Street photography in France?

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#1
I very rarely take photographs of people I see in the street and when I do it is almost entirely candids.

So are there any pitfalls to be aware of in regard to any such images and publication on the web environment, especially in regard to France???

TIA :)
 
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#3
A few years ago in Paris, I was snapping people in the street, while sitting having a coffee, waiting for my wife and daughter (my morning routine). Anyway this woman on a bicycle looped around, and started going ballistic. Fortunately the cafe owner came out and gave her what for (which was quite funny). Apparently he told her she wasn`t Marylin Monroe, or such like. We laughed laughed as he told me in broken english.
Anyway, be wary as some really do not like it. Same applies to the eiffel tower ... check out the rules on that one :LOL:
 
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#4
This might be of interest

https://photothisandthat.co.uk/2012/02/15/the-french-privacy-law/

However, I live in France and have photographed here for 30+ years, sell and publish photos of all kinds including street photography and have never had a problem with anyone.

I wouldn’t, of course, take photos of children.
Thanks for such a local insight........the link "reads" like a treatise of just don't bother because because without getting permission (in a form to be in line with the law) you can do nothing with the photos!

The reason I posted was that, apart from the likes of a few shots of general nature e.g. group of people sheltering in the shade of trees, man & his dog resting some steps etc, I also took a sequence of an interaction between two women that I think turned into a robbery.....no violence but a con by palm reading that resulted in the con artist taking paper money out of the other woman's purse.... initially just a coin changed hands. My thought was should I show this to the police???? But then struck me about the above question.

Oh, I also did some to emphasise shadows to create silhouettes.

PS on the women in question, faces not visible as taken from a height looking down onto their heads, they were literally directly below me by approx 80 foot.

A few years ago in Paris, I was snapping people in the street, while sitting having a coffee, waiting for my wife and daughter (my morning routine). Anyway this woman on a bicycle looped around, and started going ballistic. Fortunately the cafe owner came out and gave her what for (which was quite funny). Apparently he told her she wasn`t Marylin Monroe, or such like. We laughed laughed as he told me in broken english.
Anyway, be wary as some really do not like it. Same applies to the eiffel tower ... check out the rules on that one :LOL:
This one has echoes of the reactionary responses in the UK only a few years, though not entirely related to "street photography" :(
 

Asha

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#6
I have lived in France 15 years ( south east) and have had several aggressive reactions to having had a camera pointed in the direction of someone even when on occasion I was setting up for architectural shot and waiting for the people to move out of the frame.
Shooting film helps me none as I cannot show / delete if the offended person demands.
As it is I avoid people shots generally as I don’t need the aggravation tbh.
 

Asha

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#7
Also be aware that shooting photos in a graveyard is also frowned upon .... very much so going on personal experience !
 
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#8
Also be aware that shooting photos in a graveyard is also frowned upon .... very much so going on personal experience !
I've been to Père Lachaise twice and saw loads of people taking photos there, no one seemed to care but I guess things are different at smaller graveyards/cemeteries.
 
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#10
I think they are the Eiffel Towers' own non enforceable rules. Not law. They would lose if they challenged it in court.
Steve.

Completely wrong.

It's basic copyright law which they strictly enforce.

You can take images of the tower during the day, but the night time light shows are the copyright element.
 
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#11
Completely wrong.

It's basic copyright law which they strictly enforce.

You can take images of the tower during the day, but the night time light shows are the copyright element.
Are you sure this is the case in France? It is a public space and at least in most places in Europe you are fairly free to photograph whatever/whoever you want in them. I think it would be quite an interesting subject in terms of legal discussion. Even if someone or something is in your frame, you could argue it just 'happened' to be in the frame and not necessarily the main subject of your picture. However, where you draw that boundary is of course where the problems arise.
This same issue seems to be the case in France, after some limited research:
According to case law and legal doctrine, photographs taken of (one or more) individuals require authorization. Just taking someone's photo without consent (in private or public space) can be considered as an invasion of privacy and gives them the right to claim for cessation of the wrongful conduct. Everyone is legally protected from unauthorized distribution, publication or commercialization of a picture of himself. The permission has to be interpreted in a strict way (only to the extent expressly consented to by the subject)
However
It is generally recognized both by case law and legal doctrine that consent is implied or not needed for pictures of....
  • people shown in a larger group (without distinction of one or more individuals),
  • people who are present in a public location (unless the depicted person is the main focus of the picture)
....
the right to one's privacy and own image is also not absolute and shall be balanced especially with the right to freedom of expression
As a specific example
for example, a legal case between a street photographer and a non-celebrity woman appearing in a photograph taken without her knowledge and published without her consent in the photographer's book decreed that the photographer's freedom of expression in taking and publishing street photography without the consent of the subject is an important freedom in a democracy: the judge said that "the right to control one’s image must yield when a photograph contributes to the exchange of ideas and opinions, deemed “indispensable” to a democratic society."
(source for all quotes is Wikipedia)

But in general, I don't think you have anything to worry about.
If you take an image where the person complaining is quite prominent, just delete it for them. It is definitely not worth going to court for, even if you are in your right to take that picture. What is one lost picture in the probably hundreds if not thousands you will take on holiday?
If they are minor element, just say you are photographing for yourself and they are not the main subject. I doubt anyone will complain, and there wont be big problems if someone does complain. Just be respectful and it will be fine.
 
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#12
Completely wrong.

It's basic copyright law which they strictly enforce.

You can take images of the tower during the day, but the night time light shows are the copyright element.
But doesn't the copyright in a building just prevent you from making an identical or similar building? A photograph of a building is not a building, therefore cannot be a copy of it.


Steve.
 

Nod

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#13
IIRC it's the light show on the tower that can cause problems. French laws are rather different from UK as well.
 
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#14
But doesn't the copyright in a building just prevent you from making an identical or similar building? A photograph of a building is not a building, therefore cannot be a copy of it.


Steve.

Read what I've written again. It's not about the copyright of the building.
 

Canon Bob

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#15
A little clarification from the French side.....

The Eiffel tower is not protected by copyright but the light show is. If you take photos of the illuminated tower then you infringe the copyright if and when you publish them and not simply by taking them.
EU copyright law would allow publication of the photos but it was optional and the French didn't sign up to it thus maintaining their own interpretation of the law.
 
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#16
A little clarification from the French side.....

The Eiffel tower is not protected by copyright but the light show is. If you take photos of the illuminated tower then you infringe the copyright if and when you publish them and not simply by taking them.
EU copyright law would allow publication of the photos but it was optional and the French didn't sign up to it thus maintaining their own interpretation of the law.
Do you know if this also holds if the Eiffel tower is merely a small portion of your image, i.e. not the main subject? For example taking a landscape shot of the roofs and the eiffel tower at night just happens to be in it. From what I understand you could even get in trouble for that since France signed out of the “freedom of panorama law” as well. It is baffling to me how something so prominent in the public space, cannot be shown in any way shape or form without prior permission.

On a different note, no one has ever been sued or whatever for it, and the sheer amount of people taking pictures and posting it on instagram makes it impossible to do so anyways, so you are fine either way. Maybe not if you use it in a famous fashion shot, try to sell it as a stock photo or for promotion of a travel agency etc. I.e. commercial use.
 
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#17
Do you know if this also holds if the Eiffel tower is merely a small portion of your image, i.e. not the main subject?
My understanding from discussions on a French forum is that the courts would decide if the image was of a person or subject rather than the image containing a person or subject. The complainant also has to show that they were in some way negatively impacted or misrepresented by the image.
 
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