National Trust Photographers Permit Scheme

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Jeremy Moore
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#41
I don't see how it's ambiguous. This is the final line that kind of sums it all up, and if you read all of the access rules it's quite clear.
"As with outdoor photography, any photographs taken are strictly for private use, and enquiries about selling or publishing photographs should be directed to images@nationaltrust.org.uk."

You can take and display the images as you want. But if money is going to be made they want a piece of it, and IMO that's not necessarily unreasonable. After all, there are a lot of expenses that go into owning/maintaining properties that they are allowing you to enjoy.

I suspect you don't understand the nature of the National Trust. It is a charity set up to own land "for the nation" and its income comes from membership fees, donations, legacies, etc., as well as a certain amount from commercial activities (tea shops, giftware), etc.

As well as stately homes and other buildings, it owns huge swathes of wild land all over Britain, often bought as a result of appeals to the general public, on behalf of the British people. For example, the laughable but very successful "Save Snowdon" appeal which enabled them to "save" Snowdon. But from what or whom?
 
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Steven
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#48
There isn’t. How can there be a distinction if there isn’t a definition ?
As I said, if it's "defined" in the contract/agreement (TOU) you enter into then there will be a legal distinction in regards to that agreement/contract. I saw nothing in the TOUs that specified "editorial use," I suspect that was wording used by the OP in an attempt to make a separation/distinction. However, the TOUs clearly make it obvious what they are considering "commercial use," which is anything where money/profit is potentially involved.
 
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#49
I suspect you don't understand the nature of the National Trust. It is a charity set up to own land "for the nation" and its income comes from membership fees, donations, legacies, etc., as well as a certain amount from commercial activities (tea shops, giftware), etc.

As well as stately homes and other buildings, it owns huge swathes of wild land all over Britain, often bought as a result of appeals to the general public, on behalf of the British people. For example, the laughable but very successful "Save Snowdon" appeal which enabled them to "save" Snowdon. But from what or whom?
I guess you're saying "they already have enough money?" That may well be the case, and it almost always seems to be when viewed from the outside.
 
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Hugh
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#50
As I said, if it's "defined" in the contract/agreement (TOU) you enter into then there will be a legal distinction in regards to that agreement/contract. I saw nothing in the TOUs that specified "editorial use," I suspect that was wording used by the OP in an attempt to make a separation/distinction. However, the TOUs clearly make it obvious what they are considering "commercial use," which is anything where money/profit is potentially involved.
'


You don't stop talking out of your fundament do you? You even agreed with me. Talk about pigeon chess. There is no legal definition or distinction in the UK. No matter how often you, or they say there is and a contract or TOU is not LAW in the UK. Be sensible
 
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#51
I guess you're saying "they already have enough money?" That may well be the case, and it almost always seems to be when viewed from the outside.

Yes, I am saying that, and when you see some of the things they do, you think, "they must be doing that to keep their staff busy."

But that is not my point. They have an unusual legal status which is to hold land on behalf of the British people, and in my view they overstep the mark in trying to get money from photographers by, eg, selling editorial use-only permits, and attempting to make life difficult for individual photographers who make a modest income from photographing NT land (ie, land held on behalf of the British people). If it was genuinely "commercial" photography, eg a shoot for an outdoor clothing company, on NT land they would probably be entitled to charge, in my opinion.
 
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#55
Yes, I am saying that, and when you see some of the things they do, you think, "they must be doing that to keep their staff busy."

But that is not my point. They have an unusual legal status which is to hold land on behalf of the British people, and in my view they overstep the mark in trying to get money from photographers by, eg, selling editorial use-only permits, and attempting to make life difficult for individual photographers who make a modest income from photographing NT land (ie, land held on behalf of the British people). If it was genuinely "commercial" photography, eg a shoot for an outdoor clothing company, on NT land they would probably be entitled to charge, in my opinion.
I understand the point of view. We have similar things here with the National Parks which are primarily paid for by taxes... commercial photography is not allowed w/o a permit and some locations cannot be accessed w/o paying a fee.

