Corante

AUTHORS

Donna Wentworth
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile)

Ernest Miller
( Archive | Home )

Elizabeth Rader
( Archive | Home )

Jason Schultz
( Archive | Home )

Wendy Seltzer
( Archive | Home | Technorati Profile )

Aaron Swartz
( Archive | Home )

Alan Wexelblat
( Archive | Home )

About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

COPYFIGHTERS
a Typical Joe
Academic Copyright
Jack Balkin
John Perry Barlow
Benlog
beSpacific
bIPlog
Blogaritaville
Blogbook IP
BoingBoing
David Bollier
James Boyle
Robert Boynton
Brad Ideas
Ren Bucholz
Cabalamat: Digital Rights
Cinema Minima
CoCo
Commons-blog
Consensus @ Lawyerpoint
Copyfighter's Musings
Copyfutures
Copyright Readings
Copyrighteous
CopyrightWatch Canada
Susan Crawford
Walt Crawford
Creative Commons
Cruelty to Analog
Culture Cat
Deep Links
Derivative Work
Detritus
Julian Dibbell
DigitalConsumer
Digital Copyright Canada
Displacement of Concepts
Downhill Battle
DTM:<|
Electrolite
Exploded Library
Bret Fausett
Edward Felten - Freedom to Tinker
Edward Felten - Dashlog
Frank Field
Seth Finkelstein
Brian Flemming
Frankston, Reed
Free Culture
Free Range Librarian
Michael Froomkin
Michael Geist
Michael Geist's BNA News
Dan Gillmor
Mike Godwin
Joe Gratz
GrepLaw
James Grimmelmann
GrokLaw
Groklaw News
Matt Haughey
Erik J. Heels
ICANNWatch.org
Illegal-art.org
Induce Act blog
Inter Alia
IP & Social Justice
IPac blog
IPTAblog
Joi Ito
Jon Johansen
JD Lasica
LawMeme.org
Legal Theory Blog
Lenz Blog
Larry Lessig
Jessica Litman
James Love
Alex Macgillivray
Madisonian Theory
Maison Bisson
Kevin Marks
Tim Marman
Matt Rolls a Hoover
miniLinks
Mary Minow
Declan McCullagh
Eben Moglen
Dan Moniz
Napsterization
Nerdlaw
NQB
Danny O'Brien
Open Access
Open Codex
John Palfrey
Chris Palmer
Promote the Progress
PK News
PVR Blog
Eric Raymond
Joseph Reagle
Recording Industry vs. the People
Lisa Rein
Thomas Roessler
Seth Schoen
Doc Searls
Seb's Open Research
Shifted Librarian
Doug Simpson
Slapnose
Slashdot.org
Stay Free! Daily
Sarah Stirland
Swarthmore Coalition
Tech Law Advisor
Technology Liberation Front
Teleread
Siva Vaidhyanathan
Vertical Hold
Kim Weatherall
Weblogg-ed
David Weinberger
Matthew Yglesias

LINKABLE + THINKABLE
AKMA
Timothy Armstrong
Bag and Baggage
Charles Bailey
Beltway Blogroll
Between Lawyers
Blawg Channel
bk
Chief Blogging Officer
Drew Clark
Chris Cohen
Crawlspace
Crooked Timber
Daily Whirl
Dead Parrots Society
Delaware Law Office
J. Bradford DeLong
Betsy Devine
Dispositive
Ben Edelman
EEJD
Ernie the Attorney
FedLawyerGuy
Foreword
How Appealing
Industry Standard
IP Democracy
IPnewsblog
IP Watch
Dennis Kennedy
Rick Klau
Wendy Koslow
Kuro5hin.org
Elizabeth L. Lawley
Jerry Lawson
Legal Reader
Likelihood of Confusion
Chris Locke
Derek Lowe
Misbehaving
MIT Tech Review
NewsGrist
OtherMag
Paper Chase
Frank Paynter
PHOSITA
Scott Rosenberg
Scrivener's Error
Jeneane Sessum
Silent Lucidity
Smart Mobs
Trademark Blog
Eugene Volokh
Kevin Werbach

