Can a picture of my garden be published w/o my knowledge?

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  • Hi all!

    A friend in an environmental studies class just sent me a photo from her textbook, a $30 book published by Sunset. It contains a photo of my mom's garden.

    Now, my mom's garden has appeared in a variety of landscaping magazines, including Sunset (I am pretty sure) but she was never approached for permission to use the photo.

    It is possible that they obtained the photo from a photographer who shot pictures, or even from our landscape architect. Still, who owns the photo? Can it be published without my mom's knowledge?

    This is purely for curiosity only, besides the fact that I think she should be entitled, at the very least, to some free copies of the book, and should have been warned first.

    Anyway, this seems complicated because although she didn't take the photo, it is her private property, and the book published it (along with the name of our town) without her permission... is this OK? I'd love to know more!

  • If the photo is one taken from a photo shoot by a previous magazine, then odds are the magazine owns the rights to the photo and they would need permission to reprint it.
    If her garden is visible without coming onto the property then taking a photo of it is not against the law. I believe it would fall under the same law as photographing architecture.

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