Issues with railway photography in CH?


gordonwis
 

infringement of personality.
Just to clarify 'personality' isn't the correct English word to use here. The phrase should be 'personal rights' or equivalent


Guerbetaler
 

Am 20.08.2020 um 10:03 schrieb Chris Wood via groups.io:
picture which aims to depict the person as such is considered an
infringement of personality rights
This is the important point. Because there is also the right to freely depict public places in Switzerland ("Panoramafreiheit"). This means, taking a photo of a train where you can see people but not necessarily recognizing them, is allowed. But taking a detail photo of a train window with exactly one, clearly recognizable person, is an infringement of personality. Somebody standing in a public place, e.g. a railway platform, seeing me taking photos and not moving back, can't claim an infringement of personality.

It's not always easy to distinguish the two situations. I never had a problem with this in railway stations. But I once had in the street in front of my house. For some reason I wanted to take a photo of the street. I saw a strange chap walking in my direction. I could have well done without that chap in my picture but he didn't seem to bother so I took my photo and stepped toward my house. Suddenly that chap was behind me, shouting I had taken a picture of him and that wasn't allowed and I had to delete the photo. Now I wasn' t in the mood to argue with him, even more as I really didn't like him to be in my picture, so I deleted it and took another photo.

Of course I hadn't deleted all pictures with his image... but I still don't like them. I prefer the ones without him. ;-)

Markus, Gürbetal


Andrew Moglestue
 

When photographing trains, and even more so trams (which is more my main interest in photography) it is virtually impossible not to get people in the picture, and indeed shots with people in them are generally the more interesting ones.

I have had some, but remarkably few, interactions with people who objected.

By far the largest number of run ins I had were not with people who objected to their picture being taken, but by over-zealous security guards.

I was in one country in the east recently and what they really wanted was money. I fortunately had a smaller bank note in my pocket and could buy them off before they forcibly deleted pictures or confiscated the camera.

The steup was that they told me that I needed to get a photo permit from some office that conveniently happened to be closed on that day. When I asked to talk to their superior officer or manager, strangely he could not be found either.

But if i would give them a small amount of money they promised to "protect" me.

The entire conversation and exchange of money took place in full view of a security camera (this was in a station). So I guess they had the power to make evidence disappear and it was wise not to challenge them unnecessarily.

But i don't think anything like that would be the case in Switzerland.


George Raymond
 

Reactions to a photographer may depend on the camera. A smart phone is more discrete than a long lens. Of course, many train shots require the latter.

I have had few problems with photography over the years, but I do keep in mind that some people may object.

George


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Chris Wood
 

I too have been politely requested to delete a photograph which accidentally contained the image of a passerby. It wasn't in a rail context, I was taking a typical tourist shot in Luzern. After that I checked up and discovered the following in the Switzerland entry on Wikimedia Commons's guidance on personality rights in photographs:

Taking a picture of a person in a public space: Requires consent (see explanation below)

Publishing pictures of a person in a public space: Requires consent (as per above)

Commercial use of a published picture of a person in a public space: Requires consent (as per above)

Swiss civil law contains a general clause for protection of personality rights, which may be restricted only with the consent of the person affected. This applies to the right to the own image, even if a picture is taken in a public space. In principle, any unauthorized picture which aims to depict the person as such is considered an infringement of personality rights (according to the jurisprudence of the Swiss Federal Court). Therefore, just taking a person's photograph is an offensive act and consent must be obtained from any person recognizably depicted as an individual, unless their appearance is merely accidental and has nothing to do with the purpose of the image. Consent can be given expressly (either written or verbal) or implied through actions. It is generally recognized by case law and legal doctrine that consent is implied for pictures of public figures, at least when performing their public functions or activities (not necessarily also in private situations). Consent is also implied for people consciously and voluntarily exposed to the public in some kind of public event. As an exception, predominant and mostly public interests (e. g. public information, science) will allow an unauthorized picture to be admitted.

