an excellent read from the ACLU

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Bowser, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Bowser

    Bowser Guest

    The topic of shooter's rights has been beaten to discussed in the
    forums, so I thought that this article, by the ACLU, would be of
    interest of all of us who have been harassed for no good reason. As many
    of us suspected, the harassment is totally unjustified.

    http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers
     
    Bowser, Sep 10, 2011
    #1
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  2. Bowser

    Robert Coe Guest

    : The topic of shooter's rights has been beaten to discussed in the
    : forums, so I thought that this article, by the ACLU, would be of
    : interest of all of us who have been harassed for no good reason. As many
    : of us suspected, the harassment is totally unjustified.
    :
    : http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers

    A couple of further points:

    "Public spaces" and "private property" are not mutually exclusive; and where
    the two intersect, the rights of property owners to control the behavior of
    photographers may vary in different jurisdictions. I was once told to stop
    taking pictures in a mall in Massachusetts, and I seriously doubt that the
    mall's owners could have made a trespassing charge stick if I had elected to
    continue. (All five of my grandchildren were present, and I didn't want to
    provoke a scene.) But different states may have different laws.

    Public employees, and especially police officers, who are performing their
    duties correctly should welcome having those activities photographed. The
    photographs may be valuable evidence against a charge of brutality or
    harrassment. If, for example, the Rodney King videos had shown the police
    officers arresting Mr King for speeding and drunk driving with the appropriate
    force they had presumably been taught to use, instead of trying to beat him to
    a pulp, most of the controversy would have been avoided.

    (Full disclosure: I'm a public employee, and part of my job involves
    photographing scenes and events for my employer - for whatever difference that
    makes.)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 10, 2011
    #2
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  3. The 1st Circuit has repeatedly held that the First Amendment does not
    prevent a property owner from restricting the exercise of free speech on
    private property, explicitly including a private shopping mall.

    IIRC, all Simon-owned malls require explicit permission for any
    on-premise photography. If the mall cop had asked you to leave and you
    refused to do so, if the mall pressed trespassing charges they likely
    would stick, just as the ACLU states.

    Suffice it to say that taking legal advice from random internet posters
    is a bad idea. You may safely assume I'm a random internet poster.
     
    Mike Benveniste, Sep 10, 2011
    #3
  4. Bowser

    SMS Guest

    Back when Fry's Electronics was a tourist attraction people would come
    in and take pictures in violation of store policy. The store was polite
    about it, they asked for your film and would process it at no charge and
    return all but the photos of the store to you. When word got out about
    this, people would go into the store with a fully exposed roll of film
    in the camera and pretend to take photos, then give the film to the
    store's security for free processing.
     
    SMS, Sep 10, 2011
    #4
  5. Bowser

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On 9/9/2011 9:03 PM, Mike Benveniste wrote:
    :
    : > The 1st Circuit has repeatedly held that the First Amendment does not
    : > prevent a property owner from restricting the exercise of free speech on
    : > private property, explicitly including a private shopping mall.
    :
    : Back when Fry's Electronics was a tourist attraction people would come
    : in and take pictures in violation of store policy. The store was polite
    : about it, they asked for your film and would process it at no charge and
    : return all but the photos of the store to you. When word got out about
    : this, people would go into the store with a fully exposed roll of film
    : in the camera and pretend to take photos, then give the film to the
    : store's security for free processing.

    Why was Fry's a tourist attraction? And given that it was, why would they want
    you not to take pictures? Why wouldn't they like the free publicity?

    All else aside, absolute prohibitions against photography are impossible to
    enforce, now that cameras are so small and virtually every cell phone
    incorporates one. The most a mall security guard can do is try to ensure that
    your pictures aren't very good. Which wouldn't bother a terrorist at all. They
    don't care how pretty the building is, just where the doors are, etc.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 10, 2011
    #5
  6. Bowser

    SMS Guest

    When Fry's started out it was essentially a store for nerds. You picked
    up chips (ICs), chips (potato), shampoo, disk drives, motherboards,
    etc.. They advertise heavily in the manner of supermarkets (since the
    founders were from the Fry's supermarket family). There was nothing else
    like it. Now the component side is virtually non-existent, they're more
    like a Best Buy selling major appliances, computers, televisions, etc..
    Store security believes that theft rings take photos in order to plan
    shoplifting sprees.
     
    SMS, Sep 10, 2011
    #6
  7. Bowser

    Martin Brown Guest

    One detail they have got wrong is that in most airports you are on
    *private* property and the owner sets the rules. No UK airport permits
    photography at the security checkpoints and no use of camera signs are
    clearly displayed. Unless you wish to miss your flight it is not a good
    idea to annoy airport security. The long queues are a potential
    terrorist target (we have had one failed attack on a UK airport).

    My encounters with UK police and security have always been professional
    - it is just a hard core of barrack room lawyers that go out of their
    way get arrested for taking photographs and being obstructive. It makes
    good copy for AP whinging and whining articles. Things were actually
    tighter and more often enforced during the 1970's IRA bombing campaign.

    Regards,
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Sep 10, 2011
    #7
  8. Bowser

    Guest Guest

    each fry's store has a unique design, and they are very protective
    about stuff like that.
     
    Guest, Sep 10, 2011
    #8
  9. Bowser

    ASCII Guest

    The 'current' Fry's in San Diego had been an Incredible Universe, not sure if
    they were related, but with a kilowatt metal halide illuminator every twenty
    feet or so, the interior is lit like a movie set. Seems to invite photography.
     
    ASCII, Sep 11, 2011
    #9
  10. Bowser

    Alfred Molon Guest

    Alfred Molon, Sep 13, 2011
    #10
  11. Bowser

    Savageduck Guest

    Yup!

