No right to privacy in public events

I’m usually very judicious about (not) commenting on other people’s Facebook pages, to avoid attracting crabs.

But I must have been in a cranky mood today (unusually for me 😉 ) because when I saw this photo on Facebook (and thought it was awesome), I couldn’t hold myself back when I saw this comment attached…

Apparently I recognise my self in this picture and assume you to remove it right away! As you should know for specially on social media is it a crime to use somebody else pictures for own promoting.


D-Day reenactment jump over Normandy. Photo by Lyle Jansma.
D-Day reenactment jump over Normandy. Photo by Lyle Jansma.

I couldn’t resist blasting back – and thought I’d serve it up again here for the CONTACT audience’s edification.

The subject of this photo has no rights whatever to request this image be removed.

First, until he told us it was him, there is no reasonable possibility that any other person could have identified him (and if he was worried about anonymity, then publicly identifying himself as the subject via Facebook is insanely ironic).

Second reason – this event was a public display, well publicised and photographed by thousands of people, including dozens if not hundreds of professional photographers and videographers in many capacities.

If the subject didn’t want his photo taken, he shouldn’t have participated – but, having consciously chosen to participate in a public event with reasonable expectation of being photographed, he forfeits all rights to privacy – and that’s the law (of common sense as well as privacy, at least in Australia).

On the other hand, if the subject is truly concerned about the commercial use of this photo (as opposed to privacy), then he also has zero right to request its removal since, as was pointed out in other comments, he does not own the photo – either the photographer or the person who paid the photographer does (happy to explain this distinction, if anyone asks in comments below).

If the copyright owner (which may or may not be the photographer) requested the photo be removed for some legitimate reason, then I would consider that request on its merits.

But the subject gets zero sympathy from me for his request to have this photo removed, for any reason.

As a professional photographer (especially in Australia) I would tell this guy to go jump!


BTW – the photo in question was one of a handful of others that popped up on Facebook today to promote Daks Over Normandy, an event where up to 30 DC-3/C-47 Dakotas from all over the world, including Australia (apparently), will participate in activities marking the 75th Anniversary of D-Day – disgorging hundred of parachutists over Normandy.

Also – Daks Over Normand is a not-for-profit organisation – which also weighs against the request to have the photo removed ‘for commercial reasons’.

Also, my use of the photo in this story initially fell into a grey area of law. On one hand, as a bona fide media outlet, I actually do have some rights to republish photos that are ‘in the public domain’ and newsworthy – on the other hand, and especially to properly cover my arse, seeking photographer Lyle Jansma’s permission was prudent. So I did, and gratefully received his authorisation in less than 12 hours. So, arse fully covered.




RELATED CONTACT STORY:  Daks Over Normandy – history in the making – again




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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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