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Thread: Disney Photography Rules and Regulations

  1. #1

    Disney Photography Rules and Regulations

    I stumbled across this site:

    They take wonderful photos at Disney resorts, but they sell them. In no way are the affiliated with Disney. This makes me wonder, are they allowed to do this? The reason I ask is because I heard two things:
    - Photographs can be taken at disneyland for non-profit purposes..aka, can't sell the photos.
    - Photographs taken at disneyland are owned by disney so thus, technically, can't be sold without stealing certain copyrights.

    I am not 100% sure about the second point, but I thought I read it on the back of a ticket. I own an AP so I havent had a ticket in a while to read, but that is what I recall (though I may be mistaken by another theme park).

    Can anybody clarify this?

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  3. #2
    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    this has come up for discussion before (last summer) in that there was some sort of "ban" on the size of lenses. Came about during the Miley Cirus Sweet 16. HOwever, the only Photos Disney "owns" are the ones they take themselves (photopass) and there are restrictions to how you can use, or reuse, the photopass photos. This also applies to photos they release on their press sites (, etc.)

    The "policy" around what kind of cameras you can or can't use has not been made public as far as I know - but it seems that the park has used it when it wants to enforce a ban, otherwise it lets things go.

    These guys are, as far as I know, legally allowed to sell a reproduction of a photo they took themselves. Some places ask for donations before you get the outright high quality digital image and others charge. I have not seen any published policy against selling.

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

  4. #3
    Hacker, nonmammaltarian, Warrior Andrew's Avatar
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    There's some aspect to copyright law about photographs of architecture being the property of the owner/designer of the subject. I believe Disney can and possibly has used this to enforce copyright restrictions on selling photos from inside the parks.

    Andrew [

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  5. #4
    Ready for MA World Explorers! Drince88's Avatar
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    I believe the restriction is why ONLY the Birnbaum guide books have actual pictures of DL or WDW in them as well.


  6. #5
    Fun is wherever you find it... olegc's Avatar
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    Andrew could be correct, especially since Disneyland is private property
    this website has been around for 3 years or so, has advertised on other sites, and promoted their images extensively. This could also be OK if Disney has given them permission to do this as a known "fan" site. I know some fan sites out there have more access than others only because they work closely with what Disney wants and ensure that they are not challenging any Disney property. I seem to recall LP has this distinction.

    Of course, you then have to give up your editorial freedom, but.. they are nice pictures

    "[Disneyland] has that thing - the imagination, and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid." - Walt Disney

  7. #6
    Disneyland Regular
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    15 minutes Southeast of Disneyland

    Andrew is correct. Architecture can be protected by copyright. Private property doesn't matter. If you take a photo of the Disney Concert Hall on a public street, and attempt to sell print, you are in violation of the law. If it is part of a larger landscape, and not the specific focus of the print, you are ok. This also goes for logos on buildings. If you photograph an old barn with a Coca-Cola logo painted on the side, you are in violation of Coke's copyright if you use that for monetary gain. Now, there are exceptions, mostly dealing with newsworthy events, and freedom of the press, and certainly there are agreements between entities, and maybe Disney is fine with the free advertising, or maybe the site is just too small to be on their radar.

    By the way, the same is true of people. You have a right to your own likeness, and no one can take a photo of you and sell it without a model release. The same exceptions apply. if it's a large group, or if you are not the main focus of the image, or if it is a newsworthy event (i.e. paparazzi). And anyone can take a picture of anyone else without permission (even though it's kind of rude), unless there is an expectation of privacy.

    God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

  8. #7

    Okay, thanks for the responses. I was just curious about the legality of the site (and the legality if I decide to do the same) and it seems like you've provided me with good answers.

    I could do it, but Disney could go after me if I end up becoming popular out of it. They could also hire me but I think that could be a rare possibility.

  9. #8
    Blue Ball Go Down The Hole
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    Jan 2005
    new york city

    birnbaums is not the only one with photos by far (passporter, unofficial guide, complete guide, and more have photos).

    officially speaking, birnbaums was traditionally the only one that has disney characters specifically. that's where disney really draws the lines. it's not that you can't have characters, but they have to be disney approved and they won't approve them if you took them.

    from the WDW disney guidebook rules:

    # Use of images (photos, artwork or illustrations) depicting the characters that appear at Walt Disney World Resort -- other than those included among approved Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line images for potential Guidebook use -- is prohibited.
    # Art that depicts Disney logos is prohibited.

    of course that also means you'll have disney's blessings. i suppose you could go on your own against that, but you may have disney to contend with later.

    private property has everything to do with it in regards that disney could technically prevent anyone from using cameras on property. it would be next to impossible to enforce however and would make for some unhappy memories.

    one example i've experienced was i was taking photos walking between POFQ and POR and I had someone come over in a cart and asked me my purpose for the photos. he left me alone when i said they were for personal use, but i don't think he was genuinely interested in my plans for himself. - Home to the Disney Acronym Decoder, Definitive Guides to PhotoPass, Kidcot, Planet Watch and more
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  10. #9

    can someone translate POFQ and POR for me?

  11. #10
    Registered User
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    Dec 2008
    El Toro, AKA Lake Forest
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanvalle View Post
    can someone translate POFQ and POR for me?
    I was thinking of the same thing but I just had looked this up on the link of Disney Acronym Decorder that Bradk had posted

    POKQ - Port Orleans French Quarter

    POR - Port Orleans Riverside



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