Is it a right infringement to photograph others' house?

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Is it a right infringement to photograph others' house?

Post by Halie0201 »


I have a question as below:

If I take a photo of someone's house, is it copyright infringement or privacy infringement? I took the photo from the public place and use this photo in an MV of my company.

The Image is like this:

Can a house like this be considered a copyrighted work? Is it a privacy infringement or an invasion of other rights to put this photo online?

Looking forward to your reply!
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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Halie

As long as we are talking about the UK, there is no copyright in people's homes, and even works of architecture (which are covered by copyright) if they can be photographed from a public place. The particular exception for works of architecture actually uses the term 'building' and can be seen here.

The second issue you mentioned was the privacy aspect. The law here is mainly based on Article 8 (the right to a private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights as embodied in the UK's Human Rights Act 1998. But again this right is not infringed by merely taking a picture from a public place, unless the photographer is clearly going further than a reasonable person would consider was appropriate, say by using a long focal length lens or similar, or was principally intending to capture some private act of an occupant of the house (say, sunbathing in the back garden).

Most advertising and photo agencies have traditionally required what is known as property release before they would use a picture of someone's house, mainly on the grounds of avoiding liability for a defamation claim, if the homeowner objected to an adverse implication arising from linking his/her home to the product etc being advertised. However such a claim would normally require pretty strong grounds for alleging such defamation, in order to be successful, and I don't think you would need to worry about it unless, say, you were implying something pretty dire like the property was the home of a paedophile or mass murderer.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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Re: Is it a right infringement to photograph others' house?

Post by Fatty »

People have privacy rights not buildings. If there are no people in the image, its taken from a public place and its not published alongside personal information such as names or addresses then you should be on fairly safe grounds.

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer !
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