PDA

View Full Version : "You can't take pictures here" - Restrictions on photography



RovingRube
March 13th, 2003, 06:21 PM
I take lots of pictures of architectural details, and today I was *told again, "You can't take pictures here!" by a security guard. *I was taking pictures of the *sidewalk* in front of office building along 6th avenue in midtown. *Which, I know some of the plaza space in the city is private, and I have been chased off them, but this particular bdg. only has a narrow sidewalk between it and sixth.

I have even been told by a guard not to take photos of a corporate building all the way over on the other side of Park Avenue (he came from a building behind me owned by the same corporation).

And down behind City Hall one time, I was asked not take pictures anywhere "in the area" by a cop.

I think this stems from 9/11 jitters, and wonder if other NYC photographers on this site have encountered this, and where, and how they feel about it. *I think it is an overreaction. *

NoyokA
March 13th, 2003, 07:02 PM
I was not allowed to take a picture of the lobby of 101 Barclay Street (one of my all time favorite buildings).

This was before September 11th.

Kris
March 13th, 2003, 07:12 PM
As long as the pictures are taken in the public realm and are not used commercially, you are propably in your right. I bet you would win a legal challenge and find such attitudes scandalous and revolting. Since when do corporations own the streets?

Qtrainat1251
May 14th, 2003, 01:20 AM
Yeah, its quite sad that one cant even PHOTOGRAPH a building from the outside. But if you are on a public sidewalk you can tell the guards they can call the cops, because you have every right to photograph from a public place.
As far as lobbies go, its private property so they can ban photos. What's worse is when they close off lobbies to the public, which is lousy public relations. Many buildings in Rockefeller center had their lobbies closed during "Operation Iraqi freedom". Some buildings like the Celenease (1211 6th) still have their lobbies closed, even though they put in a brand new escalator from the concourse up to the street.

DominicanoNYC
May 14th, 2003, 03:18 PM
Hmm... A bad case of over-protectiveness. I've taken plenty of pics without anyone telling me any thing, but most of them are from a distance or near the building, but with much caution.

phxmania2001
May 14th, 2003, 06:46 PM
Quote: from DominicanoNYC on 3:18 pm on May 14, 2003
Hmm... A bad case of over-protectiveness. I've taken plenty of pics without anyone telling me any thing, but most of them are from a distance or near the building, but with much caution.

Same here. I haven't yet been stopped.

Lightning Homer
May 15th, 2003, 03:26 AM
There's another explanation : there's many places, especially touristic ones where you can't take pictures just because there's a contract between the place -mostly a cathedral or museum- and a photographer who has exclusivity. The goal is to sell postcards, so if you want a picture, you have to buy postcards, as simple as that. Try to find out if there are postcards available, I'd bet a beer that there are, for sale off-course !

NYatKNIGHT
May 15th, 2003, 09:46 AM
Most of the places we're taling about are regular office buildings, not cathedrals and museums. Besides, no one can stop you from taking pictures of anything from the street, no matter how "touristic" the building is.

Lightning Homer
May 16th, 2003, 06:15 AM
Yep, some people can : those watchmen ! :biggrin:

NYatKNIGHT
May 16th, 2003, 12:06 PM
Right. Add that to the list of things you can no longer do in New York.

RovingRube
May 21st, 2003, 05:43 PM
I did find an ACLU lawyer's site devoted to this topic, which includes a valuable "The Photographer's Right" PDF. *The site is:

http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

Quoting from the web page:

"The right to take photographs is now under assault more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples include photographing industrial plants, bridges, and vessels at sea. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.

* * Ironically, unrestricted photography by private citizens has played an integral role in protecting the freedom, security, and well being of all Americans. Photography in the United States has contributed to improvements in civil rights, curbed abusive child labor practices, and provided information important to investigating crimes. These images have not always been pretty and often have offended the sensibilities of governmental and commercial interests who had vested interests in a status quo that was adverse to the majority in our country.

* * Photography has not contributed to a decline in public safety or economic vitality in the United States. When people think back to the acts of terrorism that have occurred over the last forty years, none have depended on or even involved photography. Restrictions on photography would have not prevented any of these acts. "

Would anyone in this forum care to play Devil's Advocate and argue how documenting NYC's physical characteristics COULD aid and abet terrorists? *I.e., I read somewhere that Dave "the Bridge Man" Frieder was asked to take certain bridge photos off his site by the authorities for this reason. ...

Qtrainat1251
May 21st, 2003, 07:33 PM
Quote: from NYatKNIGHT on 12:06 pm on May 16, 2003
Right. Add that to the list of things you can no longer do in New York.


What's suprising was that during the war, most RFC buildings still allowed cars to park in front, with no searches of them. Also suprised they never put large planters at some RFC buildings. Yet I couldnt walk in the lobby during the war. Go figure!

Rem 311 JHF
June 6th, 2005, 04:00 PM
They Lifted Their Ban Recently About Taking Photos in The Subways!!

Weehawken webcam
August 5th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Last time I was hassled about taking pics in the subway was in Uzbekistan in 1998. Sad to think we are now in that group.

ZippyTheChimp
August 5th, 2005, 07:00 PM
A few weeks ago, the following letter and response was published in the Battery Park City Broadsheet.

To the editor,
In the Disturbances section of the last issue, there is an item dated June 13th about unauthorized photography at the Mercantile Exchange and the Irish Memorial.

I am not aware that it is illegal to take pictures at these two places. Could you provide further information regarding this.


Editor's note: You're right; it is not illegal to take photographs of the NY Mercantile Exchange or the Irish Hunger Memorial. The "unauthorized photography" in the item actually refers to two potential problems that Park Enforcement Patrol officers are trained to watch for. Leticia Remauro, community liaison for the BPCA explains: "Officials have asked us to watch out for photography at high-risk places like the Mercantile Exchange. The Irish Hunger Memorial is not high risk, but it's a copyrighted work of art. If it looks like a professional photo is being taken, using a tripod, we have to check to see if the photographer has a permit and also understands that the artist must be given credit. People interpret the directives given to PEP in different ways, and officers want to err on the side of caution. since it isn't always obvious whether photographers are professionals or laymen, there may be a need for a PEP officer to question them."

:rolleyes:

The use of a tripod is not exclusive to professionals.

A photographer by profession does not necessarily need a permit to set up a tripod on a public street to take photos of copyrighted art. It could be his day off.

Permits are generally needed to cover safety and public inconvenience issues, not to protect art copyrights.

Copyrights are not violated until you use the photos commercially.

These restrictions can be applied in the public spaces of private property, such as the TWC. Management can simply restrict any photography that might appear to be professional - or just ban all photography.

Some museums do not allow any photography of their exhibits, professional or amateur. But it is private property.

thomasjfletcher
August 9th, 2005, 12:50 PM
As long as you're on public property, it's okay to photograph. Guards that want the film or for you to delete the images are actually liable for assault.

A-shot
September 26th, 2006, 03:21 PM
But if you are on a public sidewalk you can tell the guards they can call the cops, because you have every right to photograph from a public place.

Here is what will happen next:

- The guards will call the cops
- The cops will come and ask you why are you causing trouble, and tell you not to take pictures.
- They will ask you for your ID, and if you do not have it, they will have right to lock you down.
- If they do not ask for your ID, but ask you to stop taking pictures and to leave, and you keep arguing with them, they will lock you down anyhow (causing disturbance)

Sad, but true. I will tell my story when I will have more time.

Ninjahedge
September 26th, 2006, 03:52 PM
Lesson:

ALWAYS bring a tape recorder/MP3 Recorder with you when you start taking pictures or have to deal with authorities.

It is amazing how quiet people get when they find out you have an actual recording of what went on....

Fahzee
September 26th, 2006, 04:58 PM
Here is what will happen next:

- The guards will call the cops
- The cops will come and ask you why are you causing trouble, and tell you not to take pictures.
- They will ask you for your ID, and if you do not have it, they will have right to lock you down.
- If they do not ask for your ID, but ask you to stop taking pictures and to leave, and you keep arguing with them, they will lock you down anyhow (causing disturbance)

Sad, but true. I will tell my story when I will have more time.

I do a lot of shooting in the city (always permitted), and I can't tell you how many times I've been approached by building security and told to cease and desist - even after I've shown them my permit.

More often then not, the cops (if / when they've been called) have been very helpful. Of course, the permit helped - so maybe that makes all the difference.

lofter1
September 27th, 2006, 12:16 AM
I will tell my story when I will have more time.

tease ;)

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 27th, 2006, 03:44 AM
As long as you're on public property, it's okay to photograph. Guards that want the film or for you to delete the images are actually liable for assault.

:eek: Wow Australian law must be really harsh.

I think you mean if they touch you or something necessary to you (glasses, clothing) it's battery at common law (and in some states around the common law world - "assault" in the criminal law).

Otherwise its simply trespass to goods.

Bottom Line - unless you are breaking a legislative edict (statute or regulation), or are on private property - ignore the ranks of fvcktards that proudly don their uniforms and wave their keys and torches around (security guards), lamenting the fact that they couldn't get into the "prestigious" police force. ;)

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 27th, 2006, 03:50 AM
Here is what will happen next:

- The guards will call the cops
- The cops will come and ask you why are you causing trouble, and tell you not to take pictures.
- They will ask you for your ID, and if you do not have it, they will have right to lock you down.
- If they do not ask for your ID, but ask you to stop taking pictures and to leave, and you keep arguing with them, they will lock you down anyhow (causing disturbance)

Sad, but true. I will tell my story when I will have more time.

Your answers should be

"On whos information was it alleged that I was causing trouble - ?"

"Officer, I was not causing trouble"

"Trouble? Yes, "trouble" that exists only in the mind of that security guard"

"Im just like any tourist taking photos of New York City"

"I am permitted to take photos of New York City, and have no malintent in doing so"

"Its for my mantelpiece"

and

"Would you like me to send you a free print - I'm not actually a bad photographer and see my camera - golly it takes great photos"

I usually have no problem taking photos anywhere on the street.

OmegaNYC
September 27th, 2006, 02:42 PM
Your answers should be

"On whos information was it alleged that I was causing trouble - ?"

"Officer, I was not causing trouble"

"Trouble? Yes, "trouble" that exists only in the mind of that security guard"

"Im just like any tourist taking photos of New York City"

"I am permitted to take photos of New York City, and have no malintent in doing so"

"Its for my mantelpiece"

and

"Would you like me to send you a free print - I'm not actually a bad photographer and see my camera - golly it takes great photos"

I usually have no problem taking photos anywhere on the street.

What if he says this:

"Mine, now please stop taking pictures."

"Didn't I say you were causing trouble? Leave now."

"I'm saying you're causing trouble, Not him."

"I wouldn't give a rats ass if you're Oprah, taking pictures of Times Square. If you can't take pictures here, please leave."

"You're starting to piss me off. Lease now"

"You think I give a damn?"

"You're going to jail. That's it. Put your hands behind your back."

urban75
September 27th, 2006, 03:36 PM
In 2004 I had some idiot cop rush across to me and warn me off for taking an extremely distant shot in the vague direction of the Midtown tunnel entrance in Manhattan. I was using a small, zoom-free camera.

I did think about politely pointing out that there were currently two live streaming cams broadcasting live footage of the tunnel with the entire world but thought better of it...

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 28th, 2006, 08:47 AM
What if he says this:

"Mine, now please stop taking pictures."

"Didn't I say you were causing trouble? Leave now."

"I'm saying you're causing trouble, Not him."

"I wouldn't give a rats ass if you're Oprah, taking pictures of Times Square. If you can't take pictures here, please leave."

"You're starting to piss me off. Lease now"

"You think I give a damn?"

"You're going to jail. That's it. Put your hands behind your back."

I doubt even the most pig faced officer on his worst day would behave like that. It does depend on what you say. Certainly do not get into an argument. Be polite.

If a police officer did that say, if you are a good upstanding citizen (without a criminal record ) and you retained a good word for word memory of what he said and remained calm that officer would be facing several disciplinary hearings.

Theres no probable cause for taking photos in the street. Having said that, Im tall, nordic looking and have light coloured eyes.

Another tip - use a Crown Graphic or Yashica-Mat 124 - usually I get questions from security tards and police like "Can you still get film for that?"

stache
September 28th, 2006, 11:19 AM
I watched a lecture online recently that was about the increasing private takeover of public spaces. Very interesting. I think a good solution would be to take photos with your cell phone. Just pretend to be diaing or looking at the pod.

urban75
September 28th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Another tip - use a Crown Graphic or Yashica-Mat 124 - usually I get questions from security tards and police like "Can you still get film for that?"Using a Ricoh GR Digital often gets you off the hook too, because to untrained eyes it looks like a cheapo camera from the front.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 29th, 2006, 04:45 AM
Using a Ricoh GR Digital often gets you off the hook too, because to untrained eyes it looks like a cheapo camera from the front.

I saw your post about the Ricoh. Ricoh has always had a great set of compacts with good glass too. Not sure about the glass in this one but looks like a a sound manual camera.

I would have thought that if you shelled out something for the viewfinder that sits on top of the camera that would do much do disarm any officious security tard.

urban75
September 29th, 2006, 03:14 PM
I would have thought that if you shelled out something for the viewfinder that sits on top of the camera that would do much do disarm any officious security tard.Yeah, I've got the viewfinder too which makes it look even more cool (if you're a photographer)/ cheap and crap (if you're a punter).

It's a great little camera.

Bob
November 16th, 2006, 09:41 PM
In the FWIW department, it's been a long-standing policy of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority that no picture-taking on Turnpike property is allowed without permission.

"Or so I have read." (apologies to Spinal Tap.)

Ninjahedge
November 17th, 2006, 09:30 AM
/me snickers....


We all know that the Turnpike is one of NJ's greatest scenic treasures!!! :p

meer
November 17th, 2006, 04:12 PM
I always wanted to photograph at Penn Station, of the people standing in front of the big board waiting for their tracks to come up. And leaving the shutter open just long enough to get the ghost movements of people walking in front.

Last fall, I was sitting on the floor taking this shot when two men in camo with very large guns asked me to stop. They said please. So I did.

But I've intended to photograph Grand Central too and figured that was a no-go. But I called them last week anyway. I was pleasantly surprised, they said yes that you can take photos, even with a tripod. No external props, lights, or models. No photos on the platforms and no tripod on the stairs. You have to call them ahead of time, get a memo faxed to you, bring it to the Station Master's office and they will give you a sticker for the day.

Cool.

Zerlina
November 18th, 2006, 12:38 PM
Well, some private museums do not allow any photography of their exhibits... but in public spaces it could be only because of security troubles... just like for our Court House...

MidtownGuy
November 18th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Zerlina! I mised you. Where have you been, hiding?

ZippyTheChimp
June 29th, 2007, 06:28 AM
June 29, 2007

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Many Kinds of Public Photography

By RAY RIVERA

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, said the rules were not intended to apply to families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers.

Nevertheless, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the proposed rules, as strictly interpreted, could have that effect. The group also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police.

“These rules will apply to a huge range of casual photography and filming, including tourists taking snapshots and people making short videos for YouTube,” said Christopher Dunn, the group’s associate legal director.

Mr. Dunn suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules. In a letter sent to the film office this week, Mr. Dunn said the proposed rules would potentially apply to tourists in places like Times Square, Rockefeller Center or ground zero, “where people routinely congregate for more than half an hour and photograph or film.”

The rule could also apply to people waiting in line to enter the Empire State Building or other tourist attractions.

The rules define a “single site” as any area within 100 feet of where filming begins. Under the rules, the two or more people would not actually have to be filming, but could simply be holding an ordinary camera and talking to each other.

The rules are intended to set standards for professional filmmakers and photographers, said Ms. Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, but the language of the draft makes no such distinction.

“While the permitting scheme does not distinguish between commercial and other types of filming, we anticipate that these rules will have minimal, if any, impact on tourists and recreational photographers, including those that use tripods,” Ms. Cho said in an e-mail response to questions.

Mr. Dunn said that the civil liberties union asked repeatedly for such a distinction in negotiations on the rules but that city officials refused, ostensibly to avoid creating loopholes that could be exploited by professional filmmakers and photographers.

City officials would not confirm that yesterday. But Mark W. Muschenheim, a lawyer with the city’s law department, which helped draft the rules, said, “There are few instances, if any, where the casual tourist would be affected.”

The film office held a public hearing on the proposed rules yesterday, but no one attended. The only written comments the department received were from the civil liberties group, Ms. Cho said.

Ms. Cho said the office expected to publish a final version of the rules at the end of July. They would go into effect a month later.

The permits would be free and applications could be obtained online, Ms. Cho said. The draft rules say the office could take up to 30 days to issue a permit, but Ms. Cho said she expected that most would be issued within 24 hours.

Mr. Dunn says that in addition to the rules being overreaching, they would also create enforcement problems.

“Your everyday person out there with a camcorder is never going to know about the rules,” Mr. Dunn said. “It completely opens the door to discriminatory enforcement of the permit requirements, and that is of enormous concern to us because the people who are going to get pointed out are the people who have dark skin or who are shooting in certain locations.”

The rules were promulgated as a result of just such a case, Mr. Dunn said.

In May 2005, Rakesh Sharma, an Indian documentary filmmaker, was using a hand-held video camera in Midtown Manhattan when he was detained for several hours and questioned by police.

