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Thread: Photography, Laws and Copyright.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Question Photography, Laws and Copyright.

    Im a newbie in this line, and hope can get some advice and clarifications from the Law Experts and Pro Photographers.

    Scenario 1
    I went to raffles place today, and I saw some Models doing a Video Shoot, probably for a Commercial Purpose (just outside the Raffles MRT). I happened to bring my camera with L-Lens along, so that I took out my camera and took a few shots of the models.

    One of the women (who seemed to be from the crew came and impolitely gestured me to stop taking photographs, and go away.) Even though I still wanted to continue shooting, I stopped just not to be rude.

    (I used my 70-300mm Lens on Canon 300D, and was shooting from a distance. I did NOT use Flash. And there are also other people taking photos with their Phones. Why me? Because of the size of my camera?)

    My Question
    I wonder...

    In Singapore, am I not allowed to take any photos or any one in the Public Areas? (Raffles Place Outside MRT is a Public Place without a question.). I aint trying to take photos at restricted areas or private areas such as MINDEF or IKEA, right?

    So according to the LAW of Singapore, could i still continue my shooting, and ask the crew not to interfere? As long as I am not interfering their shooting could I be asked to stop?

    Does the law of Singapore, allow me to take any photos of anyone in Public Places as long as I do not Interfere their event?

    My Question 2
    After taking photos, am I allowed to Publish, Post or do anything to it? Because from what I know, I am taking the photographs before they could get it for Copy Right.

    In other countries, we might need a model release form, but in this case, do I need their approval to Publish my photographs, according to LAW? How could photographers in some other countries could take the pictures of David Beckham having affairs without getting Sued?

    So can I publish any photos I took in the public places? as long as they do not interfere the other parts of the law (such as Nude in Public, Drugs, Weapons, etc.)

    I know it might be possible to be polite and request their permission. But what does the Law say?

    Please help me explain. Thanks a million.
    I think this could be helpful to other photographers as well.
    Last edited by waiaung; 11th March 2005 at 08:01 PM.
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  2. #2


    'gesturing you to stop taking' does not necessarily meant that taking pictures of the models there is prohibited or illegal. IMO, it meant it is not encouraged. that's all. in the circumstances outlined by yourself, i can't see how they can stop you, legally speaking.

  3. #3


    Happened to see a Channel 8 episode being produced just outside the old theater downtown sometime back for a forthcoming series.. They were quite happy for tourists and all to take photos )though I personally did not take any - different interests) as long as they did not use the flash - you need to remember that sometimes you may also interfere with their audio recording too.

    Hopefully someone with more authority and experience can provide a more autorisative view on this, however, I am always very careful to make my presence known when taking potraits so as to remove any possibility of people suggesting that photos were taken without their permission or knowledge.

    Now when you "use" the photos and if the people in the photos are recognisable, I think that's when one needs to be careful -- I think only though.

    -- Marios


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