I think the difference is one of perspective... from one side "for the people" means preservation more than anything else, and that may well mean restricting/limiting access/use. From the other perspective "for the people" means (should mean) for me to enjoy and do as I please as long as I don't break any laws/destroy things. On one side it's "why shouldn't I be able to profit" and from the other it's "if there is profit why shouldn't some of it go towards operating expenses." Personally I think there is equal validity to both perspectives, but if I had to put a bias I would have to put the priority on operating expenses and the preservation to start with.
There's no restriction on your personal enjoyment and photography, and I think that's what "on behalf of the British people" really means.
 
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#60
Your first post "no legal distinction"
My response "there is if defined in the contract/agreement" (as I believe it is here).
A bunch of crap, and here we are; I'm done with this particular part of the thread...

Bye then.. other then your inability to read what have you shown?Oh yes how feeble your mind is. There is no legal definition or distinction under the law in England. The rest is your normal crap
 
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#61
I understand the point of view. We have similar things here with the National Parks which are primarily paid for by taxes... commercial photography is not allowed w/o a permit and some locations cannot be accessed w/o paying a fee.

I think the difference is one of perspective... from one side "for the people" means preservation more than anything else, and that may well mean restricting/limiting access/use. From the other perspective "for the people" means (should mean) for me to enjoy and do as I please as long as I don't break any laws/destroy things. On one side it's "why shouldn't I be able to profit" and from the other it's "if there is profit why shouldn't some of it go towards operating expenses." Personally I think there is equal validity to both perspectives, but if I had to put a bias I would have to put the priority on operating expenses and the preservation to start with.
There's no restriction on your personal enjoyment and photography, and I think that's what "on behalf of the British people" really means.
Nothing that the National Trust owns or does is paid for by takxes. (Almost) all of its income comes from donations, legacies, memberships etc freely given by members of the public who believe they are doing "a good thing". So you can draw similarities with whatever you like but the NT is different to all of them.

If the NT DID prevent any photographer from making a few quid from pictures taken of/from their land, what would prevent other landowners from doing the same thing? Soon we wouldn't be able to sell any photographs of anywhere without buying a permit from the owner. What a slippery slope that would be. at least your average landowner could be upfront about his profit motive..
 
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Jonathan
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#62
If the NT DID prevent any photographer from making a few quid from pictures taken of/from their land, what would prevent other landowners from doing the same thing? Soon we wouldn't be able to sell any photographs of anywhere without buying a permit from the owner. What a slippery slope that would be. at least your average landowner could be upfront about his profit motive..
At the moment in the UK any landowner CAN insist you buy a 'permit' in order to take photographs while on their property - they just need to make it a condition of entry, as it is with the national Trust.

The most common form of this is at many large scale events - where photography is prohibited, unless you are an 'official' photographer (IE have either paid for the privileged, or are employed specifically for that role).

Anyway, getting back to the issue of the NT specifically requiring a permit - as a general principle this seems fine - if you're there to make money from a photograph of an NT property or landscape, then just like any other commercial venture it seems reasonable you would pay for this - exactly the same as you would pay a model, make up artist, etc (and would in turn expect anyone using your photographs commercially to pay for doing so).

The issue here seems to be that they have somehow managed to set up a scheme which requires you to pay for the right to take photos, but not then sell them.
Reading the info on their website, I do wonder if it is a case of poor writing.
Is the second paragraph simply a 'boilerplate' of what is prohibited IF you do not get the annual licence the first paragraph refers to?
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#63
if you're there to make money from a photograph of an NT property or landscape,
This sentence needs more analysis.

The main problem seems to be the difference between the NT's properties and their landscapes. The NT forbids photographers from taking photographs at its "pay for entry" properties (eg its stately homes) and then selling them. It looks like the permit scheme is set up to allow photographers to cough up £75 to get a permit to allow them to sell those images for editorial use only.