During his detention, Mr. Sharma was told he was required to have a permit to film on city property. According to a lawsuit, Mr. Sharma sought information about how permits were granted and who was required to have one but found there were no written guidelines. Nonetheless, the film office told him he was required to have a permit, but when he applied, the office refused to grant him one and would not give him a written explanation of its refusal.

As part of a settlement reached in April, the film office agreed to establish written rules for issuing permits. Mr. Sharma could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr. Dunn said most of the new rules were reasonable. Notably, someone using a hand-held video camera, as Mr. Sharma was doing, would no longer have to get a permit.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Edward
June 29th, 2007, 01:24 PM
A question to Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting - why do you hate photographers?

Not enough restrictions already? I was threatened with a ticket and stopped from using a tripod on Pier 84 by park rangers - and that's late at night, me being the only person on the pier for the whole time. Obviously common sense does not apply in such situations.

So holding a camera in your hands for half an hour would be illegal? And how would they distinguish between families on vacation and professional photographers - by the size of the camera? The ghost of Giuliani.

Ninjahedge
June 29th, 2007, 01:33 PM
They want a law that will pretty much give them the right to tell just about anyone to do what they want when they want them to.

I am just wondering what else they will try to regulate "for our safety" so that they have explicit rights to prevent gatherings, demonstrations, or any form of personal expression (photos included) based only on their judgement.

Bob
July 2nd, 2007, 07:58 PM
In Washington, D.C., last year, I took some pictures of an art deco frieze at the entrance to one of the commerce department buildings. Instant challenge from the security guards. They asked for I.D., and wrote down my name. I was most cooperative, and they scooted me along. without any fuss. And so I left, with my camera and pictures intact. I figured, "Hell, they're just minimum wage security guards, doing what they're told to do, and they were courteous."

I didn't give them any lip, and they didn't take my camera. We both won. (Sort of.)

Edward
July 2nd, 2007, 08:46 PM
To snap a picture of architectural detail, you have to show your ID and your info collected - how is that a win?

MidtownGuy
July 3rd, 2007, 12:13 PM
Far from a win, its an outrage! Sometimes I really wonder how enjoyable it will be to live in this country 10 years from now, the way things are going. And the population is so complacent and drugged (not just chemically). They watch their liberties disappear one by one.
I love New York, and I hope I never have to leave because its no longer a free and liberal place. Just in case, I would like to buy property somewhere in the Mediterranean so I have an escape. The USA is no longer a bastion of freedom, its becoming a repressive, corporate cypto-fascist state. I'm free to choose between 30 flavors of Snapple, but my meaningful freedoms and choices are being diminished every day.
Sorry forefathers, your experiment is failing. I must now show ID to scratch my ass.

Ninjahedge
July 3rd, 2007, 12:27 PM
Actually MT, you are free to scratch all you want.

You just ned the ID to buy a scratcher..........

MidtownGuy
July 3rd, 2007, 12:42 PM
Lol

eddhead
July 3rd, 2007, 02:51 PM
In Washington, D.C., last year, I took some pictures of an art deco frieze at the entrance to one of the commerce department buildings. Instant challenge from the security guards. They asked for I.D., and wrote down my name. I was most cooperative, and they scooted me along. without any fuss. And so I left, with my camera and pictures intact. I figured, "Hell, they're just minimum wage security guards, doing what they're told to do, and they were courteous."

I didn't give them any lip, and they didn't take my camera. We both won. (Sort of.)
... except that you now have a file with the FBI. Otherwise, it is A-OK

ZippyTheChimp
July 6th, 2007, 08:21 AM
Editorial

Film permit rules make a frightening picture

If the city’s proposed new film and photography permit rules are enacted, any group of two or more people that linger with a camera could be arrested for photographing without a permit. These new additions to the rules, which have nothing to do with security concerns, are unacceptable as written, probably unnecessary, and need to be sent back to the drawing board.

The un-American rules from the Mayor’s Office of Film Theatre & Broadcasting come out of a settlement of a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which is one of the few groups aware of the change and is of course opposing them. The city held a public hearing on the rules last week and in a sure sign that the public notice was woefully inadequate, no one showed up, The New York Times reported.
The rules would require a permit and in most circumstances, at least $1 million in insurance if two people, e.g., a photographer and a human subject, stayed in one place for 30 minutes. A family or group of five with one camera and no permit would have 10 minutes before they would have to worry about Big Brother.

One reason New York is one of the world’s greatest cities is the large number of artists who flock here. Any rule that prohibits art and aspiring fashion photographers — not to mention hobbyists and tourists — from capturing their vision of our unique streets, poses a threat to our freedom and to the city itself.

This paper has an obvious self-interest in opposing the rule change. The mayor’s film office claims on its Web site that “the new rule does not impact press photographers, who are routinely credentialed by the NYPD,” but many of the thousands of independent news photographers in the city including our own freelancers will tell you the granting of these credentials is anything but routine. Some of our photographers who search Lower Manhattan for street scene shots that often appear on this page cannot get police passes. These new rules would make them lawbreakers. It’s easy to understand why we’re against this, but it’s hard to imagine how anyone who values freedom, art or the Constitution could be for it.

http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_217/editorial.html

lofter1
July 6th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Gonna have to be sneakier than ever ^^^ :cool:

Ninjahedge
July 6th, 2007, 11:11 AM
The people that need to take these pictures for nefarious purposes have other ways of getting them.

This regulation is just fear mongering BS. We might as well hide unde the desks from the Atom Bomb and keep confiscating nail clippers on planes because armageddon is coming soon!!!!

Jasonik
July 6th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Well the Police State hates videos like THIS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqpo04cx28U).

*****
Protesters Turn Lens on Mayor's Office Over NY Film Ban
Video Journalists and Other Protesters Defiant at Bloomberg's Blatant Attack on 1st Amendment (http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/050707_mayor_lens.html)


The policy establishes a dangerous precedent that could threaten free speech nationwide if it is allowed to succeed, potentially prompting other localities to adopt similar policies.

As one voice in the protest video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h84QV5USbaw) put it:

"What you guys are doing, what these video cameras are doing are the only thing that's securing our liberty right now. If everybody was taping all the time, we'd be completely safe. The only people who have anything to hide from our cameras are people that are involved in something illegal or wrong. In a city where they repeat over and over again-- 'if you see something, say something,' then what could be better than getting it down on tape?"

*****

Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting
(212) 489-6710
http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/
*
Public Feedback (http://www.nyc.gov/html/misc/html/feedbackform.html)

Edward
July 6th, 2007, 07:11 PM
To send a message to Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, use the following form:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mailfilmcom.html

ablarc
July 6th, 2007, 07:33 PM
^ What? And get put on their shitlist? :p

212
July 6th, 2007, 08:12 PM
Meanwhile, with security cameras on every street, *they* get to watch *us* more than ever.

(Right, Capn_Birdseye?)

ablarc
July 7th, 2007, 01:59 PM
^ That's certainly how it's starting to look.

Them versus us.

The Government vs The People.

And the pretext --as always-- is defense against outside attack.

The People need protection.

The People need protection from malevolent and sinister outside forces.

The People need protection from The Protectors.

Wolves watching sheep.

I'm afraid owning handguns won't make the difference, jasonik.

(An 18th Century solution.)

Smokey4009
August 7th, 2007, 11:13 PM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7442487916618413779&hl=en

Please watch that video and decide for yourself but I cant believe that this man can so blatantly ignore the people he SERVES. More people should demand answers. If you dont already know look into the Filming and Photography ban, enacted by Bloomberg himself. Please share this with whoever you can. Take care.

Jasonik
August 8th, 2007, 01:11 PM
August 3, 2007, 2:12 pm
Revised Rules Coming on Filmmaking and Photography, After Uproar
By Sewell Chan (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/schan/)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/nyregion/20070803_NYCLU_VIDEO/nyclu_311x233.jpg (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/03/after-uproar-revised-rules-coming-on-filmmaking-and-photography/)
Click image for link to video of NYCLU press conference.

After an outcry from videographers, filmmakers and still photographers — including a satirical rap video (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/a-shout-out-to-the-moftb/) and an online protest petition (http://www.pictureny.org/petition/index.php) that has gathered more than 20,000 signatures — the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/a-shout-out-to-the-moftb/) announced this afternoon that it would “redraft” proposed rules (http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/080107_proposed_permit_rules.shtml) that would have restricted how images can be recorded in New York City, one of the most filmed and photographed places on the planet.

The rules would have required any two people filming or taking photographs at a single site on public property for more than 30 minutes to obtain a permit. The same rules would have applied to a crew of five or more people with a tripod spending more than 10 minutes at a site.

Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of the film office, said the rules would be revised based on feedback the office has received over the past two months. A period for public comment, which was scheduled to end today, will be reopened for another 30-day period after the redrafted rules are published.

The city appears to be modifying its position — if not backing down entirely — as a result of a settlement from a recent lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union. The civil liberties group had threatened to a file a new suit over the proposed rules. (See the text of the proposal (http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/moftb_permit_regs.pdf) as a PDF.)

The mayor’s film office said in a statement:


By reflecting existing procedures in city rules, M.O.F.T.B. has endeavored to meet the challenge of identifying a threshold level of activity which necessitates a film permit, while at the same time substantially mirroring its current practices. The goal is to maintain a safe environment for the public, while balancing the needs of filmmakers whose work may have a significant impact on pedestrian or vehicular use of public space.


Colin Moynihan examined (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/28/nyregion/28film.html) the issue in an article in The Times last week.

The film office maintained today that the proposed rules were “designed to codify procedures that have existed in practice since the office was established in 1966 as the first film commission in any locality in the nation.” The office has always issued free permits “requiring only liability insurance under certain circumstances,” along with police assistance, if necessary.

Even though the permits are free, however, some filmmakers, photographers and videographers believed the rules would impinge on their First Amendment rights. Others raised concerns about the city tracking their activities or movements.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said this afternoon:


This is a welcome first step and a marked departure from the city’s previous refusal to adopt a permit scheme that comports with the First Amendment. For too long the city has had an tin ear for the First Amendment. Now with the proliferation of criticism by the film community, we’re hopeful that the city will get it.

As with street demonstrations people who are exercising their right to be on the sidewalk without interfering with pedestrian traffic should not be required under any circumstances to get government approval to take pictures.


The rules were first put forward on May 25; a hearing on them occurred on June 28. Because of an outpouring of interest, the city extended the comment period through today.

Now the film office, instead of finishing its rules, says it will instead “redraft the proposed rules, taking into account input and feedback it has received from interested parties, to more effectively strike the balance between public safety and the needs of filmmakers.”

Ms. Oliver said in her statement, “Our office remains committed to providing our customers with expedited coordination of their film location work in the safest manner possible, so that the city’s film and television industry can continue to flourish, free speech is protected and all parties can continue to film, photograph and enjoy the greatest city in the world.”

The proposed rules would not have affected press photographers, who are credentialed by the police, or student filmmakers.

The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, applauded the city’s decision to reconsider the rules. She said in a statement:


Like many New Yorkers, I was concerned by the administration’s initial film and photography permitting proposal and conveyed those concerns to the Mayor’s Office of Theater, Film and Broadcasting. I am pleased that they have listened to the public’s testimony and will be revising their proposal. I look forward to working to ensure that their new proposal preserves First Amendment rights and activities while also ensuring safe use of public space for filming and photography.


The debate resembles an earlier uproar that emerged in 2005, after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed restrictions on photography and filmmaking in the subways. The authority withdrew the proposal.

Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.

Jasonik
August 8th, 2007, 01:14 PM
Might this thread be more appropriate in the News/Politics section?

Smokey4009
August 8th, 2007, 05:07 PM
I started a new thread in the news and politics forum last night about it but it was moved to the end of this post

ZippyTheChimp
August 9th, 2007, 10:13 AM
Might this thread be more appropriate in the News/Politics section?I thought I took care of this yesterday, when I merged the threads.

Tsk-tsk. Getting old.

ZippyTheChimp
October 29th, 2007, 05:41 PM
October 28, 2007

Mayor to Ease Permit Rules for Capturing City’s Image

By DIANE CARDWELL

Amateur photographers and independent filmmakers looking to chronicle bird life, take snapshots in Times Square or capture the distinctive thrum of New York’s streets will not need to obtain permits or insurance under new rules being proposed by the Bloomberg administration.

The rules, to be released on Tuesday for public comment, would generally allow people using hand-held equipment, including tripods, to shoot for any length of time on sidewalks and in parks as long as they leave sufficient room for pedestrians.

The proposal, drafted as part of a settlement in a lawsuit, was revised after a passionate outcry over the summer from fine-art photographers, independent filmmakers and civil libertarians concerned that the original rules would have restricted unobtrusive video recording. Under the first proposal, any group of two or more people using a camera in a public location for more than half an hour, and any group of five or more people using a tripod for more than 10 minutes, would have needed permits and at least $1 million in insurance.

The new rules, which officials said reflect longstanding practice by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, are meant to distinguish between photographers and filmmakers who generally do not create congestion or unsafe conditions and those from major television, film and print productions that generally do. But instead of basing permit requirements on the number of people and the length of time involved in the shoot, the new proposal focuses on the level of sidewalk obstruction.

“I think that we’ve removed some of the restrictions that were the most worrisome to filmmakers,” said Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of the film office. “We have defined exactly what equipment is, and we’ve taken away the time constraints, and we think we’ve come up with something that is quite workable right now.”

The proposal would allow photographers and filmmakers who are not using vehicles or equipment like dolly tracks, lights and cables to proceed without permits on public property as long as they stay out of traffic and their activities do not prevent public use. The rules would also allow photographers and filmmakers to commandeer a portion of a public walkway without a permit, as long as they leave open at least half of its width, or eight feet, whichever is greater.

“The original proposed rules would have senselessly inserted film officials and police officers into everyday filming and photography,” said Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which brought the original lawsuit. “Happily, city officials learned from the public outcry, and these new rules assure that virtually all photographers and filmmakers will be free from permit and insurance requirements.”

The film office originally agreed to write the rules as part of a settlement in April of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Rakesh Sharma, a documentary filmmaker who was detained by the police in 2005 after using a hand-held video camera in Midtown. Told that he was required to have a permit to film on city property, Mr. Sharma later pursued a permit and discovered that there were no written guidelines on how they were granted, according to the lawsuit.

When the original draft of regulations was released for comment in May, film officials defended it. But as criticism mounted, in the form of a passionate Internet campaign, letters and a satiric rap video, they agreed to rethink the rules, Ms. Oliver said.

“We never wanted to be hurtful, we always want to be helpful,” she said, adding that the film industry is important to the city, responsible for more than 100,000 jobs and $5 billion a year in economic activity. “We want people to have access to the streets and parks and buildings in New York City and to be creative here.”

Indeed, even critics of the first set of rules said that they were pleased with the response of the film office.

“I was really, really pleasantly surprised that a lot of the concerns about the specificity of rules about the tripods and number of people, all of that went away, and they really heard that these were obstacles,” said Michelle Byrd, executive director of Independent Future Project, which advocates for independent filmmakers and arranged meetings between filmmakers and the film office.

Adding that the office has worked to accommodate smaller productions as well as large studio movies, she said, “I think that the mayor’s office really prides itself on having free permits and lots of different concierge types of services, so this is a little bit of a black eye that they quickly sought to address.”

A similar outcry resulted in 2004 when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, concerned about the threat of terrorism, proposed banning unauthorized photography and filming in the subways. The authority, which is independent of the city government, eventually dropped the idea.

Under the new proposal for city streets, the use of obtrusive equipment is what “triggers a permit,” said Mr. Dunn of the civil liberties union. Productions that block traffic or leave less than eight feet of open walkway would require permits and a minimum of $1 million in insurance, as would those using vehicles and equipment that is not hand-held. Officials can waive the insurance requirement if an applicant can show that it would create a financial hardship.

Filmmakers and photographers who want the comfort of proof that they are entitled to shoot in a public location would be able to get an optional permit, which does not require insurance. Film officials said they were surprised to learn how frequently independent and casual filmmakers and photographers were drawn into confrontations with building owners and the police over their rights to record.

Once they formally adopt the rules, film officials said, they plan to educate the public and government offices about the requirements. The rules are to appear in the journal City Record, as well as on the film office Web site, www.nyc.gov/film.


Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

Jasonik
October 29th, 2007, 06:38 PM
Film officials said they were surprised to learn how frequently independent and casual filmmakers and photographers were drawn into confrontations with building owners and the police over their rights to record.

Once they formally adopt the rules, film officials said, they plan to educate the public and government offices about the requirements.

This is the most important thing. Beligerent rent-a-cops and authoritarian police have adopted a "well... - since 9/11" attitude that is totally at odds with the law.

My only reservations about the proposed regulations (http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/fprp.pdf) is that they may claim to regulate live-web-streaming handheld cameras.

For many protesters, filming police intimidation and harassment is their only defense from such action, and it is rightly addressed:

(2) The following activities do not require that a permit be obtained pursuant to this
chapter:

(ii) Filming or photography of a parade, rally, protest, or demonstration except
when using vehicles or equipment.
Equpment being defined thusly:

(1) “Equipment” shall include, but is not limited to, television, photographic, film or videocameras or transmitting television equipment, including radio remotes, props, sets, lights, electric and grip equipment, dolly tracks, screens, or microphone devices, and any and all production related materials. "Equipment" shall not include (i) "hand-held devices," as defined in paragraph (3) of this subdivision, and (ii) vehicles, as defined in section one hundred fifty-nine of the New York vehicle and traffic law, that are used solely to transport a person or persons while engaged in the activity of filming or photography from within such vehicle.