The Swiss personality right to privacy does not protect financial interests. Therefore it makes no difference in terms of the right to one's own image if a picture is used commercially or in a non-profitable way.


gordonwis
 

On Tuesday, 4 August 2020, 14:43:53 BST, Andrew Moglestue via groups.io <amogles=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I wonder how they define photography for private use. Many railway photographers these days share their photos on playces like Flickr, Facebook or DeviantArt, or have their own private photo sites.
Would that still be private use, or could you get into trouble with SBB over that?

Sharing photos you have taken as a private individual is still essentially private use. The rule (as I think has already been mentioned by Marcus) is to prevent huge loads of film-crew level paraphernalia being set up adjacent to the railway

And 'sharing' is hardly a new phenomenon. Any photo taken by a private individual and then published, say in Eisenbahn Amateur in 1975, is still 'sharing'.


gordonwis
 

On Monday, 3 August 2020, 23:10:37 BST, DAVID STEVENSON via groups.io <bodensee.toggenburg=me.com@groups.io> wrote:
There is a law in Germany which prohibits the taking of a photo of someone at work. It is rarely applied and i have only once experienced a difficulty
The same applies in France. Again, seldom used but I have heard of it happening to people.


Andrew Moglestue
 

I wonder how they define photography for private use. Many railway photographers these days share their photos on playces like Flickr, Facebook or DeviantArt, or have their own private photo sites.
Would that still be private use, or could you get into trouble with SBB over that?

Concerning the situation in Germany, I had a similar situation of my own, not actually on railway property but photographing trams in Freiburg about 5 years ago. I was approached by a security guard who claimed he was on one of my photos (I hadn't even noticed him before) and demanded I delete all my photos. When asked why, he said he didn't want people to recognize where he worked and said something about tram photographers always sharing pictures with nazis and the mafia. He sounded a bit mentally deranged to me. He called the police, actually telling them he had apprehended a shoplifer. The policemen inspected my photos and confirned that he wasn't actually on any of them.

I later wrote to the security company whose name was on his jacket but never got a response. So I guess they don't take misbehaviour by their staff very seriously.

But this is one random incident in about 30 years of photographs, so I chalked it up to an imbecilic individual.


Theo van Riet
 

Op 3 aug. 2020, om 23:56 heeft DAVID STEVENSON via groups.io <bodensee.toggenburg=me.com@groups.io> het volgende geschreven:

I do speak German and understood what he was saying. I did check it out and it was true though I had never heard of it. Perhaps the train driver was German?
A friend of mine had the same experience with a ”nervous” train driver in Frankfurt Hbf….
But once in 20 years is bearable..


Theo


Mick Sasse
 

Or perhaps the train driver was bonkers...

;-)


DAVID STEVENSON
 

There is a law in Germany which prohibits the taking of a photo of someone at work. It is rarely applied and i have only once experienced a difficulty when a bus driver at Aachen went absolutely bonkers at me shouting and screaming and then drove his bus at me. Quite a lot of his passengers got off at this point. I told him I didn’t speak German and had no idea what he was on about. He didn’t speak any English so that was that. I do speak German and understood what he was saying. I did check it out and it was true though I had never heard of it. Perhaps the train driver was German?

Dave S


glenn allen
 

from: Andrew Moglestue via groups.io
Sent: 03 August 2020 16:29
To: SwissRail@groups.io
Subject: Re: [SwissRail] Issues with railway photography in CH?

My possibly misinformed understanding Is that on SBB property at Zurich HB you do indeed need an official permit for commercial or professional photography . I am not sure how professional is defined . So I guess there is possibly some grey area .

➢ I found this on a post from ten years ago.
➢ I received the following response from a representative of the Media Relations team. (Highlighting mine.)
➢ You do not require a permit to take photographs for private use in [these] stations. Hereby the special conditions from one of our photographers’ permits.
Please note the following conditions:
– You may only photograph in publically accessible areas.
– The usual operation of the railway may not be disturbed.
– Crossing the tracks and remaining in the area of the tracks is forbidden.
– You must follow the instructions of station and train personal as well as Securitrans railway police.
– SBB disavows itself of any responsibility for any accident which results from the non-observance of these instructions.


