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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

OT: Photographer Sued Over Topless Photos At Empire State
Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 6:36 PM on 01.14.14
->> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/allen-henson-topless-photo-empire-...
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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan Falls | WA | USA | Posted: 8:35 PM on 01.14.14
->> It all comes down to trademark protection. He should have gotten a property release.
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 9:38 PM on 01.14.14
->> At first I thought this was going to be some copyright/trademark issue but apparently not so.

"damaged the landmark's "reputation as a safe and secure family friendly tourist attraction."

Actually I think it is a somewhat interesting case. I would be interested in reading the pleadings and following how this goes.

Also in Europe I don't think much attention would be given to this type of thing at all.
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Darin Sicurello, Photographer, Assistant
Gilbert | AZ | USA | Posted: 8:57 PM on 01.15.14
->> If he took the picture, while standing blocks away on a public sidewalk with the complete Empire State building captured, Does trademark come into play?
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Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 11:56 PM on 01.15.14
->> "In general, if property is visible and can be photographed from a public place, you don’t need a property release to use the image in any manner."

http://www.photoattorney.com/know-your-rights-and-limitations-when-you-phot.../

From… "Carolyn E. Wright, a/k/a the Photo Attorney®, is a full-time attorney whose practice is aimed squarely at the legal needs of photographers and other copyright owners."
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Jon Cunningham, Photographer
Lisle | IL | USA | Posted: 12:55 AM on 01.16.14
->> Why isn't the issue with the model, rather than the photographer? It looks like anyone there could have shot photos with their phones or cameras, and probably did. The rain streaks suggest that Alan was inside the observatory, while the model was out on the open air deck. Anyone who has been there can attest to this. Hardly an exclusive shooting position for him, and others were closer. His photos really don't show any recognizable view of the building itself, only the view FROM the building. And, since New York does not arrest women who bare their breasts in public, it looks like "no harm no foul" to this non lawyer.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 2:12 PM on 01.16.14
->> The article didn't link to the complaint so it isn't clear on what grounds he is being sued. Given it is a Huffpost article, it might have nothing to do with the image or the model.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:58 PM on 01.16.14
->> Okay Clark, instead of Huff Post presenting a Reuters story here's CBS News presenting an AP story.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/empire-state-building-sues-fashion-photographer.../

Happy?
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 9:03 PM on 01.16.14
->> http://www.esbnyc.com/filming_photo.asp

This is what it is about.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 10:57 PM on 01.16.14
->> @Jim,
Thanks, bud. Sorry if you took my comment the wrong way. I am generally a happy person, except those times when I'm giddy. Anyways, not much meat in that starchy story as well. Gosh, I can remember the day when articles use to explain why someone was being sued. That was more like three tweets strung together ... LOL ... it will be interesting to see whether a judge or jury finds that appearance of the safety bars and coin-op telescope are recognizable enough to infringe on the building's trademark.

@Jack,
Based on the language of the web page if he wanted the skyline in the background then he would not be required to obtain permission: "We will consider requests that:
- Showcase ESB positively, respectfully and responsibly
- Feature ESB, and not just views/skyline shots from its Observatory"

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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Jack Howard, Photographer, Photo Editor
Central Jersey | NJ | USA | Posted: 7:46 AM on 01.17.14
->> Clark, I'm reading this statement from the owners and looking wording at the composition of the photos; and based on the inclusion of the brickwork, binocular pedestals and curved metal bars of art-deco design, each of which, in whole or in part, are recognizable and identifiable characteristics of the location, it's not just a skyline shot--it is a photo clearly created to illustrate its capture at a certain location, which is where the language of the clearly findable permit process and permissions comes into play.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 10:30 AM on 01.17.14
->> "...in whole or in part, are recognizable and identifiable characteristics of the location,.."

Yeah, I with you. The question I think that has to be proven or answered is would the average person be able to discern physical location as ESB when shown three similar photos from other cities or roof top locations within the city. However, I am willing to bet this will never make it into the court room and quiet settlement will be reached.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:11 PM on 01.17.14
->> Giddy you say?

I don't know Clark, while it might seem a bit brief (a little legal humor) the passage

"Management of the Empire State Building charged in the suit the pictures were produced "for his own commercial purpose" and damaged the landmark's "reputation as a safe and secure family friendly tourist attraction."'

would seem to explain why the guy is being sued.
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Thread Title: OT: Photographer Sued Over Topless Photos At Empire State
Thread Started By: Jim Colburn
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