I don't want to be too harsh, but there's enough misinformation out there without people offering advice they're not sure of. Granted I do it myself sometimes, but when in doubt it's best to err on the side of caution. Although you did say "have a leg to stand on" rather than "can use", so you're about right I guess. It's one shakey arthritic leg though, so I'd want Johnny Cochran as a crutch if I was going to try it.rqtech said:I'm about 99% sure on that
There's a reason we have model release forms, and that reason is that people's image can't (generally) be used without consent. Since this isn't a copyright issue so much as a privacy and/or compensation issue, that becomes especially true in a commercial context.
There is a list of ever-growing exceptions thanks to the pioneering work of the paparazzi (oh don't you just love those invaders of personal freedom? need to use a public restroom, Mr. Gibson? hope you don't mind photos of your wang on the front page!), but it's a pretty complicated issue.
Even having taken a picture yourself won't necessarily protect you, because you have no legal rights to publish that picture. I doubt you could even get away with what the trash mags do - they're (ostensibly) reporting on the news.
The fact is though that none of this stuff is particularly cut and dried, which is why there is so much misinformation out there. Part of the problem is that what you can (legally) get away with isn't necessarily written into law. Someone sues, a precedent is established for another exception, and so it goes. But I don't think "it's okay to print pictures of girls topless in trashy magazines without their permission if they've ever been in print or on a screen with permission" was written into the original law (even then though, trash magazines are successfully sued from time to time - so it really isn't entirely clear where the boundaries lie).