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rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-19-2006, 11:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can someone PLEASE recomend a source that spells out what our rights as a photographers are? Here is an example... Friday night my wife and I were walking around Waikiki. We stopped into this crowded little shop to get a cup of coffee. While she was waiting at the counter I took a picture of her. Out comes this power crazed little nazi yelling " no photography allowed". The store was very lit up, I didn't even use a flash. There were no " NO PHOTOGRAPHY " signs posted anywhere. Was I breaking some kind of law?
Another example.... I was standing in a small crowd watching a free Hula performance in a park. I had my 20D, no flash, and an 85mm lens, nothing huge, but I guess I looked too professional or something. After the performance the boss Hula dancer came over to me and told me I was not allowed to photograph them without their permission. I told her not to worry, the pictures were't that good!
Again, was I breaking some kind of law.
These are public places. I'm sick of I'm tired of feeling like I'm doing someting I shouldn't be doing just because I'm carrying a camera.
I want to get some practice doing sporting events. If I go down to the local T ball game, will I have to get little Timmy to sign a release form? Just Kidding.... Thanks
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Photographing little Timmy playing T-ball in the park might get you an interview with the local police.

Photographing public buildings, monuments, bridges, federal installations, etc. might get you an interview with an even higher agency.

9 -11 changed a lot of things.

The child protection act changed a bunch of things.

A few well publicized events involving photographers has had an influence on how the public reacts to photographers.

Remember when CEO's used to be generally respected captains of industry instead of greedy swindlers and con artists? Perceptions change...
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 12:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sad but true. But yet not. Just because we enjoy photographing the word around us does not mean everyone carrying a camera is some kind of perv. I believe even photographers have some kind of rights.
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 12:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am sure there a laws about everything especially in tourist heavy areas

In my opinion and most would agree ( I think ) the inside of the store is off limits unless asked in advance . It IS private property and someones place of business

The public park is a diffenent story , I would tell the guy that if I did not buy a ticket he needs to back off( free and public go a long way here)
IF you get any ticket for any show most of them would have rules against photography without permission printed on the back .

BUT also the part about looking "professional" will affect people , now they have to worry if their image will be shown somewhere and in what light

Nowadays you can't even think about taking a picture of a public building without getting looks and people dialing 9-1-

To sum it up , everywhere will have their own laws to follow , strict or laid back
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 12:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check out http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm He has a basic sheet on what you can and can't do.
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 12:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, Stan. I understand about privately owned places. But as far as taking photos of people in public places, that's where I'm confussed. I guess my question is; Are there any laws that specifically adress photographing people in public places? Where do i find them?
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 12:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank's for the link Josh, that answers alot of questions.
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 01:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Unfortunately the internet has changed a lot, nothing to do with terrorism. Performers don't want want photos of themselves showing up on the net. In addition, they often sell their performance photos and don't need or want competition. As for the coffee shop, the owner has probably had complaints from customers in the past and doesn't need the hassle. Frankly, if I owned and operated a small business like that, I would probably have been that 'nazi'.

It's sort of like your 'right' to photograph versus some'es right not to be photographed. BTW I forget, just which of the Bill of Rights addresses photography?
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 07:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am not a lawyer, but I did attend a VERY informative seminar about photographer's rights given by Carolyn Wright, an attorney specializing in legal assistance for photographers.

She has a WONDERFUL free blog you can subscribe to. Here's a link to a recent entry about your very question -
http://www.photoattorney.com/2006/04...ographers.html

The simple answer to your primary questions is - in a public place, where the subject has no expectation of privacy, you can take whatever pictures you want. You do not need ANYONE'S permission ever to take their picture in public. The valid concern is useage of the images you take. If you snap the dancers and sell the images for postcards or posters, you might have a problem; however, if you use those images in a personal portfolio, or even include the images in an article you submit for a magazine, you're clear. It doesn't matter what the boss hula dancers says.

On private property, i.e., the coffee shop, you are subject to the sometimes irrational whims of the property owner.

We all owe it to ourselves to know our legal rights and limits, and be prepared to back them up when confronted. We can't expect the general public, or even law enforcement, to know what we can take pictures of and when, so we damn sure need to know ourselves.

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/158428059X/104-0589714-9719125?v=glance&n=283155"> Buy this book</a>, or Carolyn's (88 Secrets to the Law for Photographers) when it comes out.
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Re: rights to photograph ( a rant )
Old 04-20-2006, 09:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The only real way to get the answers you seek are to find a good intellectual property and image rights attorney. I know I makes you shreik, but the $1200 a year I pay my attorney to review my legal matters saves me loads on court costs.

Another good place to go is the PPA. You should really join. I know that there are going to be plenty of people here who tell you not to, but the PPA really works hard to protect our rights. Why do you think it's more difficult to make copies at those kiosks?

There are several other pro organizations and there was a website that I once had bookmarked. I'll try to find it later when I have time.

I used to live in Honolulu, about four years ago. Here's what I would have said to the owner of that place. "I apologize sir, I was just taking some snapshots for our srapbook." If your hauli he'll never know that you're not kama'ina. Legally, he has the right to ask you to leave, but can't confiscate your film. Don't fight with him if he wants to. Just get the police involved. If the police don't know your rights either, cooperate with them, but contact an attorney immediately.

Basically, you're allowed to take pictures in his little diner. How do you think the press got those shots of Kate Moss snorting that coke. What you can't do is sell them and make a profit, unless it's to a new organization and the photo are bona fide newsworthy.

Same goes for the Hula Dancer. Actually you have more rights in that case. If you paid no entry fee and the porformance was in a public place, you pretty much do whatever you like as long as you're not presenting them in a flase way to defame the dancers. If you're in a public place performing, there is no expectation of privacy. Ever heard of 'Girls Gone Wild'? Those guys win legal battle after legal battle over stuff like Suzy going to Mardi Gras, partying, and then seeing her boobs blurred out on a commercial while watching TV with the parents after Thanksgiving dinner.

Clear as mud?
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