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Advice regards photo of legal notice


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After some guidance on whether to submitt a shot of 2 legal notices as editorial.

A shop in a town near me which has been empty some while still displays clear notices obviously intended for public view regarding the seizing of the shop and property within from the tenant on behalf of the landlord.
One of the notices is a general to whom it may concern - and there are a couple of similarly worded notices on other legal acts on Shutterstock so I am fairly confident that will be allowed.  The second notice does include the name of the person it is intended for specifically, although again it is on full public display and is obviously intended to be seen and read by the public at large.  However I am not sure if it will be acceptable to Shutterstock.

Obviously if submitted they would have to be editorial - is the obvious pixelation of the name allowable for editorial or is it likely to be rejected straight out because of the subject matter?

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You cannot alter editorial images, but editorial or not, I would most definitely blurr any names and personal information. That way you still protect the privacy of the peope/businesses involved (and yourself) while the integrity of the editorial image remains in tact. You really don't alter anything. (Alterng is in my opinion the more correct term and different than editing. Editorial images are edited all the time, but not altered).

If Shutterstock still doesn't like that, forget it.

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9 hours ago, Rudy Umans said:

You cannot alter editorial images, but editorial or not, I would most definitely blurr any names and personal information. That way you still protect the privacy of the peope/businesses involved (and yourself) while the integrity of the editorial image remains in tact. You really don't alter anything. (Alterng is in my opinion the more correct term and different than editing. Editorial images are edited all the time, but not altered).

If Shutterstock still doesn't like that, forget it.

One thing is to crop and add some contrast to an editorial. Blurring would likely be a significant alteration and they should reject it accordingly.

This concept seems like a non-starter. Too risky to be used by publishers as it shows personal information. Best to make something generic, such as a boarded up business with a clear sign that it’s been re-possessed.

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See this is where it all gets confusing - the notice is very definitely intended for public consumption - it is deliberately posted to be read by the public.  The whole "name is personal and/or sensitive information" is also completely and utterly illogical.  Do a search for "famous person" and you have nearly 2 million images including photos with names in the caption, and illustrations/vectors with the names in the image.  Things like movie posters which have names on and which are intended for public consumption are allowed.

This is probably going to be one of those things where interpretation is everything lol.

 

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4 hours ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

One thing is to crop and add some contrast to an editorial. Blurring would likely be a significant alteration and they should reject it accordingly.

This concept seems like a non-starter. Too risky to be used by publishers as it shows personal information. Best to make something generic, such as a boarded up business with a clear sign that it’s been re-possessed.

 

3 hours ago, Linda Bestwick said:

I politely disagree with blurring a name being an alteration or removing/hiding an object. It is not the same thing. It is not really altering or hiding an object because it is still very obvious it is a name. It is  illegible, not invisible.  It is protecting somebody's privacy as in "sensitive information"  Here in the US, I see blurred out license plates on the evening news all the time.  Linda's 2 quotes seem contradictory, they are not, but regardless, it is the only way I would submit it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Starsphinx said:

See this is where it all gets confusing - the notice is very definitely intended for public consumption - it is deliberately posted to be read by the public.  The whole "name is personal and/or sensitive information" is also completely and utterly illogical.  Do a search for "famous person" and you have nearly 2 million images including photos with names in the caption, and illustrations/vectors with the names in the image.  Things like movie posters which have names on and which are intended for public consumption are allowed.

This is probably going to be one of those things where interpretation is everything lol.

 

The thing is, what is public record in one country is not necessarily public record in another and SS takes the worst case scenario.

 

A movie poster is advertising. Different ball game. A legal notice could be defamatory, which would be like the opposite. Besides, those movie stars sign contracts in which they allow those things and very often it is in their own best interest, especially in they get paid royalties.

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3 hours ago, Rudy Umans said:

The thing is, what is public record in one country is not necessarily public record in another and SS takes the worst case scenario.

 

A movie poster is advertising. Different ball game. A legal notice could be defamatory, which would be like the opposite. Besides, those movie stars sign contracts in which they allow those things and very often it is in their own best interest, especially in they get paid royalties.

