Photos and video are popular ways of sharing the life of your Unitarian Universalist congregation with others. Doing so, however, often raises issues of copyright permission and personal privacy. Below, we offer some tips to help you plan events that can be successfully photographed or recorded on video.
While we hope this information is useful, please remember that Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) staff are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.
If children are going to be photographed or videotaped, written permission must be obtained from a parent or legal guardian of each child. When the photographs or videotapes are published, consider leaving out the names of the children.
If adults are going to be photographed or videotaped, advertise this fact on all promotion materials for the event. You may also want to make a brief announcement before the event or ceremony begins.
When asking permission, ask for blanket permission to publish and distribute photographs and video. Don’t ask for permission to publish the photographs or video in only one place (i.e. just in the congregational newsletter, just on the congregational website, etc.).
There are two reasons to ask for broad permission:
If it is feasible, you may also wish to demarcate a seating area that will not be visible on camera, for those who want to attend the event but do not want to be seen in the video.
If you are recording a worship service or other presentation that may include copyrighted material, respect copyright laws. Read “Copyright Issues Related to Worship” for more information.
For events at which people may normally have an expectation of privacy, or events with which people may run some risk by being publicly identified, take the extra step of obtaining written permission from each person in advance. Such events, depending on your community, may include support groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) dances, or other congregational events.
If your congregation receives a request from someone featured in a photograph or video segment to have that photograph or video segment removed from a congregational website, Facebook Page, etc., do your best to honor that request.
These media offer a wonderful way to share the story of your congregation with members, newcomers, and the general public.
For more information contact pw_specialist @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.
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