This could be justifiable but I'm not talking about those properties anyway. I'm talking about those very widespread, very numerous and very extensive stretches of countryside and coastline that they also own in the wilder parts of Britain. these wouldn't be covered by the permit scheme because you don't have to pay to enter in them. In fact half the time you probably wouldn't know you were on them anyway. But the wording of the NT's conditions seem to be so ambiguous as to be almost meaningless. Nobody in this thread seems to be able to define "commercial" but maybe they worded them like this to allow the NT to take action against anyone they WANTED to, whilst allowing the majority to do as they wished.

exactly the same as you would pay a model, make up artist, etc
No, sorry, it is a completely different situation to thoose you mention here.
 
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Steven
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#64
But the wording of the NT's conditions seem to be so ambiguous as to be almost meaningless. Nobody in this thread seems to be able to define "commercial" but maybe they worded them like this to allow the NT to take action against anyone they WANTED to, whilst allowing the majority to do as they wished.
The wording seems clear to me... commercial use is defined as "sell or publish," and publish is in accordance with the copyright laws (distribute copies, *not* communicate to the public) as indicated by the restriction on placing the images with image libraries, agents, etc. It also seems clear to me that it applies to all NT owned property.

IME (not w/ the NT), with small scale commercial use they don't really care about the sale, they are more concerned that the images being distributed convey the properties in a way that is conducive to the NT's concerns/purpose/reputation. I.e. they are just requiring approval rights. It seems that they make it easy enough to contact them, it might be worth inquiring before assuming something different.
 
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#65
T

This could be justifiable but I'm not talking about those properties anyway. I'm talking about those very widespread, very numerous and very extensive stretches of countryside and coastline that they also own in the wilder parts of Britain. these wouldn't be covered by the permit scheme because you don't have to pay to enter in them. In fact half the time you probably wouldn't know you were on them anyway. But the wording of the NT's conditions seem to be so ambiguous as to be almost meaningless. Nobody in this thread seems to be able to define "commercial" but maybe they worded them like this to allow the NT to take action against anyone they WANTED to, whilst allowing the majority to do as they wished.
If you are legally entering the property, particularly those places where you are not aware of the owner or the owner is clear but no mention of restrictions is made, the owner cannot later impose restrictions. I am thinking of the Bride Stones in North Yorkshire - when walking along the footpath towards them, you come across a N.T. sign which makes ownership clear and mentions a number of restrictions. In the main (I am working from memory) the restrictions are dogs to be on leads, no fires, stick to the footpath, don't damage the wildlife. No mention of photography is made so the N.T. cannot impose restrictions after you have taken any photos.
 
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#66
No mention of photography is made so the N.T. cannot impose restrictions after you have taken any photos.
Are you sure? The restrictions are already in place and published. IME, it is your responsibility to inform yourself of any restrictions (inquire), it is not their requirement to inform you of them (with signage, etc). This applies to music venues, sporting venues, race tracks, etc, etc... pretty much any place you don't already *know* you have the right/permission.
 
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#67
Are you sure? The restrictions are already in place and published. IME, it is your responsibility to inform yourself of any restrictions (inquire), it is not their requirement to inform you of them (with signage, etc). This applies to music venues, sporting venues, race tracks, etc, etc... pretty much any place you don't already *know* you have the right/permission.
Yes, I am sure. It is down to contract law. If you wish to enforce the terms of a contract, you need to inform the other party to the contract of that term before the contract is made.

There is case law regarding the positioning of a notice in a carpark that was not reasonably visible to users of the carpark and the court threw out the carpark owners suit for damages when a user did not comply with the notice. The user was not required to search out the notice.
 
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Mark
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#68
Yes, I am sure. It is down to contract law. If you wish to enforce the terms of a contract, you need to inform the other party to the contract of that term before the contract is made.

There is case law regarding the positioning of a notice in a carpark that was not reasonably visible to users of the carpark and the court threw out the carpark owners suit for damages when a user did not comply with the notice. The user was not required to search out the notice.
Actually, without a transaction in place for access (which will be the case in 99% of cases that you are talking about), it's down to trespass law.

That being the case, it's down to what is a reasonable expectation.