Guerbetaler
 

Am 03.08.2020 um 17:08 schrieb Andrew Moglestue via groups.io:
My possibly misinformed understanding Is that on SBB property at
Zurich HB you do indeed need an official permit for commercial or
professional photography. I am not sure how professional is defined.
See also the contribution of Martin Baumann on the subject.

The idea of the rule is simply to prevent railway stations from becoming film studios, because this could hinder railway operations and passenger flows and finally be dangerous.

So, if you want to film a scene for a movie or make shootings with models for any fashion label, you need a permission. If I'm not mistaken, an SBB person will then be available to survey and help if necessary. Of course, this isn't free...

But all that is far away from any restriction to take photos as a passenger, who waits two or three hours for a train :-)

There had once been an incident with a rail guard who thought that any photography in a railway station would need a permission. We then had contacts with SBB officials and they clearly said that this isn't the case.

Markus


Martin Baumann
 

"Foto- und Filmaufnahmen, die ausschliesslich privaten Zwecken oder der journalistisch-redaktionellen, nicht-kommerziellen Tätigkeiten dienen, sind zulässig, sofern sie nicht bewilligungspflichtig sind."

https://company.sbb.ch/de/ueber-die-sbb/profil/sbb-markenportal/kommunikation/foto/film-fotoaufnahmen.html

This page is not available in English. It says that photographing and videoing exclusively for private purposes or for non commercial news journalism are permitted when a permit is not needed. It goes on to list what you need a permit for such as large equipment, big groups, closing off areas etc.


Gary Klouda
 


Seven years ago on a local going to Berne, as we were coming into a small station I was videotaping out the window with my camcorder. A person who turned out to be a plainclothes policeman came storming into the train and wanted to rip my head off. The guard (conductor) happened to be standing right next to me, defended me, and called some of the policeman's mates to calm him down. I was a bit shaken. That was the only incident I've ever had in seven trips to Switzerland.  - Gary


Don
 

Just maybe Thomas, it was the driver who had a personal issue about a photographer possibly recording him at work? A number of years ago I was near Sion and took a couple of images from a public path during a wagon collection operation. The duty shunter spotted me, halted the driver and walked across the running tracks towards me to ask if I had included him in any photo taken. I confirmed he was in just one of the images and he politely asked me to delete it as he did not wish to be photographed undertaking his duties. I duly respected his request. Like Thomas, I have nearly 4 decades of railway photography under my belt and such incidents have been minimal to date and very far between, perhaps that driver was just having an extra bad day at the office? Keep smiling Thomas and continue to enjoy taking images of Swiss railways. I am looking forward to visiting again as soon as I can! Regards All, Don


Andrew Moglestue
 

My possibly misinformed understanding Is that on SBB property at Zurich HB you do indeed need an official permit for commercial or professional photography . I am not sure how professional is defined . So I guess there is possibly some grey area .

That said. As far as I know this is a requirement that exists only on paper and I have never seen or heard of anybody getting challenged over it. I have taken photos in full view of security staff and they did not seem interested


Mick Sasse
 

In that case I stand corrected and share others' puzzlement!

Mick


Thomas
 

On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 01:32 PM, Guerbetaler wrote:


Am 01.08.2020 um 22:08 schrieb Mick Sasse:
could it conceivably have been during a lockdown or similar, and
maybe the driver (perhaps officiously and perhaps incorrectly)
thinking people shouldn't have been out taking photos at all?
Switzerland didn't have a lockdown of such a type

Markus
Exactly, there was no lockdown and I was not close to the train driver or to anyone else.

Rgds, Thomas.


Guerbetaler
 

Am 01.08.2020 um 22:08 schrieb Mick Sasse:
could it conceivably have been during a lockdown or similar, and
maybe the driver (perhaps officiously and perhaps incorrectly)
thinking people shouldn't have been out taking photos at all?
Switzerland didn't have a lockdown of such a type

Markus