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Comment Deadline For NYC Photography Permits

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the drawing-the-line dept.

Privacy 238

DrNibbler writes "August 3, 2007 is the deadline for submitting comments on the proposed permit requirements for photographers in New York. Here is a sample submission."

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Fr0sty P1ss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039333)

Who wants one?
 

An alternate open letter (5, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039383)

Ms. Oliver:

I am writing in reference to the proposed changes to permit requirements for photography on public property. The proposed rules, as I understand them, would require a permit for "activity involving a tripod and a crew of 5 or more people at one site for 10 minutes or more" (the 10 minutes include the time to set up the tripod) or or the same activity among two people at a single site for more than 30 minutes. The permit process also requires the photographer to carry 1 million dollars in liability insurance.

I understand that it is important for the city to draw a line between amateur and professional photographers. I have often heard of cheap professionals calling themselves amateurs solely because they use a low-end SLR camera. However this rule does not do enough to make that separation and fails to protect a much-loved American city. Allow me to suggest some effective enhancements.

About once or twice a month, empower the police to conduct thorough searches of anyone who looks to be taking pictures, or preparing to do so. Necessary permits should be found on anyone who carries a camera beyond a drug store disposable. Justice should be carried out swiftly in situations where the necessary papers are not found. A modicum of brutality would suffice in reducing recidivism rates.

Only when New York is free of people carrying unlicensed cameras can its upstanding citizens be free from the threat of terrorist attacks.

Thank You for Your Time,

__________________

Re:An alternate open letter (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041115)

You mention professional photographers using low-end SLR cameras. With the advancement of Digital cameras, it's not uncommon to see amateurs, like families on vacation, using what appears to be a very professional camera. Also, it's not uncommon to see professionals using what looks like the camera an amateur would use. Also, I've seen a lot of professionals not using tripods. Does getting rid of the tripod immediately mean that you don't require a permit? The lines here seem very blurred here. Just because someone is using a tripod and a nice camera doesn't mean they are a professional, just as someone using a cheap camera with no tripod can be a professional.

Re:An alternate open letter (2)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041653)

I guess the government (and every company's "security" department) is exempt because their cameras are mounted on buildings and utility poles instead of a tripod. Yup, big brother gets to take more pictures of everybody, while the citizens get to take fewer pictures.

I'm glad I live in a town where there are more acres of forest (a ratio of 4 acres land, at least 59% forested, to every 1 person) than there are people. Nobody bothers with us unimportant hicks.

Great (2, Insightful)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039397)

If this takes off in the States, how long before the nimrods in Australian government decide to follow suit?

It's amazing: first "free speech zones", then forbidding photographers from taking photos? Has the U.S. gone nuts?

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039577)

Has the U.S. gone nuts? Have you been living in a cave for the past six years or something? Of COURSE it has gone nuts.

Re:Great (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040709)

If you think Bush is entirely to blame for the near-exponential growth of the US federal government over the past century -- or if you think his administration is the sole beneficiary of this rapid consolidation of power -- you'd better have another look.

A very hard look.

There's a reason why the US government of today (not only federal, but state and local) dwarfs the US government of only 100 years ago -- both in revenue and power over the people -- and it's not because making government bigger is unprofitable for those in the business of government.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041741)

Some people have been living in caves BECAUSE it went nuts!

Osama you see...by the dawn's early light....

Re:Great (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039771)

"Has the U.S. gone nuts?"

No, the Reichstag just burned down. We had to pass the enabling act to make sure those damn commies and jews don't do it again. Agent Smith, is the gas ready yet? It's getting a bit crowded in here...

Posted anonymously to avoid the wrath of Godwin-yelling righties.

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (5, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040249)

Depends how you look at it. The way I see things, Americans as a people have never been particularly liberal. There have been many outstanding liberal Americans, but mostly they were swimming against the tide.

240 years ago a bunch of (mostly) propertied, upper-class, far-liberal Americans got together and wrote the Constitution of the United States of America. Ever since, the majority of Americans have been simultaneously proud of this document (which allows them to feel better than everyone else), and dismissive of its actual ideas. Now, at last, a majority of them has elected a President who is prepared to put an end to quarter of a millennium of pretence. At last, Americans can relax and enjoy the authoritarian government that so many of them clearly prefer.

That's great news for Americans (except for the minority of troublemaking liberals), but rather queasy for the rest of the world.

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (1, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040379)

No, the Founders were not particularly far-liberal, they were mostly decent men who were pushed to extremity.

