Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-28-2001, 02:14 AM
sdimbert sdimbert is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,581
I watch a lot of TV late at night, because that's when they show the good shows. Anyway, I see commercials for these video collections featuring what seems to be nothing but footage of College girls at Mardi Gras showing off their... ahem... I don't know if I can say this online... errrr.... I'll say it backwards:

sboob.

Anyway, is this legal? I mean, the girls in the commercial don't seem to be in any condition to sign waivers or other legal documents - It looks like some guys just dragged a camcorder around Mardi Gras, then cut it and are selling a video.

Is this legal?
  #2  
Old 06-28-2001, 02:23 AM
Shera Shera is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Forestville,CA
Posts: 609
Probably not, I am not a lawyer, but I think that if one of those women saw themselves on that video they could sue. Even if they were in public, they still have to give consent, espesially if this guy is making money off them. They should at least be getting a share of the profits, since they are the product. makes sense to me anyways.
  #3  
Old 06-28-2001, 03:18 AM
Sublight Sublight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 10,287
In between lots of flirting, ranting and general pontificating on the subject of the female breast, some semi-direct info may be found in the following threads:

opinions, with some info

ranting, with some info

--sublight.
  #4  
Old 06-28-2001, 03:23 AM
Xgemina Xgemina is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SD
Posts: 359
My room mate has a copy of Girls Gone Wild on DVD..As far as I can tell, most of the women flashing, or doing various other deeds, appear to be sober...

At any rate, the company that produces and distributes the video is MRA Holdings LLC and they have all of the standard legal verbage on the video and at their website. The website also has a release form that you are required to sign and send in with your pictures, should you have the desire to be in one of their videos.

And yes, the video really does belong to my room mate.
  #5  
Old 06-28-2001, 03:59 AM
pezwookiee pezwookiee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 339
Does the exchange of Mardi Gras beads make a contract?
  #6  
Old 06-28-2001, 10:43 AM
Joe_Cool Joe_Cool is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 2,815
I was under the impression that anything openly visible is fair game, and the photographer owns the rights to any pictures or video footage. A year or two ago (sorry, no cite, I couldn't find it), a guy was sued for posting nude pictures of his ex girlfriend (taken while they were still dating) on a www site. He won, on the grounds that since he was the photographer, he owned the pictures and could therefore do whatever he wanted with them, and she had no recourse.
  #7  
Old 06-28-2001, 12:08 PM
Homer Homer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 3,291
If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right!

One of the girls works at a drug store near here. On Metcalf, if anyone's interested. Hmm, actually, sdimbert, I guess you could drive over and ask her what they did.

--Tim
  #8  
Old 06-28-2001, 12:10 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 74,832
Photographers have the legal right to take pictures of any public event. The subject of the picture is legally assumed to have surrendered their right to privacy by appearing in a public place. This is why you can take a picture of a city street and not have to worry about getting a release form from everyone on the street. It's also the reason you can take pictures of celebrities without their permission as long as they are in a public place.

This legal right applies to any public place, including a bar or night club. And it applies even if the patrons are showing their "sboob". Once you decide to get naked in public, you can't sue for damages if somebody decides to film you even if they sell the film.

I'm not as sure about the case Joe Cool mentions. Without knowing the details, I'd say that the girlfriend should have won her case. Posing naked before her boyfriend is not considered the same as appearing in public. So unless she had given some form of consent, he should have been liable for damages for posting them.
  #9  
Old 06-28-2001, 01:18 PM
sdimbert sdimbert is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,581
Couple of things...

First of all, Homer, how weird would it be for her if I walked into her place of business and said, "Hey, I saw you naked on TV last night!"

Secondly, most of the posts here seem to say that if anyone appears in public, they surrender their rights to be photographed. Does that mean if Jon Bon Jovi were here in KC, I could snap his pic and sell it?

What I am asking is, does the fact that I want to make money off of the image make any difference? I would imagine that Bon Jovi Management would have a problem with me selling shots of a face that, in effect, is their property.

No?
  #10  
Old 06-28-2001, 01:18 PM
malkavia malkavia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 2,215
That seems a little off too. I mean.. say you just happened to catch a naked 12 yr old somewhere in public.. or a murder in progress.. could you market those too?
  #11  
Old 06-28-2001, 02:17 PM
lawoot lawoot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Starbucksistan
Posts: 3,149
Quote:
Originally posted by sdimbert
Secondly, most of the posts here seem to say that if anyone appears in public, they surrender their rights to be photographed. Does that mean if Jon Bon Jovi were here in KC, I could snap his pic and sell it?
No, because most concert venues have signs up specifically forbidding photography
  #12  
Old 06-28-2001, 03:15 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 12,193
malkavia, you're talking about slightly different situations.

