Michigan law and photography... allowed on apartment rental?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Ric Trexell, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Guest

    "> One of the landlord funkies told me that I was allowed to shoot
    *******************************************************************
    -Art- : This sentence doesn't seem to make sense. Did you mean to say "I
    wasn't allowed to shoot" instead of "was"? I don't know what the property
    status has to do with anything. Most all property belongs to someone. It
    isn't where photography is made so much as how it is used or who is in it.
    In this case you were documenting an action for legal purposes. Being that
    the landlord was there and knew what you were doing, if anyone is going to
    be sued I would think it would be him or the owners of said property. This
    is just my opinion as I'm not a lawyer. I wouldn't worry about it if that
    is what you are concerned with. Ric in Wisconsin.
     
    Ric Trexell, Sep 12, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Ric Trexell

    Art2U Guest

    |>
    |>"> One of the landlord funkies told me that I was allowed to shoot
    |>> anything on the property because it was private property.
    |>>
    |>> Is this true?
    |>>
    |>> -Art- (not Art)
    |>*******************************************************************
    |>-Art- : This sentence doesn't seem to make sense. Did you mean to say "I
    |>wasn't allowed to shoot" instead of "was"? I don't know what the property
    |>status has to do with anything. Most all property belongs to someone. It
    |>isn't where photography is made so much as how it is used or who is in it.
    |>In this case you were documenting an action for legal purposes. Being that
    |>the landlord was there and knew what you were doing, if anyone is going to
    |>be sued I would think it would be him or the owners of said property. This
    |>is just my opinion as I'm not a lawyer. I wouldn't worry about it if that
    |>is what you are concerned with. Ric in Wisconsin.
    |>
    I should really read my messages before sending them, sorry for the
    confusion.

    It should of read:
    One of the landlord funkies told me that I was NOT allowed to shoot
    anything on the property because it was private property.

    And the landlord was not aware of what I was doing. I rent the
    apartment next to the one the landlord was trying to get to, and was
    shooting in front of my second story apartment.

    -Art- (not Art)
     
    Art2U, Sep 12, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Ric Trexell

    DBLEXPOSURE Guest

    No matter how the question was asked, it is a good one. Here is an article
    that might lead you to some good resources on the subject.

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-12-29-camera-laws_x.htm
     
    DBLEXPOSURE, Sep 12, 2007
    #3
  4. Ric Trexell

    Somebody Guest

    There are no photography limits on public property. Private property however
    you are limited by what the owner will allow. For example the city can't
    stop you from taking a picture is a public park it is owned by everyone.
    However, the owner of an apartment complete or apartment building can stop
    you from taking pictures in public areas (like around the pool), but not in
    your apartment.

    The only exception to the you can shoot on public property is things owned
    by the federal government that is classified. Like we may pay for area 51,
    but you will still get shot and your camera smushed if you climb the fence
    and start taking picture.

    Somebody!
     
    Somebody, Sep 12, 2007
    #4
  5. Ric Trexell

    Somebody Guest

    That is correct. The owner of the property has control. However, there are
    two exceptions. You can photograph whatever you want in your apartment. You
    can also walk out to the sidewalk with a long lens and shoot all the photos
    you want, that is public property.

    Somebody!
     
    Somebody, Sep 12, 2007
    #5
  6. Ric Trexell

    DBLEXPOSURE Guest

    Can you site some sort of reference on that? The pentagon is not private
    property, can I take all the photos I want there?



    Private property however
    What if you are taking photos of other people kids playing in the park?
    Can I take all the photos I want at the public pool?
    What if I climb up on a hill to with my monster telephoto?
     
    DBLEXPOSURE, Sep 12, 2007
    #6
  7. Ric Trexell

    DBLEXPOSURE Guest

    With my long lens? Are you saying there are no exceptions? What about
    people who can be seen from a public vantage point who have a reasonable
    expectaion of privacy?

    Are you a lawyer? One should be if you are going to give advice like this.
    It is a slippery slope you are treading...
    To the OP, research your state laws. Every state has a web site with
    usually a pretty good legal section. Laws very from state to state.
    interpitation of federal laws also very from judge to judge. The only
    advice I would dare offer is to avoid the gray areas and if you feel like
    your doing something wrong, then go with your gut.

    And as I said above, this will lead you to some good resources,
    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-12-29-camera-laws_x.htm

    I would avoid taking legal advice from usegroup folks. Unless you like to
    have a little controversy in your life from time to time...
     
    DBLEXPOSURE, Sep 12, 2007
    #7
  8. Ric Trexell

    Art2U Guest

    Michigan law and photography... allowed on apartment rental?

    A few days ago, I was video taping my landlord trying too get my
    neighbor to answer the door (truly a nut case; the neighbor that is).

    One of the landlord funkies told me that I was allowed to shoot
    anything on the property because it was private property.

    Is this true?

    -Art- (not Art)
     
    Art2U, Sep 12, 2007
    #8
  9. Ric Trexell

    Richard H. Guest

    First, advice on Usenet is worth what you've paid for it. For good
    advice, ask a local real estate lawyer to review your lease docs.

    A twist here is your status as a renter. That may give you more rights
    than the public in common areas (meaning the landlord can't play the
    "you're trespassing" angle). It may also mean that you've signed away a
    bunch of rights via the lease agreement, allowing the landlord to evict
    you at his whim (like, if you defy the flunkie's request).

