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Commons talk:Country specific consent requirements


As written, this article doesn't belong on Commons; it belongs on Wikipedia. It needs to self-reference more. How do these laws apply to the wikimedia? 05:03, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

UK requirementsEdit

I have removed the UK section as it is contradictory with the sources being used. Editorial Photographers UK and the UK photographer's rights websites have quite detailed information on when consent is and isn't required for the taking of photographs, publishing photographs and using photographs for commercial use. We need to use these sources, and what other sources we can find, to come up with requirements for the UK which are grounded in what our available sources, etc actually say. russavia (talk) 02:50, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

You may not like it, but claiming that what I wrote doesn't match the sources is essentially accusing me of deliberately misleading, aka lying. And removing the section entirely seems an excellent first step to discussing it... not. Rd232 (talk) 03:01, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not accusing you of anything Rd232, I have simply said that you have misinterpreted the sources by placing the emphasis on the wrong place. It is recognised by the sources that photos taken in public in the UK generally do not require consent, with some exceptions. What you have written is that photos in the UK in public do require consent, with some exceptions. I think we can all agree on photos taken in a private place require consent. We can probably all agree that photos taken of someone eating in a restaurant would also require subject consent. We can probably all agree that photos taken in a public toilet would also require subject consent. Photos taken on a street, footpath generally do not require permission. As noted on your talk page, can you please explain to us how you came to interpret the sources (in context) as saying permission is required, with exceptions, when the sources actually say the opposite (e.g. the first paragraph of this). russavia (talk) 03:37, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
You're over-emphasising the simplistic table summary. But anyway, my basis for that interpretation was that the general statements from photography sites are probably over-influenced by optimism and "how it used to be" and photos not of identifiable people; I focussed on the specific statements made about people based on specific cases. Most significant was what I quoted in the section:
everyone, however famous, has a reasonable expectation of privacy and that photos of them in their private life should not be published unless there is a legitimate public interest in doing so. This does not just mean that they are entitled to privacy when they are in private places such as their home. It also extends to behaviour they would not want others to know about.
Again, the table is simplistic and we should always consider the text and how it relates to a specific file. Turning my "yes with exceptions" into "no with exceptions" isn't any better if the exceptions aren't carefully considered... basically, given the natural bias on Commons to keeping files, I think it's better to push people to look at the exceptions if they want to keep or upload a file in this area. Better still would be to radically change the table somehow, plus further research to improve the text. Rd232 (talk) 11:02, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I suggest we boil this down to:

  1. key sources accepted as fundamental texts for guidance
  2. key acts of parliament
  3. key legal cases (that establish precedent)
  4. case law (where there are judicial decisions resulting from precedent rather than on statutes)
  5. Commons images suitable for a casebook to illustrate the UK guidance (and possibly other regions)

It may be a bit heavy, so I suspect that we can count on it taking many weeks of elapsed time to discuss this and improve the guidelines. I have access to the University library and JSTOR, so could check-up on any reasonably popular legal journal, article, or specific text book—so long as you are prepared to wait for a week or so. Thanks -- (talk) 12:58, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