Regarding the naked 12 yr old, if they're not showing the child in a sexual manner, they might be okay. The problem is that if it isn't your child (or grandchild, or some way related), and if you're selling the pictures, it's going to be easier to argue you're selling them for sexual purpose. But otherwise, yeah, you can sell them.

Murder in progress, probably the same thing, though you might face accessory charges (because you allowed it to happen and then profited from it) or civil suits for not intervening.
  #13  
Old 06-28-2001, 05:55 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Irvine, California, USA
Posts: 14,822
Little Nemo - isn't a bar or nightclub a private place? So any pictures taken in there could have publication prevented by the objection of the owner of the nightclub or private place?

Another hypothetical situation - I take a photograph of a street scene in New York city, and in my photograph we see (through an open window) Mr. Goldstein eating a matzo ball in his apartment. Can Mr. Goldstein object to the publication of my photograph?
  #14  
Old 06-29-2001, 12:27 AM
Johanna Johanna is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,510
The famous naked girl in public was Kim Phuc of Vietnam, and her picture has been published and reprinted countless times all over the world.

sdimbert, not sure why you were trying to be coy, but have you noticed that boob spelled backwards is still boob?
  #15  
Old 06-29-2001, 02:58 AM
Lockfist Lockfist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 424
Forget Mardi Gras and Bon Jovi concerts - ever try to take a picture inside McDonalds ? You'll have security all over your @ss in no time !

I am beginning to dislike this idea of "public space" because really now, people in public do have a certain expectation of privacy in being anonymous. When you market a product made entirely of "public" images you are taking the person out of "the public" and specifically identifying them. I mean, Bon Jovi can post signs in a venue that one does not have the right to take pictures, but how can I do the same thing when I am "out in public" - there is no difference. Bon Jovi doesnt want people making money of his image and neither do I.
  #16  
Old 06-29-2001, 03:38 AM
Morrison's Lament Morrison's Lament is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 904
Quote:
Originally posted by Arnold Winkelried

Another hypothetical situation - I take a photograph of a street scene in New York city, and in my photograph we see (through an open window) Mr. Goldstein eating a matzo ball in his apartment. Can Mr. Goldstein object to the publication of my photograph?
In public view is still in public view, no matter who is doing what and where. It can be seen by anyone standing in a public place.

--- G. Raven
  #17  
Old 06-30-2001, 12:53 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 74,832
Quote:
Little Nemo - isn't a bar or nightclub a private place? So any pictures taken in there could have publication prevented by the objection of the owner of the nightclub or private place?
The owner of the business can restrict photography on his premises. But the patrons are assumed to be in a public place.

I once attended a bar which was having a wet t-shirt contest. A co-worker of mine was persuaded to join in. It soon evolved into a wet naked woman contest. About an hour into the event, the DJ announced that videos were being offered for sale. My friend was definitely unaware that she was being filmed prior to this, nor was she asked to sign any release or offered any royalties after the fact. (We offered to buy her a copy as a gift for her upcoming wedding but she declined with a gracious "I'll kill every last one of you.")

Quote:
Another hypothetical situation - I take a photograph of a street scene in New York city, and in my photograph we see (through an open window) Mr. Goldstein eating a matzo ball in his apartment. Can Mr. Goldstein object to the publication of my photograph?
Lawyers live for questions like this. The issue here is whether Mr Goldstein could reasonably expect to not be observed. The answer is whatever a judge and jury decides.

If I recall correctly, there was a case in Florida of a couple who were making love on their back porch. Their neighbor videotaped them from his property. The subsequent court case devolved into arguments over the height and thickness of hedges, what lights were tuned on or off, the hour of the night, and other minutae. As I said above, there's some huge gray areas in right to privacy issues and case law is continuosly changing.
  #18  
Old 06-30-2001, 01:13 AM
Dijon Warlock Dijon Warlock is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Door of your fridge
Posts: 3,786
The "murder in progress" photograph, I believe, would also have the added complication of being considered evidence. As to the naked 12 year old, it's legal (so far as I know) to photograph them in public (nude beaches, for example), but safely marketing those photographs would probably prove to be too much of a headache to be worth it.
  #19  
Old 06-30-2001, 09:12 AM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Irvine, California, USA
Posts: 14,822
Thank you Little Nemo and Dijon Warlock. I should have guessed that, as in many cases, there is no straight "yes/no" answer.

As an aside, the US Supreme court recently decided in KYLLO v. UNITED STATES (certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit - No. 998508. Argued February 20, 2001 - Decided June 11, 2001) that using a thermal imaging device to "search" a house requires a warrant.

