This is a sort of follow up to my last post regarding UK Law regarding Street-Photography.
Do I own this photograph?
Yes I do but, it is MY image and it belongs to me, can I use it or publish it? As I understand copyright allows me to publish this image on the Internet and possibly exhibit it in a gallery or show. I can even charge people for this image via the Internet, but with am exhibition or show, I think (correct me if I am wrong) that it has to be free (free entrance etc). What I am NOT allowed to do with the image is sell it for use in a promotion or advertisement, which would require a model release? Yes or no? Is this a grey area, or is it definitely black and white (not the image, the law!). I have tried researching this on the Internet, but can really find no definite answer, the threads which I read go off on all sorts of tangents regarding rights and copyright and law suites.
The story behind this shot (is there always a story?) is I had seen three woman all wearing Burqas/Burkas accompanied by a male walking up and down Portobello Market. I had not really taken much notice of them and had no intention of trying to shoot them. However, I was looking at some items on a stall and I turned around, I saw this group on the next stall looking at and picking up the merchandise. The way I saw it framed I instantly took three or four shots. The eyes of the woman through the slit in the Burka/Burqa and then her head being framed in almost another slit that was made from how the stall was set up.
I started to walk away and as I passed the group the male approached me. He said “delete”, I said “Pardon”, he said “delete photo”, I said “No, the photograph is mine and not yours”. He became a little agitated, but because of his rude attitude I decided I was going to stand my ground and not budge. He kept talking to me for about a minute stating I had no right to take photographs of Muslim woman. It ended up with him saying that he was going to call the Police. I told him to go ahead, as there was no law in the UK saying that I could not take photographs of people in the street and that those photographs taken were my property. It was his rudeness and general attitude that really riled me. We stood there for a short while and I asked him if in-fact he was going to call the Police, as I was willing to wait, he grunted at me and turned around. This I took as the end of the matter and walked away. Nothing else happened, even though I saw them several more times during the morning.
Now if he had been polite and a bit more reasonable, I would have gladly respected his wish and deleted the photograph (I had taken four frames so deleting one was not going to hurt! ). If you are thinking that there may have been a bit of a language barrier, then stop right there. The guy could speak very good English and his rudeness and arrogance was not through a communication barrier.
It might be and probably is an offence in their country to photograph woman, punishable by death even and my camera smashed over my head! (you never know!), or it might cause great offence and I would respect their laws and customs coz I really do not want to end up in some back street jail waiting to be beheaded. The point is they are in the UK, and I am abiding by UK law. No offence meant, just trying to put across my point/opinion, which I quite entitled to do .
That was the only ‘episode’ I encountered whilst on this particular photo-walk, but I thought I would share the story. You may have come across similar experiences? If so tell me about them.
Any views on copyright? Have I got it right with regards to who owns the image and what they can do with it? Please leave a comment and give your views.