why? Because I am offering for sale, images that I thought were mine to sell but it turns out they are not. Like most photographers on DA I'm an amateur and take pictures for fun hoping to improve enough to one day sell a couple of pictures and maybe recover at least some of the ridiculous amount of money I've spent on gear. So far my equipment has cost me triple what my car is worth! That's not counting a computer and software of course.
After being contacted by photo agencies that want to "License" some of my images my initial excitement has been dampened somewhat by their demands for "property release" forms. I was aware of the existence of "model release" forms but being a misanthrope I avoid pointing my camera at people to the point where I have been known to hang around for an hour waiting for the "Muggles" to move along before taking a shot and as a result I only have two images of people in my gallery. The nice old guy on the bench feeding pigeons, animal magnetism who I asked first before taking his picture (but not in writing) and the Skater girl. Can't use the old guy, no "model release" form. The skater girl? Well no "model release" form either but she's not exactly identifiable and that's not the problem. The problem is that the shot was taken in a "Royal park", Hyde park, London so taking the shot is ok but selling it is illegal because "commercial use" is against the law. Her Madge needs the money more than I do apparently.
The bulk of the rest of my gallery is stuff shot at events like car shows, steam rally's, museums, airfields and the grounds of country houses. Some free, most paid for. All of these where the location can be identified need a "property release" obtained BEFORE you take the shot. Often I've grassed myself up by including the location in the description. The picture of a Marcos taken with the owners permission at a paid for event , unusable because...no "property release" form for the house behind, even though the owner was the one holding the event. Chopped orange can't be used as although my feet were still in the road (public highway), my body was reclined on a private car park.
The real biggie is Green steam, I've had quite a bit of interest in this one but....you've guessed it no "property release" form . To make things even worse as the train came by I leant over the fence (a tiny post and wire effort) and might have placed a foot over it , which means I was "trespassing on the railway" which carries a jail term. So no point in even trying to get the required permissions as like I said earlier, you have to get a permit BEFORE taking the shot.
The only way around this is to either only shoot at home, never let your feet (or body) leave the public highway, pay a fortune up front for "permits" to take pictures that in all probability (see amateur) won't be up to much, only use bland non descript backgrounds like plain brickwork or drop everything out of focus except the non human subject.
So those of you still with me so far remember that next time you venture out beyond your own (not rented) front door that you need "model release" forms in your left hand, "property release" forms in your right and a third un named appendage with which to hold your camera. If you forget a pen, you're f****d!
Constructive comments welcome.