Photography · Legal

Can a business make a case for ordering the removal of photos tagged to coordinates on its property?

Adam Crabtree Founder, Strollbar

February 29th, 2016

The world is filled with geo-tagged photos, but are there legal parameters of use that restrict (or at least dissuade) photos from being tagged on private property? If so, does it depend on the country, state, province, etc.? Of course, these photos are in the cloud (which really problematizes the concept of property), but I guess I could see one making the case that the direct association between content and location could elicit legal action. Does anyone even care?  

Stephen Williams CTO & cofounder at Change My Path

February 29th, 2016

Your idea does not sound viable.  For certain famous privately owned properties, they can prevent other photos from being published.  For everything else, normal photography law applies: In the US (and I think in Western countries in general), you are allowed to photograph any place, thing, or person in public, especially when taken from a public place.  You can't invade privacy into a house with a zoom lens.  You can't use a picture of someone commercially (i.e. in an ad or similar) without their permission, but you can use pictures of anyone editorially (in a newsworthy article, discussion, critique, or privately).