A few days ago, I ran a story about a DallasNews.com article which talked about photographer’s rights. The more we as photographers shoot in public, the more likely it is that we will encounter this situation.

Scott Llewel Dubista Pacaldo, one of the commenters in the post, pointed me to Photographers Rights, an app which outlines what you can, can’t and shouldn’t do as a photographer in public.

Here’s a list of Photographers Rights main features:

1. Legal rules for USA, Australia, Canada, UK, Japan, Spain, Italy, France.
2. Your legal rights, valid for every of the supported countries.
3. General copyright laws, common to the supported countries.
4. Privacy laws, common to the supported countries.
5. Contracts in different languages, valid on the corresponding language spoken countries.
6. Common questions for photographers, that can be played in French, Japanese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian

While the DMN post talked about US photographers rights, this app outlines and can help photographers to understand their legal rights in different countries. While I recommend this app to anyone who photographs in public, if you travel internationally between any of the eight countries the app currently outlines, this app is an essential starting point in understanding the differences in photography law and copyrights in the various countries.

If you travel and photograph, you need to know the laws of the country you are photographing. You’re under their jurisdiction regardless of your nationality. For instance, in the United States, in most cases, it’s legal to photograph anyone in a public area (whether it’s right to do so is another issue). In Australia, however, if a person in a public area holds their hand out blocking the view of the lens, that person does not wish to be photographed and cannot be under Australian legal precedent.

The laws are not quoted in the app, but paraphrased and digested to be easily understood. Overall, the recaps are pretty clear. A few of the points are a little vague and could use a little more fleshing out. There are a few grammatical and spelling errors, but the app is meant as a guide, not a legal document. Still, it’s a good overview and resource and you’re bound to learn more about your rights as a photographer than if you hadn’t read this at all.

The included model and property release forms are basic. Unlike the dedicated photographer’s release apps, these don’t allow in-app form completion and electronic signature. They only allow you to email a blank form as a PDF. They’re pretty general, but are better than nothing if you need one and will do in a pinch.

In these high-security times, we’re bound to be confronted by police or security while photographing. While I wouldn’t whip out this app when being questioned by an officer, reading its contents beforehand will give you knowledge on how to prepare for and handle a range of potential situations.

Photographers Rights normally sells for at least $0.99. It’s free right now in the App Store. Grab it before the price goes back up.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.

Photographers Rights - Pietro Zuco