According to the good folks at, the current Miss Universe faces hefty fines and a possible jail sentence for an unsanctioned photo shoot, shot at the Taj Mahal. Read their article here.
Looks like they were promoting and/or advertising a shoe brand.

Real Estate brokers are fond of stating that, “The first three rules of real estate are: location, location, location”.  “All politics is local” is the mantra of many Political Scientists.
Here at The Copyright Zone we repeat until we’re “blue in the face” (see our photo on the top of the page) to “Always, always get a release”. Model releases and location or property releases, whenever possible.  Get those releases (plural).

So here is a perfect example as to why people who continually insist that property releases are “not needed” and that “no one has ever been successfully sued for not having a property release” haven’t learned that, as we like to say to, “Get those gosh darn releases, dagnabbit!!” (BTW – Dagnabbit is either a small suburb of Mumbai or something Gabby Hayes mutters in old Roy Rogers westerns. Take your pick.)

In India – as in many other locales both in the USA and abroad – they are very serious about their cultural heritage locations. A simple piece of paper, a release, getting permission of the locals, both shows respect and does the trick.

With release(s), location shoot, no problem.
No release(s), no location shoot, no problems.
No release(s), a location shoot, uh oh, big problems.

You’re looking at possibly TWO years in prison in India in this situation. It seems unlikely they would impose that with Miss Universe, but even just the threat of such a sentence gives Jack the runs. While we simply can’t compute the value of the negative publicity and/or lost sales that the client may suffer, Ed is busy estimating the amount of legal and other expenses the sponsors of the shoot have paid and will pay in the future. A photographer when faced with doing a shoot like this without the necessary releases could be a big hero to the client by warning them of the consequences of going forward without proper paperwork. Everybody, including clients, loves a hero.