Policy Number 6.18 July 2008 Policy 6.18 Version 1, July 2008 1 of 8 1.1.
Images of people and activities on Australian beaches, including surf lifesavers and their patrolling and competitive activities, are part of Australia’s cultural history and identity. It is in SLSA’s interest that this continues to be the case.
However, the increasing use of digital photo and video capture devices has led to concerns about when and where it is legal to take photos, and the role of SLSA members. This policy outlines the legal status of photography and videography, the circumstances under which photography may be restricted or not permitted, and provides guidelines for SLSA members when carrying out their duties.
Amongst its constitutional objects SLSA seeks to:
SLSA considers that in order to meet these objects a policy is required regarding the clarification of the legal issues surrounding photography of persons at patrolled beaches and the immediate vicinity of patrolled beaches. SLSA is also currently responsible for a number of major surf sports carnivals, including the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, while Surf Life Saving state centres, branches, and clubs also are responsible for many other events. These events, important and established parts of Australian culture, also present a variety of issues for organisers when considering photography – see section 3.
SLSA therefore considers it has an interest in articulating this policy for the following reasons:
In Australia, generally speaking, there is no law restricting photography of people (including children) in public spaces as long as the images are not considered as:
Consensual photos of a child (including one’s own child) also contravene criminal laws and censorship laws if the child is photographed in a provocative or sexual manner.
Where an event is held on private property, such as a surf life saving club, other privately owned land, a school or council owned facilities (but not, for example, a council road or park), the owners of private property or venues are able to restrict or ban photography (e.g. some council owned facilities will not allow mobile phones or cameras in change rooms or toilets). There is nothing, however, to prevent a person from photographing outside the property boundary unless it is taken for indecent or improper purposes, as listed above.
There are obvious public policy reasons for criminalising the type of behaviour referred to above. What is more problematic is trying to distinguish between photographs taken for an innocuous purpose, and photography which might be considered by the subject(s) ‘unwarranted or obtrusive’.
As noted above, photographs or videos of people in a public place may be taken without permission for a variety of innocuous reasons: parents taking photographs of their children in a group, amateur or professional photographers shooting a crowd scene, or tourists photographing a packed beach.
Some people may consider photography or videos of themselves or others on a beach as ‘unwarranted or obtrusive’ however there is no generally recognised right to privacy in these situations. Common sense and courtesy should apply in these situations. If you do not wish to be photographed or videoed, you should approach the photographer and make it clear that you do not wish to be photographed. SLSA members are not entitled or empowered to confiscate, or attempt to confiscate a person’s camera.
If an SLSA member (including a patrolling member) is aware or is made aware of any person who appears to be taking photographs or video of competitors or members (e.g. Nippers), which might be considered ‘unwarranted or obtrusive’, that member should approach the person to enquire what they are doing and why they are taking the photographs or film of SLSA members or competitors. Remember however that it is not illegal to take photographs in a public place, nor is consent required and SLSA members should at all times behave courteously in these situations.
If the SLSA member has reason to believe that a photographer is taking inappropriate images (see 2.1 above) he or she should seek to notify police or other relevant security (for example council inspectors or rangers). Members should record the incident and take reasonable steps to remember and record the person’s attire and appearance. Also any other identifiable characteristic (for example, car registration should be recorded if possible in the circumstances).
At all times SLSA members should act calmly and reasonably in approaching any suspicious person. As noted above, SLSA members are not entitled or empowered to confiscate, or attempt to confiscate a person’s camera.
As noted above, SLSA is currently responsible for a number of major surf sports carnivals, including the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, the Australian IRB Championships, the Australian Pool Rescue Championships, the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series and the Coolangatta Gold. In these situations, and by agreement with local authorities, SLSA generally has control of certain sections of the beach for the duration of the event. This section of the policy applies to official SLSA events and does not necessarily apply to other surf carnivals. Surf Life Saving state centres, branches and clubs are encouraged to adopt the following procedures for their own events. Photographers should check with the relevant event organisers to determine what (if any) policies are in place in these situations. This can normally be done by approaching a member of the organising committee on the day of the event.