A reasonable expectation would be that whilst personal photography would be acceptable, any form of commercial photography would require permission.
 
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Jonathan
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#69
...No, sorry, it is a completely different situation to those you mention here.
Why is it different?

The NT as an organisation spends resources (a combination of volunteers time and hard cash) to purchase and maintain both buildings and landscapes - which includes things like maintenance of paths, provision and emptying of litter bins, replacement of old and damaged fencing, etc.
The wonderful opportunities for landscape photographers are there, in part because the NT works to keep them there (rather than some other landowner who might choose to make alternative usage, or simply make areas private).

You wish to use this 'service' by the NT to assist in making money - why is having to pay for that opportunity different to any other situation where you are using the services of a model, make up artist, etc?
They have a 'commodity' - you wish to profit off it, so pay!

Note: I am NOT arguing that the price of terms of the permit scheme they apparently offer are reasonable - just that it IS reasonable that they should be able to have a permit scheme.
 
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Jay
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#70
I asked about their scheme several years ago, so it may have changed from what I can remember of them. At the time you could sell your images independently for a year I think, then they were automatically sucked into the NTs own stock library and they took a cut of the sales. You had to prove your own public liability insurance to a certain minimum level and you also had to prove you were a member of an acceptable Professional association. I think you also had to formally book any shoot ahead, you could not just turn up and take a few snaps in your spare time.

At the time (when stock was making slightly more money than now) I could not see a way to make the outlays of insurance, membership of pro body and other financial outlays and constraints pay. I thought it would only work if the Trust commissioned you, so you got an initial payment then money from anything that might sell out of the NT stock agency.

Interestingly a friend shoots every week as a volunteer for an NT publication, photographing staff, volunteers and paying visitors.
Said friend has no personal or public insurance, no membership of pro bodies - but the images are used by the Trust for official publicity purposes.
My friend gets no payment for the images, cannot sell the images and has to supply all the photographic equipment from her own pocket.

So the rules become flexible if the Trust can get something for nothing :)
 
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#71
The main distinction that I keep banging on about between any other "commercial" situation and that of the National Trust as landowner is that the NT owns most of its properties as a result of gifts, memberships, legacies etc. from members of the public, and it owns them on behalf of the British people. There may be a misapprehension that most of its properties are historic buildings but the NT is also a massive landowner in many of the wildest and beautiful parts of the country.
 
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#73
The main distinction that I keep banging on about between any other "commercial" situation and that of the National Trust as landowner is that the NT owns most of its properties as a result of gifts, memberships, legacies etc. from members of the public, and it owns them on behalf of the British people. There may be a misapprehension that most of its properties are historic buildings but the NT is also a massive landowner in many of the wildest and beautiful parts of the country.
And because it own them on behalf of the British People, access to a large number of it's portfolio is free and open to all.

It's mandate to do so requires it to manage and maintain the properties it owns - and to do so requires funds.
Why do you feel it is unreasonable for the NT to therefore charge an additional fee if you wish to use the property for your commercial gain?
 
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#74
And because it own them on behalf of the British People, access to a large number of it's portfolio is free and open to all.

It's mandate to do so requires it to manage and maintain the properties it owns - and to do so requires funds.
Why do you feel it is unreasonable for the NT to therefore charge an additional fee if you wish to use the property for your commercial gain?
What exactly do you mean by manage, though? In the case of historic building I can understand that, but an extensive countryside property?
 
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Peter
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#75
Can they legally ban drones in the airspace above their land?
(see Graham's link above)
 
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#76
What exactly do you mean by manage, though? In the case of historic building I can understand that, but an extensive countryside property?
Maintenance of paths and boundaries, car parks, signs, etc.

If it's a 'landscaped' property (rather than a 'natural' one, these will typically be associated with a historic building though) then mowing of lawns, care of plants, shrubs, etc.

Any structures (old barns, ruins, etc.) must be checked to see they are either safe to enter, or suitably locked / fenced, etc.

