Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/05

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Photographing people in public
From: (Ted Grant)
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 17:11:16 -0800

Francesco wrote:

>So in the case of HCB, since you brought it up, did he need
>releases for all of his photos of people, since he obviously
>did not take them for exclusively editorial purposes, and has
>commercialized them in books and magazines?>>>>>>>

Hi Francesco,

I doubt at the time he took the photos no one worried about getting
releases as nobody in those days related to the "dollar value" in relation
to today's suing society for a buck!

There was some kind of legal thing last year (?)  with a Robert Doisneau
photo,  a couple kissing in Paris. Shot in 1950, "Kiss by the Hotel de
Ville" created some kind of situation which I'm sure the couple, apparantly
turned out to be a couple of models who had verbally agreed to be
photographed, therefore no signed release.

So one of them in 1997 realized Robert Doisneau was now a famous
photgrapher with books and posters with the picture used. They had not been
paid, nor unfortunately no release, so it was decided to "make some money"
and legal action was taken.

This may not be the absolute truth as it happened, but it's very close as I
recall reading it.

I beleive the action was thrown out of court simply because it was
perceived by the French court that this was merely a "money grab" for
something that they had  originally agreed to do verbally without

As far as HCB? I doubt he got releases for any of his photos, certainly at
the beginning. He may have in later years as the "law suit society" learned
the money potential in the value of the picture in the hands of a famous
"and very wealthy" photographer.

Ted Grant
This is Our Work. The Legacy of Sir William Osler.