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to think museum should have asked permission

(33 Posts)
ConfusedintheNorth Sun 07-Dec-14 12:44:32

So I'm visiting a museum that my family and I have visited and even volunteered at several times before, and was very surprised to see a photo of my 8 year old daughter on the front of all their 2015 leaflets... and not just in background it's a picture of her! Nobody asked for my permission to do this, and I feel a little angry that they thought it was ok to use my daughter's image like this with no thought about asking us or seeking permission... aibu?

orangepudding Sun 07-Dec-14 12:46:32

Yes they should have asked permission.

zaracharlotte Sun 07-Dec-14 12:47:29

There is probably some clause somewhere, that when you volunteer, the images can be used for promotional material.

They wouldn't have done it without some kind of consent. The 'consent' would have been your willing participation.

CaulkheadUpNorth Sun 07-Dec-14 12:51:12

I don't know if it's the same but National Trust have notice when you enter, and in their membership packs saying that photos will be taken at their properties, which may be used for advertising, and to let the photographer know if you do not want your photo taken.

Is it a shot taken from aside ie one you wouldn't have noticed being taken, or is it front on, which you would have seen the photographer for, if that makes sense.

kim147 Sun 07-Dec-14 12:51:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

catsofa Sun 07-Dec-14 12:54:12

You should contact them about it. Some children have very important reasons that their image cannot be publicised in any way, e.g. children who are adopted, fleeing violence etc. Clearly they need to make more effort to either get consent or to make it very clear that you are giving consent by participating etc. Their policy isn't working if you were not aware of it!

Gruntfuttock Sun 07-Dec-14 12:54:17

Didn't you see anyone taking her photo?

Littleturkish Sun 07-Dec-14 12:55:43

Definitely flag it- like is said above, many children cannot have their image shared like that and they should have sought your consent

ConfusedintheNorth Sun 07-Dec-14 12:57:01

It's taken from an angle you wouldn't notice it being taken... I could understand if they were maybe just uaing pics for a display... but on all their marketing material I feel is a liitle much not to check with me first.

AllOutOfNaiceHam Sun 07-Dec-14 13:00:02

I wouls speak to them about it.

PTAblues Sun 07-Dec-14 13:00:12

I work at a museum and we have to get people to sign a consent form if their child's picture is taken- including me and my colleagues.
If they didn't ask you then you should complain. They probably assumed because you were a volunteer you wouldn't mind which is quite wrong. If I used a child's photo in promotional material I would double check we had permission.

MooMoi Sun 07-Dec-14 13:35:15

I've worked in museums and in roles that involve child safeguarding. They absolutely needed to get your agreement and a signed consent form before publishing an identifiable image of a child.

I think having a conversation with them would be a very good thing to do. This time it may just be annoying for you but next time for another family it could have wide ranging implications. Their poor practice puts everyone on thin ice, I know that loads of museums are massively under resourced and so it is possible that they just have a knowledge gap. The good thing is there's loads of guidance on the internet aimed at helping museums etc in this area, even down to standardised consent forms.

ConfusedintheNorth Fri 12-Dec-14 11:53:24

update: I found out that they actually had the same complaint from another parent a few months ago, who was told "we took the photo and own copyright, so we can use it however we want"... not sure I have it in me to start a big uproar with management tbh, especially as DD has now seen it and is really excited about it.

AlpacaLypse Fri 12-Dec-14 12:00:03

It's great that your dd is excited and so on, but the fact remains that for all they knew, the child on their front cover should not have been photographed. While a school would have knowledge of child protection, I can understand a museum not automatically knowing about it, but they need to know.

chariotsofire Fri 12-Dec-14 12:12:27

I work in a museum and have had training in matters of this sort and they definitely need permission if your daughter's face is shown, ie identifiable. As far as I know photographs of backs of heads etc are ok but it was a long time ago.

When my daughter had her photo at a national trust place we definitely had to sign a permission form.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 12-Dec-14 12:15:31

I wouldn't cause a huge uproar as AFAIK they are legally correct. It may be worthwhile making them more aware if potential safeguarding issues.

mythbustinggov Fri 12-Dec-14 12:20:51

They do not have to ask permission - if a photo is taken (of anyone or anything) in a public place, or in a private place with the owner/landlord's consent (in this case, the charity), the photographer can publish or sell it anywhere. In this case, the charity has bought the rights so they can use the image.

