Legal implications of Live Streaming – choices and dilemmas

Legal and ethical implications of Live Streaming as Art work

This article in Computer World about the legal risks of Live stream expresses some of my concerns about using the app for my practice.

As well as the issues around broadcasting from sensitive locations such as The Edgehill Battlefield Site/ MOD Kineton  there are ethics and personal community responsibilities around that, particularly at such a sensitive time.

  • I’m especially aware of the need for Release or Permissions Forms when taking photographic  images  of people out heir work within community and gallery arts practice.
  • If I stream from a location and hope for the ‘stumble upon’ public to ‘come into my stream’ within that  location I will have to let them know why I am doing, as the images from the stream will be used at the very least for documentation purpose, but also for public viewing possibly in an exhibition setting. Even people who simply pass through, in theory, are affected by this, especially as I am ‘making work’ and am not just a casual Periscope user.
  • If I inform people that they are being streamed will this make the work ‘more theatrical’ and less intimate, more an artwork … effects I am trying to avoid:  ‘separation’ between  audience / participant/ maker Periscope.
  • Do I need to have photo permission/ release forms available at each Stream to as people to sign…clumsy but legally stronger…display a sign...which then warns people approaching that ‘something is happening’ some of the contingency is removed..Much to consider.
  • There is also the issue that it is essential that I Broadcast my location , this is an essential part of the work... but makes others in the stream possibly more identifiable.
  • What about people who I can’t inform, because they are not close enough but still identifiable, children for instance...I guess I’ll just have to delete these and not use the footage. Otherwise I can see myself chasing after people along the road or the hill waving forms and a Biro…a piece of work in itself! What about if they just appear without warning and end up on my stream

I remember being told about  Gillian Wearing’s renowned work, ‘Signs that say what you want to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say’ (1992-93)  and  how this caused some ( ?legal?) difficulties when some of the people photographed found their images widely distributed, displaying their personal feelings to a wider public.


 ‘Signs that say what you want to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say’ Gillian Wearing (1992-93)

Things have moved on a pace since then, in terms of methods of distribution and attitudes to it…from one extreme of needs from signed permission to animate photos on Snapchat and other social media.

Lots to consider.

I may be erring on the side of caution because of the necessary restrictions within my community work, but best to be aware and think it through.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s