I disagree that Americans are mostly dismissive of the ideas of the Founders. We are a pragmatic people who just have come to forget that our freedoms our not guaranteed by history. When we are pushed to extremity, we have risen to the occasion. Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's. I'm not talking about the decisions made by our government or corporations, I'm talking about the way regular Americans rose to the challenge. That was a completely liberal act.

Don't mistake my disgust with the Bush administration for criticism of the American people. Most of us are pressed to make a living just like anyone else and we sometimes make the mistake of trusting our leaders. But when pushed, even those of us that are fat and comfortable will fight to stay free. It just takes a while to wake us up.

And believe me, when it comes to certain things, all Americans who are worth less than $1mil are "troublemaking liberals" when you scratch the surface.

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (4, Insightful)

iBod (534920) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040703)

>>Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's.

The US would probably never have joined WWII had it not been for the Pearl Harbor attack. The US populace were on the whole quite indifferent to the war in Europe and would have been quite happy for Hitler to have taken over.

As for "rushing to save the rest of the world", the Russians did far more to defeat Hitler, at huge cost to themselves.

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (4, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040719)

"Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's. I'm not talking about the decisions made by our government or corporations, I'm talking about the way regular Americans rose to the challenge. That was a completely liberal act".

I never indulge in vulgar personal abuse, but those remarks strongly tempt me. Perhaps *you* don't realize that:

1. The USA did not lift a finger to help Britain (or Poland, or France, or Denmark, or Holland, or Belgium, or Norway, or Yugoslavia, or Greece, or the USSR) when they were attacked by Nazi Germany. The USA assiduously sat on its hands while France was conquered and Britain went through the near-death experiences of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. It did nothing to stop Hitler conquering all of Europe, and it was only by chance that it finally entered the war shortly after the Soviets decisively turned back the Wehrmacht at the very gates of Moscow. During all of this - the first 2 years, 3 months, and 10 days of the war (very nearly the first half) - the USA remained neutral.

2. While neutral, the USA supplied food, weapons, and other goods to Britain. But every single item was paid for in full, then or later. (As a British taxpayer I know this only too well - we made the last repayment a year or two back). Many of the USA's far-flung military bases around the world were handed over by Britain in part payment for the supplies we needed to continue fighting.

3. The USA entered the war only when Japan and, a week later, Germany, declared war on it. At that point, it became impossible to stay neutral. Congress even declared war on Germany, a redundant act since a state of war already existed after the German declaration. No doubt the Congresscritters already saw the value in future of being able to talk about "the day the USA declared war on Germany". All that "regular Americans" rose to was the challenge of defending their country against two Fascist dictatorships that had declared war on it - the very least they could do, if they didn't want to end up speaking German and being ruled from Berlin. They took the war to Europe because they had to - the Nazis already had detailed plans for nuclear weapons, and intercontinental delivery systems to hit American cities.

My father fought in WW2 (all of it) and my mother was ready to do her bit with a rifle in case of invasion, so I have a very personal interest in the facts. It is ironic that, the one time the USA had the chance to take down a really vicious, murderous dictator, it chose to remain neutral until he declared war on it. Moreover, directly contrary to what you say about "the people", historians agree that FDR would have liked to join the war against Hitler earlier - but he found it politically impossible, because the people were dead set against it.

So please, let's not have any more garbage about how America rushed to save the rest of the world in the 1940s, or any other time.

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040991)

I'm a USian, but have lived abroad for a time in my life (gives one a much broader perspective), and I say: "Amen, brother!"

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041151)

British self righteous crap like this pisses me off too. I seem to remember that when the brits first had the opportunity to fight the really vicious murderous dictator that was hitler, Chamberlain chose to just appease the sonofabitch.

i see (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041273)

you can recharacterize a contribution, and thereby dismiss it

look, the guy you are responding to is an asshole: the dimwitted conservatard, and deserves a verbal smackdown. however, you're not the one to do that smackdown, because you are merely another flavor of asshole: the dimwitted usa hater, who deserves a smackdown yourself

the truth is, anyone who starts with "i love america" or anyone who starts with "i hate america" as their hypothesis in what they write is a loser. the only morally and intellectually defensible position on the usa is neutral: not caring for it, not caring against it. only with that as your starting thought can you make a reasonable and intelligent comment

the usa made a large contribution in world war ii. beginnig of fact. end of fact. all else is partisan propaganda and spin. go ahead and recharacterize and marginalize the usa's contribution if it makes you feel better about your own partisan prejudices, but all you do is contribute to a a line of argument that is tired and boring:

the "i hate america" partisan retard versus the "i love america" partisan retard

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (4, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040863)

Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's.

