Can I post a group photo on my website without the permission of the others in the photo?

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Can I post a group photo on my website without the permission of the others in the photo?

I have a group photo of myself with 2 other people taken with my personal camera. It is a group head shot (waist up). I have it posted on my business website. The other people in the photo are not identified (actually I do not know their names.) Someone asked one of the teenager’s parents to email me to ask me to remove the photo from the site “because she did not give permission for the photo of her daughter to be posted.” (I don’t know who in the photo is her daughter.) Legally, can I still post the picture? Does she have a legal right to make me remove the photo?

Asked on October 13, 2010 under Business Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The use of photographs on the internet and the legality of same has been ever emerging.  Generally, you need a release to use a photo of someone for any purposes, business or educational.  Can she make you take the photo down?  I think that she can give you a good legal run for your money should you choose to leave it up and she chooses to pursue it.  How the judge will rule in the end will really depend on the facts surrounding the taking of the photo, how yo are using it, if there was implied consent, etc.  Decide if you want to make an issue but I would speak with a local attorney on the matter as well. 


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