I was just wondering whether I can use images of other people's houses in my hub. Is it legal? Am I breaking any rules by having photos of private property in my hub? These photos were taken from the street, which is public. Does anyone know whether I'm okay to do this?
I have always lived by the motto "When in doubt, don't". It has served me well for more than 70 years. Besides, there are plenty of public domain photos of streets (and other things) that you can use without giving yourself problems. Morguefile.com and Pixabay.com are two sites you can use.
General rule about taking photos in public, if you can see it from a public space, then you can photograph it (unless a sign on their property states otherwise).
I always ask the homeowner's permission. Usually they are flattered that their home is being featured online.
If you see it you can photograph it, it does not follow you can use it commercially. Stock agencies do not allow any photographs of single buildings, art objects or recognizable people who did not sign model releases.
Thanks paradigmsearch, Luke Holm, and OldRoses for your replies. Yes, Google does get away with it with their Street View. Since I did take the pictures from the street, I'm assume it's okay? I didn't ask the homeowner's permission. The problem is I'm using the images for commercial purposes (I'm earning income from Hubpages) so I'm not sure if that's okay.
No, you can't assume it is okay. A street shot can be anything from a blank fence, to a copyrighted architectural design, to clear shot of semi-nude children in the front yard. It may not be permitted for commercial use.
No, you can't assume it is okay. A street shot can be anything from a blank fence, to a copyrighted architectural design, to clear shot of semi-nude children in the front yard. It may not be permitted for commercial use. Look at the guidelines for submitting to any stock agency for a full explanation.
Thanks psycheskinner! I think you're right. I can't use them here on Hubpages as it is considered commercial use.
There is nothing illegal about using images that you take in public. Including people. If they are in public, you can use them. If it's a public space, you can use it. If you stand in a public place, you can use whatever you take. Including kids. There is no release required, or permission. I have no idea why anyone would say other wise. Perhaps they have heard something from someone who claims they know better.
You cannot use private things that people do. Look up dresses, inside bathrooms, etc. That would be a violation of a lot of things.
Remember it does have to be a public place you are taking them from. Don't be fooled into thinking that you are in a public place. If you are in a store, mall, etc., it's not public.
If you stand in the street, you can take and use anything, except as noted above. If people are standing in a store, and you see them in the window from the street, you can take them, and use them.
You can use the houses you photograph while on a public street.
But, as I have said before many times, HUB can make their own rules.
Thanks stephenteacher for your response. I wonder what Hubpages would think of this?
Stephenteacher is very wrong. Guess he's never been sued for publishing someone's face without permission!
You must have a persons permission to show their face. Ever wonder why so many people's faces are blocked out on TV etc?
Indeed. The dangers of getting legal advice online. I suggest you go by what stock agencies say as they have the most experience with what can get you sued. https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/contr … -releases/
Thanks galleryofgrace and psycheskinner. I will check out the link.
Legal doesn't always mean ethical either. Getting permission is always the best way to go but if it's visible from a public area it's probably legal to take a picture of it in the US. Laws in other countries might vary. Regardless of law, if the picture shows an address or owner name on a sign or provides enough information that a user may recognize and track it down you probably shouldn't publish it without permission. I would also never show the contents inside a house without permission.
As mentioned above, when in doubt seek legal advice from a professional. It's sound advice!
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