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Pictures of private property


edsephiroth e2
8 169 9 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 6:39PM
Hi folks, I know this has been discussed before, but laws change etc.

Myself and a friend took some pics of a private building on private land (it is a ruined 16th century tower - uninhabited, just a shell). We did not cross any "keep out" signs (although there are some in the general area), didnt break anything or damage anything to access. She put a few up on her website and the owner has contacted her in a fairly threatening (but not explicitly so) manner, telling her to "destroy" them. Any ideas where she stands on that?

Thanks for any serious responses.

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Henchard e2
9 2.7k 1 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 6:54PM
Copyright is the photographers full stop.

See paragraph 7 here
User_Removed 7 736 4
17 Nov 2009 7:08PM
Even if you are on private land and take photographs of a private building, the only law you could be breaking is the law of trespass. The owner has no right to make you destroy the pictures, but he could sue for trespass if he was feeling so inclined.
mark_delta e2
7 1.3k
17 Nov 2009 7:10PM
The right to roam ?
The Act provides for a new right of access on foot to areas of open land comprising:
Mountain (land over 600 metres)
Moorland
Heath
Downland
Registered common land
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 7:34PM

Quote:the only law you could be breaking

So if someone breaks into your house, the only law they are breaking relates to burglary LOL

If it wasn't so sad this thread could almost be funny.

If I caught someone on my property, it would be a police matter. Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned or I have different values to some Smile
User_Removed 7 736 4
17 Nov 2009 7:41PM
I meant that you would not be breaking any laws regarding photography but they could get you on trespass, in this case. The OP did say that they did no damage.
gary900r e2
10 474 England
17 Nov 2009 7:42PM
User_Removed 12 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 7:42PM
Ah yes.

Still can't believe the OP's friend is concerned about the photos when her main concern should be whether she gets a criminal record Grin

With regard to copyright, whilst it is right that the photographer retains copyright under most circumstances (not always though), it is unlikely that this would apply if the said photos were obtained when the photographer was acting illegally at the time
cambirder e2
11 7.2k England
17 Nov 2009 7:44PM
There is nothing that the property owner can do about these pictures, but morally she should take them down, you did both know you were trespassing when they were taken so its hardly fair to rub the land owners nose in it by refusing their request.
cambirder e2
11 7.2k England
17 Nov 2009 7:49PM

Quote:Still can't believe the OP's friend is concerned about the photos when her main concern should be whether she gets a criminal record



Sh can't get a criminal record tresspass is not a criminal offence.
User_Removed 10 17.9k 8 Norway
17 Nov 2009 7:59PM
Basically Ed, ignore the contact communication and forget about it. The landowner doesn't have a hope in hell about doing anything - as ably explained above. You could elect to remove them... I wouldn't personally.

IF however, if the owner becomes abusive, then that it is a different matter and needs to be dealt with accordingly.

Personally, I would get on with my life and carry on enjoying you photography.
montechoro e2
12 2.3k 2 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 8:12PM
Landowners do however have the right to sue trespassers.

You knowingly entered private property to take pictures of a private building on private land.

My sympathy is fully with the landowner and you should respect his request to remove the images.

There is nothing to be gained by upsetting him further.
edsephiroth e2
8 169 9 United Kingdom
17 Nov 2009 8:48PM
Thanks for all the thoughts, links and advice folks!

I'm a little dispirited by the unadventurous attitudes of some people here - we're really not talking about anything like breaking into someone's house.

This is a magnificent piece of my local heritage, and an extremely photogenic building - I would be considerably more sympathetic to the guy's attitude (and some of those expressed here) if someone lived in it - and obviously if I'd tried to get inside to take pictures of it under those circumstances, it would be a completely different moral and legal issue. But it's been empty for hundreds of years and happens to sit in a corner of someone's very large plot of land - if someone fenced off one of your favourite photographic spots because they bought it, then never used it, would you really feel like saying "fine, fair enough, it's theirs after all"? The bottom line should be that we were doing no harm - and before some pedant pop up and says "how would you like it if someone was in your living room, even if they were doing no harm", let's just keep things realistic - it's not the same thing at all for reasons too obvious to warrant spelling out.
But I'm responding emotionally rather than legally here, so I'll get back on track.

Yeah, I would have thought that he'd have no right to request the images to be deleted. I should point out that it wasn't entirerly clear which areas were and were not intended to be out of bounds, as it's a jumble of broken old walls, patchy fences and other rather indivisible boundaries despite "Keep Out" signs on one wall.

Would folks agree that I'm right in thinking that the legal and moral bottom-line would be the same - we weren't doing any harm, didn't damage his property or his "business" in any way, therefore he does not have a basis for complaint on either level?
KathyW e2
11 1.8k 12 Norfolk Island
17 Nov 2009 9:12PM

Quote:If I caught someone on my property, it would be a police matter. Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned or I have different values to some


If I caught someone on my property it would most likely be a sharp-toothed collie dog matter Smile


Quote:I should point out that it wasn't entirerly clear which areas were and were not intended to be out of bounds, as it's a jumble of broken old walls, patchy fences and other rather indivisible boundaries despite "Keep Out" signs on one wall.


In your first post you stated that it was a private building on private land & presumably you were not on a public footpath. Surely private property is just that, and all areas should be "out of bounds" regardless of any signs.

Maybe you were doing no harm, but at the end of the day the old building belongs to someone who doesn't want people on his land, and you should respect his wishes, and remove the photos from the website. Maybe he doesn't want an endless stream of photographers tramping over his back garden to take photos. Maybe he just wants to enjoy his property himself? Most people would be a bit miffed if people wandered into their gardens and started taking photos of their flowers... Ok, it may be pedantic, but in reality the only difference is that his garden is a bit bigger than most Smile

Would it not have been much easier to approach the person first and request permission to take photographs and offer a print or something?
User_Removed 8 2.1k 7 England
17 Nov 2009 9:14PM
As above (Kathy)

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