Protesters have begun live-web-streaming and remotely archiving video coverage to prevent authorities from confiscating and destroying damning evidence.

Admittedly, there is a well accepted right to use a cell phone in public and uploading data-streams is unregulated in any other context, so this point may be moot, although I don't trust lawyers with any interpretive loophole like this:


(3) “Hand-held devices” shall mean (i) film, still or television cameras, videocameras or other equipment which are held in the photographer's or filmmaker’s hand and carried at all times with the photographer or filmmaker during the course of filming, or (ii) tripods used to support film, still, television cameras or videocameras. Hand-held devices shall not include cables or any other item or equipment not carried by the photographer or filmmaker at all times during the course of photography, filming or transmission.

And for the "crime" of uploading unpermitted live video, do my server and its hardrive become evidence? This is an important point that needs to be clarified.

lofter1
October 29th, 2007, 07:12 PM
If you store your photos / video on your hard drive with the intent to possibly use same as evidence (should the need arise) then the opposing party would absolutely be entitled to view what you store on your hard drive. And they will demand a copy of it in discovery.

Police / Prosecutors are constantly grabbing computers when they do a search of property. No doubt this will only continue to a larger degree in the future.

Of course a warrant signed by a judge is necessary. But that isn't too difficult to obtain (for whatever reason) in this day and age.

Jasonik
October 29th, 2007, 07:35 PM
So the next time you take a photo or 5 sec. video with your mobile phone camera and email it to yourself on the streets of NYC, you think it's reasonable for police/presecutor/judge to get access to your computer and email records because you didn't have the proper permit?

lofter1
October 29th, 2007, 08:34 PM
Doubt that they will waste their time, but you never know ...

Aside from the numerous low level security guys on construction sites who seem to be constantly telling me I can't pictures of their sacred building projects (one at the GS HQ even had the gall to say "Because of what happened across the street" :mad: ) I've only once run into an official type who told me to cool it. A Federal Officer outside the Javits Federal Building flashed her badge at me and informed me I was not allowed to photograph Federal buildings. She was nice -- but meant business. I put the camera away.

Not sure what I'd do if anyone ever tried to confiscate my camera while I was on the sidewalks / streets of NYC.

Jasonik
June 6th, 2008, 10:17 AM
Photographers harassed for taking photos of Union Station in Washington DC (http://www.myfoxdc.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=C5EB861DC520F425C08BB9C1199CDDE5 ?contentId=6664418&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1)

stache
June 6th, 2008, 10:33 AM
They're just rentacops on a power trip.

Ninjahedge
June 6th, 2008, 12:46 PM
He picked the wrong guys to harass.

Takes a real mental giant to bug a news crew, and then to do so while they are interviewing the spokes person of the company that employs them.

This is one of those things that needs to be aired. Private security should NEVER feel they have more of a right to tell individuals what to do and what not to do than anyone else.

stache
June 6th, 2008, 01:09 PM
police will generally side with private security individuals in this kind of a dispute. :(

The Benniest
June 7th, 2008, 10:28 AM
That video clip of that man getting "harassed" while trying to take pictures at Union Station is just ridiculous. I still don't understand why that security guard came up to them, simply said, "No photography," and when asked why, he couldn't even respond. In my opinion, I think the guard knew that when he approached both the chief spokesman and the news caster, he would get asked that question. So why do it? Ugh! :mad:

When I was in New York, the only time I remember "getting in trouble" for taking pictures was in Chinatown when a little 'ol Chinese woman came out and started yelling at us for taking pictures of her fish market. It was funny that we couldn't understand her, but we respected her and walked off.

stache
June 7th, 2008, 11:54 AM
I'm guessing she thought you were dept. of health/sanitation inspectors.

RandySavage
June 7th, 2008, 12:36 PM
They're just rentacops on a power trip.

That has a lot to do with it. Obviously, the number of "security" guards exploded after 9/11. They have what may be one of the worst and most mind-numbing jobs on the planet - to stand quietly for hours at elevator bank turnstiles and check IDs of building workers (as one example). So, for them to get to do something to break the monotony - like harass some poor schmo taking photos - is like Christmas for them.

The Benniest
June 7th, 2008, 12:40 PM
I'm guessing she thought you were dept. of health/sanitation inspectors.
Yea, I guess that makes sense now. Chinatown is certainly not the cleanest place. :p But it's still an amazing place.

Jasonik
June 10th, 2008, 03:27 AM
Are photographers really a threat?

Bruce Schneier
The Guardian, Thursday June 5 2008 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jun/05/news.terrorism)

http://image.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Technology/Pix/pictures/2008/06/04/rear-window460x276.jpg

What is it with photographers these days? Are they really all terrorists, or does everyone just think they are?

Since 9/11, there has been an increasing war on photography. Photographers (http://nycphotorights.com/wordpress/?p=110) have (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7351252.stm) been (http://www.allensphotoblog.com/blog1/2007/09/photography_terrorism.html) harrassed (http://flash.popphoto.com/blog/2007/06/the-crime-of-ph.html), questioned (http://flash.popphoto.com/blog/2007/10/the-crime-of-ph.html), detained (http://flash.popphoto.com/blog/2007/09/the-crime-of-ph.html), arrested (http://flash.popphoto.com/blog/2007/11/the-crime-of-ph.html) or worse (http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/war_and_peace/every_day_diplomacy.php), and declared (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=71473815&blogID=394235689) to (http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/14/bb-reader-two-fbi-ag.html) be (http://www.andycarvin.com/archives/2008/05/almost_arrested_for_taking_photos_at_uni.html) unwelcome (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/05/union_station_photo_follies.html). We've been repeatedly told to watch (http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/Antiterror_police_defend_campaign_targeting_suspic ious_behaviour_of_people_with_cameras_news_195594. html) out (http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23553587-952,00.html) for (http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2006/02/10/askthepilot173/index.html) photographers (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/arts/design/20shat.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1210125984-qrPPfpI/kDlEi+wMrOvtEA), especially suspicious (http://lightchasersphotography.com/blog/how-to-shoot-photographs-like-a-terrorist/) ones (http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/Content?oid=oid%3A41348). Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.

Except that it's nonsense (http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/03/uk-politician-c.html). The 9/11 terrorists didn't photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn't photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn't photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren't being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn't known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots (http://www.schneier.com/essay-174.html) that the US government likes to talk about -- the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 -- no photography.

Given that real terrorists, and even wannabe terrorists, don't seem to photograph anything, why is it such pervasive conventional wisdom that terrorists photograph their targets? Why are our fears so great that we have no choice but to be suspicious of any photographer?

Because it's a movie-plot threat (http://www.schneier.com/essay-087.html).

A movie-plot threat is a specific threat, vivid in our minds like the plot of a movie. You remember them from the months after the 9/11 attacks: anthrax spread from crop dusters, a contaminated milk supply, terrorist scuba divers armed with almanacs. Our imaginations run wild with detailed and specific threats, from the news, and from actual movies and television shows. These movie plots resonate in our minds and in the minds of others we talk to. And many of us get scared.

Terrorists taking pictures is a quintessential detail in any good movie. Of course it makes sense that terrorists will take pictures of their targets. They have to do reconnaissance, don't they? We need 45 minutes of television action before the actual terrorist attack -- 90 minutes if it's a movie -- and a photography scene is just perfect. It's our movie-plot terrorists that are photographers, even if the real-world ones are not.

The problem with movie-plot security is it only works if we guess the plot correctly. If we spend a zillion dollars defending Wimbledon and terrorists blow up a different sporting event, that's money wasted. If we post guards all over the Underground and terrorists bomb a crowded shopping area, that's also a waste. If we teach everyone to be alert for photographers, and terrorists don't take photographs, we've wasted money and effort, and taught people to fear something they shouldn't.

And even if terrorists did photograph their targets, the math doesn't make sense. Billions of photographs are taken by honest people every year, 50 billion (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/05/fashion/thursdaystyles/05photos.html) by amateurs alone in the US And the national monuments you imagine terrorists taking photographs of are the same ones tourists like to take pictures of. If you see someone taking one of those photographs, the odds are infinitesimal that he's a terrorist.

Of course, it's far easier to explain the problem than it is to fix it. Because we're a species of storytellers, we find movie-plot threats uniquely compelling (http://www.schneier.com/essay-171.html). A single vivid scenario will do more to convince people that photographers might be terrorists than all the data I can muster to demonstrate that they're not.

Fear aside, there aren't many legal restrictions on what you can photograph from a public place that's already in public view. If you're harassed, it's almost certainly a law enforcement official, public or private, acting way beyond his authority. There's nothing in any post-9/11 law that restricts your right to photograph.

This is worth fighting. Search "photographer rights" on Google and download one of the several wallet documents that can help you if you get harassed; I found one for the UK (http://www.sirimo.co.uk/ukpr.php), US (http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm), and Australia (http://www.artslaw.com.au/_documents/files/StreetPhotographersRights.pdf). Don't cede your right to photograph in public. Don't propagate the terrorist photographer story. Remind them that prohibiting photography was something we used to ridicule about the USSR. Eventually sanity will be restored, but it may take a while.

· Bruce Schneier is BT's chief security technology officer

The Benniest
June 10th, 2008, 05:27 PM
So I guess people are believing everything they see in the movies. :confused:

scumonkey
June 10th, 2008, 05:58 PM
You'd be surprised ;)

ZippyTheChimp
June 10th, 2008, 07:11 PM
We've been repeatedly told to watch out for photographers, especially suspicious ones.Maybe I just need to update my attire.

http://www.mathewingram.com/work/wp-content/uploads/spy%20vs%20spy.jpg

The Benniest
June 10th, 2008, 07:55 PM
How can you tell the difference between a "suspicious photographer" and just a normal tourist/local who wants to take a picture of a building or monument?

Ninjahedge
June 11th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Add to it, the easiest way to do things like this would probably be with a camera that is not easily seen.

These movie people should know that all the GOOD spy cameras really fit in a suitcase, hat, shoe, or pair of glasses!!!!!


Geez!

lofter1
June 11th, 2008, 06:18 PM
With all the new no-smoking laws my cig-cam is practically useless :(

ZippyTheChimp
June 11th, 2008, 07:16 PM
I just realized that's Jimmy Stewart from Rear Window.

Actually, he was spying, using the telephoto lens to get a closer look.

Edward
June 12th, 2008, 11:09 AM
How can you tell the difference between a "suspicious photographer" and just a normal tourist/local who wants to take a picture of a building or monument?
The bigger the camera, the more suspicious.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 13th, 2008, 10:51 AM
So since when do they let people:


with near incomprehensible English skills that make the local town idiot look like a genius, and
who want to Kung Fu a camera, and
who tell law abiding members of the public to shutup

become community police officers?

Since this guy in London.

http://current.com/items/88856223_you_can_t_picture_this

This has to be the funniest thing I have ever seen.

The words "Little Lord Fvck-knuckle" come to mind whenever I watch that video.

In brighter news, theres this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070713.wbritaincameras0713/BNStory/International/home

Jasonik
July 15th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting Adopts Permit Rules

July 14, 2008 (http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/070108_moftb_adopts_rules.shtml) - Commissioner Katherine Oliver of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (MOFTB) today announced the adoption of rules governing the issuance of permits in connection with filming activity in New York City. The rules, which were published today in the City Record and will go into effect thirty days after publication on August 13, will require a permit if filmmakers use vehicles or equipment, or, in certain situations, assert exclusive use of City property. Permits will not be required for casual photographers, tourists, credentialed members of the media, or other members of the public who do not use vehicles or equipment or assert exclusive use of City property. The adopted rules outline the practices of the MOFTB, codifying the procedures that have existed since the office was established in 1966. A copy of the rules and an accompanying “Q&A” document explaining them are available below.

“For more than four decades, the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting has served as the one-stop shop for productions in New York City, and these new rules will strengthen our office’s ability to serve both the industry and the public,” said Commissioner Oliver. “We wish to thank the industry, the film community and other groups for working with us as we formulated these rules that substantially mirror our practices of assisting film and television productions shooting on location in the City.”

MOFTB first published proposed permit rules in the City Record on May 25, 2007, held a public hearing regarding the rules on June 28, 2007, and received extensive comments through August 3, 2007. MOFTB then republished the rules for comment on October 30, 2007, received additional extensive comments, and held another public hearing on December 13, 2007. Since that time, all comments received have been reviewed as the final version of the rules was prepared.

When a Permit Is Required

Under the adopted rules, a permit would be required for filming if equipment or vehicles, as defined in the rule, are used or if the person filming asserts exclusive use of City property. Equipment does not include hand-held devices (such as hand-held film, still, or television cameras or videocameras) or tripods used to support such cameras, but a permit would be required in certain situations when the person filming asserts exclusive use of City property while using a hand-held device.

Anyone wishing to apply for a permit can find the proper documents, including fillable PDFs, and other useful information for shooting in the five boroughs online at www.nyc.gov/film (http://www.nyc.gov/film). Among other information, applicants will be asked to provide their contact information, duration of project, proof of insurance, and other relevant production details for a required permit.

When a Permit Is Not Required

A permit is not required for filming that uses hand-held cameras or tripods and does not assert exclusive use of City property. Standing on a street, walkway of a bridge, sidewalk, or other pedestrian passageway while using a hand-held device and not otherwise asserting exclusive use of City property is not an activity that requires a permit.

In addition, activity that involves the filming of a parade, rally, protest or demonstration does not require a permit except when equipment or vehicles are used. The rules also provide that press photographers, who are credentialed by the New York Police Department (NYPD) do not need to obtain a MOFTB permit.

Optional Permits

When a permit is not required, it is possible to apply for an optional permit. A person wishing to apply for an optional permit would present much of the same documentation as someone seeking a required permit (e.g. request for dates, times and locations and contact information). Liability insurance is not required in connection with an optional permit. Sometimes there has been confusion as to whether or not a permit is required. As a result, and as an accommodation to filmmakers, MOFTB has routinely issued permits in those instances where a permit is not required. The rules are consistent with this longstanding practice.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is needed for those who obtain a required permit. However, when an applicant can demonstrate that obtaining the required insurance would impose an unreasonable hardship, MOFTB may waive the need for liability insurance. In addition, student filmmakers can meet their liability insurance obligations through coverage under their school's insurance program.


*****
Since its inception, MOFTB has always offered free permits requiring only liability insurance under certain circumstances. In addition, if warranted by the activity, MOFTB also coordinates free police assistance to streamline filming in New York City. The permit has served as the filmer’s authorization to interact with, and stage production activity, on City property. By codifying existing procedures as a rule, MOFTB has endeavored to meet the challenge of identifying a threshold level of activity which necessitates a film permit, while at the same time substantially mirroring its current practices. The NYPD is formulating a directive to inform their officers about the new rules.

The MOFTB was the first film commission established in any locality in the United States, and is the one-stop shop for all production needs in New York City, including free permits, free public locations and free police assistance. The agency markets New York City as a prime location, provides premier customer service to production companies and facilitates production throughout the City’s five boroughs.

To view the rules in their entirety, click here (http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/moftb_permit_rules_final.pdf).

To view a question and answer document explaining the permit rules, click here (http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/moftb_permit_rules_QA_final.pdf).

bobbiesox
July 17th, 2008, 05:04 PM
You can take a picture of anything that you can see from a public space. When security guards stop me I politely explain that to them. If they insist that I stop taking pictures I tell them to call the cops if they have a problem with it. Of course 3 hours later when the cops show up I'm long gone!

I had one guard who got especially nasty and I pulled my cell phone out and threatened to call the cops on him and he quickly quieted down!

If a cop ever forced me to stop taking photos from a public place I would report it.

lofter1
July 17th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Don't try that ^ at a Federal building site, whether you're on the property or viewing it from a distance, expecially if a Federal Officer tells you to stop.

You can find the details which allow those folks to tell you to cool it buried within the USA PATRIOT Act (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/patriotact/) ("Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001").

Unless a person enjoys the company of lawyers and jailkeepers sometimes the best thing is to walk away.

Agreed that private security personal have no right to tell anyone what to do if you've not crossed onto the property they are supposed to be securing.

The Benniest
July 17th, 2008, 10:26 PM
Is there a reason that people can't take pictures in the Whole Foods grocery stores? I was in the store under the Times Warner Center this afternoon and was told I couldn't take pictures.

:confused:

ZippyTheChimp
July 17th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Private property.<br>

bobbiesox
July 18th, 2008, 12:04 AM
Traditionally retailers haven't allowed photography in their stores for competitive reasons. They don't want their competitors coming in and snooping around and taking photos back to their own stores which could in some way give them a competitive advantage. I mean imagine you work at Gristedes and you go in and photograph Whole Foods. You might bring the photos back and use them to convince the manager you should CLEAN up your store!

stache
July 18th, 2008, 02:46 AM
The Whole Foods near me is getting kind of skeezey looking. I think Gristedes is probably cleaner at this point.

lofter1
August 30th, 2008, 12:15 AM
Today I had a run in with one of those insignificant twerps (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=248825&postcount=3096) who think they run the world and can control what folks do.

:mad:

Gregory Tenenbaum
August 31st, 2008, 08:57 AM
Yes, I saw that thread.

