Author Topic: Rights being restored? :P  (Read 3180 times)

Offline Stutroup

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Rights being restored? :P
« on: October 20, 2010, 14:31 »
After a long battle, now at least in New York people can photograph the outsides (and already publicly visible areas) of government buildings. 

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

Quote
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.”

More background, and a link to the entire settlement are available at the link above (the actual article).

Offline ethercat

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2010, 21:08 »
Well, this is good news!  If the right to photograph us with video cameras installed in all imaginable public places exists, we have the same right to take photographs in public places as well. 

Rights are not given to us, they are taken by us.  Sometimes we have to fight to keep them from being denied to us, but they remain ours, even when they are denied.
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Offline Stutroup

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 11:40 »
Well, this is good news!  If the right to photograph us with video cameras installed in all imaginable public places exists, we have the same right to take photographs in public places as well.

I might have to interject on that note xD  Granted, you're not making the same argument some do: That if a place has security cameras, then any photography or video recording should be allowed there.

But with the above, whether some private entity has installed security cameras is of no consequence; if it's a public space, it is legal to photograph (assuming it's nothing blocking the free flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic).

Some people*, however, argue that any place with surveillance cameras should be open to filming and photography ... just because they're filming the people in the area.  But really, they often mean private areas open to the public (such as malls, stores, banks, etc.).  But those are still private property, and the owners or designated managers have the right to control behaviors inside, to some extent.  As long as the security cameras are being used properly and for the right reasons, I have no issue with it.  But it's also why businesses (at least in many areas) are required to post a sign on the door (even very small, posted low on the door) that by entering, one consents to being video recorded for security purposes.

*A certain loony who likes to post videos on YouTube of himself and cohorts antagonizing security and police in various places, comes to mind, among others.

Offline ethercat

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 22:50 »
I agree that if it's private property, the property owner has the right to decide who and when can take photographs (and video).  Otherwise, a situation would exist where a guest could legally install a camera while in your home, and have it photograph you when they're gone. 

Like some of those crazy stories where a hidden camera was found in a dressing room or a bathroom, where it was placed by a perverted employee.   :o

But really, they often mean private areas open to the public (such as malls, stores, banks, etc.).  But those are still private property, and the owners or designated managers have the right to control behaviors inside, to some extent.  As long as the security cameras are being used properly and for the right reasons, I have no issue with it.  But it's also why businesses (at least in many areas) are required to post a sign on the door (even very small, posted low on the door) that by entering, one consents to being video recorded for security purposes.

I am a strong believer in private property rights, and I'm also a strong believer that if one doesn't like the circumstances or rules of someone else's private property, that person has the right to not be there.   ;)

It's nice to have a sign posted notifying people of video recording on the entrance to private property that's open to the public, but it's actually required in some places?

And even though I'm strongly for people having the right to photograph anything in a public place, I also think good taste and good judgment should be used - it's another case of "just because we have the right to, doesn't always mean we should." 

I'm thinking of this story: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/10/19/2010-10-19_parents_outraged_that_a_firefighter_videotaped_their_daughters_car_crash_death_p.html

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In July, Jeff and his wife Lucretia got the terrible news that their 23-year-old daughter Dayna had died in a gruesome car crash, in which her SUV flipped on a backwoods Georgia road and crashed into trees.

The couple were thrown into shock and grief, but months later, their devastation reached new heights when they were emailed a video of Dayna's crash scene.

...snip...

Officials in the area are investigating the incident, but according to the current laws on the books, the video does not seem to be illegal because the firefighter was using his personal cell phone and did not purposefully release the video to the press.

However, the family is not beyond trampling on rights, either.  Hopefully it's just their shock and grief talking, but they are being shortsighted when they say this:

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The Kempsons say to avoid another tragedy like this down the line, firefighters and emergency responders shouldn't be allowed to have their cell phones with them.

"It is so easy for this to happen to anyone. Any emergency responder on any scene, at any time, who is allowed to have a cell phone can take these videos," Jeff Kempson said. "I think they should not even be allowed to have cell phones when they are out on these calls. They have their radios. They can communicate with each other."

An emergency responder can also allow a person whose house has just burned down to use his cell phone to let family members and/or friends know that (s)he is alright.  These types of reactionary blanket statements have no business being made into law (or regulation), and (imo) that applies to anything dreamed up to cover a specific situation without forethought about the consequences of such a law (or regulation).

(Ok, so I drifted off-topic a bit, but this is one of the off-topic areas.   (OUO)  Can't do scientology criticism all the time, or they've caught us too, just like the members, but in a different valence.)

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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 23:40 »
Interesting post!
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Offline SocialTransparency

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 08:46 »
 I once got booted out of an airport the big island of Hawaii for videotaping planes landing. The was waaay before the world changed on 9/11. I climbed onto the top of an airport wall to film a clients plane arriving.

 The Wackenhut security people did not like my "wall" location, so they kindly asked me to leave. Which I did. Was what I did illegal at the time? From a videographers pov the answer would be Yes. I was on Gov/private property @ the time. Did i get sighted for a violation? Luckly No.

Offline ethercat

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 09:26 »
I once got booted out of an airport the big island of Hawaii for videotaping planes landing. The was waaay before the world changed on 9/11. I climbed onto the top of an airport wall to film a clients plane arriving.

 The Wackenhut security people did not like my "wall" location, so they kindly asked me to leave. Which I did. Was what I did illegal at the time? From a videographers pov the answer would be Yes. I was on Gov/private property @ the time. Did i get sighted for a violation? Luckly No.

Some airports are privately owned, and some are government owned.  (I don't know about mixed ownership; it's not something I've ever looked into.)  I don't know the specifics of the airport you were in, but I would argue that government property is paid for by the taxpayers, the people, and therefore belongs to the people, much like the sidewalks, the roads, and national, state, city, and county parks. 

Certainly, there are limits to what we can do with publicly owned property, since one of us alone is not the sole owner, and must consider what the other owners (the other taxpayers) would want their property used for, but I can't see where your videotaping should have objectionable. 

Your "wall" location, however, may have concerned the security people that you might fall and cost the owners (taxpayers) time and money to close the location and clean up after your fallen body, delay planes, etc.  (similar to why someone should not be allowed to jump from a highway overpass).
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Rights being restored? :P
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 20:51 »
A Victory for Recording in Public!

Quote
Glik was arrested on October 1, 2007, after openly using his cell phone to record three police officers arresting a suspect on Boston Common.   In return for his efforts to record what he suspected might be police brutality -- in a pattern that is now all too familiar -- Glik was charged with criminal violation of the Massachusetts wiretap act, aiding the escape of a prisoner and disturbing the peace.

...more at the link above.
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