To who it might concern: Over resent years, on WC, WP and else where, I've be getting cynical about the glut of contentious edits that crop up, at the very times of year, when most editors are very busy with the real world -out side of of their life in cyberspace. It is almost like some editors are trying to slip their POV in under the radar. It is always easy to pick fault and lack of precision in a guideline or WP article but much harder to do the leg-work to fix it themselves... so they just throw in a hand-grenade of utter non-senses and leave it to others to fix . And they they post it now! When we're all rushing around with the hope of ensuring the kids are going to experience a good Christmas. I'm not impressed with this timing... not at all. At this time of year, all I want to do is check for minor errors and wikicoding issues. I don't want to be confronted buy absolute twaddle. Therefore, (like The Mikado) I've Now Got a Little List. We can all see the short coming on WC and when ever possible we take it upon ourselves to improve on what other editors have done. We don't create work for others that we don't want to do ourself. Because this is all we have – just voluntary effort – no employees to be told what to do etc. Please adopt the same ethos and give us the benefit of your experience, rather than displaying the depth of your ignorance.--P.g.champion (talk) 20:18, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Frankly I don't care if this takes longer than six months, no hurry here. As for my ignorance, it is astonishingly profound and immensely deep, though that seems to be the case for the vast majority of good faith contributors here, and on every other Wikimedia project. You are obviously busy and important, so why not just enjoy your Christmas break and return to this when you have more time next year. Thanks -- (talk) 20:36, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
Someone who thinks that Commons cares about local photography restrictions probably should restrict himself to commenting on the talk page, and should definitely cease deleting sourced and relevant COM:PEOPLE legal content. Rd232 (talk) 00:14, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • @:, @Rd232:. I've just found this page and I must say, regarding the guideline for the UK, "depends on circumstances" for all three categories is unnecessarily wishy-washy. I propose that consent to 'take a picture' and 'publish a picture' be changed to "no, with exceptions", because clearly in 99+% of cases, there are going to be no legal issues. "depends" makes it sound like much more of a 50/50 proposition than it really is. The citation that is used to support the notion that "a UK court has held that a child's right to privacy was infringed when photographed on a public street together with his parents" is UK Photographers Rights v2 but it's an empty claim. What UK court? What court case? What circumstances? It doesn't say. This too is extremely vague and is an academic dead end. Who knows if it's even correct. What we do know, IMO, is that fundamentally there are no laws that restrict photography of people in public, even children. Only stretching other unrelated laws like "breaching the peace" could conceivably be used to justify prosecution of a photographer taking photos of people in public. This makes it an clear exception in my mind. For an official guideline, it's poorly researched and overly cautious. Diliff (talk) 23:30, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
  • If you want to have a go at writing something a bit better, please do. Unfortunately all the other parties in this original discussion are not contributing to the project any longer, so this discussion is more of an archive. For the UK, it would be necessary to consider what is intrusive, this is similar to our expectations for personality rights, though in the UK (and other parts of Europe) people may have legal rights even when in public places if they can be said to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The normal example used is someone eating a meal while sitting next to a public square, as though you can stand on a pavement and take photographs of them it may still be considered intrusive if you attempt to publish the photographs.
    If you want to pull a community consensus together for better text, you may need to advertise for participation on the Village pump. I doubt many people watch this talk page. -- (talk) 23:40, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the quick response. I agree, the two of us discussing it isn't really going to be enough for consensus. It's just frustrating that this guideline for the UK was put together with vague references and a catch-all "depends on circumstances" which is really just a non-answer, and now it remains as an official guideline. I still think that "no, with exceptions" is the most appropriate answer to the question of whether one can take a photo of someone and publish it. The most likely exception is going to be "if your subject happens to be very upset and is rich enough to afford expensive legal representation". I understand that there are so many potential exceptions, but the general rule is that if it passes the 'public' test, consent is not required and we should be realistic about the probability of issues arising. Proving it through case law is beyond my capabilities though. ;-) Diliff (talk) 00:18, 13 March 2015 (UTC)



Legal casesEdit

  • Von Hannover v Germany
    • This was a case for the European Court of Human Rights where German law was judged to have breached the European Convention on Human Rights. article 8 in respect of previously denying the suppression of photographs of the children of Caroline, Princess of Hanover. As this case is a judgement against the German Constitutional Court, I recommend it is removed as an example case from the UK section as there is no guarantee that the same interpretation would suit English law. -- (talk) 06:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
      • It's an ECHR case mentioned by Hugh Tomlinson QC, 26 April 2011, Privacy law: what's the way ahead?. Since the UK's developing privacy law largely stems from the ECHR's Article 8, it's not hard to see why the QC lawyer guy thinks it's relevant. Rd232 (talk) 11:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
      • Somewhat confusing, I would say, as even German courts do not follow it in its entirety (though have switched to a different systematic approach to the law). I don't think it makes much sense to list such judgements without further commenting on it; the site is intended for the layman, and I believe it is confusing for people unfamiliar with these processes whether this ruling is directly relevant or not. I mean, certainly it's important, the (unanswered but essential in practical terms) question is just in what respect. —pajz (talk) 12:43, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Douglas v Hello! Ltd
    • This was a case where photographs of a celebrity couple's wedding in New York, potentially breached an agreement with OK Magazine. The wedding was a private event in New York and there was a claim of breach of confidence due to the existing contract for exclusive photographs. As the photographs were at a private event, this case may illustrate that English law with regard to private events may support an assumption of privacy where the individuals have such an expectation, regardless of how they are seen as a public figure, however the case is complicated by (a) the existing contract for exclusive photographs which were allowed to be published and (b) the event was not in the UK. Where used, this case should be put in context and may be a poor illustration generally due to the complicating factors, in particular it would be unclear what precedent this applies for photographs taken in the UK, as they were taken in the USA. -- (talk) 06:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
      • Technically UK privacy is about an expansion of "breach of confidence"; it's relevant for UK privacy (publication in UK) and is an example of how even public figures can have an "expectation of privacy". It's a noted case mentioned by a quote, so I'm leaving it in for now, but I've clarified the section a bit. Rd232 (talk) 11:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
  • POI v The Person Known as “Lina”
    • This was a case involving blackmail where photographs were suppressed due to the blackmail. Under English law, blackmail has specific provisions and it would be unclear how this judgement by the High Court sets a precedent for photographs where there is no blackmail. I suggest it is only useful as an illustration of cases where photographs are involved in a case of blackmail and publishing the photographs endangers the subject's anonymity. -- (talk) 06:20, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
      • No, the blackmail issue is only relevant to preserving the litigant's anonymity in court; the question of privacy in relation to the photographs is entirely separate. I agree there's not currently enough information about that for it to be helpful, but it's mentioned as a significant case and further research may clarify, so I'd leave it in for now. Rd232 (talk) 11:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

