Images – copyright and consent
Photographs are protected by copyright, which means that the author of the work, i.e. the photographer, has the right to be identified in connection with the work. This right applies in all contexts except where it is practically or technically impossible. This is the moral right enshrined in copyright and cannot be waived.
Consent from the people in a photograph
In Sweden, there is no law prohibiting photography in public places such as in a city, in public buildings, entrances, stairwells and other edifices which are accessible to anybody. The absence of such a law allows us to freely take photographs in urban environments, in libraries, at doctoral degree conferment ceremonies and similar events, without needing to request permission.
There are some exceptions of which you should be aware:
- It is prohibited to take photographs on private land or locations which are not considered general or public, such as schools or malls. Thus there is no law against taking photographs of minors in public places, but it is prohibited when they are on school grounds.
- Offensive photography is not permitted. Photography is considered offensive when it is done without permission, in secret and the person is in a location of a private nature (changing room or suchlike). As a photographer, you must make yourself clearly visible.
The legislation on names and images in advertising requires written consent from all those depicted in the photographs. In certain contexts, such as student recruitment and fundraising, we are operating in a grey area between this legislation and the general freedom to take photographs in public places. As a public authority, we have an obligation to inform the general public about our activities, but in the case of student recruitment, for example, we get very close to the boundary between information and advertising/marketing.
Our approach to managing this grey area is always to ask for verbal consent, and to ask the question broadly so that we can re-use the images without uncertainty as to whether the person depicted approved this use as well. It is a good idea to state that you are taking photographs for Lund University and that the images may be used in various contexts on the University’s behalf, before asking if it is OK to take the photographs.
Our procured photographers are well aware of this, which means that verbal consent for use is to have been obtained for all images. Our approach is supported by the University’s legal counsels.
Written consent is sometimes required
In some circumstances, we actually do need to obtain written permission. If we store images in an archive, such as the Image and Media Bank, and connect various personal details (e.g. names and photographs) in a structured and searchable way, the Personal Data Act applies, obliging us to obtain written consent. This applies only when we name the person, i.e. in portraits/press images. Do not include the person’s name when it is irrelevant, such as for images of student life or environments.
Forms for written consent to the storage of images
The University has forms for obtaining a person’s consent to storage of their personal details in accordance with the Personal Data Act. Ask the person to read and sign the form below, and send it to Nina Ransmyr, Branding Office, Corporate Communications (internal mailing code 31), for archiving.
More information on what you are permitted to photograph and publication of images
Branding Office, Corporate Communications
nina.ransmyr [at] kommunikation.lu.se
+46 46 222 03 20
maria.wendel [at] kommunikation.lu.se
+46 46 222 70 07
anna_v.johnsson [at] kommunikation.lu.se
+46 46 222 70 21