Photographing at the SD Zoo and Del Mar Race Track

 
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Jack English
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Photographing at the SD Zoo and Del Mar Race Track Reply with quote

I phoned the SD Zoo and asked if it would be alright to come on there grounds and photograph there animals and may or may not use the images in advertising.

There response was "yes, for $10,000.00 you can come and do this."

In your opinion do you think I could go in there and shoot photos of the animals and use those in advertisements?

Same questions for say the Del Mar Race Track, use the images of the jockeys on the horse (where you can't see there face)..

This is what I found at www.photoattorney.com :
David Shirks at Goliath's Threat - Photos of Property

Large organizations often try to intimidate photographers from using pictures of their property by alleging the uses are illegal but the law has yet to support their claims. These threats understandably give pause to the independent photographer who may not have the funds to fight a lawsuit even when in the right. Unfortunately, photography companies are now altering their practices.

A major stock agency recently distributed the following notice it received from The Zoological Society of San Diego (that runs the San Diego Zoo) to its photographers:

It has come to our attention that an image on your website, [name removed], may have been taken on grounds at the San Diego Zoo. The Zoological Society of San Diego does not allow any personal photos to be taken and used for commercial purpose. We have strict policies concerning this matter. The policy for photo and video taken at the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park that can be found on your admission ticket into the facility is stated as follows:

The commercial use of photographs, video and film you may have taken during your visit is strictly prohibited without the full written consent of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Furthermore, the Zoological Society of San Diego policy prohibits photographs and/or video taken on grounds to be utilized commercially and/or promotionally. The Society is a private, non-profit organization, which relies on exclusive images of our plant and animal collection in order to raise money for our worldwide conservation efforts. You are, therefore, prohibited from selling your images in a gallery, on the Internet or for any other commercial purpose, as well as referencing the Zoological Society of San Diego. Please remove any images from your web-site [name] upon receipt of this letter.



First, the Zoological Society never cites a law to support its "policy" because selling photos taken there does not break any laws. Second, selling images in a gallery or on the Internet does not necessarily qualify as a "commercial" use. Third, the Zoological Society may not rely on a term on the ticket/receipt as binding since a person would have not noticed it at or before the contract was entered into when acquiring the ticket (hence the need for "I Agree" check boxes on websites and shrink wrap packaging on software signifying your agreement for the license).

An increasing number of organizations are complaining about photographs of their property. A list can be found on the Picture Archive Council of America's website. They make all kinds of claims - trademark violations, trespassing, property ownership/control - but none of them are supported by law except for protection of other copyrighted works (statues, but not buildings) and in a very few cases, trademark infringement/dilution.

The Zoological Society has the right to prevent the taking of photographs on its property but it does not try to stop it. Instead, it sponsors and advertises photography activities on its grounds. That it tries to restrict the use of the photos after they are taken there is astonishing.

It is disappointing that a stock agency would submit to the Zoological Society's request by removing images designated as being taken at the Zoo and then passing the notice on to its members with a recommendation to comply. Individual photographers may not have the resources to fight Goliath, but if photographers stand on the shoulders of others, we may be big enough to knock Goliath dow
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack:

Of course it is appropriate for those organizations to restrict commercial (and even private) photography on their property. There is nothing unreasonable about it. They have every legal right to sue the hell out of you if you shoot ads there--it's private property. And the animals are also their property.

The horses at Del Mar are worth millions sometimes. You bet the owners want to control their images!

Would you expect to let someone use your home to make a commercial not to pay for that? What about your studio? How about to use your dog in a commercial?

Just because a place is a place where there are lots of people does not mean it is a free and open space for the purposes of making images, especially commercial images.