It's polite to ask, of course - but permission does not have to be obtained.


plumduffer Fri 12-Dec-14 12:25:38

I have worked in museums and this is incredibly bad form. It may be "legal" in the strict sense of the word but it is very poor practice indeed and goes against all photography/safeguarding guidelines I have ever encountered.

May I suggest you contact the Museums Association for advice?

mythbustinggov Fri 12-Dec-14 12:51:21

Sorry, just to be clear - I agree it's bad form and if it is possible to check and get permission to publish, then it should be done (as I suspect it could have been in the OP's case).

However, there is a lot of inaccurate nonsense spouted about model releases and having to get permission - often by people and organisations who should know better - so the more people who are aware of the law, the better.

I do a far bit of event photography for a national youth organisation - the permission form for any national or regional event the organisation runs will have a note on it that photographs will be taken and possibly used in publicity. If there will be young people with protection orders or similar present the photographers would expect to be notified - for smaller events I always let the organisers preview photos and delete any that have young people that need safeguarding if they have been caught in a photo before I use them. Of course, Instagram, Snapchat and twitter make this much harder as many events are 'broadcast' live on social media, by everyone there.

If a photographer was working for a charity at one of their locations, I would expect the charity to put up a sign to warn people if there was no standard wording on the entry ticket (for example).

chariotsofire Sat 13-Dec-14 08:46:10

Myth - in that case I believe that my organisation chooses to be more rigorous in that regard and always gets signed consent during a public event as we may not always have awareness of safeguarding issues in advance. Signs are useful but it would not be useful to effectively exclude children from an event unless they consent to photography. It is not a difficulty in our case to get signed permission to cover ourselves and this would have been particularly simple in the case of OPs daughter.

I would suggest that the museum in question certainly need to rethink their policy, or put one in place if none exists as they have already received a complaint and that can be time-consuming for an organisation that really does not have the time/ money to deal with it.

claraschu Sat 13-Dec-14 08:52:44

I never understand how a picture that is used by something like a museum could be a safety issue. If the British Museum used a picture of a child how would that tell anyone anything about the child? It doesn't give away the address of the child, or any other information. I guess if it was a small local museum, you might assume that the child lived nearby, but you would probably be wrong, as lots of people visit such museums from outside the area.

School photos, of course are completely different, as they identify where the child is going to school.

museumum Sat 13-Dec-14 09:01:29

Legally they are right.
Morally they usually have a prominent notice in days they are photographing so you can avoid being taken.
It is VERY hard to have an associated model release form for every child in every photo of every event.
Imagine Santa visits and thirty children and their carers crowd round. Photographer takes a great pic. In all the excitement it's almost impossible to stop every carer and child from moving away without signing a form, unless you have an army of volunteers.
The museum I work mostly at uses kids of staff for their main marketing pics because of this, but I have pics of unknown kids at specific events who gave permission to be photographed at the time but I don't have their contact info to ask/tell them about uses if the image.

ocelot41 Sat 13-Dec-14 11:15:48

claraschu a frequently-visited museum in London is perhaps less of a potential problem because of the sheer volume of visitors (although they should still ask permission and knowing that you volunteer there could still pose a risk). A little local museum which may indicate the area/town where the DC live could easily be a massive problem. Whoever is looking for them could then start loitering around local schools, soft play, playgrounds etc. My nieces were adopted from an abusive background and their birth father was actively searching for them - he was flipping terrifying! Would you really risk a child being put at risk by being found by someone like that for the sake of some publicity material?

amicissimma Sat 13-Dec-14 12:02:01

ocelot41, claraschu says: "... as lots of people visit such museums from outside the area." Which is true.

ocelot41 Sat 13-Dec-14 12:07:00

That's true, but you don't want to inadvertently give someone like that a lead, any lead! They can be super persuasive when it comes to getting volunteer details out of people and that kind of thing, that's why they are so good at grooming. Don't mean to have a pop or seem paranoid but you wouldn't believe the lengths that some abusers will go to to get the children and/or women they regard as their property back again. Some would put the most persistent of police investigators to shame in their ability to track people down.

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