Photography policy

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Documenting Wikimania is an important activity, and Wikimedians have a natural desire to document the world around them. But when we meet in person as colleagues, it is important also to recognize the privacy needs of our fellow Wikimedians.

Group photo of Wikimania 2016, a beautiful and nice photo documenting Wikimania, and all according to this photography policy.


These are the terms everyone agreed to upon registration[edit | edit source]

“I understand that I am not allowed to take or publish photographs or videos of people at this conference without getting consent of everyone depicted. Standing up for a group photo is considered consent, as is publicly presenting on stage. If I do not want my image captured on photo or video at all, I can ask for a special lanyard at registration”

Lanyards[edit | edit source]

These are the two lanyards at Wikimania:
Photo of the default lanyard Photo of the no-photo lanyard
Wikimania2019 Lanyard.png
Wikimania2019 NoPhotos Lanyard.png
Photography with permission No photography

What this means in practice[edit | edit source]

  • If someone is wearing the “no photography” lanyard, they do not wish to appear in any photography or video. Intentionally photographing a person wearing this lanyard without their knowledge is against the friendly-space policy of the event.
    • Certain sessions of the conference are marked as “no photography” in the program No photography, and will be announced as such at the beginning of the session.
  • If someone is wearing the “photography with permission” lanyard, please obtain consent for any pictures or video you take.
  • In obtaining consent, it is useful to also specify the intended use the image. For example, whether you will upload to a public website with a free license (e.g. Wikimedia Commons); or on to a non-public website (e.g. Facebook), or to be kept private (e.g. emailed directly to the person).
  • For photographs of crowds (e.g. of the foyer area with many people in the distance) the key factor is identifiability. If a person is identifiable - either because they appear large in the photograph or because their appearance is distinctive (e.g. hairstyle or particular clothing), please obtain consent from them.
  • Please be especially careful of photography in situations where people are less likely to want to be photographed in general. This includes while eating food or drinking, or when having a private conversation.

How to determine consent[edit | edit source]

  1. Context. The person is clearly indicating they are willing to be photographed. For example:
    1. Anybody standing up for a group photo is considered to be clearly indicating they wish to be part of the photo and for it be shared publicly with a free-license.
    2. Anybody speaking publicly on stage is considered to be clearly indicating they accept pictures/video of them presenting being made and shared on Wikimedia Commons. [Except if they are wearing the no-photo lanyard.]
  2. Asking before. Asking the person if they are willing to be photographed before taking the photo. This will often mean they are facing the camera, posing/smiling and it will be clear in the image that they are aware of the photograph’s existence.
  3. Asking after. Asking the person if they approve of the photograph after is has been taken. This applies to “candid” photography where the person didn’t know they were being photographed at the time. Verbal approval is sufficient - you do not need a signed consent form.
It is the photographer’s responsibility to obtain consent through one of these methods.

If you can see the person being photographed, but they can't see you - you need to obtain consent.

The traditional Wikimedia-event default position that the subject is responsible to identify photographs of themselves on Commons and request takedown, after the fact, does NOT constitute consent.

Rule of thumb

If you are using a zoom lens to take a photo of someone having lunch, then uploading it to a public website, under a free license, and without their knowledge: that's just creepy.