Did you ask him politely whether he was having a Howdy Doody Day?

Did you ask him, in your best manner, whether he was familiar with the US Federal or NY State Constitution and the NYS Penal Code?

Did you tell him that if he crossed the street to harrass you again for any unlawful reason, that you would be taking action without further notice, such as advising his employer, the project manager of the site and other relevant authorities.

Perhaps its just better to give him a fiver and say, "Hey Dude, Trying Reading Some Books and Such - Its Enlightening!"

Ninjahedge
September 3rd, 2008, 02:43 PM
Today I had a run in with one of those insignificant twerps (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=248825&postcount=3096) who think they run the world and can control what folks do.

:mad:

Niiiiice.

yet another person feeling that the world has dealt him a crappy hand and that he now has to exercise this false power he believes to have over others.

I wonder if Cameras were on the list of potentially dangerous things for the RNC...... ;)

stache
September 3rd, 2008, 02:46 PM
Or Sarah Paulin? :p

philvia
September 3rd, 2008, 03:00 PM
me and a friend were i think on chambers street going up the long escalators, and suddenly a loud booming voice comes out of the speakers.. "MISS YOU CANT TAKE PICTURES HERE.....MISS I JUST SAID YOU CANT TAKE PICTURES OF THE SUBWAY... MISS!!!!"
then we got up and i saw the subway booth attendant complaining on her walky talkie or whatever. i ALMOST snapped a picture of HER just to piss her off more... but i couldn't get camera out fast enough lol

stache
September 3rd, 2008, 03:57 PM
I thought they relaxed that rule(?)

lofter1
November 29th, 2008, 08:50 PM
Not surprisingly the Port Authority has not relaxed any of their rules
or restrictions on photography, as I discovered today (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=262879&postcount=887) :o ...

Jasonik
November 29th, 2008, 09:29 PM
http://www.urban75.org/photos/newyork/images/ny194.jpg (http://images.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en&q=holland%20tunnel%20entrance&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi)

lofter1
November 29th, 2008, 11:36 PM
LOL ^

However, I got the distinct impression that the fellow who spoke to me wasn't interested in knowing what other photos were readily available -- just that his orders were his orders, and that my camera was not going to leave that site today with any images similar to the hundreds of others available via a simple Google search.

Alonzo-ny
November 30th, 2008, 05:53 AM
Did he even have the legal right to do that? Where you standing on PA property?

Jasonik
November 30th, 2008, 11:33 AM
I thought the Nuremberg Defense (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Defense) i.e., "his orders were his orders" ("Befehl ist Befehl", literally "order is order") was questionable?

What are your rights as a photographer? (http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm)

In all seriousness, it appears the Constitution doesn't apply on Port Authority property even if it is, for all intents and purposes, a public park or public sidewalk.


PANYNJ Guide (http://www.panynj.gov/AboutthePortAuthority/PressCenter/PressCenterGuide/)

The Port Authority operates the George Washington, Goethals and Bayonne bridges; the Outerbridge Crossing; and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. Videotaping and photographing at toll plazas at any of these facilities is prohibited, and the Port Authority reserves the right to restrict videotaping and photography to designated areas at all of its bridges and tunnels.

For access to these areas, approval must be received in advance from the Media Relations Unit, 212-435-7777, during regular business hours.
I would presume 'at' means 'upon PANYNJ property' not just 'in the direction of PANYNJ property.'

Where does their property/jurisdiction begin/end? (http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.7243053&lon=-74.0068755&z=19&l=0&m=a&v=2)

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_gOowFCNUW_U/RLfEso18ABI/AAAAAAAAAgM/Fs21r4cmclE/gnus564.jpg


Port Authority Green Book (http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTravel/CustomerRelations/pdf/green_book.pdf)

SECTION 2
GENERAL TRAFFIC RULES
2.2 Compliance with the Orders of Properly Designated Port Authority Employees or Traffic Control Devices. All persons in or upon vehicular crossings must at all times comply with any lawful order, signal or direction by voice or hand of any properly designated Port Authority employee. When traffic is controlled by traffic lights, signs or by mechanical or electrical signals, such lights, signs and signals shall be obeyed unless a properly designated Port Authority employee directs otherwise.

SECTION 3
ROADWAY REGULATIONS
3.7 Pedestrians. Pedestrians are not allowed on tunnel or bridge roadways except with the permission of the facility Manager or the Manager’s duly authorized representative.Direct questions to:

Holland Tunnel
Administration Building
13th and Provost Streets
Jersey City, NJ 07310
Telephone: (201) 360-5000


Related:

The (very restrictive) RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE PORT AUTHORITY TRANS-HUDSON SYSTEM (PATH) (http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTravel/path/html/pop_regulations.html).

lofter1
November 30th, 2008, 12:13 PM
The two photos that I deleted were taken from the roadway on the edge of the pedestrian crossway to the SW of the Tunnel entrance (vehicles on their way into the Tunnel were all basically idling or inching ahead). Precisely I was at the spot where Watts Street meets Varick Street and where Varick splits between continuing uptown and funneling cars into the Holland Tunnel -- seen as the white striped / painted area at the far lower left on the MAP (http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.7243053&lon=-74.0068755&z=19&l=0&m=a&v=2). I can see how that precise spot would be deemed under control of the Port Authority.

The "keepers" were taken from the sidewalk fronting the building to the south of the HT entrance (One Hudson Square / 79 Varick) -- which is seen mainly in shadow at the bottom of the larger Map (http://wikimapia.org/#lat=40.7243053&lon=-74.0068755&z=18&l=0&m=a&v=2). That sidewalk would seem to be outside of the PA jurisdiction (I believe that property is one of the many Trinity Church-owned properties in that area).

No doubt that there are security cameras all around that area which made a record of both my path and activities.

Seems the guy could have given me a ticket for jaywalking :cool:

Jasonik
November 30th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Seems the guy could have given me a ticket for jaywalking :cool:

I think only on PA property. AFAIK PAPD enforce the state laws of NY and NJ and applicable city laws only within their jurisdiction which is PANYNJ property.

Here (http://www.transitcop.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=4025) is an experiment I'm conducting. *rubs hands together with glee* :D

Radiohead
November 30th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Images like the ones below are all over the net, and have been for some time on popular mainstream hosting sites, and have not been removed by any authorities. So who are the PA kidding with their blanket photo ban. Common sense should tell authorities who might have sinister motives with their photos (i.e. photographing the underside of bridges etc). But I think we all know how a tunnel could potentially be blown up, and no photographs would be needed.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/71/180315382_50fe1730aa_b.jpg

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/90/209531781_49c5686eb3_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2019/1548906212_57a2bb6f45_b.jpg


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2329491242_ce57542eed_b.jpg


That said, I wouldn't recommend taking any pics of these "sensitive" areas, lest they send you up the river....

http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/images/flying/hudson-apr2005/medium/026.jpg

lofter1
November 30th, 2008, 04:54 PM
You ^ are now officially suspect

NYC4Life
November 30th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Any photos from within the tunnels themselves? :D

NYC4Life
November 30th, 2008, 05:29 PM
A drive through the Holland Tunnel from Jersey City.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgfyq9jWji8

Radiohead
November 30th, 2008, 05:35 PM
You ^ are now officially suspect

So that means I'll be getting a visit from one of these guys?...

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/051019/051019_chertoff_hmed_2p.hmedium.jpg


http://broadcatching.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/kojak.jpg


The PA restrictions remind me of a friend who recently went on the Yankee Stadium tour after the last game. He was questioned and chastised by the security people for attempting to take photos of certain parts of the stadium on the tour route, and was told in no uncertain terms that photos of the clubhouse were prohibited. The Yankee players had already moved all of their items out, and the stadium will be demolished in a matter of months, but security was still employing their heavy-handed, goon-like tactics (no doubt on orders from the Yankee brass). I guess the PA cops are likewise following their orders, however extreme they are.

lofter1
November 30th, 2008, 05:43 PM
The lollipop is scary enough. Chernoff? Triple Yikes.

The greedy Yankee A-Holes want to try and grab every penny they think might be available to them via licensing rights, and stupidly think they can stop the free flow of images and information.

In the case of the Yankee crew: Goons, Thugs, Floridians.

Jasonik
November 30th, 2008, 05:48 PM
Goons, Thugs, FloridiansDon't forget Proud Patriotic Americans (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=248510&postcount=214).

lofter1
January 5th, 2009, 01:13 PM
Even Hipsters Do It ...

"You Can’t Take That Picture": Asshole Artists Edition

GOWANUS LOUNGE (http://www.gowanuslounge.com/2009/01/05/you-cant-take-that-picture-asshole-artists-edition/)
January 5th, 2009

http://www.gowanuslounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dont-take-pics-one.jpg (http://www.gowanuslounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dont-take-pics-one.jpg)

If you want to flip a switch in our brain that turns us from a nice and
normal person to a ranting one simply tell us in a public place that we
can’t take a photo. Yesterday, we were enjoying our first look at the
public pier behind Northside Piers and shooting a lot of photos. We
noticed some people were shooting video at the end of the pier. We were
taking pics for a photo feature on the Pier which offers stunning views of
the East River and of the Williamsburg shoreline. Then, a twentysomething
female approached us and said, “Please don’t take pictures.” We began
to lecture her about how it was a public place and it had just opened and
we were excited to shoot pics of it and that we had every right to take
photos and pointed out that she and her friends were probably doing a
commercial shoot without a permit from the Parks Dept. (She claimed they
had one. Not that we give a shit, but, uh, yeah, sure, and we’re Richard
Nixon.) Again, she said, “I don’t want you to disturb what they’re
doing.” At that point we began a raging lecture about no one had a
right to tell photographers not to take photos in public place and
that we knew plenty of people who’d been manhandled by the cops
and menaced by construction site workers.

In fact, we’d been told by Toll Brothers security on more than one
occasion not to take pictures when we were standing on Kent
Avenue. Once upon a time, we knew a photographer who was beaten to
within an inch of his life by the police. “Don’t take pictures” or some
variant thereof is not a good phrase for us. Finally, the dude in charge of
the shoot came over and asked what the fuss was. We told him she’d told
us not to take photos and that it was a public place and we had every
right to do so. He told her she was wrong and she should never have
said that and apologized. She continued to argue. So, to this
twentysomething year old “don’t take pictures” asshole, we say Bite Me,
You….. And, if you’re into irony, check out this pic (http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=286601389&albumID=694504&imageID=6334567) that Miss Don’t Take
Pictures’ boss/friend has on his myspace page. We hate sending him the
traffic, but we love the irony of the situation and the people he
associates with even more. Of course, we made sure to take some
pictures of them all, once the altercation started. Is it akin to Bruce
Ratner’s security guards manhandling someone? Noooo. Is it a shitty,
brainless, bossy, out-of-control sense of self-entitlement thing to do? You
betcha. We bet the Don’t Take Pictures Chick even voted for Obama.
Nah. She probably didn’t vote.

http://www.gowanuslounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dont-take-pics-two.jpg (http://www.gowanuslounge.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/dont-take-pics-two.jpg)

Coming Attraction: Our take down of the scummiest new blog in
Brooklyn. It’s run by self-absorbed assholes out of Park Slope whose real
identities we’ll reveal. Anyone want to guess what hateful piece of crap it
is? They call it a “comedy blog,” but they’re passing it off as news.

*

Ninjahedge
January 5th, 2009, 03:27 PM
OMG!

Someone telling me not to snap is one thing (if they are an official), but this?

She does not want them to be "disturbed"? I would go out of my way to disturb them after that. WTH was she thinking? She did not even ask, she TOLD them?

As for Toll security, that is such a load. These guys are so full of themselves, I just remember the vid of the security guard trying to stop someone taking pictures in a mall.

They like the sense of power and entitlement. And these are the people (both cops and "security personnel") that we are supposed to trust will use the latest paranoid-instilled "National Safety" for our greatest benefit and protection?

G_d help us.

lofter1
January 5th, 2009, 06:01 PM
Inside a mall is somewhat different -- most malls are private property.

Zephyr
January 5th, 2009, 06:08 PM
Always thought this thread would add spice to "Photography and Travel" but lately ... I've come to realise this is exactly where it needs to be.

Gregory Tenenbaum
January 6th, 2009, 04:39 PM
Get a permit. Contact the Mayors office of Film

http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/permits/keys_to_city01.shtml

The DHS also regulates other places, such as railway tracks. Federal Law triumphs NYC law.

See an attorney.

Be courteous to New York's finest.

Nuff said.

lofter1
January 6th, 2009, 10:43 PM
I ain't gonna call no bureaucrat to ask about taking pictures of the City where I live :cool:

Ninjahedge
January 7th, 2009, 09:45 AM
But Loft! It is our civic duty! We must protect the children!

AAMOF, I think we should have to get permits to even SEE any of these places with our own eyes! Nobody but officers and federal agents should be allowed to walk around train and bus stations with their eyes open!

Think of the future!

God Bless America!!!

Jasonik
January 8th, 2009, 06:26 PM
Amtrak has a "Picture Our Train" 2009 Wall Calendar Photo Contest (http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Copy/Hot_Deals_Page&c=am2Copy&cid=1093554057903&ssid=224). So...


"Armed with his Canon 5D and his new Lensbaby lens, photographer Duane Kerzic set out to win Amtrak’s annual photo contest this week, hoping to win $1,000 in travel vouchers and have his photo published in Amtrak’s annual calendar."


Yep, you guessed it.



"He ended up getting arrested by Amtrak police; handcuffed to a wall in a holding cell inside New York City’s Penn Station, accused of criminal trespass." (http://carlosmiller.com/2008/12/27/amtrak-police-arrest-photographer-participating-in-amtrak-photo-contest/)

scumonkey
January 8th, 2009, 06:37 PM
That's 'effin outrageous!:mad:

Ninjahedge
January 9th, 2009, 09:07 AM
Power trip.

It does not matter if he was taking pictures or not, these guys don't have much else in life and can only assert their dominance over others in ways like this.

Unfortunately, not all public works or transit orginizations have contests asking for pictures, but in a case like this, it may have been smart for him to carry a copy of the contest in his bag.

It is getting to the point now where you have to have a wireless transmitter to instantly upload your pics for fear of some grunt ordering you to delete them. It really is sad!


Side question, do you think that this guy actually knew there was a contest, or do you think he was just taking pictures and found out after he was released. Neither warrants an arrest, but I don't know how I would feel worse, being arrested for somethnig that I was asked to do by the people that arrested me, or finding out after being arrested that I was actually encouraged to do what I was arrested for.....

They both suck and these cops should be fined.

Gregory Tenenbaum
January 13th, 2009, 09:51 AM
I ain't gonna call no bureaucrat to ask about taking pictures of the City where I live :cool:

Sure thing.

Ninjahedge
January 13th, 2009, 10:01 AM
Odd thing is, I just had a conversation a little while back with a younger aquaintance of mine.

They were of the impression that they are safer because of the ban on photos in the stations and the like. The look I got was one of almost astonishment that I suggested anything different.


I think THIS is more damaging than the actual ban. The tacit acceptance of these removals of freedom as if they were standard acceptable relinquishments meant for the betterment and protection of society. Our younger generations are being brought up with these things as a standard. Where does it go from there?

lofter1
January 13th, 2009, 11:54 AM
That reaction by citizens ^ is exactly what the authorities hope for.

This is similar to crowd control tactics for demonstrations where the demonstrators are corralled into pens situated almost within shouting distance of the event being demonstrated against -- which has effectively killed the spirit of demonstration and civil disobedience that is the birthright of every citizen of a democracy.

Instill in youngsters the belief that the control of their thoguhts and actions is in the interest of the State and then governance becomes much simpler.

Jasonik
February 4th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Jail for photographing police?

British Journal of Photography | 28 January 2009 (http://www.bjp-online.com/public/showPage.html?page=836675)

The relationship between photographers and police could worsen next month when new laws are introduced that allow for the arrest - and imprisonment - of anyone who takes pictures of officers 'likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.

Set to become law on 16 February, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 amends the Terrorism Act 2000 regarding offences relating to information about members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer.

The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 Act and section 58A of the 2000 Act, will target anyone who 'elicits or attempts to elicit information about (members of armed forces) ... which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.

A person found guilty of this offence could be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years, and to a fine.

The law is expected to increase the anti-terrorism powers used today by police officers to stop photographers, including press photographers, from taking pictures in public places. 'Who is to say that police officers won't abuse these powers,' asks freelance photographer Justin Tallis, who was threatened by an officer last week.

Tallis, a London-based photographer, was covering the anti-BBC protest on Saturday 24 January when he was approached by a police officer. Tallis had just taken a picture of the officer, who then asked to see the picture. The photographer refused, arguing that, as a press photographer, he had a right to take pictures of police officers.

According to Tallis, the officer then tried to take the camera away. Before giving up, the officer said that Tallis 'shouldn't have taken that photo, you were intimidating me'. The incident was caught on camera by photojournalist Marc Vallee.

Tallis is a member of the National Union of Journalists and the British Press Photographers' Association. 'The incident lasted just 10 seconds, but you don't expect a police officer to try to pull your camera from your neck,' Tallis tells BJP.

