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Pictures of famous athletes and people

dennis dobrovolsky , Jan 13, 2010; 12:06 a.m.

I have access to make pictures of very famous athletes and people. Could you please help me and give an advise where I can sell those images. Thanks a lot. Dennis

Responses

dave harwig , Jan 13, 2010; 04:16 a.m.

You can't sell most famous athlete photos without going through the proper channels.. and selling photos of famous non-athletes would maybe make money with paparazzi but you can't go about selling prints of these people to the public without going through similar channels, such as a contract with said person.

John H. , Jan 13, 2010; 06:23 a.m.

You can't sell most famous athlete photos without going through the proper channels.. and selling photos of famous non-athletes would maybe make money

Perhaps you can share how this athlete exception works?

Nathan Meador , Jan 13, 2010; 10:19 a.m.

You couldn't use their pics for advertising, but what would keep you from selling them?

Kevin Delson , Jan 13, 2010; 03:11 p.m.

to make pictures of very famous athletes and people

Make or take?

How do you intend to "sell" them?
To who?
For what use?

Mikael Karlsson , Jan 13, 2010; 04:40 p.m.

Dennis:

Where are you located? Laws obviously vary depending on your location. Here in the US, you can sell photos of pretty much anything for editorial use with no need for any releases as long as there's no defamation, libel etc. Commercial use (where the photo is used to promote or sell a product or service) is different though.

If people are famous or not normally doesn't matter at all as far as the legality is concerned. Many sports arenas though have pretty strict rules on photography so if you're shooting inside an arena etc you might want to look into that aspect.

Glenn Carroll , Jan 27, 2010; 11:22 a.m.

Whether the person is famous or not makes all the difference, actually. My brother is an attourney and i spoke to him for 3 hours about this subject becasue i took some pictures of pro football players once. Its true that laws differ among states (i assume you're in the US). But this deals with something called "misappropriation of name or likeness" and a violation of the "right of publicity" that is common in many states. I have provided a link below that explains everything you need to know. Basically, there are several guidelines you must know about. For example, if you take a picture of Bret Favre in the course of a game, and try to sell the picture for profit, you must: 1)take off all logos (NFL logos on jerseys are trademarked) 2)distort any characteristics that identify him as Bret. The idea that my brother kept saying is that you need to distort his image to the point where a "normal person" would not be able to say "hey! that's Bret Favre" Becasue you would have to say in court if sued "that's not Bret Favre, its just some guy throwing a football with the number 4." The underlying purpose for this law is to protect the ability of businesses that go through the trouble of gaining the licenses to actually make money. Thats why there is a such thing as paparrazi. If everyone could sell pictures of famous people, then it would undercut these business's ability to make money. The law protects them buy preventing you from doing that.
http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/using-name-or-likeness-another

Glenn Carroll , Jan 27, 2010; 11:27 a.m.

one more thing--i also asked if companies really care if some small time photographer is trying to make a buck, and the answer is yes. Many companies actually do track you down and bust you. This is particularly the case with the NFL. They mean business, but the first time is a warning if caught. If you keep doing it, its jail time

Mai Duong , Jan 28, 2010; 03:49 a.m.

I'm confused by these responses. If a magazine were to approach you about a photo you took of a person, say someone less famous than Brett Favre, a college div II quarterback instead, and offered to pay you $50 to use the photo in their magazine, would you not be allowed to sell the photo?

Glenn Carroll , Jan 28, 2010; 11:20 a.m.

Someone above mentioned "editorial Use" of photographs, and in that case you would not need a release from that person, whether they are famous or not. I assume you would have to make that magazine company sign a contract with you stating that they will ONLY use that photograph for a newsworthy source. The idea is that you can use photographs for a newsworthy purpose because that purpose is protected by the first amendment "freedom of the press." What i was saying is that you cant sell it for pure personal gain becasue you are exploiting their famousness for your own benefit. This would fall under commercial use in the same way it does when Nike used Tiger Wood's image to promote golf (that "was" worth millions to be able to do)... make sense?
But you asked if someone is not so famous. The lines get vague, and attourneys always say if you are in doubt just get the release to be safe. Courts sometimes could go either way. By a general rule, you can always use it for editorial use, but if you can make money on the photograph by itself, then its probably violating that person's right to publicity. No non-famous people have to right to publicity becasue their value in a photograph has $0 worth.

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