    The UK without a Constitution remains confused. All UK photographers
    seem to believe they have the right to take photographs anywhere in/on
    public property. However they seem least able to be consistent when it
    comes to enforcement by authorities, official and/or rent-a-cops.

    As for the rest of Europe I have not heard of, or read any recent
    harassment of photographers. I understand there are issues regarding
    use of Eiffel Tower images, but I doubt there is any restriction on the
    hobbyist photographer/tourist at that site.

    I don't see any reason why the EU wouldn't adopt constitutional
    measures similar to the US Constitutional Bill of Rights. That would
    cover much of many of the issues regarding photographer's rights.

    Perhaps you could enlighten us as to your local knowledge regarding
    photographer's rights and/or harassment of photographers in non-UK
    Europe.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2011
    #11
  12. Bowser

    Graham Guest

    We have that right. All harassment has been greatly exaggerated. As
    you know Mr Duck I have been taking 1000's pictures in London for an
    awful long while and have never been stopped, challenged, arrested,
    harassed or even eyed suspiciously. Perhaps I did attract a few looks
    in Old Compton street ;-)

    PS: I know nothing of the rest of Europe... well perhaps just as much
    as you know about things in the UK :)
     
    Graham, Sep 13, 2011
    #12
  13. Bowser

    Pete A Guest

    ?

    A few pages on the UK governemnt's website make most of the rules
    fairly clear, as do many of those whose job it is to enforce the rules
    (many, not all). The UK media has a self-serving interest to obfuscate
    the rules, hence the aparent confusion. According to the media, it is
    mandatory to lie about illegal phone tapping...
     
    Pete A, Sep 13, 2011
    #13
  14. Bowser

    Savageduck Guest

    Graham, if there is anybody who puts the lie to harassment of the
    hobbyist photographer in the UK it is you. I have always thought that
    most reports of harassment were anomalies rather than the norm. The
    unfortunate thing is photographers have been harassed both in the USA &
    UK, and in most cases the escalation caused by ignorant officious
    individuals testing their misguided authority.

    ....and I really like the way you are using that M9.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 13, 2011
    #14
  15. Bowser

    Graham Guest


    Thanks.
    The M9 really suits my style of photography because I don't want my
    subjects to react to the camera. I like to capture the odd and
    peculiar doing what they do. I can get the pictures with it that
    would have been much more difficult with the D700 and fast glass.
    Fast glass on the M9 is tiny by comparison.
     
    Graham, Sep 13, 2011
    #15
  16. Bowser

    Eric Stevens Guest

    The objections to photographing the Eiffel tower are based on
    copyright.
    Regards,

    Eric Stevens
     
    Eric Stevens, Sep 13, 2011
    #16
  17. The current FAQ for the Eiffel tower reads:

    The views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free. Permission and rights
    must be obtained from the "Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel"
    (the Operating Company, or SETE) for the publication of photos of the
    illuminated Eiffel Tower.

    For newer buildings, monuments, and the like, further copyright
    restrictions can apply outside the U.S. While U.S. federal law
    explicitly permits pictorial representations of copyrighted
    Architectural works without permission or license from the copyright
    holder (17 USC 120(a)), there is no such exemption in the Berne
    Convention.

    As in many other countries, if the photograph also includes
    identifiable images of people, further restrictions and laws come
    into play. This falls into the "don't take legal advice from
    random internet posters" category.
     
    Mike Benveniste, Sep 14, 2011
    #17
  18. Bowser

    Robert Coe Guest

    : On Tue, 13 Sep 2011 09:59:52 -0700, Savageduck
    :
    : >On 2011-09-13 09:22:38 -0700, Alfred Molon <> said:
    : >
    : >> In article <>, Bowser
    : >> says...
    : >>
    : >>> http://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-your-rights-photographers
    : >>
    : >> That is valid in the USA. How about other countries?
    : >
    : >Yup!
    : >
    : >The UK without a Constitution remains confused. All UK photographers
    : >seem to believe they have the right to take photographs anywhere in/on
    : >public property. However they seem least able to be consistent when it
    : >comes to enforcement by authorities, official and/or rent-a-cops.
    : >
    : >As for the rest of Europe I have not heard of, or read any recent
    : >harassment of photographers. I understand there are issues regarding
    : >use of Eiffel Tower images, but I doubt there is any restriction on the
    : >hobbyist photographer/tourist at that site.
    :
    : The objections to photographing the Eiffel tower are based on
    : copyright.

    How so?? Are you saying that someone has a copyright on all pictures taken of
    the Eiffel Tower? I hope nothing like that is even possible in the U.S. But
    what am I saying? I'm sure there are many building interiors and private parks
    in the U.S. where it's true. :^|

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 15, 2011
    #18
  19. Bowser

    Savageduck Guest

    It is a little screwy. It is just fine to take all the photographs of
    the Eiffel Tower you want, just as long as you do it in daylight those
    are all public domain.

    However the French Courts ruled that the special lighting display
    installed in 1989 for the Centenary was an "original visual creation"
    protected by copyright. The ruling was upheld after appeals in 1992. So
    now any illuminated images of the Eiffel Tower are subject to copyright.
    The loophole is that any panoramas of night time Paris which include
    the lit Tower are not subject to the copyright restrictions.
     
    Savageduck, Sep 15, 2011
    #19
  20. Bowser

    Paul Furman Guest

    I know a guy who shoots TV commercials. The cost is prohibitive for
    copyright permission for most any American city with modern architecture
    visible, so he has to shoot in Canada or often Eastern European cities,
    and even has had to do CGI virtual buildings if the ad needs a real
    fancy piece of modern architecture to work.
     
    Paul Furman, Sep 25, 2011
    #20
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