The incident came less than a week after it was revealed that an amateur photographer was stopped in Cleveland by police officers when taking pictures of ships. The photographer was asked if he had any terrorism connections and told that his details would be kept on file.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman explained: 'If seen in suspicious circumstances, members of the public may well be approached by police officers and asked about their activities. Photography of buildings and areas from a public place is not an offence and is certainly not something the police wish to discourage. Nevertheless, in order to verify a person's actions as being entirely innocent, police officers are expected to engage and seek clarification where appropriate.'

The statement echoes the Prime Minister's answer to a petition signed by more than 5700 people. Gordon Brown reaffirmed, last week, that the police have a legal right to restrict photography in public places.

'There are no legal restrictions on photography in public places. However, the law applies to photographers as it does to anybody else in a public place. So there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations or raise security considerations,' Downing Street says.

'Each situation will be different and it would be an operational matter for the officer concerned as to what action if any should be taken in respect of those taking photographs. Anybody with a concern about a specific incident should raise the matter with the chief constable of the relevant force.'

However, Liberty, which campaigns on human rights, has decried the excessive use of stop-and-search powers given to police officers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act. The group's legal director, James Welch, said the powers were used too widely.

In December, freelance press photographer Jess Hurd was detained for more than 45 minutes after she was stopped while covering the wedding of a couple married in Docklands.

She was detained under section 44 of the Terrorism Act. Her camera was forcefully removed from her, and while she showed her press card, three police officers insisted on viewing the footage she had taken.

'Any officer who suspects an offence has been committed has the right to detain you,' a Metropolitan press officer told BJP at the time. 'Because you are a press photographer does not preclude you from being stopped under section 44 of the Terrorism Act. If the officer thought the photographer acted suspiciously, and especially if it was in a sensitive place, he had a right to detain and question the photographer.'

The tension between police officers and photographers is not limited to the UK. Last week, Icelandic police fired pepper spray on photojournalists as they were covering protests in front of the country's parliament building.

Kristjan Logason, a press photographer in Iceland, tells BJP that he was targeted along with other press photographers. 'The Icelandic police systematically tried to remove photographers by pepper-spraying them,' he says.

The photographers were covering a protest in front of the Althing parliament building in the capital Reykjavik. Iceland's financial system collapsed in October under the weight of billions of dollars of foreign debts incurred by its banks.

Already seven photographers have come forward as having been targetted by the Icelandic Police.

Check bjp-online.com (http://www.bjp-online.com/) for updates.

Source:

© Incisive Media Ltd. 2009

*****


...excessive use of stop-and-search powers given to police officers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act.

Any officer who suspects an offence has been committed has the right to detain you...

If the officer thought the photographer acted suspiciously, and especially if it was in a sensitive place, he had a right to detain and question the photographer.

An important distinction between the US and Britain.

British police are given rights, whereas in the US police are given authority.

British subjects are also granted "rights" (privileges really), whereas in the US individual rights are recognized as inherent.

The difference isn't trivial -- it's enough for a revolution.

Ninjahedge
February 4th, 2009, 09:41 AM
"Excuse me sir, we saw you taking photographs of buildings, police officers, loading docks, ships and mass transit, are you a Terrorist or plan on using any of these things for a terrorist attack?"

"Yes officer, I was, AAMOF, let me tell you our plans and who is organizing everything here!"


C'maaaaahn!

Gregory Tenenbaum
February 12th, 2009, 12:15 PM
Watch from 3.55, watch the whole thing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXzpgQm05FA)

Aint life under the clear blue sky grand?

Gregory Tenenbaum
February 14th, 2009, 01:30 AM
It doesnt get any funnier than that last video.

Or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRZAY2V8gqU&feature=related).

Edward
February 15th, 2009, 11:50 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/opinion/15sun2.html
February 15, 2009
Editorial
A Record of Sacrifice

Nearly 5,000 American servicemen and women have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Yet the photographic record documents only a tiny fraction of those who have given their lives for their country.

There’s a propaganda component to waging every war, but the Bush administration went to extraordinary lengths to hide the human cost of these conflicts. It aggressively enforced a ban on photos of the coffins of military casualties returning home.

Finally, it looks as if this misguided policy — which dishonors the war dead — may be changing.

At a news conference last week, President Obama promised to review the ban, first imposed during the 1991 Persian Gulf war. If his commitment to greater transparency in government has any meaning, he will quickly reverse the photo blackout.

There seems to be no serious objection from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told reporters that he inquired about changing the policy last year, when President George W. Bush was still in office and that he would expedite Mr. Obama’s request for a new review.

Mr. Gates appropriately wants to make sure that privacy and other concerns of the grieving families are answered. Other administration officials have said they see no serious impediments to a policy change. It should be remembered that during the Vietnam War, photographs of the flag-draped coffins were routinely permitted when the dead arrived home.

If the ban is not lifted, Congress should act quickly to adopt legislation introduced for a second time by Representative Walter Jones, Republican of North Carolina. It would permit the press to cover the arrival ceremonies for the remains of the war dead at American military installations, including Dover Air Force Base, where the military coffins from Iraq and Afghanistan first arrive back in the United States. “Without a loved one serving in the military, it is sometimes possible for Americans to overlook the sacrifices that have been made — and continue to be made — by members of the Armed Forces on behalf of our nation,” he said.

Pictures are powerful. Newspapers seek to commemorate the war dead by running photos of their often smiling faces. The country should also see the reality of their coffins when they make their final journey home.

Gregory Tenenbaum
February 16th, 2009, 01:06 PM
A dedicated thread to Ye Olde England and is beautiful bobbies here (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=20348).

Jasonik
February 17th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Is it a crime to take pictures?

By Victoria Bone
BBC News | Published: 2009/02/16 10:16:46 GMT (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7888301.stm)

From today, anyone taking a photograph of a police officer could be deemed to have committed a criminal offence.

That is because of a new law - Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act - which has come into force.

It permits the arrest of anyone found "eliciting, publishing or communicating information" relating to members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers, which is "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

That means anyone taking a picture of one of those people could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to 10 years, if a link to terrorism is proved.

The law has angered photographers, both professional and amateur, who fear it could exacerbate the harassment they already sometimes face.

On Monday, a group is gathering outside New Scotland Yard for a "mass picture-taking session" in protest.

The event is organised by the National Union of Journalists. It insists the right to take pictures in public places is "a precious freedom" that must be safeguarded.

NUJ organiser John Toner said: "Police officers are in news pictures at all sorts of events - football matches, carnivals, state processions - so the union wants to make it clear that taking their pictures is not the act of a criminal."

'Suspicious circumstances'

The British Journal of Photography recently reported an incident involving a photographer in Cleveland who was stopped by a police officer while taking pictures of ships.

He was asked if he was connected to terrorism, which he wasn't, and told his details would be kept on file.

A Cleveland police spokeswoman told the journal that "in order to verify a person's actions as being entirely innocent," anyone in "suspicious circumstances" could be asked to explain themselves.

Photojournalist Marc Vallée is among those angry at the law. He specialises in covering protests and fears for the implications of Section 76.

"Alarm bells really are ringing," he told the BBC News website.

"I know some of it sounds a bit funny. Train spotters being stopped for taking pictures, that sort of thing, but I've spoken to people who've been on their own, at night and they're surrounded by several officers. It can be intimidating.

"It may be that officers are just doing their best with a bad law, but if that's the case, they need guidance to tell them, 'Stop harassing photographers.'"

Mr Vallée also pointed out that members of the Royal Family were part of the Armed Forces.

"Are we going to be stopped from photographing them?" he said.

'Outrageous'

The NUJ said some police officers wrongly believed they had the right to delete photographers' images.

Other critics, meanwhile, fear the new law could inhibit their right to peaceful, democratic protest.

Leo Murray is a spokesman for climate change campaign group Plane Stupid. His members film any direct action they take.

"It's outrageous," he told the BBC News website. "It's yet another in a long line of measures designed to erode people's civil liberties.

"Being able to film the police has completely changed the way they are able to police our protests. It's made us much, much safer and the risks of a violent confrontation have almost disappeared.

"If we couldn't film they could act with impunity, they could just mete out violence with the confidence that nobody would find out.

"There's absolutely no way we are going to observe this ban. If they try to bring charges against us we will fight them in the courts."

In a statement, Number 10 said that while there were no legal restrictions on taking pictures in public places, "the law applies to photographers as it does to anybody else".

"So there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations, inflame an already tense situation, or raise security considerations," it said.

Photographers could therefore be asked to "move on" for the safety of themselves or others.

"Each situation will be different and it would be an operational matter for the police officer concerned as to what action should be taken," the statement added.

Junior officers

This discretion, however, is what some feel is the key problem with the law.

Neil Turner, vice chairman of the British Press Photographers' Association, said he believed there was no intention among senior ranks of the police to prevent legitimate photography.

"The problems that we can see arising are with junior officers using the legislation to overcome situations that they find uncomfortable or where they make judgements about photography and don't know how to apply the legislation on the ground," he said.

"We firmly expect that there will be inappropriate uses of the act and that someone will end up in front of a judge before there is some clarity and before the purpose of the act is properly defined."

The Metropolitan Police insisted the law was intended to protect counter-terrorism officers and any prosecution would have to be in the public interest.

"For the offence to be committed, the information would have to raise a reasonable suspicion that it was intended to be used to provide practical assistance to terrorists," it said.

"Taking photographs of police officers would not, except in very exceptional circumstances, be caught by this offence."

© BBC MMIX

*****


"For the offence to be committed, the information would have to raise a reasonable suspicion that it was intended to be used to provide practical assistance to terrorists," it said.
Simply declare protesters 'terrorists' (with the convenient help of agent provocateurs) and the deed is done.

Take note, this obscenity may be traveling to our shores...

lofter1
February 17th, 2009, 07:15 PM
The other day I was walking down an avenue on the far East Side with camera in hand and noticed, through the driveway of a large riverfront building, an interesting looking structure (apparently filled with machinery of sorts) along the river. There was a security fellow at the foot of the driveway and as I passed on the sidewalk I asked something like, "Is that a power station?" Well, this fellow gave me a real hard look, like "WTF are you asking that for?" and I immediately replied, "Whoa, I'm cool -- just curious" and kept walking.

Luckily I didn't have my camera up and aimed in the direction of the super-secret structure. Lesson: Better just to aim and shoot -- and STFU.

Gregory Tenenbaum
February 18th, 2009, 07:53 AM
Is it a crime to take pictures?

By Victoria Bone
BBC News | Published: 2009/02/16 10:16:46 GMT (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7888301.stm)

From today, anyone taking a photograph of a police officer could be deemed to have committed a criminal offence.

That is because of a new law - Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act - which has come into force.

It permits the arrest of anyone found "eliciting, publishing or communicating information" relating to members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers, which is "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".

That means anyone taking a picture of one of those people could face a fine or a prison sentence of up to 10 years, if a link to terrorism is proved.

The law has angered photographers, both professional and amateur, who fear it could exacerbate the harassment they already sometimes face.

On Monday, a group is gathering outside New Scotland Yard for a "mass picture-taking session" in protest.

The event is organised by the National Union of Journalists. It insists the right to take pictures in public places is "a precious freedom" that must be safeguarded.

NUJ organiser John Toner said: "Police officers are in news pictures at all sorts of events - football matches, carnivals, state processions - so the union wants to make it clear that taking their pictures is not the act of a criminal."

'Suspicious circumstances'

The British Journal of Photography recently reported an incident involving a photographer in Cleveland who was stopped by a police officer while taking pictures of ships.

He was asked if he was connected to terrorism, which he wasn't, and told his details would be kept on file.

A Cleveland police spokeswoman told the journal that "in order to verify a person's actions as being entirely innocent," anyone in "suspicious circumstances" could be asked to explain themselves.

Photojournalist Marc Vallée is among those angry at the law. He specialises in covering protests and fears for the implications of Section 76.

"Alarm bells really are ringing," he told the BBC News website.

"I know some of it sounds a bit funny. Train spotters being stopped for taking pictures, that sort of thing, but I've spoken to people who've been on their own, at night and they're surrounded by several officers. It can be intimidating.

"It may be that officers are just doing their best with a bad law, but if that's the case, they need guidance to tell them, 'Stop harassing photographers.'"

Mr Vallée also pointed out that members of the Royal Family were part of the Armed Forces.

"Are we going to be stopped from photographing them?" he said.

'Outrageous'

The NUJ said some police officers wrongly believed they had the right to delete photographers' images.

Other critics, meanwhile, fear the new law could inhibit their right to peaceful, democratic protest.

Leo Murray is a spokesman for climate change campaign group Plane Stupid. His members film any direct action they take.

"It's outrageous," he told the BBC News website. "It's yet another in a long line of measures designed to erode people's civil liberties.

"Being able to film the police has completely changed the way they are able to police our protests. It's made us much, much safer and the risks of a violent confrontation have almost disappeared.

"If we couldn't film they could act with impunity, they could just mete out violence with the confidence that nobody would find out.

"There's absolutely no way we are going to observe this ban. If they try to bring charges against us we will fight them in the courts."

In a statement, Number 10 said that while there were no legal restrictions on taking pictures in public places, "the law applies to photographers as it does to anybody else".

"So there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations, inflame an already tense situation, or raise security considerations," it said.

Photographers could therefore be asked to "move on" for the safety of themselves or others.

"Each situation will be different and it would be an operational matter for the police officer concerned as to what action should be taken," the statement added.

Junior officers

This discretion, however, is what some feel is the key problem with the law.

Neil Turner, vice chairman of the British Press Photographers' Association, said he believed there was no intention among senior ranks of the police to prevent legitimate photography.

"The problems that we can see arising are with junior officers using the legislation to overcome situations that they find uncomfortable or where they make judgements about photography and don't know how to apply the legislation on the ground," he said.

"We firmly expect that there will be inappropriate uses of the act and that someone will end up in front of a judge before there is some clarity and before the purpose of the act is properly defined."

The Metropolitan Police insisted the law was intended to protect counter-terrorism officers and any prosecution would have to be in the public interest.

"For the offence to be committed, the information would have to raise a reasonable suspicion that it was intended to be used to provide practical assistance to terrorists," it said.

"Taking photographs of police officers would not, except in very exceptional circumstances, be caught by this offence."

© BBC MMIX

*****


Simply declare protesters 'terrorists' (with the convenient help of agent provocateurs) and the deed is done.

Take note, this obscenity may be traveling to our shores...

Haha this is too funny. This is the end of English civilization as we know it.

They dont even appreciate the power of media to promote a cause, I guess unless its Hugh Grant and Bill Nighy doing yet another schmalzy film.

Imagine the good that can be done by allowing people to promote them. Its about hearts and minds, not brute force - they dont get it.

Something over there is well and truly fouled up.

Edward
February 18th, 2009, 09:07 AM
So it seems according to the police that in order for this law to be applied someone has to be a terrorist and then engage in photography. Apparently just being a terrorist is not serious enough offense.

Naturally, this logic could be extended to other activities - like walking in a proximity of governmental offices while being a terrorist (WBAT), using public transportation WBAT, or attending public events WBAT.

lofter1
February 18th, 2009, 11:33 AM
No Photo Ban in Subways, Yet an Arrest

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/nyregion/18about.html?ref=nyregion)
By JIM DWYER
February 18, 2009

ABOUT NEW YORK

In the map of New York’s most forsaken places, it would be hard to top the Freeman Street stop on the No. 2 line in the Bronx, late on a February afternoon. Around 4:30 last Thursday, Robert Taylor stood on the station’s elevated platform, taking a picture of a train.

“A few buildings in place,” he noted. “Nice little cloud cover overhead. I usually use them as wallpaper on my computer.”

Finished with his camera, Mr. Taylor, 30, was about to board the train when a police officer called to him. He stepped back from the train.

“The cop wanted my ID, and I showed it to him,” Mr. Taylor said. “He told me I couldn’t take the pictures. I told him that’s not true, that the rules permitted it. He said I was wrong. I said, ‘I’m willing to bet your paycheck.’ ”

Mr. Taylor was right. The officer was enforcing a nonexistent rule. And if recent experience is any guide, one paycheck won’t come close to covering what a wrongful arrest in this kind of case could cost the taxpayers.

Twice in the last five years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed a ban on photography in the subways as an antiterrorism measure. And in 2007, the city proposed severe restrictions on filming in the city streets, but retreated when visual artists and activists gathered 26,000 signatures on petitions of opposition within a few weeks.

Both times that the transportation authority tried to ban photography, it, too, dropped the idea because of opposition. Even so, people taking pictures in the subways are regularly stopped by the police and asked to let the officers see their images or to delete them.

“They don’t have to do that, and it’s completely unlawful to ask them to delete them,” said Chris Dunn, a lawyer with the New York Civil Liberties Union. “But it comes with the explicit or implicit threat of arrest. It’s a constant problem.”

Mr. Taylor — a college student and an employee of a transportation agency that he did not want to identify — said he had been stopped before when taking pictures, but without problems.

Not this time.

“I said, ‘According to the rules of conduct, we are allowed to take pictures,’ ” Mr. Taylor said. “I showed him the rules — they’re bookmarked on my BlackBerry.”

Rule 1050.9 (c) of the state code says, “Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used.”

Then a police sergeant arrived.

“He tells me that their rules and the transit rules are different,” Mr. Taylor said. “I tell him, ‘If you feel I’m wrong, give me a summons and I’ll see everyone in court.’ The sergeant told them to arrest me.”