    So, the flunkie may be wrong about the private property angle, but
    you'll probably find the landlord has the upper hand here anyway.
     
    Richard H., Sep 12, 2007
    #9
  10. I don't think the advice you are getting here is
    particularly well thought out.

    First, if this actually becomes a serious issue, seek
    legal advice. But also be aware that lawyers are all
    lawyers, but that doesn't make them all equal for every
    task. Find one who actually has experience in this
    particular field, otherwise the advice has just about
    the same value as that given here.

    What ever, there are two issues. One is where something
    that you photograph is located, the second is where you
    are when you take the photograph. Two distinctly
    different issues, which you must keep separate.

    I would point out that you can take pictures of people
    virtually anywhere that they do not have an expectation
    of privacy. If they walk down the middle of the road,
    you can photograph them, no matter who they are or why
    they are there.

    But if they are inside their home and the window is
    open, it is just as if the window is closed. You have
    no right to invade the privacy of the their home. If
    they are standing outside in an area that is in no way
    ever hidden from view, they have no expectation of
    privacy. (Standing in the driveway would be obvious, or
    at the mail box at the curb, but in the back yard or
    half in and half out of the front door might not be the
    same, who knows...) If it takes a long lense, you are
    probably violating their privacy.

    The second issue is whose property you are standing on.
    If you are in the street, you can take pictures (that do
    not invade somebody's privacy). If they have a picnic
    in the front yard and you stop to take pictures from the
    road, there just isn't much chance that you have a
    problem.

    But you cannot, without permission, just walk right up
    on their lawn and take pictures of what's on the other
    side of the chairs. Again, using long lense makes
    everything suspect! And looking through windows and
    doors or down hallways or into a porch is almost
    certainly not good.

    If you are on private property the owner probably cannot
    tell you not to take pictures... But they can tell you
    to get off their property! So the effect is exactly the
    same.

    If you are renting an apartment, and stand in the
    hallway in front of your door, is that technically your
    property, or not? (I don't know, but I'd be willing to
    bet it is your property for legal purposes.) If you
    open your door, do not cross the threshold and take
    pictures of someone in the hall, you absolutely have a
    legal standing to do so. If the door across the hall is
    open and you can see inside the other apartment, you
    probably do not have any right to take a picture of it.

    Or maybe not. I don't know if people have a right to
    privacy in the hallway of an apartment building. I
    would think if they live there, they might. If they are
    unescorted visitors, they don't. See a lawyer who is
    familiar with the issues.
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Sep 12, 2007
    #10
  11. Ric Trexell

    Ken Hart Guest

    Your apartment is leased to you for legal purposes. Shooting video for your
    own private use in your apartment would generally be considered legal.
    Shooting video for commercial use (Amatuer porn for sale, as an example)
    would not be a legal use of your apartment. The hallways connecting your
    apartment with other apartments and the outdoors are common areas. Use of
    those areas must not infringe on the rights of others. If you are shooting
    video in the hallway and another tenant (or the landlord) tells you to stop,
    you must do so. If you 'subject' tells you to stop, and you do not, you
    could be sued. OTOH, if your 'subject' is being filmed committing an illegal
    act, it would be difficult for him to sue you (and win) from his jail cell.

    Anything in the preceding paragraph that sounds like legal advice is worth
    even less than what you paid for it.
     
    Ken Hart, Sep 12, 2007
    #11
  12. That is almost certainly not true. Some specific
    commercial use may not be allowed, but it would not be
    just because it is commercial If you want to film
    lizards copulating in an aquarium and sell it to
    National Geographic, for example, it probably would be
    legal.
    That is probably true, but *only* if the tenant or
    landlord is being filmed. They cannot force you to
    cease filming spiders on the ceiling, for example. And
    in fact, in many circumstances you can probably film
    other tenants or the landlord at will too. If you are
    on *your* property, not the common property, and if the
    common area is fully open to the public (no gates, doors
    etc keeping them out), then it is probably okay. The
    question is whether they do or do not have any
    expectation of privacy. If not, film away.

    Specifics though depend on the jurisdiction, and the
    only way to know is pay for a legal opinion from a
    competant attorney.
    Unless you have a contract...
    I would not bet on that one at all!
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Sep 12, 2007
    #12
  13. Ric Trexell

    Cinder Lane Guest

    Even an answer from a LAWYER isn't necessarily definitive. Every day in
    the courts, the plaintiff's lawyer argues one interpretation of the law,
    and the defendant's lawyer argues the opposite.

    If you rent an apartment, IF IT IS IN YOUR LEASE that you cannot take
    photographs on the property, that is *one* thing. If it is *not* in
    your lease that photographing is prohibited, that is another thing.
    Either way, it is still up to a JUDGE whether a photography-restriction
    clause is enforceable, and if so, what the "penalty" will be.
     
    Cinder Lane, Sep 12, 2007
    #13
  14. Ric Trexell

    Pat Guest

    Welcome to the real world where "legal" has nothing to do with
    anything. If you can legal tape, so what. It'll just piss off your
    landlord and he/she won't renew your lease.

    So, "is it legal" isn't the big question. "Is it worth it" is.
     
    Pat, Sep 12, 2007
    #14
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.