British ColumbiaEdit

Is this the correct law that covers British Columbia FoI and PoP act?--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:17, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Actually I think this is it: part 4 section 12 it starts.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:41, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
On the face of it, that doesn't look right: it doesn't mention photographs and it's talking about organisations collecting data. Rd232 (talk) 23:46, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
This document has links at the bottom of page 2 as footnotes referring to the actual laws, I think. I found it in tools and guidance from this site.--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:45, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Federal law that includes the above provincial laws at the bottom. This federal one includes photograph in the definition of record in the interpretation section at the top. " “record” includes any correspondence, memorandum, book, plan, map, drawing, diagram, pictorial or graphic work, photograph, film, microform, sound recording, videotape, machine-readable record and any other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, and any copy of any of those things." (my bold)--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:48, 25 December 2012 (UTC)


{{helpme|es}} Russavia was arguing at a DR the other day that the Spanish personality rights thingummy actually translates as requiring consent for private life, and doesn't specify anything about public spaces. Could someone who speaks Spanish give a translation? -mattbuck (Talk) 22:27, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

We don't have a help in Spanish tag yet. I made one for Arabic once but forgot how.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:50, 28 December 2012 (UTC)
Your mistake was the shortening - the two letter for Spanish is "es", not "sp". -mattbuck (Talk) 22:59, 28 December 2012 (UTC)



Are there any requirements for Venezuela? --Nor

Try It may be listed there.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:15, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Or here: --Canoe1967 (talk) 20:18, 3 March 2013 (UTC)


where is the section for the United States? Cogiati (talk) 06:34, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

If boxes one and two say 'no' then reasons aren't needed in a section below. The 'yes' in the third section means that they are covered under 'personality rights' for the USA. This means we can host a no-no-yes image here but commercial uses need to contact identifiable people to sell t-shirts, posters, coffee cups, etc.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:41, 16 March 2013 (UTC)


User:Tm Why did you feel the need to delete information on Syria? It was sourced from the Syrian Constitution. USchick (talk) 17:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