Likely because we did no such thing. The vast majority of Americans wanted nothing to do with the war. We were, we thought, safely cocooned in our isolationism, and after the hundreds of thousands of sons we lost too few years ago to a European war we were largely content to let the rest of the world handle its own affairs. That is why we permitted the war to rage on for several years before we had anything to do with it. It's true that our president realized we had to get involved, and was steering public opinion in that way, but he was having a tough time of it. He had to invent programs such as the Lend-Lease act just so he could offer what aid he could.

We got involved when we were attacked. What you really saw was a groundswell of indignation and patriotism, rather than a concern for others. We got involved, we did a good job and turned the tide of the war. As we found out more and more about what was going on we were probably very happy that we did, but to imply Americans were just rising up to save the world is demonstrably false.

But when pushed, even those of us that are fat and comfortable will fight to stay free. It just takes a while to wake us up.

I disagree, or else we are very slow to wake up. We can hardly be bothered--to the tune of some 62% turnout--to vote when the elections have important implications on our freedom. Even last election, after the Patriot Act, and Guantanamo Bay, and domestic spying, and Valerie Plame, and even the Iraq War itself, retention for our Congressmen was nearly 90%. At least in my estimation we are already given up too much freedom with too little fight.

As far as the Founders go, I think they tended on the liberal side of things for their time. Many of their ideas were certainly revolutionary. It was, for example, the first time in history that, enshrined in a document (constitution), was the idea that a government's power came from the people it governs. Today that gets a resounding "duh," but it was liberal back then.

The problem is really our complacency. We are so very proud of our Constitution and our Founders and the ideas we introduced to the world--and rightly so, I think--that we focus on it and lose sight of the fact that other countries have made progress and we really haven't. It reminds me of the quote, "it only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."

America has become a conservative nation, and I think that is a travesty.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, wrote Thomas Jefferson. We've done it a great disservice by providing only complacency and living in our past successes.

Re: Has the U.S. gone nuts? (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041001)

'It reminds me of the quote, "it only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."'

Utterly brilliant! Thanks for sharing that thought, which encapsulates a lot of this (local) discussion within a single sentence. Please mod parent UP!

Re:Great (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041389)

If this takes off in the States

What, cities requiring businesses and professionals to have permits before they're allowed to tie up public property for their own pet projects? Cities not allowing you to block a sidewalk or a street without working out some of the logistics (and, potentially, the expense of dedicating law enforcement people just to babysit your money-making venture on taxpayer-owned property)? Yes, that insidious, creeping terror will soon spread the world over! What a load of crap. It would be hard to find a municipality anywhere that would allow someone to conduct their business on public property, in a disruptive way, without hashing it out first with the people who are charged with keeping public streets and walkways workable and safe for everyone. New York is home to countless ad agencies, film studios, indy project types, and a jillion other flavors of people that would LOVE to trim their budgets by not having to care about whether they need a permit to tie up a city block, or get in the way of people looking to have lunch in a city park so that they can use NY as their business's creative backdrop. HBO could have saved untold money producing Sex In The City if they didn't have to compensate NY's residents and businesses for their use of the public space in which they shot so many scenes. Should city residents foot the bill for that, or should HBO? Should city residents foot the bill for it when a production company half that size wants to tie up a sidewalk during morning rush hour? A quarter that size? A tenth? Here's an idea: if you're not just a tourist taking snapshots, just go get the freakin' permit and show a little respect for the peope whose city you want to leverage for your project. If you are a tourist taking snapshots, or an artist that wants to set up a tripod in that crowded public space, go for it. If it's going to take you a long time, and you know it is, get the permit, and show that you're prepared to deal with the consequences if the 20-pound medium format camera that you use to create the images you SELL in a NY gallery for hundreds of dollars (or more) happens to fall over when a tripod leg telescopes in and smacks some kid in the head.

It's amazing: first "free speech zones"

You mean, like when YOU go to organize an event, and arrange for the permits and the access to and from the large urban facility in which you'll be holding it, and might want the police (for which you are paying because they're doing more duty than normal, because of your event) to actually preserve your ability to HOLD your event without people who don't like you simply blocking the street access to it? EVERYBODY who makes the right arrangements to hold a large urban event gets the same service, and should reasonably expect to be able to get people in and out of the place where it's held without it being shut down by twits - regardless of their political idealogy. You make it sound like equal protection, which can be seen at events held on behalf of organizations across the political spectrum, is a bad thing. Or, do you only want protestors from your particular camp to have the right to crowd out someone else's permitted use of public space?

then forbidding photographers from taking photos?