I do not see how these legal notices can be defamatory - one states the property has been entered and secured by the legal owner in line with the legal terms of the tenancy the other tells the person the property that was inside has been secured and must be collected by a certain date.  Certainly the one without a name just a "To whom it may concern" cannot be defamatory. 

I may see if I can recrop to remove the one with the name. 

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34 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

I do not see how these legal notices can be defamatory - one states the property has been entered and secured by the legal owner in line with the legal terms of the tenancy the other tells the person the property that was inside has been secured and must be collected by a certain date.  Certainly the one without a name just a "To whom it may concern" cannot be defamatory. 

I may see if I can recrop to remove the one with the name. 

just pointing out that you can't compare it with a movie poster.

 

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My point with the movie poster is that the claim "personal names are sensitive information" is both illogical and not applied consistently.  It goes with the "famous person" images.  Now with famous people it could be argued that they are famous so their names are already known and therefore not sensitive - but on Movie posters many of the names are not famous - it can include camera and sound engineers who maybe well known in their own industry but not to Joe Public - and some of these may not get royalties.  There are actually other examples of names in pictures on this site so it is another rule that is interpretted in different ways by different reviewers and the flat statement you cannot use names does not apply.

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A name combined with a legal notice?  That is clearly somewhat sensitive to put on the internet even if it is publicly posted. I would not be thrilled if someone made a stock photo out of, say, my parking ticked or a package delivery slip on my door, and then a local newspaper printed on a story.  It would be creepy. And alterations aren't allowed no matter how obvious.  It's a 'no go'.

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On 2/2/2020 at 1:39 PM, Starsphinx said:

The second notice does include the name of the person it is intended for specifically, although again it is on full public display and is obviously intended to be seen and read by the public at large.

To be seen and read by the public is one thing but to sell a photo of it is completely different, in my book.

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4 minutes ago, Emily Veinglory said:

A name combined with a legal notice?  That is clearly somewhat sensitive to put on the internet even if it is publicly posted. I would not be thrilled if someone made a stock photo out of, say, my parking ticked or a package delivery slip on my door, and then a local newspaper printed on a story.  It would be creepy. And alterations aren't allowed no matter how obvious.  It's a 'no go'.

The package delivery slip is on private property - and a parking ticket would not have your name on it.

Newspapers report arrest warrants - which are legal notices and have names on them - is that creepy?  SS does have "wanted posters" as editorials - which have names and photos.

I am not actually trying to be picky - I am one who will obey rules but still challenge the claimed basis of said rules where there is clear evidence the basis is erroneous.  As in the idea that a deliberately publically displayed legal notice to someone of the time by which they must collect belongings is considered sensitive information but a photo, name, age, and allegation of crime is allowed.

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5 minutes ago, Whiteaster said:

To be seen and read by the public is one thing but to sell a photo of it is completely different, in my book.

That applies to many many circumstances not just legal notices. 
I do a small amount of press work on emergency services - people do not want photos of their disaster taken and used by newspeople, but that is what happens. 

2 minutes ago, Whiteaster said:

That's what I was thinking too, it costs nothing to try.

Having seen the UK wanted notices I am now leaning towards it - i did not think to look for them earlier (one reason I made this post is because the answers kick my idea factory into work) but if a photo and name of someone wanted by the police is accepted then a name on its own on a document for public consumption should be.

But probably wont be lol. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE

I meant to do this earlier but only just remembered.  After considering the posts on this thread I decided to submit the image and see what happened (as editorial obviously).  Well the good news if slightly surprising is it was accepted - so if anyone is out and about and sees something similar and is wondering if it is worth bothering with, apparently it will be accepted.  Only time will tell if it sells Trowbridge Wiltshire UK January 31 2020 2 legal notices, one a forfeiture, one a torts, displayed for public reading in a closed abandoned shop

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14 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

UPDATE

I meant to do this earlier but only just remembered.  After considering the posts on this thread I decided to submit the image and see what happened (as editorial obviously).  Well the good news if slightly surprising is it was accepted - so if anyone is out and about and sees something similar and is wondering if it is worth bothering with, apparently it will be accepted.  Only time will tell if it sells Trowbridge Wiltshire UK January 31 2020 2 legal notices, one a forfeiture, one a torts, displayed for public reading in a closed abandoned shop

I am very surprised this was allowed. Whether it was on public display or not, you've taken a legal notice to a specific individual - a negative one at that - that was potentially seen by dozens or maybe hundreds of people and displayed it to potentially millions.