The sentence you mentioned from the Constitution says exactly nothing about consent requirements. Perhaps you are right but that requires an actual source. darkweasel94 18:02, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Arabic Countries are in the news and several photos are being discussed. We need something to specifically address Arabic Countries. This file File:Countries with Sharia rule.png shows which countries practice Sharia Law. The argument so far has been that Commons practices US Law. This needs to be clarified. USchick (talk) 18:13, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Yeah but it's better not to have anything than to have something that's wrong. darkweasel94 18:19, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
What makes you think it's wrong? According to the Syrian Constitution [1] Article 1(3) The people in the Syrian Arab region are a part of the Arab nation. Article 3(2) Islamic jurisprudence is a main source of legislation. USchick (talk) 18:26, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
And where does Islamic jurisprudence say anything about consent requirements? darkweasel94 18:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Constitution Article 25: The state protects the personal freedom of the citizens and safeguards their dignity and security.[2] Islamic privacy law forbids spying on people without their consent. Intrusions into the private sphere must be prohibited.[3] Legal document from Saudi Arabia (in Arabic)[4] In English [5] "Authorization is still required when photographing private property or individuals." Another source [6] "Public photography would be allowed on the condition that it did not conflict with others’ freedom not to be photographed and that the photographer asks permission from the other party." USchick (talk) 18:47, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Syrian copyright law[7]: Article 16: Producers of a picture are not entitled to display, publish or distribute the original or copies without the consent of the individuals displayed in the picture. USchick (talk) 20:46, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • At least quote the entire paragrapher "e. Such stipulation shall not be enforceable if the display of the picture was in the event of public occurrence, was of public figures or was approved by the Ministry for the intention of public welfare. The figure personified in the picture may allow publication of the picture in books, newspapers, magazines and similar means even without the consent of the picture producer unless otherwise agreed. Such stipulations shall be enforceable on all types of pictures whether produced by means of photography, drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture or any other means.". Tm (talk) 21:10, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
That's Freedom of panorama, and does not apply here. USchick (talk) 21:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
No, no. The extra quote seems entirely relevant here, and FOP is not about photos of people. (FOP is typically restricted to photos/videos of permanently publicly displayed 3-D works.)
It's good to know that subject consent is not required to publish photos of public figures in Syria. Does the part saying "if display of the picture was in the event of public occurrence" mean that photos of private individuals taken in a public place generally do not require their consent to publish? --Avenue (talk) 23:27, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
There's a difference between permission to photograph and permission to publish. Freedom of panorama applies to public events, but not private individuals in public space. In Arabic countries, Sharia Law is public law. Legal document from Saudi Arabia (in Arabic)[8] In English [9] "Authorization is still required when photographing private property or individuals." A photo of a crowd is a public event. A photo of an individual on a public street in Syria requires permission. USchick (talk) 23:41, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Article 16 talks specifically about situations when one can and cannot "display, publish or distribute" pictures.
I believe that the Saudi authorities take a harder line on photography than most other Arab countries, so I don't see your Saudi links as convincing evidence of the situation in Syria. Is there evidence of Saudi precedent in this area being followed in Syria?
On the distinction between public spaces and public events, you may be right, but I haven't seen any evidence for that (specific to Syria) so far. And maybe you are using "freedom of panorama" in a broader sense, but here on Commons we use it to refer to specific provisions in copyright law that typically do not refer to people. See Commons:Freedom of panorama. --Avenue (talk) 00:27, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Sharia law is alive and well in Syria [10] outlawing croissants. According to the Syrian Constitution [11] Article 1(3) The people in the Syrian Arab region are a part of the Arab nation. Article 3(2) Islamic jurisprudence is a main source of legislation. That's Sharia Law. USchick (talk) 00:40, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
But that was in a rebel-held area, and photographs aren't croissants. Islamic jurisprudence can be a main source of Syrian legislation without every Sharia law being enacted or enforced. Please give us something more specific. --Avenue (talk) 01:47, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
The questions as I understand them are:
  • Can you take a picture of a person in a public place in Syria without permission? (regular person, not a celebrity)
  • Publish a picture of a person in Syria without permission?
  • Commercially use a published picture in Syria without permission?
[12] Article 16: "Producers of a picture are not entitled to display, publish or distribute the original or copies of such picture without the consent of the individuals displayed in the picture. Such stipulation shall not be enforceable if the display of the picture was in the event of public occurrence, was of public figures or was approved by the Ministry for the interest of public welfare. The figure personified may allow publication of the picture in books, newspapers, magazines and similar means even without the consent of the picture producer unless otherwise agreed. Such stipulations shall be enforceable on all types of pictures whether produced by means of photography, drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture or any other means."

A photo of a public event is permissible. USchick (talk) 02:06, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


2013 a photographer was charged and convicted of "disorderly behavior causing offense" in WA despite being legal to do so. [13] it may be pertinent to include this in the section. Gnangarra 14:57, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The same applicable in India too. "The court, has interpreted the right to privacy not as an absolute right, but as a limited right to be considered on a case to case basis." So we can't take photos of females without consent even in public spaces. But if the photographer has an "official press staff" tag; there is not much problem. Jee 16:06, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Are there requirements for consent in photographs of people in the Philippines?Edit

How about photographs of people in the Philippines, especially photos in public places? Are there laws on personality rights in the Philippines? If you got information from researches about personality rights for photographs of people in the Philippines, notify me at my talk page.TagaSanPedroAko (talk)

Model release - medical photos and more - legal review - WMF grant proposalEdit

I am seeking comments and hopefully endorsements on a draft request to the Wikimedia Foundation for grant funds. If you like, please comment at meta:Grants:PEG/Wikimedia New York City/Legal review and templates for model release.

For some time I have been collecting examples in Wikimedia projects in which there is some disagreement about whether an image violates personality rights and would require a model release to host in Wikimedia Commons. See examples in the discussion sections at meta:Grants_talk:PEG/Wikimedia_New_York_City/Development_of_a_model_release_process_for_photos_and_video.

Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:31, 21 December 2015 (UTC)


Vietnam has a law about this consent, as seen on s:vi:Bộ luật Dân sự nước Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam 2005/Phần 1/Chương III/Mục 2#Ðiều 31. Quyền của cá nhân đối với hình ảnh, which official translations:

Article 31.- The right of an individual with respect to his/her picture
1. An individual shall have the right with respect to his/her picture.
2. The use of a picture of an individual must have his/her consent; where such person has died, lost his/her civil act capacity or is under full fifteen years old, the consent of his/her father, mother, husband, wife, adult children or representative is required, unless it is for State interests, public interests or otherwise provided for by law.
3. It is strictly forbidden to use pictures of other persons to infringe upon their honor, dignity and/or prestige.

--minhhuy (talk) 04:44, 29 April 2016 (UTC)


Could someone add Egypt to the table, according to the results of these deletion discussions? INeverCry kept the file based on the link [14] given by Christian Ferrer, but I currently can't read this due to Google Books' preview limitations, so I would welcome it if someone with access to the relevant text(s) could do this for future reference (ping also to Jcb). Gestumblindi (talk) 12:55, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Though this helped to close this DR, I'm not sure if it is sufficient to set it as a rule. A more specific, official and compelte source would be better. Christian Ferrer (talk) 11:33, 3 October 2016 (UTC)


I have learned from User:Jameslwoodward, that every photo showing a person on a public place has to be deleted on commons, if we got no explicite consent to commercially (but non-advertising) use, as long as the overpage list is showing "Yes" in column "commercially use a public picture". According to Jim, column "commercially use a public picture" does not refer to advertising use, but to using a picture let's say in a textbook.

If this is correct, the entry "Yes" for Austria in column "commercially use a public picture" is improperly generalizing and should be changed.

The Austrian copyright law "UrheberrechtsGesetz (UrhG)" is just prohibiting to violate the "legitimate interests" ("berechtigte Interessen", § 78 UrhG) of a person. This law shall protect everyone from public misuse of his image, that is to say, from being exposed by spreading his image in a way that reveals his private life in public, or by using his image in a way that might cause misjudgement or might be debasing or degrading. ("Durch § 78 UrhG soll jedermann gegen einen Missbrauch seiner Abbildung in der Öffentlichkeit, also namentlich dagegen geschützt werden, dass er durch die Verbreitung seines Bildnisses bloßgestellt, dass dadurch sein Privatleben der Öffentlichkeit preisgegeben oder sein Bildnis auf eine Art benützt wird, die zu Missdeutungen Anlass geben kann oder entwürdigend oder herabsetzend wirkt." - EBzUrhG)

Therefore, the article de:Recht am eigenen Bild (Österreich) in German language wikipedia, dealing with legal situation in Austria, states: "Generally, it is not prohibited to take a picture of persons without getting their consent nor to distribute or to publish such a picture." ("Zu beachten ist dabei, dass es grundsätzlich weder verboten ist, ein Bild einer Person ohne deren Zustimmung zu schaffen, noch es zu verbreiten oder zu veröffentlichen.")

If there are no objections, I will change the entry in column "commercially use a public picture" to "No (with exceptions)". regards, --Niki.L (talk) 08:58, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

The "commercial use" column indeed refers explicitly to advertising use only, as noted in the footnote. It is purely about {{personality rights}}, which is a Commons:Non-copyright restrictions, and so a "Yes" in that column is not a valid reason for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:39, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
James simply is wrong. We do not delete any pictures based on personality rights, only copyright is followed on commons. And no one owns a copyright on his or her own face. Just request to restore the deleted pictures, first ask James, but if he refused, any other admin will do. --h-stt !? 19:03, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
I just changed the point in question. --h-stt !? 11:00, 28 December 2016 (UTC)


This seems to give a nice overview for Malta: —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:07, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

Mexico update?Edit

The Mexico link has been dead for a long time - does anyone have information about privacy laws in Mexico that could be used to update the Mexico entry?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Lonelyusers (talk • contribs) 04:57, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
The Internet Archive can still be used to look up that link -- for example. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:35, 3 May 2018 (UTC)


That sentence is wrong:

Publishing pictures of a person in a public space: Does not require consent[67][68] but [...]

The Italian law says:

Article 96:

The portrait of a person taken in a public space require consent to be exposed, reproduced or marketed

Article 97:

The consent is not required:
  • for celebrities and politically exposed persons (public figures).[70]
  • for public events or celebrations.[71]
  • for scientific, educational or cultural purposes.
However the portrait can not be exposed or put on the market if it “harm the honour or reputation or also the public image of the depicted person”.

Note: I translate Italian verb esporre whith to expose. Maybe a better tradution is to exhibit or to show.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Xenomanes (talk • contribs) 15:31, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Country specific consent requirements".