Photography Policy Explained By A Non-Lawyer
Why we have a photo policy: The Anne Arundel Radio Club has an interest in being able to publish photographs in print and in electronic form in order to both inform members, and attract new members to both our organization and Amateur Radio in general. Photographs make our publications much more inviting, and without them we would lose a valuable promotional tool. There are two sets of laws involved. The first involves taking of pictures, and the second involves publishing them.
A rough explanation of the legal issues surrounding picture taking: Legally, anyone can take your picture as long as you are in a 'public space' which is any space that is visible from any location where a person might normally be found and who is not on your private property. Otherwise you do have an expectation of privacy. Expectation of privacy does not mean you can't take such pictures, it means you must obtain prior approval from those to be photographed.
Examples: If you are out on the open grounds of the DFRC at Field Day, by law, any person may take your picture. But if you are inside the club house, or any of the structures on the DFRC or even in some cases inside a tent or shelfter on those grounds, youi have an expectation of privacy. If a tent has its flaps closed, or a shelter is totally enclosed, you have an expectation of privacy inside it. If the door flaps on a tent are open, or one side of a shelter is left open, you do not, because it is clearly visible from the rest of the grounds. This also means you have no expectation of having your picture taken at a meeting, class or other event inside our club house.
Indoor photography policy: it will be the policy of the Anne Arundel Radio Club that any time photographs are to be taken in enclosed spaces, where an expectation of privacy exists, any photography, of any kind, will be preceded by an announcement stating the intent to take such images and the areas involved, thus giving those who decline to have their image recorded, sufficient time to remove themselves from the area before photography begins. In other words once notified, it is your job to remove yourself from an area where images are being captured, otherwise you will be deemed as giving permission.
Publishing of images and photographs: The laws with respect to publication and distribution of photographs, videos, etc. are different than those that allow a photographer to take the picture or image in the first place. By law every person has publication rights to their own personal image. Be aware, this right is not absolute. For instance, if a photo can be deemed newsworthy or the activity photographed is illegal it can be published by news organizations either in print or electronically, and/or may be admissible in court.
Definition of Terms: Just as there are newspapers, newsletters, magazines and so on that make up print publications, there are multiple types of digital publication. Some involve Social Media, which are interactive, like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Google+, Myspace, Linkedin, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumbir, Twitter, Viber, VK, WeChat Weibo, Baidu Tieba and Wikia. Others are considered information portals, considered starting points for locating web based information like Yahoo, Excite, Netscape, Lycos, CNET, Microsoft Network, and America Online's AOL.com. Another type of digital publication is the web site. There may be more types in the future.
What We Can and Can't Control: The Anne Arundel Radio Club owns and operates its own web site, w3vpr.org and there are several Social Media sites on which the AARC has a presence. While under normal circumstances, the AARC has publication control over it's own web site, it has none with respect to the information portals which may copy information from our site without our approval. In the case of Social Media, again the AARC has no control of what is posted by any individual. Therefore the AARC must protect itself from being held responsible for the content of Social Media or Information Portals which may include content copied from our web site, including pictures, with or without modification. The 'waiver' you signed on your Application or Renewal form with the AARC says, in part, that you agree not to take legal action against the Anne Arundel Radio Club if this should happen.
Written permission required: Before publication of photographs or other images selected for use by the club newsletter (The Ham Arundel News), the club's web site (w3vpr.org), by our Information Officer for use on AARC's Social Media sites, or on other platforms as not yet developed, the AARC will require written permission from any person who's facially recognizable image is included or recorded in such a picture, video or other image. We realize that club members can recognize others without being able to see their face. We also realize that the overwhelming majority of non-members can not. Therefore we will use the definition of facially recognizable as the standard for requiring written permission. Before granting such permission AARC members should be aware that though the rights to publish your picture belong to you, once any picture is published on the Internet any unscrupulous individual may copy, or copy and modify that image, and republish it. In other words, publishing an image online is a bit like parking your car in the driveway. While it's convenient and to your benefit, you have to realize that though it is illegal to steal it, that won't stop everyone from doing so.
Our 'no argument' policy: In an effort to avoid any dispute, the Anne Arundel Radio Club agrees to remove any photo, video or other image from any electronic media over which the Club has control,. or in the case of minor children, the parent or guardian of that individual, upon their request. This request may be directed to the Club Secretary, or depending on where the picture is published, the Ham Arundel News editor or the Information Officer. The lag time between the request and the removal may vary, but is expected to take less than 48 hours.
Regardless, we need your help: The Anne Arundel Radio Club needs the ability to publish pictures both online and in print. An electronic newsletter or web site without pictures will not likely convince anyone that we are a wonderful organization worthy of their participation. But rather than making the editors of our newsletter and our Information Officer have separate photo releases for every person in every picture we are asking you to consider giving the Club advance permission to use your image in our newsletter, our Club web site, and in select Social Media sites, or other platforms as not yet developed. To do so please fill out our two question Photography Release Form.
Otherwise you may return to the home page.