Where, exactly, do you see any mention of photographers being forbidden to take photos? All I see is a city that wants a clearer definition of what they can and should do when commercial operators treat public space as if its their own personal revenue-generating studio, traffic and pedestrians be damned. You can walk right up to the same spot with a camera, and even with a tripod, as specifically mentioned. Doing it in a way that tilts toward a longer stay on the sidewalk as you continue to work? Just go online and get the permit. Where's the forbidding, again? With a permit in hand, you've got the exact opposite of that - you've got something to show a traffic cop that specifically demonstrates your right to spend time doing what you're doing, and then, by virtue of your showing you give a damn that way, the situation is reversed: he's now obligated to act on YOUR behalf to make sure that some other annoyed New Yorker can't just run you off from where you're working because they don't like you using the sidewalk.

Has the U.S. gone nuts?

Nothing a little tinfoil can't help with, it sounds like.

Remember when... (2, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039403)

NYC was a liberal enclave?

Why don't they just make a law against breathing so that the growth of police power via selective enforcement is complete.

when was that?? (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039965)

No, I don't remember that. NYC has been the home of the wealthy and powerful for a long time. NYC may have been more libertine, but politically, conservative forces have been quite strong in NYC as well.

What's next? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039419)

We'll need a permit to take a screenshot of Google Street View?

Proposed regulations (4, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039425)

I've posted a relevant portion of the proposed regulations below, regarding what will and won't need a permit:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/080107_prop osed_permit_rules.shtml [nyc.gov]
http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/moftb_p ermit_regs.pdf [nyc.gov]

Section 9-01. Permits for Scouting, Rigging and Production Activities.
(a) Introduction. The Mayor's Office of Film Theatre and Broadcasting ("MOFTB")
shall issue permits in connection with filming, including but not limited to the taking of motion
pictures; the taking of photographs; the use and operation of television cameras, transmitting
television equipment, or radio remotes in or about city property; load-ins or load-outs supporting
1
indoor performances; or such activities in or about any street, park, marginal street, pier, wharf,
dock, bridge or tunnel within the jurisdiction of any City department or agency, or involving the
use of any City owned or maintained facilities or equipment. As defined herein, MOFTB will
issue permits for scouting, rigging and shooting activities. Obtaining such a permit does not
obviate the need to obtain approval for an activity that may also be subject to other laws, rules or
case law.
(b) Permits.
(1) The following activities require that a permit be obtained pursuant to this chapter:
(i) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring
on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, that uses vehicles or
equipment, except as described in subparagraphs (2)(i) and (ii) of this subdivision;
(ii) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring
on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving an interaction
among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes, including all set-up
and breakdown time in connection with such activities; or
(iii) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring
on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving an interaction
among five or more people at a single site and the use of a single tripod for ten or more
minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in connection with such activities.
(2) The following activities do not require that a permit be obtained pursuant to this
chapter:

(i) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in
subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a hand-held device as defined in
paragraph three of subdivision (a) of 9-02, provided that such activity does not involve
an interaction among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes,
including all set-up and breakdown time in connection with such activities.
(ii) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in
subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a single tripod, provided that such
activity does not involve an interaction among five or more people at a single site and the
use of a single tripod for ten or more minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in
connection with such activities.
(iii) Filming or photography of a parade, rally, protest, or demonstration except
when using vehicles or equipment other than a handheld device or single tripod.
I'm rather curious about how they're defining a "tripod." For example, what if somebody has a Gorillapod [thinkgeek.com] or a string tripod [instructables.com] ?

Re:Proposed regulations (1)

Arceliar (895609) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039855)

Well if you want to get overly technical,

Tri - 3
Pod - foot or foot like projection, also sometimes spelled pode.

Anything with exactly 3 points of contact on the ground is a tripod, by the most technical definition. And since the legal system these days is about exploiting technicalities, use the string pod mentioned above or just a quadpod (those have to exist by now, right? right?).

Re:Proposed regulations (1)

Shano (179535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040269)

For the sake of ignoring the joke altogether, the reason you don't get quadpods (tetrapods, surely?) is because all three legs of a tripod will always make contact with the ground. Add a fourth leg and either the ground needs to be completely flat, or you need to mess about with the length of the extra leg.

