Photographing the Interior of This Tourist Trap Comes with Terms and Conditions


Everybody is getting in on the Instagram action these days – even architects and the buildings they design.

And there’s probably no better example of this out there than New York City’s latest tourist trap, Hudson Yards’ Vessel, which photographer Rene Clement calls an “instagrammable paradise,” according to CBS2.

But the ticket to this paradise comes with some rarely read terms and conditions that have transformed the Vessel into the Internet’s latest controversy.

Apparently, when you buy a ticket, you also agree to the Vessel’s terms for photography that read, “I hereby grant to company and its affiliates the right to re-post, share, publish, promote and distribute the Vessel Media.”

Um, that’s a big no from most of us.

Granted, you can take pictures of the “outside” of the structure without having to surrender your rights to the Vessel (which is probably the most sci-fi line I will ever write in this blog), but if you want those dynamic interior shots, you better agree to these terms.

It goes further, stating that 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.”

Of course, a couple of people found this distasteful, with some even calling it disgusting.

Never fear, however, because the issue has caught the eye of NYC councilman Ben Kallos who vowed to pass a law making these kinds of conditions illegal, saying, “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.”

Yet, as CBS2 gamely points out, a lot of social media platforms also have “overreaching” rights to what you post on the platform.

Just the other day we covered a story about how SmugMug had to clarify Creative Commons rights in its photo archives when a news report erroneously implied that a company was using Flickr community member photos for AI facial recognition training.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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