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Thread: Privacy Law and children

  1. Default Privacy Law and children

    Hi, did a search but couldnt find the legal position regarding an incident concerning a commercial video i just did that infuriated a parent of a child that was included in a shot - hope someone can help.

    i have lived in cz for the past 15 years and somewhat lost touch with whats going on in the uk. i was shooting a promotional video for a cz travel agency featuring a hotel in egypt. i had full approval and permission from the hotel. while doing a few scene setting shots of the expansive pool area a very angry man approached me, asked what i was doing and did i have permission to video. i explained. he said that a lot of parents were angry with me shooting video of their children and i further explained that i was doing a selection of general pool shots and not close-ups. he said that in the uk i would need the parents approval to video children in this situation and circumstances. i stopped filming as i didnt want to upset anyones holiday even though the privacy laws in cz would allow me to do this and presumably also in egypt, i guess.

    i just wonder what the legal position is if this had been in the uk because i have ongoing work in the med and will no doubt encounter many uk tourists - and not wanting to enrage or spoil their hols but having done ten hotels in egypt this was the only guy who complained and need to know if i am doing something bad or just met a guy with a problem.

    thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2

    Default

    I guess you've met a guy with a problem, though with UK residents on the boil with PC requirements he's just a reactionary.
    Even news crews who include general shots of schools, playgrounds etc now blur the overall scene.
    My take would be to find a quietish time at your location and ask permission/sign em up to model release. It could save future headaches especially on the screening prospects if the objectors then do their worst.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  3. #3
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    Unfortunately the UK is living with the fallout from the tabloid media's paedophile bandwagon.

    As a result parents who leave their kids alone, beat them, don't care about them, don't encourage them, let them get into all sorts of trouble and generally neglect their offspring can say "at least I'm not a paedophile". This witch hunt means that the dimmer members of my home country see anyone with a camera as a potential paedophile. As a result they've been brainwashed into challenging anyone with a camera and accusing them of creating kiddy-porn. It's even happened to me, standing there with a whacking great broadcast camera, sound recordists, producer and assistant. It is starting to get on my wick.

    My stock reply is now "I can't see anything even remotely erotic in this scene. Can you?"

    As for the "Commercial" aspect, which was discussed in another thread, if you want to use someone in a commercial, even in the background you need to have their permission, either on tape or (preferably) with a signed release form.

    There is an offence of a sex-offender obtaining images of children (which I don't think affects you) or of anyone possessing indecent images of, or appearing to be, children.

    If you've got the hotel's permission then you're covered for the filming (but not for what you do with the footage) however, it won't appease the Sun/Daily Mail/ Star reader mentality.

  4. Default

    thanks for the advice Zero. there is no time to explain and get releases signed as i am on such a low budget and expected to gather a lot of material in a short time - i will have to think this through a bit more!

  5. Default

    many thanks for your detailed reply Guru. you confirmed what i suspected the situation might be in the uk - glad i live in cz where parents are not paranoid about the risks - even though there are probably the same percentage of paedofiles here as in the uk - and my baby daughter will have the sort of carefree childhood that i remember from the uk. no i am not on the sex offender list - but one of my daughters from my previous marriage was a victim and i often regret not sorting the paedofile out myself even if it meant a criminal record! like her, i try to put that experience behind me and not get paranoid over bringing up my latest child.

    does it really mean that if i shoot an establishing shot of a crowded beach or hotel pool area i need to get everyone to sign a release to use it in these travel agency website promo vids? i just need to be sure about this as if it is the case it would be just about impossible for me to achieve this giving the restrictions on time and budget i am subject to. also these vids would not work without people, so the whole thing looks shaky.

    thanks again!

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    Guru above - nail head it seems to me.

    The stupid paranoid obnoxious parent effect can work in you favour... I was filming a bit for a pop vis a few years back in a park and millions of kids were swarming into shot - as they do - parents were ignorant twats who didnt seem to respond to polite requests.

    " Look, I could be a peedo' says I - that worked....

    Probably not good advice and may be counterproductive in the long run.

    Film makers are under attack in the uk from bad law telling us we cant film the police, bad parents thinking we are all peedos, amd mooks who think they own thier own image in public places.

    I make a point of filming all children, police and macdonalds shop fronts to assert my right ot do so - macdonalds are always fun - they so twitchy.

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    I remember also once a sec g suggesting my filming looked suspicious, like a peedo.... I got my phone out and started to dial 999 - I told him there may be an imminent breach of the of the peace - lols.

    Attack is the best form of defence - ( but not for the london met please - lols )

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    Bohemia, there's a difference between what the law states and when someone can take out a writ against you. In essence if you are misrepresented as endorsing a product, without your permission, you can sue those responsible for a lot of money.
    It has been proven in court that merely appearing in a commercial can be interpreted as "endorsing" the product however... The big "gotcha" is that you have to be immediately recognisable (ie the back of your head doesn't count).

    When it comes to misrepresentation, the law applies to all sorts of videos. This is why you get the out of focus shots, or shots of feet etc. If the reporter is talking about poeple who are shopping beyond their means and getting into debt, he can't just use generic footage of shoppers. If you were one of those shoppers it would seem that he was claiming that you were in debt and unable to manage your finances!
    Car registration numbers are a different category since you have to register all data, about a private individual, kept on a computer. Since all editing is done on a computer nowadays, that shot of a car numberplate is stored on a computer. Not a problem unless you say who that individual is, thereby connecting the data to a named individual. So, to avoid problems under the Data Protection Act, these sort of shots normally have the numberplate blanked out.

    ...but I digress

    So an ultra long-shot of a beach or swimming pool wouldn't render you liable providing that the people aren't recognisable. However, that family building a sandcastle in the foreground need to sign release forms.

    Most marketing managers are aware of this and, as a matter of course, ask for copies of the release forms when you make an advert for them. A verbal agreement on tape will often suffice, so if you ask them on camera "I'm making an advert for the hotel are you willing to appear in the background without payment?" and they answer "Yes, no problem" you're covered for the crowd scenes. It won't usually suffice for any close-ups though.

    As for the two pixel high figures on the ultra long shot... you don't need to bother unless you say something like "All the people on this beach think that the Hotel-Royal is the Dog's knees."
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 04-29-2009 at 04:35 PM.

  9. Default

    thanks Mark W - interesting and amusing!

  10. Default

    Guru many thanks for your detailed reply. not good news but least i know where i stand now.

    i am a cz resident so a uk person would have to take court action here against me, which apart from taking a few years to get to court there is not a privacy law relating to this situation that would provide them with a case. but that is not the issue with me as i just dont want to do something to offend or annoy uk people on holidays who are justified in their attitude because of uk laws.

    i appreciate the time you and the others put into replying, the info is food for thought and hopefully i can sort something out without upsetting holidaymakers.

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