ORGANIZATIONS
ARL
Berkman @ Harvard
CDT
Chilling Effects
CIS @ Stanford
CPSR
Copyright Reform
Creative Commons
DigitalConsumer.org
DFC
EFF
EPIC
FIPR
FCC
FEPP
FSF
Global Internet Proj.
ICANN
IETF
ILPF
Info Commons
IP Justice
ISP @ Yale
NY for Fair Use
Open Content
PFF
Public Knowledge
Shidler Center @ UW
Tech Center @ GMU
U. Maine Tech Law Center
US Copyright Office
US Dept. of Justice
US Patent Office
W3C


In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« Because, You Know, Movie Piracy is WRONG | Main | RIAA Actions "Not in Artists' Best Interest" »

January 27, 2006

Who Can Say What is a Picture of You?

Email This Entry

Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Generally, the law assumes that people control images of themselves. There are some exceptions, such as for public figures, crowd shots, public places, events of public interest, and so on. But I've always thought that the principle in US and most Western law systems is that you get to say "That picture is me" and exert some control over it.

Except that photos aren't just intellectual property. Among other things they're means of identification. Passports, for example, contain photos and there are some restrictions on what counts as a legitimate (legal) passport photo in the US. Even if you follow the law you may not be in the clear. A friend of mine recently traveled to Puerto Rico and had some serious hassles with US Customs for failing to look like her passport photo, including the memorable line "Well, you shouldn't have cut your hair." No, really.

Over in the UK, they've been accepting digital photographs of citizens for identification cards. However, people don't necessarily take the best digital photos and, according to The Reg story, the UK Passport Service is starting to wrestle with the maleability of the digital image.

The sequence apparently goes something like this - you take a digital pic that you think is you and submit it as a passport pic. It gets rejected. So you pop it into Photoshop or your favorite equivalent and touch it up a bit. Apparently, this is now frowned upon. So one is left to wonder precisely which photo-enhancing operations are legal, illegal, and which make a "you" image "not you" or vice versa.

I'm no photo wizard, but I regularly touch up digital shots for myself and friends - fixing light and color balances, sharpening features, blurring out unwanted intrusions into the frame, removing redeye. It's all still pictures of them, right? Maybe, maybe not. And if it's not a picture of that person any longer, who has what rights to the image's use?

Comments (4) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Laws and Regulations


COMMENTS

1. Jozef on January 27, 2006 5:55 PM writes...

I remember, a few years ago the US immigration officials ordered me to shave, because my passport picture didn't have a beard. Being a foreign national, I had no other choice if I wanted to enter the US.

Since then, I god a new passport with a heavily edited digital picture of me. Since I printed it out on a photo paper and cut it to the appropriate size, I don't think anybody realized the picture hasn't been taken by one of the oversized Polaroids.

Permalink to Comment

2. Sheldon on January 28, 2006 7:44 AM writes...

I got my passport photo rejected as well, a one taken at a photo booth. Then a buddy of mine found this website: www.epassportphoto.com for making passport photos and it worked simply like a charm

Permalink to Comment

3. ACS on February 1, 2006 5:52 PM writes...

Well actually the law on photographs is a little more complex than your statements would suggest. In Australia and Great Britain there is a concept along the lines "there is no right in a spectacle". Using this principle the law allows pictures to be taken of any person in the public and the property in that picture is property according to the various copyright legislation in the jurisdiction.

How else would the papparazzi operate?

THere have in recent years been various attempts at restraining the sale and use of photographs of other people and with the exception of distasteful pictures of people taken without notice all of those attempts have failed.

Permalink to Comment

4. drwex on February 2, 2006 4:38 PM writes...

As I said, there are generally exceptions in Western law for crowd shots and events of public interest. I don't think this changes the point of the post.

Permalink to Comment

POST A COMMENT




Remember Me?



EMAIL THIS ENTRY TO A FRIEND

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):




RELATED ENTRIES
CBS to HBO: Wait for Us!
Sometime Next Year, HBO Will Become Netflix
OpenMedia vs the TPP
CopyrightX 2015 (online course) Now Open
College Students vs Rising Textbook Prices
"Amazon is crowdsourcing their slush pile"
Rule 84 and Patent Trolls
Sports Continue to Tiptoe Away from Cable Monopolies