[This is not official legal advice! Contact a real lawyer for the best answer to your legal questions!]
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Jack English
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you leslie for clearing that up.. yes, more times then not i need to look at the other side of the fence and see where there coming from. it all makes sense..
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Tyler Mallory
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall from my visit to the SD zoo a couple years ago that they have those restrictions listed on the back of the ticket stub when you enter the park. Conveniently enough, the conditions also grant them the right to use pictures OF you, in the event they are making images, or granting others the right to do so. Similar terms and conditions as major league sporting events have. Though if I recall, the tickets are non-refundable, so there's no way to opt out of granting them permission to photograph you. I would think that part, at least would not hold up, but they are private property, so no commercial shooting without permission and $$$.
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've shot at the Cleveland Zoo quite often. I have some shots of the grounds, but mostly I shoot "portraits" of the animals, so no one can really tell where I shot them. If you want to see some really wild animal shots check out James Quantz's work. Both the illustration work(really wild...pun intended), and his portraits which are really beautiful.

Jon

Just checked out his site again. The last couple of shots in "Portfolio 1" shows all the component parts of a couple of his finished pieces. There's also a shot of a women all decked out walking her Bengal Tiger. That's his wife, and she was walking their dog. He stripped in the tiger in PS. The guy's amazing.
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:
I've shot at the Cleveland Zoo quite often. I have some shots of the grounds, but mostly I shoot "portraits" of the animals, so no one can really tell where I shot them. If you want to see some really wild animal shots check out James Quantz's work. Both the illustration work(really wild...pun intended), and his portraits which are really beautiful.
[snip]


He's also a lovely person to talk to. I met him at one of the ASMP SB2 events and was blown away with his work and his humbleness. I'm so glad he is getting known for his PI stuff.

As for shooting at the zoo, it's just bad business to try and work around someone else's rights. You wouldn't want someone to do that to you, would you? It may feel harmless to you, but you have to look at it from the other side. Zoos cost a ton of money to run and they are often a hair away from going under...
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree about James Quantz. I know him from the NAPP forums. I PM'd him about a software program for stripping out a subject from it's background. He said he used it, but now just does manually. He then proceeded to tell me how to do it. Those old time baseball players on my website are a direct result of his advice.

About the zoo. Leslie, I know where you're coming from about stealing someone's rights. I just don't see it in this situation. Kind of like the "no harm, no foul" in basketball. If I was to shoot a portrait of a lion and make the most amazing poster of a lion(not a lion in the Cleveland Zoo, San Diego Zoo etc....I would expect to pay royalties if I used their logos etc.), I'm talking about a portrait of a lion...could have been from any zoo in the world, it would not stop one person who was planning on going to the zoo from going. I doubt if dad would say..."kids, I know I promised I would take you to the zoo, but after looking at this amazing shot by this DeVaul guy, we don't have to go now...we can just stay home and stare at this poster". What might happen(if it has any effect whatsoever) is my shot might cause people to want to see these animals in real life...and go and buy tickets, snacks, souvenirs, etc. James Quantz has that effect on me...I see his portraits of animals, and I want to buy a ticket, and shoot some pictures. I've been to the zoo and had guides ask me if I was a professional after looking at my equipment. I say yes, and then they tell me to "make sure you get a shot of the baby giraffe...it was just born last week". Didn't mean for this to come out in book form, but I've been known to ramble at times...just ask my wife Very Happy

Jon
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Leslie
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:

About the zoo. Leslie, I know where you're coming from about stealing someone's rights. I just don't see it in this situation. Kind of like the "no harm, no foul" in basketball. If I was to shoot a portrait of a lion and make the most amazing poster of a lion(not a lion in the Cleveland Zoo, San Diego Zoo etc....I would expect to pay royalties if I used their logos etc.), I'm talking about a portrait of a lion...could have been from any zoo in the world, it would not stop one person who was planning on going to the zoo from going. I doubt if dad would say..."kids, I know I promised I would take you to the zoo, but after looking at this amazing shot by this DeVaul guy, we don't have to go now...we can just stay home and stare at this poster".
Jon


You don't get to make the call, Jon. The zoo does. You don't have to agree or understand it, but you do have to respect it.