In handcuffs, Mr. Taylor was delivered to the Transit District 12 police station, and a warrant check was run. “They were citing 9/11,” said Mr. Taylor, whose encounter was described on a blog by the photographer Carlos Miller. “Of course, 9/11 is serious. I said: ‘Let’s be real. We’re in the Bronx on the 2 train. Let’s be for real here. Come on.’ ”

Before he was uncuffed, he got a batch of summonses.

The first was for “taking photos from the s/b plat of incoming outgoing trains without authority to do so,” abbreviating “southbound platform.” It cited Rule 1050.9 (c).

The second was for disorderly conduct, which consisted of addressing the officers in an “unreasonable voice.”

And the third was for “impeding traffic” — on a platform that is about 10,000 square feet. “I don’t know if you can impede traffic with 15 people per hour coming on the station,” Mr. Taylor said.

LAST year, the city settled a lawsuit with a medical student who was using his vacation to photograph every subway stop. He got through five before an officer handcuffed him and detained him for about 20 minutes. With legal fees, the cost to the city was $31,501 — more than $1,500 a minute.

In the case of Mr. Taylor, the “officers misinterpreted the rules concerning photography,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. “The Transit Adjudication Board is being notified that summons was issued in error, resulting in its dismissal.”

However, the police will press on with charges of impeding traffic and unreasonable noise, Mr. Browne said.

For his part, Mr. Taylor said he was late meeting his girlfriend: “It wasn’t a pleasant sight. I said, ‘I’ll make it up to you.’ What else could I say?”

Thanks to the police, they might end up with more than a nice dinner or two — at taxpayer expense.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

Ninjahedge
February 18th, 2009, 03:24 PM
For cases like this, there should be an A-Hole clause in the law forcing the officers involved to PERSONALLY PAY FOR ANY UNWARRANTED POLICE BEHAVIOR.

If the guy has a case, the full $$ should not come from the cops, but they should realize that THEY BEAR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

When you think you can act with impunity, you do not fear the public you are assigned to "Defend and protect".


Or is that protect and defend..... :confused:

ZippyTheChimp
April 13th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Shutterbugged

Pix-nix outcry wins ease-up from NYPD

MURRAY WEISS Criminal Justice Editor

Faced with complaints from photographers and tourists alike, the NYPD has issued a department order reminding cops that the right to take pictures in the Big Apple is as American as apple pie.

"Photography and the videotaping of public places, buildings and structures are common activities within New York City . . . and is rarely unlawful," the NYPD operations order begins.

It acknowledges that the city is a terrorist target, but since it's a prominent "tourist destination, practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct."

The department directive -- titled "Investigation of Individuals Engaged in Suspicious Photography and Video Surveillance" -- makes it clear that cops cannot "demand to view photographs taken by a person . . . or direct them to delete or destroy images" in a camera.

Public-advocacy groups have complained, especially since 9/11, about cops stopping shutterbugs and, in some cases, wrongly arresting them.

In the latest snafu, an off-duty MTA worker and admitted fan of the subways was issued a summons for taking pictures of subway cars.

He was handed a summons that incorrectly sited the rule that expressly permits snapping pictures in the subways.

Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the NYPD posted the missive because "we periodically get complaints that an officer asked to see [someone's] camera or erase a picture and this is a reminder not to do that."

"It is a balancing act," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said of NYPD efforts to spot possible terrorism or criminal activity while not stepping on the First Amendment.

Donna Lieberman, president of the New York Civil Liberties Union, lauded the directive as "representing progress."

She pointed out that her organization has twice sued the NYPD for stopping innocent filmmaking -- once on behalf of a well-known Indian filmmaker who was videotaping cabbies outside Grand Central Terminal, the other time for a Columbia University student who was filming in a subway station for a school project.

But cops are not without successes in confronting what might appear to be innocent videotaping.

In Manhattan, cops spotted a man -- who turned out to have ties to a terror group in Pakistan -- videotaping the underbellies of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

Additional reporting by John Doyle

murray.weiss@nypost.com


One of the comments is especially silly:

Susan Strong wrote:
Great! Welcome terrorists!! Take as many pix as you want!!

I tried to take a picture of the presidential palace in a tiny African hellhole once, and was promptly surrounded by armed guards. Only in America.


So Susan wants the US to emulate a "tiny African hellhole."

Jasonik
June 14th, 2009, 01:34 AM
All quiet on the Westminster front
10 June 2009 (http://www.bjp-online.com/public/showPage.html?page=861650)

The Home Office has refused to release data on the use of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 against photographers. The news comes as BJP, as part of its campaign to protect photographers' rights, files more than 46 new Freedom of Information Act requests to uncover where photography can be challenged in England and Wales. Olivier Laurent reports

The Home Office has rejected a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the BJP regarding the disclosure of the list of all areas where police officers are authorised to stop-and-search photographers under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The controversial Act of Parliament, put into force in 2001, allows Chief Constables to request authorisation from the Home Secretary to define an area in which any constable in uniform is able to stop and search any person or vehicle for the prevention of acts of terrorism. The authorisation, which can be given orally, must be renewed every 28 days and only covers the areas specified in the Chief Constables' requests.

While it is common knowledge that the entire City of London, at the behest of the Metropolitan Police, is covered by the legislation, it remains unclear which other areas in England and Wales have requested the stop-and-search powers.

After growing concerns from BJP readers, some of whom say they have been abusively stopped from taking pictures around the country, news editor Olivier Laurent filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Home Office on 24 April. The request asked for a 'full list of all areas - in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - subject to Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000 authorisations, which the Home Office has a statutory duty to be aware of.'

The request was rejected in late May on grounds of national security. 'In relation to authorisations for England and Wales, I can confirm that the Home Office holds the information that you requested. I am, however, not obliged to disclose it to you,' writes J Fanshaw of the Direct Communications Unit at the Home Office. 'After careful consideration we have decided that this information is exempt from disclosure by virtue of Section 24(1) and Section 31(1)(a-c) of the Freedom of Information Act.'

'Section 24(1) provides that information is exempt if required for the purposes of safeguarding National Security. Section 31(1)(a-c) provides that information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or the administration of justice.'

The Home Office continues: 'In considering the public interest factors in favour of disclosure of the information, we gave weight to the general public interest in transparency and openness. This was considered in balance with not disclosing the information due to law enforcement and National Security issues.'

According to the Home Office's Direct Communications Unit, the disclosure of a Section 44 authorisation in a particular area is an operational matter for the police force covering that area. 'The Home Office believes that as Section 44 authorisations are used with up to date intelligence, to make any specific authorisation public could inadvertently release sensitive information. A list of authorisations that are in place could also allow any terrorists to act outside of them.

'It is the decision of the Chief Constable to decide whether or not to disclose the existence of a current authorisation in their area. In order to help maintain public confidence in the use of stop and search, the Metropolitan Police Service does make the existence of any Section 44 authorisation in place public knowledge.'

As part of its ongoing campaign for photographers' rights, BJP has appealed the decision, requesting an internal review of the request's handling. It has also filed 46 additional Freedom of Information Act requests to all Chief Constables in England and Wales, asking them to disclose whether they have asked for stop-and-search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The Home Office's rebuff is the second after a similar refusal from the Metropolitan Police regarding a Freedom of Information Act request filed by UK-based photography magazine Amateur Photographer. Last week, the magazine revealed it had 'sought figures on the number of people stopped under section 44 of the Terrorism Act, specifically relating to photography.'

In a letter to Amateur Photographer, the Metropolitan Police Service rejected the request. 'This is to inform you that it will not be possible to respond to your request within the cost threshold. This would require the MPS to search every search/arrest record to identify cases containing the information you require.'

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 16th, 2009, 05:33 AM
England looks scary. (http://www.fitwatch.blogspot.com/)

Are they seeking to stop tourist dollars from coming in, or their population from getting out? Which is it?

Alonzo-ny
June 29th, 2009, 05:42 AM
Theres something going on these days that I find somewhat sad and peculiar.

Anytime anything happens these days this happens:

http://news.sky.com/sky-news/content/StaticFile/jpg/2009/Jun/Week4/15320921.jpg

http://kennedy121.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/g20-protests-g20-protests-0061.jpg

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/uk_enl_1246204995/img/1.jpg

As you can see in every crowd everyone seems to be holding up a camera. Everyone seems more interested in taking pictures of what is happening rather than taking part in the actual event that is taking place. I think its a sad development in society.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 29th, 2009, 10:18 AM
As you can see in every crowd everyone seems to be holding up a camera. Everyone seems more interested in taking pictures of what is happening rather than the actual event that is taking place. I think its a sad development in society.

I happen to think that its sad that in todays world, a free thinking adult with the benefit of a modern, compulsory education (I assume you had one) could think that taking a photo whether by the free press or a member of the public isnt a necessary check on the abuse of government power.

As you can see here for example in this puke-inducing, disgusting display of the abuse of government power. (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=289298&postcount=8)

Dont like that? Send James Bond, Ill kick his ass.

Alonzo-ny
June 29th, 2009, 10:22 AM
How can a crowd of people singing in Michael Jackson's honour and giving flowers to the Queen possibly be construed as 'necessary check on the abuse of government power'?

My point had nothing to do with what was being photographed.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 29th, 2009, 10:24 AM
The thread isnt about Michael Jackson.

Theres no debate.

Its about the abuse of government power, and the restrictions placed on members of the public.

Do you get that?

Leave your Michael Jackson nonsense for your vigil or the other thread.

The way you try to deflect this reminds me of this idiot officer. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2009/apr/15/g20-protests-police-press)

Just saying.

So, I happen to think that its sad that in todays world, a free thinking adult with the benefit of a modern, compulsory education (I assume you had one) could think that taking a photo whether by the free press or a member of the public isnt a necessary check on the abuse of government power.

As you can see here for example in this puke-inducing, disgusting display of the abuse of government power, something a hell of a lot more relevant and interesting than talking about the Queen or Jacko. (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=289298&postcount=8)

Get it?

Alonzo-ny
June 29th, 2009, 10:31 AM
If it isn't interesting to you you don't have to read it or post in response to it.

You dont dictate the content of this thread. Posting something which is a obvious parallel of the general topic is entirely appropriate.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 29th, 2009, 10:35 AM
If you cannot understand that the thread is about the limitation placed by public authorities on photography, sometimes justified, other times perhaps not, then I cant help you. The way you try to deflect my post with your reply this reminds me of this idiot officer. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2009/apr/15/g20-protests-police-press)

The thread is not about Michael Jackson and its not about the Queen. Can you work that out? How in hell did you become a moderator without understanding that?

If you dont like the relevant post I made, tough luck. Its relevant, as you can see here for example in this puke-inducing, disgusting display of the abuse of government power, something a hell of a lot more relevant and interesting than talking about the Queen or Jacko. (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=289298&postcount=8)

195Broadway
June 30th, 2009, 10:50 AM
....sigh... I'm puzzled by how much government control this latest generation is willing to swallow as their liberties evaporate one by one.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 30th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Well at least you arent English.

Life looks so grand over there, especially if you are a German Shepherd (watch it especially from the 1 minute mark). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDiqhkK_ucw)

Who in their right mind would want to live in that ********? Unless you have a morbid curiousity to see how London may have looked if Hitler had successfully invaded England, that is.

Alonzo-ny
June 30th, 2009, 12:15 PM
Gregory, use of foul language is against the forum rules of conduct. You know this from experience. Acronyms or replacing a letter with * does not make it acceptable.

195Broadway
June 30th, 2009, 12:54 PM
Alonzo, the world is grateful that you're not a cop.

Ninjahedge
June 30th, 2009, 02:20 PM
Gregory, use of foul language is against the forum rules of conduct. You know this from experience. Acronyms or replacing a letter with * does not make it acceptable.

You tempted me into looking at his hidden post.

CURSE YOU!!!!

Both an ***'d word AND a Hitler reference! You would think I would know by now!

Prometheus
June 30th, 2009, 02:44 PM
Well at least you arent English.

Life looks so grand over there, especially if you are a German Shepherd (watch it especially from the 1 minute mark). (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDiqhkK_ucw)

Who in their right mind would want to live in that ********? Unless you have a morbid curiousity to see how London may have looked if Hitler had successfully invaded England, that is.

Good for the dog.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 30th, 2009, 06:09 PM
Wow, who the hell would want to live in this dunghole.

Incredible. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrmP4MwHTKw) Its almost as if there's something in the water over there.

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 1st, 2009, 09:10 AM
As Brendan Fraser in "The Mummy" says

THIS JUST KEEPS GETTIN BETTER AND BETTER

Fast forward this to about 8 minutes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AmyJSLYH1I), then watch the whole thing.

England looks like a dunghole. Who in their right mind would actually choose to visit or live there?

Could you imagine living like that?

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 1st, 2009, 09:15 AM
Gregory, use of foul language is against the forum rules of conduct. You know this from experience. Acronyms or replacing a letter with * does not make it acceptable.

ROIGHT WELL YOW NOID TO FIX YER OWN FOOOKING SHAITHOLE OF A NAYSHUN NOO DOONNCHA LADDIE.

Being a Scotchman does not make it acceptable to try to impose your ideas about free thought upon us here.

GT

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 1st, 2009, 09:21 AM
ROIGHT WELL YOW NOID TO FIX YER OWN FOOOKING SHAITHOLE OF A NAYSHUN NOO DOONNCHA LADDIE.

Being a Scotchman does not make it acceptable to try to impose your ideas about free thought upon us here.

GT

A NAYSHUN FAMUS FER HAVIN MEDICS WHO WIELD BATONS. THEY BREAK THEIR HEADS THEN FIX EM UP INNIT.

Watch the video here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ajJwEPzvas)

WOI DOONT NOID POIPLE LOIK THAT ROUND HERE

GT

I cant work out which is better, that video of the medics wielding batons and bashing people or this one from about the 8 minute mark. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AmyJSLYH1I)

Which do you guys like better?

195Broadway
July 1st, 2009, 10:56 AM
And I thought New Jersey is repressive.

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 1st, 2009, 01:01 PM
HAHAHA

They should just have a show called "Greatest Dolts of the English Police".

Im glad the NYPD are way more professional than these "famous british bobbies"

Check it out, this is better than watching the Royle Family (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab0kc0KmxAQ&feature=related)

Luca
July 3rd, 2009, 03:23 PM
Suffice it to say, that the only way I can go about unharassed taking shots for a harmless architectural history project I'm working on is to get a proper permit (which involves form filling, 2 mn liability insurance, etc.) from the local authority's 'film' department *. :(

I won't even GO into trying to get permission to photograph harmless details on private property; you'd think I was spreading anthrax or something... :mad:

Not to mention the jerk, self-involved passers-by who, while you are carefully composing a picture of, oh, I dunno, the Masion House, shoot you a look like "are you taking MY picture?!?!" (no, you ugly sod, why would I?) :cool:


(*) beign professionals, they are helpful and all, and it helps a lot. I certainly recommend that if you take more than casual snapshots, you get some "paper"; it impresses no end the kind of mind that thinks some guy with a tripod is the next Osama Bin Laden.

195Broadway
July 3rd, 2009, 08:41 PM
Luca,
What is "2 mn liability insurance"? and why is it needed?

Ninjahedge
July 6th, 2009, 08:49 AM
In case you take a picture and the house falls down, or you "accidentally" hit a passerby with your camera.


Pretty standard! ;)

NYatKNIGHT
July 7th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Everyone seems more interested in taking pictures of what is happening rather than taking part in the actual event that is taking place. I think its a sad development in society.The latest example of this for me was while watching the 4th of July fireworks last weekend. Just when they started, hundreds of cameras were thrust into the air. I completely understand the desire to take photographs, but to a point. Some people waited hours and then watched the whole show on the screens of their video cameras.

lofter1
July 7th, 2009, 11:42 AM
I often leave my cam at home when taking various trips. I go through a bit of aim & shoot withdrawal, but find that without the unnecessary appendage I more fully enjoy the moments. Sometimes the cam puts just too much space between the shooter and the NOW.

Luca
July 10th, 2009, 12:25 PM
Luca,
What is "2 mn liability insurance"? and why is it needed?

I mean I can't get a permit to use a camera for "commercial" purposes unless I have liability cover for 2 million pound sterling (luckily, since the risk is negligible, it's a pretty inexpensive cover, but still...).

Ninjahedge
July 10th, 2009, 02:48 PM
Here's the confusion.

What are you being insured for? In case your camera blows up? :confused:

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 14th, 2009, 03:31 PM
Passers by tripping over pack and head cables, model getting sprained ankle for posing in 6 inch stilletos and hitting a crack in the sidewalk, you walking back to get the shot and taking out an old lady who subsequently dies during her hip operation.

See?

Luca
July 17th, 2009, 09:20 AM
Something like that. :D

Except, in my case, the models weight thosuands of metric tons, never move and don't wear stilettos... 'cause they are buildings.

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 17th, 2009, 07:23 PM
I read on a link to London Troof (links here) (http://sleepny.lefora.com/2009/07/17/photography-in-stasiland-london/14138562/) that people regularly get stopped by security threatening to arrest and call the police - in English that is barely understandable.

Thats sounds just about right.