Editorial or not, I wouldn't have done that. Wouldn't be worth the .33 cents to: A. possibly make this person's life more miserable and B. risk a lawsuit or whatever. 

Probably the only use would be for a buyer writing an article on related legal issues I assume, and chances are they would be afraid to use such a personally identifiable document. 

On the other hand, I assume SS looked it over and is ok with it. Interesting. Curious to see if it sells ever.

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7 minutes ago, Kirk Fisher said:

I am very surprised this was allowed. Whether it was on public display or not, you've taken a legal notice to a specific individual - a negative one at that - that was potentially seen by dozens or maybe hundreds of people and displayed it to potentially millions.

Editorial or not, I wouldn't have done that. Wouldn't be worth the .33 cents to: A. possibly make this person's life more miserable and B. risk a lawsuit or whatever. 

Probably the only use would be for a buyer writing an article on related legal issues I assume, and chances are they would be afraid to use such a personally identifiable document. 

On the other hand, I assume SS looked it over and is ok with it. Interesting. Curious to see if it sells ever.

One thing I did actually pay attentiont to is the date of the document - its age.  It has been there displayed to the public for over a year.  I am not sure how much misery is related to something left on display for a year.  I also cannot see the difference between this and police wanted notices that are also on SS - this is a name on a "where to collect your stuff notice" while those are names, photos, and descriptions as well as what the person is supposed to have done. 

I would also be interested to see the legal challenge of a difference between "public to any person in a town" and "public to any person looking online" - where do you draw the line legally?  How do you decide the maximum number of people who could possibly see it in its displayed place and contrast that with the number who could see it at a stock agency?  A legal definition of "only a bit public but not totally public"  or "only public to this number"

Oh and I am UK - obviously the law on this will be different country to country.  I am as satisfied as I can be that under UK law I have done nothing wrong.

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18 minutes ago, Kirk Fisher said:

Editorial or not, I wouldn't have done that. Wouldn't be worth the .33 cents to: A. possibly make this person's life more miserable and B. risk a lawsuit or whatever.

Couldn't agree more.!!!!!  Guess the local posting wasn't embarrassing enough for the person(s), so let's make it global.

Should never have been submitted like this and should have never been accepted.

 

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2 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

One thing I did actually pay attentiont to is the date of the document - its age.  It has been there displayed to the public for over a year.  I am not sure how much misery is related to something left on display for a year.  I also cannot see the difference between this and police wanted notices that are also on SS - this is a name on a "where to collect your stuff notice" while those are names, photos, and descriptions as well as what the person is supposed to have done. 

I would also be interested to see the legal challenge of a difference between "public to any person in a town" and "public to any person looking online" - where do you draw the line legally?  How do you decide the maximum number of people who could possibly see it in its displayed place and contrast that with the number who could see it at a stock agency?  A legal definition of "only a bit public but not totally public"  or "only public to this number"

Oh and I am UK - obviously the law on this will be different country to country.  I am as satisfied as I can be that under UK law I have done nothing wrong.

So you are an expert in privacy and global internet laws. Good to know.  Couldn't tell from reading you first post.

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Just now, Rudy Umans said:

Couldn't agree more.!!!!!  Guess the local posting wasn't embarrassing enough for the person(s), so let's make it global.

Should never have been submitted like this and should have never been accepted.

Again if the individual has not been embarassed enough to get the notice taken down in a year how embarassed are they?  Different individuals have different levels of social discomfort.  There are endless editorial photos on stock that would embarrass some people if it were of them - and other people do not see the problem.  If the notice was a couple of days old I would not have used it - but after a year the date itself is a piece of social commentary.  Yes it will cause discomfort in some - but sometimes in editorial work that is the object.  I also do a small amount of freelance journalism involving the emergency services.  The old right to privacy in the public sphere is a familar ethical issue for me.

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