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legal age for nudes

Jon Anthony , Sep 11, 2000; 11:37 a.m.

Just to be on the safe side, what's the legal age for nude models? Does a standard model release work for fine art nude photographer? Thanks


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Allan Chu , Sep 11, 2000; 12:13 p.m.

In the US, I believe the age is 18. There's probably a website out there that will tell you for sure.

Bob Atkins , Sep 11, 2000; 12:36 p.m.

I don't believe there is one - see Sally Mann's work for example. You can run into lots of trouble though with the definition of "child pornography" even with what you may think are innocent images and even if they are your own children. See the case of Jock Sturges or Zona Labs for example. To be on the SAFE side they should be over 18.

A standard release is a standard release, as long as it's signed by someone over the age of majority (18 usually) it's OK. Minors need to have a release signed by a parent or guardian for any type of work.

Qingfang Shi , Sep 11, 2000; 05:08 p.m.

To me, it brings another question: what is the safe age for a nude baby? I heard some stories that some parents had trouble when they had their films about their nude babies(or children) developed in stores. I often take some naked baby pictures. My baby is just 11 months. So when should I stop that?

Mark Ci , Sep 11, 2000; 06:15 p.m.

17 months, 9 days, 6 hours and 11.5 minutes.

Josh Root , Sep 11, 2000; 06:31 p.m.

Just a side note...

The mouth breathers at the Target photo labs will give you a lot of shit if you drop off photos with nudity in them. And often tell you not to come back ever. I know Target is a crap-ass place for developing, but many people just doing baby or pregnant mother snapshots might be using them.

Mark Ci , Sep 11, 2000; 06:45 p.m.

As Bob said, technically, simple nudity in itself is not illegal, regardless of the age of the model. This should be obvious if you've ever once opened a National Geographic or browsed the photography section of your local bookstore.

But the "safe side" and "legal age" are two different questions. The US has the sexual maturity and sophistication level of the average European six-year-old, and being within the law won't keep you from being prosecuted, or perhaps even convicted, and it certainly won't keep you from being harassed by the police and/or "concerned" citizens.

A few years ago a guy was sent to jail in Georgia for having consentual oral sex with his own wife. The anti-sodomy law was still on the books, but hadn't been used in ages, and I think everyone pretty much assumed it was unenforceable. He was accused of raping his wife, but was acquitted. Unluckily for him, he had admitted to having oral sex on the stand, and the prosecutor was pissed enough about the acquital to charge him. I believe he spent more than a year in jail before the federal courts struck the law down and released him.

Congress passed an anti-child-pornography statute 3 years or so ago that was blatantly unconstitutional (per the Supreme court's previous rulings) in several respects. I don't know if anyone's ever been prosecuted under those unconstitutional provisions, but it's a safe bet if they were, it took them some time for the courts to clear it up.

Fabrice Bodet , Sep 12, 2000; 10:22 a.m.

non-american nearly fall off his chair !

To me, it brings another question: what is the safe age for a nude baby?

When I read that question, I just couldn't belive that was asked. Then I read Bob Atkins links...

First think : Americans are really sick with sexality issues, that's no joke.

Wayne DeWitt , Sep 12, 2000; 10:52 a.m.

Fabrice - it is a joke. And with the politicians and psycho "do-gooders" that we have it gets worse every day.

Bill Tuthill , Sep 12, 2000; 12:00 p.m.

Last year Utah's minimum marriage age was 14 for women, or more accurately, girls. The only countries I can find with an age so low are DR of Congo and Niger. In 1999 the Utah state legislature was considering raising the age to 16; I don't know if they did. <P> The UN <I>Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage...</I> signed in 1964 calls for "legislative action to specify a minimum age for marriage, which in any case shall not be less than 15 years of age." <p> Seems to me that marriage is potentially more dangerous than nude modelling! (Slavery, battery, captivity, cruely, etc.) It seems likely that heavy-handed US enforcement of "child pornography" laws is really an attempt to keep the FBI busy, or to monitor the Internet. Short prison sentences for child molesters have been commonplace until recently; this has changed only because of public outrage.

Liberty, equality, hypocrisy!

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