If you really want to see who's responsible in England for keeping the Queen's Peace, look no further than this grpup of fine young men and women. (http://www.hampshire.police.uk/NR/rdonlyres/B5B76101-A8F4-4CFE-AD98-1350A93E0536/0/officerconvictioninformation.pdf)

Would you live in London?

eddhead
July 18th, 2009, 02:56 PM
In Chicago this w/w waiting to board a water taxi to michican ave and began snapping shots of the chicago opera house when I was not so politely asked to stop. I would have pushed it but I was with 30 or so of my g/f's family members including her parents, and I did not want to make a scene. Still, it really burned my a$$

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 21st, 2009, 04:33 AM
Watch this video (http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3c8_1248156820) (the first one).

Its way kooky, but they made a good point if you watch from about 5 minutes on, at near 7 minutes they say

"The Face of a Minimum Wage Traitor".

I dont think that it would apply to the particular guard there, but it does apply to many others. That or perhaps

"The Face of a poorly educated, unable to exercise a sound discretion Idiot"

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 21st, 2009, 04:37 AM
In Chicago this w/w waiting to board a water taxi to michican ave and began snapping shots of the chicago opera house when I was not so politely asked to stop. I would have pushed it but I was with 30 or so of my g/f's family members including her parents, and I did not want to make a scene. Still, it really burned my a$$

Next time just get a permit and bring some lighting and a bevy of hot models.

Snap away!

FamousNYLover
September 17th, 2009, 08:01 PM
Sorry to bring back old topic.
After NYC Subway dropped photograph bans, MTA allows photograph on their property. Same goes for NJ Transit.

Once when I was riding (J) during construction work, when I was taking picture of sign (J) to Essex St, two NYPDs told me I couldn't take pictures, but I had MTA Rules. They were threatening me to kick me off the train, but I told them "my mom might be waiting". which was sort of true.

When I took picture of display screen on Hudson-Bergen Lightrail, NJT Operator told me I not allowed to take picture inside the lightrail vehicle, but according to NJ Transit letter, it is allowed.

On recent 2009, I was stopped by Q53 Bus Operator but he let me take pic after I show him the rule.

I was also stop by MTA Dispatcher at Roosevelt Field Mall for taking picture of bus.

When I got off at 207th St (1) in Manhattan, MTA Employee was there, and when we got off 207th St, when I try to take pic of 207th St Yard from public property, he said,
"You can't take picture of yard."
"He's just tourist."
He was keeping eye on us when we were taking picture of Bx12+Select Bus Service.

On same day, Bx12+Select Bus Serice Bus Operator said same thing, "no pictures in the bus." which is allowed by MTA Rule.

lofter1
July 26th, 2010, 10:58 AM
Freedom of photography: Police, security often clamp down despite public right

The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/25/AR2010072502795_pf.html)
By Annys Shin
Monday, July 26, 2010; B02

A few weeks ago, on his way to work, Matt Urick stopped to snap a few pictures of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's headquarters. He thought the building was ugly but might make for an interesting photo. The uniformed officer who ran up to him didn't agree. He told Urick he was not allowed to photograph federal buildings.

Urick wanted to tell the guard that there are pictures of the building on HUD's Web site, that every angle of the building is visible in street views on Google Maps and that he was merely an amateur photographer, not a threat. But Urick kept all this to himself.

"A lot of these guys have guns and are enforcing laws they obviously don't understand, and they are not to be reasoned with," he said. After detaining Urick for a few minutes and conferring with a colleague on a radio, the officer let him go.

Courts have long ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of citizens to take photographs in public places. Even after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement agencies have reiterated that right in official policies.

But in practice, those rules don't always filter down to police officers and security guards who continue to restrict photographers, often citing authority they don't have. Almost nine years after the terrorist attacks, which ratcheted up security at government properties and transportation hubs, anyone photographing federal buildings, bridges, trains or airports runs the risk of being seen as a potential terrorist.

Reliable statistics on detentions and arrests of photographers are hard to come by, but photographers, their advocates and even police agree that confrontations still occur frequently. Photographers had run-ins with police before the 2001 attacks, but constitutional lawyers say the combination of heightened security concerns and the spread of digital cameras has made such incidents more common.

In the past month, in addition to Urick's encounter, a retired oceanographer said he was threatened with arrest for snapping pictures of a federal courthouse in Silver Spring, and an Alexandria man was briefly detained for photographing police making a traffic stop in Georgetown.

(Traffic stop video sparks debate over police use of wiretap laws (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/15/AR2010061505556.html))

Law enforcement officials have a hard time explaining the gap between policy and practice. The disconnect, legal experts say, may stem from a dearth of guidelines about how to balance security concerns with civil liberties.

"Security guards are often given few rules to follow, but they have clearly gotten the message that they need to be extra vigilant," said Kent Willis, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. "In the end, it seems you never know how a particular security guard is going to react."

Clarifying the law

Last year, New York City police sought to clarify the rules on photography with a directive to all officers. It said that photography is "rarely unlawful" and that officers have no right to demand to see photos or to delete them. Like Washington, New York is a potential terrorist target but also a major tourist destination, and as a result, the directive said, "practically all such photography will have no connection to terrorism or unlawful conduct."

Police officials say officers who seek to stop photography are driven by safety concerns and the fact that the presence of a camera can spike emotions.

"When people see a camera, they get more into it," said Marcello Muzzatti, president of D.C. Lodge No. 1 of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents 11,000 officers in more than 100 D.C. and federal agencies. "Some people will figure, 'I have a right to take pictures,' and we are not arguing with that. An officer also has a right to his or her safety and to control the situation."

The flip side of that coin is that "photography creates a relatively objective record," said Catherine Crump, a lawyer with the ACLU's national office. "The police certainly realize this, which is why they routinely record their interaction with citizens. And there is no reason why people should be deprived of that same tool."

Photographers are challenging unwarranted restrictions by collecting hundreds of photos that prompted police questioning, detention or arrest; the pictures are posted on online photo sharing sites such as Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/dcphotorights/).

Local photographers are also testing trouble spots, especially outside federal buildings, many of which are guarded by the Federal Protective Service, an agency in the Department of Homeland Security that has 1,225 officers and 15,000 contract guards to secure more than 9,000 buildings nationwide.

Erin McCann of the District elicited laughter at a congressional hearing last fall when she described an encounter with an FPS officer at the Transportation Department headquarters in Southeast. The officer told her it was illegal to photograph federal buildings. When McCann asked what law stated that, the officer cited Title 18 of the U.S. Code. Title 18 is the name of the entire body of U.S. criminal law.

Official FPS guidance, issued in 2004, reads: "Please understand there is no prohibition against photographing the DOT or FAA headquarters buildings." The Transportation Department later wrote to McCann, saying that the officer had been wrong. FPS is revising its photography policy, spokesman Michael Keegan said.

Local shutterbugs give higher marks to Metro, saying the transit agency has worked to ensure that its employees know photography is allowed in and around its stations. (The exception is the Pentagon Station, which is Pentagon property.)

"We believe that [the Metro system] is a tourist attraction as much as the Washington Monument," agency spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said.

Unwelcome civics lessons

Photographers say police need to be told explicitly not to prohibit photography, because officers often don't respond well to impromptu citizen lectures on constitutional law.

In March, two Transportation Security Administration officials didn't take kindly to First Amendment arguments made by Jerome Vorus of Alexandria. The college student was taking photos on a public concourse (http://vorusblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/04/4/) at Reagan National Airport for his aviation blog (http://www.aviationtv.blip.tv/) when he was stopped and questioned.

Vorus, 19, said TSA workers told him he was not allowed to take pictures of the security checkpoint or TSA personnel. The TSA does not prohibit photographing, videotaping or filming at screening locations, spokeswoman Lauren Gaches said. TSA employees may ask photographers to stop only if they are interfering with the screening process or taking pictures of X-ray monitor screens, which Vorus says he was not doing.

After a lengthy back-and-forth, Vorus snapped photos of two airports authority police officers who had been called in to help. He says one officer tackled him, took his camera and deleted pictures.

"This is assault!" Vorus can be heard shouting on an audio recording he made of the incident. An airports authority investigation was "inconclusive" about whether the officer tackled Vorus or deleted his pictures but concluded the officer did violate unnamed airport policies. Authority spokesman Robert Yingling declined to comment further on the investigation.

This month, Vorus had another run-in (http://www.aviationtv.blip.tv/), this time with D.C. police, as he photographed a traffic stop that he happened upon in Georgetown. He was questioned, detained and then let go.

Police say they were justified in stopping him because was taking photos of the inside of the squad car. Vorus, who was 20 feet away, says he "wasn't trying to make a point or cause a scene" but was merely asserting his rights.

Second District Cmdr. Matthew Klein said there is no official prohibition against photographing the interior of a squad car. But he said officers acted appropriately because they thought Vorus was escalating the situation.

"They had a situation developing," Klein said. "They had to make a call."

© 2010 The Washington Post Company

Ninjahedge
July 26th, 2010, 11:18 AM
What the cops did was wrong, but Vorus seems to be looking for trouble.....

lofter1
July 26th, 2010, 12:07 PM
Seems he's often documenting the trouble he comes upon.

scumonkey
July 26th, 2010, 12:18 PM
Someone needs to, it's the best way to focus attention on the problem- and it is a problem.

Ninjahedge
July 26th, 2010, 01:52 PM
What I am saying SM is that sometimes the best way to show a cop beating you is to call his mother names.

scumonkey
July 26th, 2010, 02:12 PM
I know what you were saying...I was responding (and agreeing) to Lofter's "documenting the trouble he comes upon";)

Merry
July 28th, 2010, 07:22 AM
Picture This, and Risk Arrest

By JIM DWYER

One afternoon, Duane P. Kerzic was arrested by the Amtrak police while taking pictures of a train pulling into Pennsylvania Station. At first, the police asked him to delete the images from his camera, but he refused. He ended up handcuffed to the wall of a holding cell while an officer wrote a ticket for trespassing.

Mr. Kerzic, a semiprofessional photographer, proceeded to describe his detention on his Web site and included images of the summons. He also hired a lawyer to sue.

In due course, Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report” arrived to sound the gong. He turned the Kerzic story into a segment called “Nailed ’Em.” It mocked Amtrak without mercy.

“Finally,” Mr. Colbert reported, “Kerzic cracked and revealed the reason he was taking his terrifying photos.”

Mr. Kerzic appeared on the screen.

“The reason I was taking photos of trains is that every year Amtrak has a contest; it’s called ‘Picture Our Train,’ ” he explained.

Soon after the show was broadcast (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/217341/february-02-2009/nailed--em---amtrak-photographer), a strange thing happened. The section of Mr. Kerzic’s Web site that dealt with Amtrak all but vanished. His lawsuit was settled, and as a condition of the deal, he had to remove his writings about the episode. Now his page on Amtrak — at duanek.name/Amtrak/ (http://../LocalSettings/TemporaryInternetFiles/OLK380/www.duanek.name/Amtrak/) — contains two words: “No Comment!”

Mr. Kerzic and his lawyer, Gerald Cohen, both said they couldn’t talk about what had become of the Web pages describing the arrest and his commentary about it. Carlos Miller, a photographer and blogger who followed the case, reported that Mr. Kerzic received a “five-figure” settlement.

But how could Amtrak — the national railroad, whose preferred stock is owned by the American public and whose chief executive and board of directors are appointed by the president and confirmed by Congress — require that a Web site criticizing the railroad be shut down as a condition of settling a lawsuit for wrongful arrest?

What qualifications does Amtrak have to function as a censor?

“Our policy has been and continues to be that ‘Amtrak does not comment on civil case settlements,’ ”Clifford Cole, an Amtrak spokesman, said in an e-mail message. “We would not have any more to say on this matter.”

Since 9/11, a number of government bodies have sought to limit photography in railroad stations and other public buildings. One rationale is that pictures would help people planning acts of mayhem. It has been a largely futile effort. On a practical level, decent cameras now come in every size and shape, and controlling how people use them would require legions of police officers. Moreover, taking photographs and displaying them is speech protected by the First Amendment, no less than taking notes and writing them up.

LAST year, a man named Robert Taylor was arrested on a nearly empty subway platform in the Bronx, accused of illegally taking pictures. For good measure, the officer threw in a disorderly conduct charge, on the grounds that Mr. Taylor was blocking people’s movement, even though it was the middle of the afternoon, the platform was about 10,000 square feet and there was hardly anyone around. The charges were dismissed, and the city paid Mr. Taylor $30,000 for his trouble. The city had already paid $31,501 to a medical student who was arrested while he was shooting pictures of every train station in the city.

After Mr. Taylor’s case, the New York Police Department reminded officers that there was no ban on taking pictures in the subway system.

In November, Antonio Musumeci, a member of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, was given a ticket while videotaping a political protest in the plaza outside the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. Citing a federal regulation that dates to 1957, agents of the Federal Protective Service gave Mr. Musumeci a summons as he recorded a man who was handing pamphlets to potential jurors. The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on Mr. Musumeci’s behalf, arguing that the rules that govern photography on federal property were vague and unconstitutional. The lawsuit says people routinely take pictures on the plaza after new citizens are sworn in at the courthouse.

Since Mr. Kerzic’s run-in with the police at Penn Station, Amtrak has dropped its Web page on the “Picture Our Trains” contest.

Mr. Colbert wasn’t standing for it.

“This photography contest,” he said, “is Amtrak’s cleverest ruse since their so-called timetable.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/nyregion/28about.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion

ZippyTheChimp
July 28th, 2010, 08:28 AM
Some things go hand in hand. (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23759&page=21)

BBMW
July 28th, 2010, 11:15 AM
Going back to the times article above, it seems that someone could turn a tidy profit by taking pictures of something that they legally can, but that the cops won't like, getting arrested, sueing, getting a decent little settlement, and repeating.

stache
July 28th, 2010, 11:28 AM
Yes but it's a lot less stress folding shirts at Gap.

Ninjahedge
July 29th, 2010, 10:04 AM
You could also get arrested, held in jail, have your equipment damaged, and never be able to file suit because "all the records are missing".

The police do protect each other more than the public at large (good or bad). You hear abou the ones that got something for their trouble, but I GUARANTEE you that there are some that we never hear of.

Merry
October 19th, 2010, 08:16 AM
You Can Photograph That Federal Building

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

The right of photographers to stand in a public place and take pictures of federal buildings has been upheld by a legal settlement reached in New York.

In the ever-escalating skirmishes between photographers and security agencies, the most significant battlefield is probably the public way — streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas — which has customarily been regarded as a vantage from which photography cannot and should not be barred.

Under the settlement, announced Monday by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Federal Protective Service said that it would inform its officers and employees in writing of the “public’s general right to photograph the exterior of federal courthouses from publicly accessible spaces” and remind them that “there are currently no general security regulations prohibiting exterior photography by individuals from publicly accessible spaces, absent a written local rule, regulation or order.”

[The full text (http://www.scribd.com/full/39623305?access_key=key-21nlcq8q54dwdoa8ofbr) of the settlement.]

The settlement, filed on Friday, ended a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security by Antonio Musumeci, 29, of Edgewater, N.J. He was arrested Nov. 9, 2009, as he videotaped a demonstrator in front of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street. His principal camera was confiscated but he recorded the encounter on a second camera. On two later occasions, he was also threatened with arrest.

The protective service, which guards buildings and properties that are owned by or leased to the federal government, is part of the homeland security agency.

“This settlement secures the public’s First Amendment right to use cameras in public spaces without being harassed,” said a statement issued by Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which represented Mr. Musumeci in Federal District Court.

On behalf of the Federal Protective Service, Michael Keegan, the chief of public and legislative affairs, said in a statement that the “settlement of Mr. Musumeci’s lawsuit clarifies that protecting public safety is fully compatible with the need to grant public access to federal facilities, including photography of the exterior of federal buildings.”

At issue in the case was a federal regulation that was cited in the arrest of Mr. Musumeci but that seems — on the face of it — not to have prohibited what he was doing. It says, in part, that “persons entering in or on federal property may take photographs” of “building entrances, lobbies, foyers, corridors or auditoriums for news purposes.” Mr. Musumeci told the arresting officers that he worked for the radio talk program Free Talk Live. He was given a ticket and released on the spot. His account appeared on his Blog of Bile.

As part of the settlement, the Federal Protective Service said it construed the regulation “not to prohibit individuals from photographing (including motion photography) the exterior of federal courthouses from publicly accessible spaces.”

Christopher T. Dunn, the associate legal director of the civil liberties union and lead counsel in the case, said in a telephone interview that the settlement could be interpreted to apply to any federal building anywhere in the country under the aegis of the protective service. Because the regulation speaks broadly of federal property — not only courthouses — Mr. Dunn said the settlement was “tantamount to a recognition that there is no restriction on the photography of federal buildings from public places.”

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/you-can-photograph-that-federal-building/?ref=nyregion

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2010, 09:09 AM
It sounds good, but a ruling does not stop a security guard trying to be the big man at the Mall.

