Where there is one crazy law, there is bound to be another.
Which means that if this bill as introduced in Vermont is allowed to pass and reside on the books, chances are other states will soon follow their lead.
In Vermont, Bill H233 was introduced this week that states:
This bill proposes to make it illegal to take a photograph of a person without his or her consent, or to modify a photograph of a person without his or her consent, and to distribute it.
Think about that for a bit.
Its illegal to take a photograph of a person without his or her consent.
That means you can no longer shoot anywhere in the state of Vermont. With smart phones or cameras. Because if you’ve ever snapped an image while you’re out and about, you’ve probably photographed some random person in the background.
No more birthday party photographs of your child at Chuck E Cheese. No more pictures at the zoo.
Or you will be against the law.
And if you take any of those photographs and modify them in Instagram, or with one of the hundreds of apps that exist out there, or Photoshop them even just to brighten it up a bit, again, you’ll be doing something against the law.
Then lets talk about distribution. No Facebook. No Twitter. No making a copy and sending it to Grandma in California. Nope. You’ll be committing a crime, so you best not do it.
In reality, this may be a good thing for us professionals. We’re always careful with our backgrounds, making sure random people aren’t included in the image. And if you work with contracts – which you should – you’ll have a model release in there as well.
You should also have a clause that allows you to share online on your sites, Facebook, etc., which means you have a consent to distribute.
So, if the general population really can’t use their smart phones and cameras legally anymore, maybe that means more business for us.