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School Performance photography - can they do this?
I photograph drama performances in our town for the local schools.
The school system has given me permission to post these images and
offer them for sale to the students and families involved. Nobody is
supposed to be allowed a camera/video device in the theater during
performance. However, we know that this does not occur.. I hear and
see snapping during the entire performance. Recently, a person has
taken the photographs and offered them 'for sale' on the Internet.
This has offended me and the school system involved. Can they do
this? It makes me think that if this is the case I'll go to a wedding
and photograph and offer the photos for sale to the bride and groom
for less than the official photographer.. (never would-kidding) I
follow a rule of ethics...
Questions the lawyer will ask:
Where did this happen.
Show me your written contract.
Show me a ticket to the event.
Where there any signs posted about no photography. Show them to me and their
Show me all the advertisements for the event.
Show me the model and property releases you have.
Show me the creative releases you have from the producers of those events.
Tell me all about the event.
Who is this third party. (e.g. Newspaper that may have the legal right to publish)
Answer you are likely to get may be along the lines of:
You do not have standing to sue.
However the school may and the persons in the pictures may.
You are going HUH?
It isn't your copyright that is being violated. It isn't your right of privacy
that is being violated. It isn't your right of publicity for your school
property that is being violated. It wasn't your property that was trespassed
upon to make those photographs. Remember the contract you have is between you
and the school, not this other third party.
You may be able to sue based upon a claim that this person is interfering in
your business based upon the contract you have with the school. The real claim
you may have might be against the school for not strip searching the patrons to
prevent cameras from getting in the venue or not suing this third party to stop
In short, you need to talk to a lawyer.
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