We will see where this leads in other less touted cases.

lofter1
October 19th, 2010, 09:12 AM
Kudos to the photographer for fighting the good fight (http://www.examiner.com/libertarian-news-in-national/manhattan-libertarian-sues-fed-cops-for-illegal-arrest):



The settlement, filed on Friday, ended a lawsuit
against the Department of Homeland Security by Antonio Musumeci

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID26370/images/AntonioMusumeci.jpg
The harassment of Antonio Musumeci ("Bile" to his
friends) by federal officers has caught the attention of
mainstream media news outlets, libertarians and civil
rights advocates. (photo courtesy Antonio Musumeci)

scumonkey
October 19th, 2010, 03:11 PM
But what if you have a tri pod or some other steadying device?
I went to the financial district a couple of days ago with a 500mm zoom lense that
is soo long it needs to braced.
Everywhere I went I got bitched at... you can't take pictures
with that- move along, no photos with a tripod!
WTF?
I wasn't blocking anyone, and always on public property.
I was yelled at, made to feel like a snooping terrorist, threatened to have
my camera confiscated, chased, and just generally harassed. :mad:

lofter1
October 19th, 2010, 03:53 PM
Generally the use of a tripod puts taking photos into a different legal realm, no matter how or where you place it. I know in some NYC parks that tripods are on the "Not Allowed" list.

ablarc
October 19th, 2010, 04:37 PM
scumonkey, I think we have a reasonable expectation of seeing some of those tripod pictures.

scumonkey
October 19th, 2010, 05:23 PM
What pictures?
I thought I had a reasonable expectation to be allowed to take those pics....in NYC- i guess not.
(but that won't stop me from trying again- any requests) ;)

ablarc
October 19th, 2010, 05:53 PM
Here's a request to make you gag:

Kaufman's triplets.

I'd also like to see your take on the Palazzo Chupi and the Gramercy Hotel lobby and bar.

What would be your portrayal of the new Washington Square?

Or the queue at the Madison Square Shake Shack?

Can you take an un-hackneyed picture of Times Square?

The last remaining porn shop?

The inside of St. Thomas' Church.

Urban's auditorium at the New School.

Chatham Towers, Chinatown.

The new 96th Street Broadway subway station.

scumonkey
October 19th, 2010, 08:49 PM
Spread out list (distance wise) but a nice one...I'll see what I can do.
Kaufman's (gag) triplets-which ones- 39th st (most saw toothed street wall) or 40th (big yellow tumor at top
with disco light horror show)?

ablarc
October 20th, 2010, 06:12 AM
40th (big yellow tumor at top with disco light horror show)

Ninjahedge
October 20th, 2010, 07:54 AM
Is the 39th the one right next to PA?

I saw that going up when I was still commuting into the city (I miss the city) and that red/orange brick face they were using looked like they raided a bunch of kiddy-land play areas to get it....

Ah well.

SM, have you been chased with a camera leg? You think they would give you problems with that? The original reason for banning the tripods was space, it was only recently bastardized to somehow fit into "terrorist protection"......

lofter1
October 20th, 2010, 10:30 AM
Best vantage point for that is across 40th on the parking lot atop the PABT -- but the guys who run the lot aren't cool with photogs up there so you have to be sneaky.


40th (big yellow tumor at top with disco light horror show)

BankerToBe
October 20th, 2010, 10:51 AM
But what if you have a tri pod or some other steadying device?
I went to the financial district a couple of days ago with a 500mm zoom lense that
is soo long it needs to braced.
Everywhere I went I got bitched at... you can't take pictures
with that- move along, no photos with a tripod!
WTF?
I wasn't blocking anyone, and always on public property.
I was yelled at, made to feel like a snooping terrorist, threatened to have
my camera confiscated, chased, and just generally harassed. :mad:

Anything that resembles a professional production may have to go through the normal official channels - which has been streamlined recently (http://sleepny.lefora.com/2010/04/27/300-dollar-film-permits-for-manhattan/) - if you have 3 bills!

lofter1
October 20th, 2010, 12:21 PM
That permitting is only in regards to commercial photography. The tripod thing is about "blocking" public throughways.

Maybe a single-leg [tri]pod (of course that makes no sense, but you know what I mean) ...

Aha! The MONO-POD (http://shopper.cnet.com/other-a-v-accessories/sunpak-platinum-plus-60/4014-6507_9-32070349.html)

Ninjahedge
October 20th, 2010, 02:20 PM
That's what I was suggesting Loft....


As for that security service, it is a good thing I was not there or I might have been arrested after pounding some civil rights into that guy.

Watching the vid made me bristle.

lofter1
October 20th, 2010, 10:15 PM
Maybe I drank the tri-pod tea :o ...

Photographer Stopped And Told Permit Is Needed To Use Tripod On Roosevelt Island - A Mistake Says RIOC, Issue Resolved, Policy Clarified

rooseveltislander.blogspot (http://rooseveltislander.blogspot.com/2010/10/photographer-stopped-and-told-permit-is.html)
October 20, 2010

Using a Tripod to take a photograph on Roosevelt Island? If so, you need to get a permit to do so according to one Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officer.

Here's what happened. Last Friday, on the same day that I posted this story (http://rooseveltislander.blogspot.com/2010/10/embargo-roosevelt-island-tram-cabin.html) about a Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Staff person's attempt to embargo publishing of Roosevelt Island Tram photos, a resident photographer was told by a Public Safety Officer that he needed a permit to use a tripod when taking pictures. According to the photographer Duc Le (http://duclephotography.com/category/roosevelt-island/):


I had an experience this afternoon that is related to your blog post today ("Embargo Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Test Run Photos Instructs RIOC Staffer - No Way, Information Wants To Be Free"). I set up my camera and tripod to take long exposure shots of the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Before I could take one shot, a PSD officer pulled up in his SUV and asked if I had a permit to use a tripod. Being unaware of such a "requirement", I informed the officer that I did not have a permit. He went on to tell me that a permit is required for use of a tripod "anywhere on Roosevelt Island," but that I was free to use my camera to take photos. The officer continued by saying that these were rules that were meant to mitigate threats from terrorism, especially since I was facing east in the direction of the Con Ed plant.

Needless to say, I was a bit confused by the correlation between use of a tripod and terrorist threats (but I was free to use my camera). When I asked the officer how using my camera was ok but the tripod somehow posed a security threat, he said he didn't know but simply reiterated the fact that the rule was to reduce a terrorism threat ...

FULL POST (http://rooseveltislander.blogspot.com/2010/10/photographer-stopped-and-told-permit-is.html)

ZippyTheChimp
October 20th, 2010, 10:50 PM
But what if you have a tri pod or some other steadying device?Get a camera clamp, a good one with a swivel head.

scumonkey
October 20th, 2010, 11:07 PM
or some other steadying device?been there, got yelled for that, as well as for a monopod.
The terrorist threat gets tossed around a lot- and I too don't understand the "you can take a picture,
just not with the tripod" remarks - even when not another soul is around.
The info in the picture will be pretty much the same?!

Ninjahedge
October 21st, 2010, 07:53 AM
Power trips backed by ignorance.

These things need to be clearly stated and listed somewhere so, even when ignorance still prevails, you can whip out the document listing areas that prohibit use of such equipment and have them read through it.

By the time they are finished looking, your exposure should be done (unless you are doing time lapse.....)

ZippyTheChimp
October 21st, 2010, 10:16 AM
You get harassed when using a tripod because you're visible, it takes time to set up, and ultimately, it's against the law without a permit.

I've never had a problem when using a clamp, but you have to be smart. Pick your spot. If it's a pole, lean against it, compose, and take test shots. When you're ready, clamp the camera and get it done. By the time anyone notices you, you'll be done.

Ninjahedge
October 21st, 2010, 10:27 AM
Or just wait 10 years until the technology advances enough to be able to have a set point and remove the need for any kind of support.

(They already have things that help reduce jitter and bob on video cameras....)




Zippy - Stealth Photographer.

Dun dun DAAAAAAA!

ZippyTheChimp
October 21st, 2010, 11:14 AM
Clamps are cheaper than VR (vibration reduction) and IS (image stabilization) lenses.

ZippyTheChimp
January 19th, 2012, 08:54 AM
A snapshot of our times

By George F. Will, Published: January 18

LOS ANGELES

Shawn Nee, 35, works in television but hopes to publish a book of photographs. Shane Quentin, 31, repairs bicycles but enjoys photographing industrial scenes at night. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department probably wishes that both would find other hobbies. Herewith a story of today’s inevitable friction between people exercising, and others protecting, freedom.

When the Los Angeles Police Department developed a Suspicious Activity Report (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/mccarecommendation-06132008.pdf) program, the federal government encouraged local law enforcement agencies to adopt its guidelines for gathering information “that could indicate activity or intentions related to” terrorism. From the fact that terrorists might take pictures of potential infrastructure targets (“pre-operational surveillance”), it is a short slide down a slippery slope to the judgment that photography is a potential indicator of terrorism and hence photographers are suspect when taking pictures “with no apparent aesthetic value” (words from the suspicious-activity guidelines).

One reason law enforcement is such a demanding, and admirable, profession is that it requires constant exercises of good judgment in the application of general rules to ambiguous situations (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5991&page=60&p=386458&viewfull=1#post386458). Such judgment is not evenly distributed among America’s 800,000 law enforcement officials and was lacking among the sheriff’s deputies who saw Nee photographing controversial new subway turnstiles. (Subway officials, sadder but wiser about our fallen world, installed turnstiles (http://www.laweekly.com/2008-03-13/news/did-subway-cheaters-put-egg-on-l-a-8217-s-face/) after operating largely on an honor system regarding ticket purchases.) Deputies detained and searched Nee, asking if he was planning to sell the photos to al-Qaeda. Nee was wearing, in plain view, a device police sometimes use to make video and audio records of interactions with people, and when he told a deputy he was going to exercise his right to remain silent, the deputy said:

“You know, I’ll just submit your name to TLO (the Terrorism Liaison Officer program (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/states/california/)). Every time your driver’s license gets scanned, every time you take a plane, any time you go on any type of public transit system where they look at your identification, you’re going to be stopped. You will be detained. You’ll be searched. You will be on the FBI’s hit list.”

Nee is not easily discouraged — the first day he took photographs of street life, one of his subjects punched him — and has a bantam rooster’s combativeness when it comes to exercising his rights. He exercised them again, successfully, when police told him to stop photographing during an incident while he was standing next to Shania Twain’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Quentin, who finds aesthetic — and occasional monetary — value in photographs of industrial scenery at night, was equally persistent when deputies ordered him to stop taking pictures, lest they put his name on a troublesome FBI list. He was on a public sidewalk, using a large camera on a tripod, photographing an oil refinery at 1 a.m. He has a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California at Irvine, so there.

Quentin — who in another incident was detained for 45 minutes in the back of a squad car — and Nee are not the only photographers who have collided with law enforcement. In conjunction with a Long Beach Post story on distracted drivers (http://www.lbpost.com/news/greggory/11750), a photographer went to a busy intersection to take pictures of people texting and talking on hand-held phones while driving. A courthouse was in the background; deputies called it a “critical facility,” so his picture-taking was “suspicious activity.” He was given a pat-down search, and deputies demanded to see the pictures he had taken.

On behalf of such photographers, Peter Bibring of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (http://www.aclu-sc.org/) has filed a complaint (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/10/aclu-sues-.html) alleging violations of the First Amendment (photography as an expressive activity; freedom of the press is constitutionally guaranteed) and Fourth Amendment (unreasonable searches of persons and their cameras).

Bibring, not a stereotypical ACLU fire-breather, is sympathetic about the difficult decisions law enforcement officers must make concerning the shadowy threat of terrorism. “Points of friction,” he says equably, “are inevitable.”

As are instances of government overreaching in the name of security. Most seasoned law enforcement professionals, however, have sufficient judgment to accommodate the fact that online opportunities for the dissemination of photographs mean lots of people can plausibly claim to be photojournalists.

Furthermore, digital cameras — your cellphone probably has one — are so inexpensive and ubiquitous that photography has become a form of fidgeting: Facebook users upload 7.5 billion photos every month.

This raises reasonable suspicions not of terrorism but of narcissism, which is a national problem but not for law enforcement.

georgewill@washpost.com

© The Washington Post Company

Ninjahedge
January 19th, 2012, 09:33 AM
Clamps are cheaper than VR (vibration reduction) and IS (image stabilization) lenses.


Actually, I was referring more to digital means.

I have heard they have devices now that can take a picture w/o focus and let you choose your focal length/DOF/etc later. i would imagine that digital image stabilization will soon come to the point that the camera could detect and decode (by taking reference points and time signatures) the motion of the camera through the exposure time rather than just a cumulative sum. Instead of a 1/30 second exposure, for instance, the camera would record the input as individual frames at 1/1000 of a second and reconstruct an image based on that.....


(BTW, I am not disagreeing about the clamp!!! ;) )



Nee was wearing, in plain view, a device police sometimes use to make video and audio records of interactions with people,

It is a shame, but that is what we are beginning to need in order to protect our rights.

Most incidents of police misconduct are not seen by anyone but the victim and the police themselves.

GordonGecko
January 19th, 2012, 10:25 AM
I like this Shawn Nee guy, has some real balls on him and does not bend in front of heavy intimidation. That threat to put you on a watch list is no small thing either, even if you're exonerated for your supposed picture taking crime against the homeland, you may end up with a lifetime of missed flights, heavy handed patdowns, and regular incidents of harassment

Nexis4Jersey
January 20th, 2012, 07:34 AM
Lucky ive never been yelled by the PA for filming the PATH. My Friend who just retired from there let me film the PATH trains or would give me a pass. Ive been yelled at for filming there Bridges though and there Tunnels while in my car on public ground. There so Panriod , yet they give detailed tours of there WTC boon project? I don't get that....why so your weaknesses in the project or security features.

Ninjahedge
January 20th, 2012, 08:44 AM
Most of these things do not have one particular Achilles heel. Taking a long distance photo of a bridge will tell you all you need to know about the steel-work when combined with a few passes across it.

And subways? You do not need a video, unless you are shipping in agents blind to do a "mission".

Our infrastructure was not designed against destructive means. It was designed to do its job through time and exposure.

Forbidding pictures of it will do jack-poop against hostile means.

lofter1
February 15th, 2012, 01:59 PM
Who knew?

Lincoln Center's Official Rules for Street Style Photographers (http://ny.racked.com/archives/2012/02/13/official_rules_for_photography_at_mercedesbenz_fas hion_week.php)

RACKED NY
February 13, 2012

Every year, the scene outside Lincoln Center gets a little more frenzied as more and more (http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2011/09/video_watch_street_style_photo.html) aspiring street-style photographers dash around trying to catch that perfect shot. If you work inside the tent, you'll need to have credentials from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. But what are the official rules for photography and videography outside the tents?

We got the facts straight from Lieutenant Sammy Muñoz, who is running security for the event. Because Lincoln Center has a copyright on all the buildings in the plaza, you usually need a permit to take any photo/video footage. Yet, during Fashion Week, handheld cameras are allowed. Handling tripods is trickier ...

scumonkey
June 20th, 2013, 04:05 PM
http://animalnewyork.com/2013/photographer-arrested-for-taking-photos-of-police-station-in-bushwick/
Photographer Arrested for Taking Photos of a Police Station…
in Bushwick
By Kyle Petreycik (http://animalnewyork.com/author/kyle/) | June 20, 2013 - 01:00PM Last Saturday afternoon photographer, Shawn Randall Thomas was arrested for photographing a police station in Bushwick (http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2013/06/19/nypd-cop-arrests-man-for-photographing-police-station-from-public-sidewalk/). Thomas was allegedly taking photos of the station for over an hour prior to his encounter with the frustrated police officer seen in the video below. Thomas says that he was unlawfully arrested and has filed a formal complaint against the police regarding the incident. While it may not be entirely clear why Thomas was taking so many photos of the building, who cares — it’s not illegal.
“I was surprised at the manner that it happened,” Thomas said, describing his experience. “I think at this point all cops know it’s legal to take pictures.”
However, this continues to be an ongoing problem seeing as the NYPD has been discouraging against photographers for quite some time (http://animalnewyork.com/2012/nypd-faces-major-lawsuit-from-national-press-photographers-association/). In other words, cops are (http://animalnewyork.com/2011/the-nypd-is-sorry-for-pushing-a-new-york-times-photog-maybe/) always (http://animalnewyork.com/2012/nypd-faces-major-lawsuit-from-national-press-photographers-association/) ****ing (http://animalnewyork.com/2012/cops-dont-get-time-lapse-photography-rights/) with (http://animalnewyork.com/2012/what-can-you-legally-photograph-from-a-public-street/) photographers. (http://animalnewyork.com/2012/oakland-police-arrest-photographer-who-cant-see-their-imaginary-line/)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=6Ke0wXcR4HQ

IrishInNYC
June 26th, 2013, 12:25 PM
Maybe he was illustrating what a dump that station is? Either way, the cops had no need to walk out and harass him. If an artist set up and easel and painted the station all day would they be as bothered?

I could smell the roids on that last cop from here btw.

ZippyTheChimp
June 27th, 2013, 07:41 AM
"I was surprised at the manner that it happened, Thomas said, describing his experience. “I think at this point all cops know it’s legal to take pictures.”

I checked YouTube for responses to the video, but the uploader disabled comments. Maybe a good reason for that.

This guy blew it from the start; he was immediately confrontational, and the excuse that he was surprised is a little thin. He was wrong when he said, "It's none of your business;" it is their business. Police officers are empowered to ask questions - of anyone. You don't have to be doing something unlawful. The complaints about stop & question by the police center around profiling particular groups, not the overall practice.

If he was looking for an incident, he should have turned the interview around and asked, "Am I doing something wrong?" That changes the dynamic, and puts the police officer on the defensive, now having to explain why he's out there.

The video doesn't help street photographers; instead makes us look unreasonable.