Vessel’s Photo Policy Claims The Pictures You Take At Hudson Yards Don’t Belong To You
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – “Vessel,” the eye catching landmark at Hudson Yards officially opened to the public Friday and is now already embroiled in a social media controversy.
“There’s so many different angles it’s an instagrammable paradise,” photographer Rene Clement said.
“Amazing… just going up and down and seeing the view from up there, beautiful,” one visitor told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
Despite all the fanfare surrounding the attraction, there’s already backlash over its photo policy. In the age of social media, the new rules are catching many people clicking away off guard.
There aren’t any signs posted around Vessel, but if you read your ticket it directs you to the Terms & Conditions page online.
A ticket (with very controversial fine print) to see Vessel at Hudson Yards. (Credit: CBS2)
All those videos and pictures visitors just posted to social media can be used for free by Vessel’s operator – ERY Vessel LLC.
“I hereby grant to company and its affiliates the right to re-post, share, publish, promote and distribute the Vessel Media,” the terms state.
That’s not all. Upon entering the structure, you can be photographed, filmed, or recorded however…
The “Company has the unconditional, irrevocable right to reproduce, display and use the Recordings, including for advertising, marketing and promotional purposes, in all media and formats, whether now known or later developed.”
The terms & conditions when entering Hudson Yards and Vessel in Manhattan. (Credit: CBS2)
“Yeah, I mean that’s kinda crazy because you’d think you’d have to sign a release to be able to do that,” Lizzie Goodman of Brooklyn said.
“That’s how social media is. If you’re putting it out there for the world to see then I feel like it’s their piece they have the right to take it,” Harlem resident Crawford Horton argued.
“It’s disgusting,” Rene Clement charged.
One attorney says that the Vessel has gone too far.
“I would say it’s overreaching,” entertainment and media attorney Craig Delsack declared.
Delsack added normally you’d see a big physical sign warning people that they’re walking into an area where filming could be taking place. As for their social media policy, that also bothers the lawyer.
“That’s not fair because if you are the Annie Leibovitz of instagrammable photos you’re going to want to be paid for that commercial use by someone else.”
City councilman Ben Kallos says he’s taking action to try and change this policy.
“I don’t think that Hudson Yards should be allowed to take someone’s identity or their photos and sell them and that’s why i’m introducing legislation in New York City to make it illegal,” Kallos explained.
A spokesperson for Hudson Yards told CBS2 they wanted to over-communicate and be transparent.
So is there anyway to protect your selfie at Vessel from being used by someone else? All the social media sites have their own terms and conditions and – even in their terms and conditions – if you post a picture of something, we Twitter, Facebook, Instagram get to use that image as well,” Delsack warns.
So if you’re truly concerned about where your images will end up, the only surefire way to protect your rights (at the moment) is to keep them off the internet.