From time to time, SLSA will appoint an official photographer to provide photographic services at SLSA events. All other photographers seeking access to SLSA events must be officially accredited. This requires the submission of a media accreditation form (see sample at appendix C), which is available on request in advance of each event. Such accreditation may require the photographer to provide proof of any relevant ‘working with children’ accreditation applicable in that particular state.
Due to logistical and other considerations, accreditation will generally not be granted to ‘club, branch or state photographers’ (photographers representing surf life saving clubs, branches or state centres) to SLSA events.
Accreditation is granted on the express condition that any photograph/film/imagery taken of competitors during or in connection with any of these events may only be used for editorial and non-advertising purposes. Any commercial reproduction of photographs (including onselling of images or forwarding to external organisations) must receive prior written approval by SLSA. The accreditation passes are non-transferable.
An accreditation fee may apply, and, if so, shall be paid prior to the issue of the accreditation.
Only SLSA accredited photographers are allowed onto any “controlled” competition areas at any SLSA Championship. Any other photographers can and should be asked to leave. If a photographer cannot produce their accreditation or they do not leave the controlled area they should be escorted from the relevant area by security. The police may also be called. Nonaccredited photographers are able to take photographs from all publicly accessible areas, for example, grandstands, footpaths or boardwalks.
See appendix C for sample accreditation form for SLSA surf sports events – other Surf Life Saving state centres, branches and clubs may have their own accreditation form and interested photographers are advised to check with the relevant organisation.
Restrictions on the use of the Intellectual Property owned by SLSA and, in particular, the red and yellow imagery associated with surf lifesaving flags, caps, uniforms and equipment against ambush marketing and unauthorised use, both within surf lifesaving and by external parties for commercial gain, are set out in SLSA Policy 6.1 Intellectual Property.
As noted in that policy: “No Intellectual Property shall be used to sell, promote, endorse or approve any product or service without prior written authorisation from SLSA.”
From time to time, SLSA, its state centres, branches or clubs carry out photography of SLSA members for promotional purposes in accordance with Policy 6.1 Intellectual Property (see above). In all such situations, wherever an individual’s image is to be used, consent must be obtained [see appendix A for sample consent form]. Consent forms should be kept for as long as the image is displayed.
In some instances, for example, major surf sports events, it is not practical to obtain consent in all situations, in which case, either a disclaimer [see appendix B] should be displayed in prominent positions around the site, or the disclaimer should be part of the event entry criteria.
From time to time, SLSA, its state centres, branches or clubs pass on these images to third parties (sponsors, government departments etc) for promotional purposes. SLSA, its state centres, branches or clubs shall only pass on these images where consent has been obtained. These images shall not be used to sell, promote, endorse or approve any product or service without prior written authorisation from SLSA.
Copyright protects a range of materials, including photographs. A photograph is protected by copyright automatically from the moment it is taken. For photographs, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, the general rule is that the photographer is the first owner of copyright. There are, however, a number of exceptions to this general rule:
• Photographs taken in the course of employment • Commissioned photographs
Of most relevance to SLSA, its state centres, branches and clubs are the exceptions in relation to commissioned photographs. Specific provisions set out the general rules on ownership of copyright where a person who is not the photographer’s employer (a client) pays a photographer to take a photograph.
Information for this section is taken from Information Sheet G11 Photographers and copyright, January 2006, Australian Copyright Council.
From time to time, SLSA, its state centres, branches or clubs, seek to surf lifesaving activities in magazines, website etc. The Australian Sports Commission has produced guidelines in these instances – see http://www.ausport.gov.au/ethics/information_sheets/IS_acquiring_images.asp.
The ASC advises that if an organisation is acquiring an image of a child for display:
The above policy guidelines are provided in the interest of balancing the needs of legitimate photographers with the wellbeing of SLSA members. The rapid advances in digital camera, mobile phone and internet technologies referred to earlier means that attitudes to what is appropriate and what is inappropriate photography may also change. SLSA will endeavour to ensure these guidelines are updated from time to time to take into account these changes. Surf Life Saving Australia July 2008