Photo Attorney

Dec 30, 2008

Photos Not Allowed - 1

A skier, known as "randosteve," who posted photographs of the results of an avalanche at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on his website at TetonAT.com reportedly was pressured by the Resort to remove them. He and another blogger, Stephen Koch, complied with the Resort's requests. Randosteve explained that he was given access to the avalanche area as a member of the Teton County Search and Rescue ("TCSAR"), so he believed he had an obligation to cooperate. Some of the photos at issue can be seen at skiingthebackcountry.com.

Some employers prevent employees from taking photographs while on the job (and if it is the employee's job to take photos, the copyrights belong to the employers). Others may be bound by contract - either written or oral - to not take photos in exchange for being given access to an area. We don't know whether Randosteve had those obligations or instead complied with the Resort's request so that he could continue to work with TCSAR (such work is to be highly commended).

Otherwise, such newsworthy events generally are not protected from publication by privacy rights. Hopefully, the Resort will allow such photos to be shared so that skiers will understand the importance of safety precautions.

Thanks to Clyde Soles for submitting this topic.