Look at it this way, to you it is just "a lion" but to the zoo it is a specific creature of great value to them. I bet you feel the same way about your kid or your dog. To you, they are very, very important and if someone made an image of them without your permission, you'd be understandably pissed. If the photographer said "it's just a shot of a kid" you would probably say "no, that's a shot of MY kid." As well you should. Same for your dog.

The photographer does not get to decide if the property right owner's enforcement of its moral and legal rights is rational or good. The photographer does not get to decide if making the image will harm the value of whatever it is s/he is shooting. The photographer does not have to like or approve of any other person or entity's property/privacy/publicity rights. But the photographer must respect them, even when s/he doesn't like it.

The argument you have made is exactly the same argument that people who steal images for use on websites/blogs make. "It's not really hurting the photographer" and "The photographer might even get business from it" are the two lamest excuses we fight all the time in our own industry.

If we demand that others respect our property rights, we MUST do the same for others.
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huge difference...my son is unique. If there were 1000 kids that looked exactly like my son and I saw a picture of the face...not standing on my property, but just the face, what should I do, sue? The website issue is also tricky. What if someone steals one of my very unique images off of my website and makes a poster out of it? Yes, I'd be pissed. What if I had a shot of a basketball on gray seamless and someone used it without my permission...are they stealing...yes, do I lose money from that action? Maybe, maybe not.

How's this? I pay the zoo $10,000 dollars to go on their grounds and shoot animal portraits so I can make posters and sell them. I get a release and every
thing is legal. There's a guy next to me who shoots the same animal. He goes home and prints a big print on his desktop printer, frames it, hangs it on the wall...did I just lose a potential sale? I guess you can say that, but if I have to worry about that, just lock me up now!

What about the post above that says that by me buying a ticket enables the zoo to use a picture of my son...so it's alright for them to generate business by using a shot of my son, but if I use a picture of one of their lions, they want to sue me? And I don't want to hear about me being on their property. My taxes help pay for them to be there. I can't count the number of levies I've voted for that goes toward our Metro Park system, which includes the Zoo, and you know what? I'll vote for the next one too.

I'm getting like Howard Beale..."mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore".

Jon
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Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to take personal family pictures at the zoo go ahead but if you want to conduct your business at the Zoo, the zoo is going to want a fee of some sort. If you want to sell hot dogs and grape slushees at the zoo you'd probably have to pay a $10k fee as well.
I also pay taxes for the zoo, and that is to use the zoo as a zoo not a stock photo opportunity. Your taxes also support the fire department but you can't borrow the ladder truck if you are a house painter. And aren't you not taking from the other taxpayers by using the zoo for your personal gain?.
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And every picture of every animal at Corbis, Getty, and every other stock agency, was paid for and licensed whether shot by a pro, or a soccer mom, and of course every art buyer, art director and their agencies who used any of those shots were contributing to the theft. Oh let's not forget about the public who buys the products and/or magazines that use those pictures.

And Mike, let's get real here. Me shooting a photograph of a lion and tiger does not cost the zoo or any other taxpayer a dime, or impinge on their ability to enjoy the zoo, so what exactly am I taking from them? To equate that with setting up a slushie stand on the zoo grounds is, well very imaginative.

I'm sorry, I know I'm 100% wrong here...but I remember a time that if your house appeared in the background of a local T.V. ad you used to tell all your friends to check out the commercial...now you get on the phone and call your attorney and threaten a lawsuit.

Jon

ps...gotta run, the fire truck just pulled in and I have to show them which plants need watering. Wink
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Jack English
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, today i shot photos of dogs surfing on surfboards. not private property, but in the ocean..

they were there with there owners, would i have to get a signed release from the owners dog to use there photo of there dog surfing?

(this is all for the camera company that i am doing a shoot for)
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rod
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the short answer is yes. A property release from the dog owner. Although I personally can't stand thinking of my dog as a piece of property.
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