Quote:
Suspicious that marijuana was being grown in petitioner Kyllos home in a triplex, agents used a thermal imaging device to scan the triplex to determine if the amount of heat emanating from it was consistent with the high-intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth. The scan showed that Kyllos garage roof and a side wall were relatively hot compared to the rest of his home and substantially warmer than the neighboring units. Based in part on the thermal imaging, a Federal Magistrate Judge issued a warrant to search Kyllos home, where the agents found marijuana growing. After Kyllo was indicted on a federal drug charge, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea. The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed, upholding the thermal imaging on the ground that Kyllo had shown no subjective expectation of privacy because he had made no attempt to conceal the heat escaping from his home. Even if he had, ruled the court, there was no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy because the thermal imager did not expose any intimate details of Kyllos life, only amorphous hot spots on his homes exterior.

Held:Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment search, and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. Pp.313.
  #20  
Old 07-01-2001, 02:24 AM
City Gent City Gent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Lakewood (Los Angeles), CA, USA
Posts: 560
I'm not a lawyer, but I believe what matters is whether an "expectation of privacy" exists, as Lockfist and Little Nemo have already mentioned. That is, if you're in a place where you know that any random pervert might wander by, then you don't have any right to prevent someone from taking your picture and selling it to the highest bidder, even if your name is George W. Bush.

On the other hand, if you expect that nobody or only a select group of "approved" people can see you (such as when you're taking a squeeze), your image cannot be recorded without your permission.
  #21  
Old 07-01-2001, 05:41 AM
Fern Forest Fern Forest is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: ╠╣║
Posts: 7,119
Quote:
Originally posted by sdimbert
I see commercials for these video collections featuring what seems to be nothing but footage of College girls at Mardi Gras showing off their... ahem... I don't know if I can say this online... errrr.... I'll say it backwards:

sboob.
??? You've posted that many times and you don't know if you can say boobs? I'd feel pretty safe if I were you since it is prominently displayed all over the place in the user name of FireUnderpantsBoobs.

Anyhoo I can say that at the beginning of those vids they have a long spiel about how this is supposed to be like news and they are showing it merely as a means of showing what really happened in public places with cameras in full view. Of course we all realize why they're selling it, to satisfy lusty men, and that it has absolutely nothing to do with trying to be newsworthy. But if someone sued them I'm sure their case would hinge on that. And I'm pretty sure that would work for them. 1st amendment and stuff.

I remember this case a few years ago about this couple who had sued their neighbor because he had filmed them having sex from his own house. I think they were doing it in their house but it was plainly visible through windows. I think they were doing it on the stairs. The neighbor was apparantly upset that his kids could see it. And I believe they lost and the peeping neighbor won.
  #22  
Old 07-01-2001, 05:43 AM
Fern Forest Fern Forest is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: ╠╣║
Posts: 7,119
Quote:
Originally posted by Little Nemo
If I recall correctly, there was a case in Florida of a couple who were making love on their back porch. Their neighbor videotaped them from his property. The subsequent court case devolved into arguments over the height and thickness of hedges, what lights were tuned on or off, the hour of the night, and other minutae. As I said above, there's some huge gray areas in right to privacy issues and case law is continuosly changing.

Yeah, that's the case. Sorry I didn't get down that far. sigh, long threads
  #23  
Old 07-01-2001, 12:45 PM
Mac Guffin Mac Guffin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Central to the plot.
Posts: 1,772
Ok so I reversed sboob and got this...

doods.

She was showing off her doods? Musta been some handsome guys to make it into that video...


*Dives for cover*
  #24  
Old 07-01-2001, 12:57 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Philladelphia-Mummer city
Posts: 11,644
Re-Sboob

I remember hearing "sboob" on a Saturday Night Live
news segment. The film Splash was just out. The reporter
was wondering how two strands of hair could cover Daryll Hannah's "sboob" even in windy conditions. He prefaced his report with a nearly identical 'I don't know if I can say this on ..'

Re-the rest of the OP
Does it matter? For one of the women to sue, she would have to come forward. The media would be on her like cameras on girl gone wild. I suspect that the company is relying on this.
__________________
Nothing is impossible if you can imagine it. That's the wonder of being a scientist!
Prof Hubert Farnsworth, Futurama
  #25  
Old 07-01-2001, 12:59 PM
Chas.E Chas.E is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,664
Public vs. private activities has nothing to do with this issue. You have the right to take photos of anything and anyone in a public space. But you do not have the right to use those photos for commercial profitmaking ventures without explicit permission of the person you photographed. There is only one exception: public figures (i.e. celebrities, politicians, etc).
  #26  
Old 07-01-2001, 01:01 PM
Chas.E Chas.E is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,664
Oh, oops, I forgot the other exception: news events. Nothing about GGW is a news event, it would be stretching the laws to the breaking point. No sleazy vid distributor is going to threaten their business by putting women on his video without a written "model release."
  #27  
Old 07-01-2001, 08:49 PM
pesch pesch is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Chocolatetown, USA
Posts: 2,175
This is also assuming that the women were just "picked off the street." No reason why the producer didn't hire 'em for this job in the first place.

