Disclaimer: This information is accurate -to my knowledge- to UK laws, other countries rights may differ.

Who Owns the Photograph?

  • Unless the photographer has signed a copyright release form the copyright will remain with the photographer for the duration of their life, plus 70 years.
  • From the moment the photographer takes the photo, copyright is automatically assigned to them.
  • Even if you pay a photographer to take images of you, unless they have signed over copyright, the copyright remains with them.

Public Property

  • So long as YOU are on public property you can photograph pretty much anything you like. You can take photos of private property as long as you are taking the image physically standing on public property.
  • If a person is on public property you do not need their consent to take their photograph. However, if you intend on selling the image for commercial reasons you should get the person in the image to sign a model release form.
  • According to The Met "Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel."
  • Police officers have the power to stop and search anyone who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act. If a police officer REASONABLY suspects you to be a terrorist they can legally search you and view your digital images however "officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction."

  • According to gov.uk if you’re arrested the police must:
  1. identify themselves as the police
  2. tell you that you’re being arrested
  3. tell you what crime they think you’ve committed
  4. explain why it’s necessary to arrest you
  5. explain to you that you’re not free to leave

Point 3 and 4 is where it would be hard for the officer to answer as photography is not a crime.