Probably a whole long list of other things that I'm not aware of (since no-ones been generous enough to give me any extensive countryside properties :LOL: )
 
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#77
What exactly do you mean by manage, though? In the case of historic building I can understand that, but an extensive countryside property?
The countryside doesn't just exist by the grace of God. Our British landscape is a manmade landscape and in order for it to remain as British landscape it requires someone doing all the things that have been done over the last 5,000 years or so. If not, the land will revert to what it was before we changed it - mostly dense scrub.
 
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#78
What exactly do you mean by manage, though? In the case of historic building I can understand that, but an extensive countryside property?
Just one example is footpath maintenance in popular upland areas where there is a constant battle against erosion from the number of visitors. The remote situation of many of these (and the need to avoid erosion from vehicles) means that the materials need to be brought in by helicopter, as well as being labour intensive .
 
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#79
And because it own them on behalf of the British People, access to a large number of it's portfolio is free and open to all.
One of the properties near me used to have a policy of pay to go in house & any formal gardens, but free to walk on farmland or woods and access to shop and cafe (where obviously you would be paying for stuff), so that everyone could afford to use part of the property for leisure or to buy gifts, snacks etc.

Last time I went that free acces was in the bin as the car park was now charging £5 per car even if you only stopped for 10 minutes. Bus fares to the area would wipe out low paid family access.

Other than commons and footpaths, I can see it creeping towards only being accessible to the reasonably well off - given the increasing poverty rate in the UK that means lots of people are becoming excluded from 'on behalf of the British people'. Dont misunderstand me, I am a big fan of most aspects of the NT but some of their moves are worrying. Last time I went I tried to pay cash for entry and they made such a fuss about 'we have to get someone who can handle cash' it was ridiculous. I was made to feel anyone without a bank or credit card on them was 'not our sort of customer'. Completely bizarre and not very nice.



What exactly do you mean by manage, though? In the case of historic building I can understand that, but an extensive countryside property?
I guess you perhaps come from a town or city? All countryside is managed, even heaths and commons. How to graze the area and what animal to use has lots of knock on effects on wildlife and wild plants. There will also be conservation schemes to encourage the development of some sorts of wildlife and to discourage other sorts, again same with plants.

Farmed areas become even more complex as there are issues of style - modern commercial or organic practices? Rare breeds or commercial animals? Which tenants to let to for farms and for simple housing stock, which properties should be for holiday homes? The impact of NT choices on the local farming community? How farming techniques might impact on local water purity and on the water table for the area, how much fertilizers, what sort and when.

Farming is very complex, its not just some bloke out with a scythe hacking at a bit of self seeded grass. When you see a factory building, you do not assume all the staff, buildings and equipment just sort of appear at random and require no intervention or maintenance or organising - well its the same with a field and related animals, buildings and staff. :)
 
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#80
One of the properties near me used to have a policy of pay to go in house & any formal gardens, but free to walk on farmland or woods and access to shop and cafe (where obviously you would be paying for stuff), so that everyone could afford to use part of the property for leisure or to buy gifts, snacks etc.

Last time I went that free acces was in the bin as the car park was now charging £5 per car even if you only stopped for 10 minutes. Bus fares to the area would wipe out low paid family access.

Other than commons and footpaths, I can see it creeping towards only being accessible to the reasonably well off - given the increasing poverty rate in the UK that means lots of people are becoming excluded from 'on behalf of the British people'. Dont misunderstand me, I am a big fan of most aspects of the NT but some of their moves are worrying. Last time I went I tried to pay cash for entry and they made such a fuss about 'we have to get someone who can handle cash' it was ridiculous. I was made to feel anyone without a bank or credit card on them was 'not our sort of customer'. Completely bizarre and not very nice.
It's a real shame - the 'concept' of the NT (and English Heritage) as guardians of out history, heritage and landscape is one I am very much in favour of - and certainly am happier with them being something that is not controlled by the whims of whoever is the government of the day - but you do sometimes get the feeling that those who get to decide things are somewhat removed from the 'average' - after all, parking for £5 is just a nominal charge if you're salary is £100K + so won't dissuade a casual visitor...
 
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