In journalism, we have to be very careful about privacy issues. Generally, we can photograph anything on private property, so long as we stay on public property to do it, and we don't try things like extreme zoom lenses to peek inside of houses. Same thing with crime scenes; just because police are on the property and putting up the yellow ribbons marking off the area doesn't give the press the right to move in closer.

As far as taking pictures of celebrities and selling them without permission, that happens all the time, particularly with the tabloids. There are companies that specialize in selling photos of the stars taken at concerts, premieres and other places. I doubt the stars get a cut of this action. The one exception would be if a photo was used in advertising; then you would get into some real hot water real fast.
__________________
pesch

Planetpeschel: Book reviews and stuff
  #28  
Old 07-01-2001, 09:12 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Right here
Posts: 17,928
This "public space" thing just doesn't seem right. I could be walking down the street, trip and fall in a comical fashion with my skirt billowing up for all to see my thong bikini.

Since I am in a public place, someone can videotape me and sell the video of my busting and showing my ass and make tons of money in the process. . . but I can't do anything about it because I was walking down a public street when it happened?
  #29  
Old 07-02-2001, 02:17 PM
GaidinBDJ GaidinBDJ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2
Possible legal?

At the beginning of the "Girls Gone Wild" video (at least the one my friend has) there is a disclaimer that says something to the effect of "all scenes shot in a public place with camera in plain view of the subject," or something like that. I think that satisfies some kind of law, otherwise they wouldn't put that in there. We actually discussed this issue in a class (I was a Criminal Justice minor at a big photography school), and we found that according to statute law, this was legal, if it were indeed a public place, and the camera was visible, and it was not considered "pornography". Of course, case law may be different, I didn't research that too heavily.

In case you don't know, statute law is the law "on the books", case law is a judges interpretation of those laws. Unless rules differently by a higher court, case law holds over statute law.
  #30  
Old 07-06-2001, 09:38 PM
lawoot lawoot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Starbucksistan
Posts: 3,149
Of course, there is the one sacene in the commercial where the girl is walking into the shower, and blows a kiss at the camera. I kind of doubt THAT was taken on Bourbon Street. So which was it? A woman who was dumb enough to let them use that scene, or some guy slimy enough to sell his private tape of his (proably ex-) girlfriend to these 'producers'?
  #31  
Old 07-06-2001, 09:45 PM
Fern Forest Fern Forest is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: ╠╣║
Posts: 7,119
Quote:
Originally posted by lawoot
Of course, there is the one sacene in the commercial where the girl is walking into the shower, and blows a kiss at the camera. I kind of doubt THAT was taken on Bourbon Street. So which was it? A woman who was dumb enough to let them use that scene, or some guy slimy enough to sell his private tape of his (proably ex-) girlfriend to these 'producers'?
These commercials are on WAY too often. Hence I can say that this is a totally different series by the same producers called "Sexy Sorority Sweethearts" whereupon I'm led to believe they hired some girls (presumably sorority members but who knows?) to take film of themselves and this is what they got.
  #32  
Old 07-07-2001, 02:08 AM
Beruang Beruang is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: mid-Michigan
Posts: 794
And this from The Master Himself:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_152.html
  #33  
Old 07-07-2001, 12:50 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Raiderville, TX
Posts: 10,347
Chas, your post is a bit misleading; you seem to be saying that you can use a celebrity's likeness to sell a commercial product without their permission, which is emphatically NOT so (see Hoffman v. Capital Cities/ABC Inc., 33 F.Supp. 2d 867 (1999)).

When a person appears in public, they can reasonably expect to be seen and photographed. Those photographs can be sold for profit, whether the person is a celebrity or a regular joe. The only limitation I know of is that many states prohibit the use of a person's likeness in an advertisement for a commercial product without that person's permission (and I'm not about to go into the celebrity "right to publicity" stuff).

As with everything in law, there are exceptions; the California statute, for example (Cal. Civil Code 3344, if you're interested), says in subsection (d) that "for purposes of this section, a use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness in connection with any news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account, or any political campaign, shall not constitute a use for which consent is required...". Which makes sense, because otherwise filming any sport would be a pain in the ass because you'd have to diligently avoid photographing the crowd.

Anyway, now we're in a murky area. While it's pretty disingenuous for them to call "Girls Gone Wild" a "news event", as far as I know no one's called 'em on it. And I can't be sure without more digging if using someone's likeness in an advertisement for the sale of that likeness, but not another commercial product, is prohibited. Still, it probably wouldn't have been all that hard for them to get the permission of some of the girls to use their likeness in the yet-to-come TV advertisements.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017