One or two legs, however, works fine. The photographer supports the camera, and only has to worry about movement in one or two dimensions, instead of three. I expect to be able to use my monopod with impunity, never mind the fact that the monopod + photographer combination has three feet.

Re:Proposed regulations (2, Funny)

gedhrel (241953) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040321)

Providing the four legs are the same length and form a square on a flat surface, and the ground changes height continuously, then it's a reasonably trivial result that you'll be able to place all four legs in firm contact with the ground simply by rotating them.

Quick sketch:

Let the four feet form a square, ABCD. Suppose A, B, C are in contact with the ground, and D is above the ground. Rotate the feet so that A->the original position of B, B->C, C->D and D->A along any path you desire. Keep A, B and C in contact with the ground.

Since in the original configuration, were B, C and D in contact with the ground, A would have been "submerged", then it follows that the height of D above the ground must have varied continuously along the path it followed from a positive to a negative value.

Consequently, there exists a point somewhere along that path where all of A, B, C and D are in contact with the ground simultaneously.

Re:Proposed regulations (1)

Shano (179535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040393)

True, I remember being told that about 10 years ago (and I've used similar arguments much more recently, so I really should have remembered it). However, there's still the problem of rotating the feet - you can't just drop it anywhere and have it stable. Whether you're changing the length of one leg or rotating the whole thing, getting 4 legs stable is harder than 3.

It is a nice proof, though.

Re:Proposed regulations (1)

cripkd (709136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040407)

Yes, and you'll take a pic of the tip of the Empire State Building or the grass, instead of your chosen subject.
No one sais a quadro/tetrapod can't be set to align with the horizontal, but why work more and adjust for every milimetrical movement of the camera?

Re:Proposed regulations (1)

lurker412 (706164) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040531)

Yes, the devil is in the details. Other than the insurance requirement, the restrictions do not seem excessively harsh to me. The real question is how they will be implemented. A police officer has more important things to do than to keep track of how long somebody has a tripod set up. This lends itself to arbitrary enforcement, otherwise known as hassling people. Bleh.

Good intentions lead to bad results (3, Insightful)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039449)

There's been many instances of police officers harassing photographers in the last few years. This little bit of foolishness will provide the police with something they can use to justify that harassment.

I know I won't be visiting New York anytime in the forseeable future; sightseeing there is getting too risky...

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039517)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (1)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041157)

There is no good intentions about this. This is about preventing embarrassing videos of police and polititions ending up on youtube.

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (2, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039587)

You know what, I feel terrible saying this, but living in a big tourist place (San Francisco), if I heard that tourists were going to boycot San Francisco, I would be overjoyed.

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (2, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039749)

You probably would be. Until you lost your job because the economy died there. Removing a large part of any economy is a bad idea in most cases, regardless of how much you dislike it.

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040011)

Until you lost your job because the economy died there. Removing a large part of any economy is a bad idea in most cases, regardless of how much you dislike it.

Sounds good to me. Maybe those people will move out of the city and that will take some pressure of the housing and rental market.

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040503)

Really?

What do we do? Apart from spend outrageous amounts of money.

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041413)

I feel the opposite, inhabitants bother me far more than tourists. And my city is very touristic (Lisbon).

I wish half the population would boycott the city and move to somewhere else so I could go to work without (sigh) traffic jams.

Re:Good intentions lead to bad results (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040247)

OK, idea: Hundreds of people show up with cameras in front of some site where these incidents have been taking place and start taking pictures.

What could go wrong? :D (Just don't bring a camera you expect to get back...)

Oh, so you don't want people taking photos in NY? (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039505)

That's fine, what we'll do to help you is stop sending tourists over. No problem. Hope it works out for you.

Yours sincerely,
    ABTA [abta.com]

#1 (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040783)

good. stop coming. there's too many of you here already.

#2. if you RTFA, your sentitment should only apply to tourists that are also small film crews. gee, that's what, 0.0001% of tourists?

Potential Police State (-1, Flamebait)

Microlith (54737) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039509)

And all you fuckers in the last thread that bitched about the ACLU are the ones that let this kind of shit happen. GRATS.

I bet you'd bitch if they filed suit over this law too.

Re:Potential Police State (1, Flamebait)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039603)

No, I'm glad the ACLU is defending something worth defending instead of defending child molesters, NAMBLA, or Muslim terrorist organizations for once.

Re:Potential Police State (1)

Kortalh (1102177) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039953)

Once you place limits on freedom, then it's no longer truly freedom. Even when those limits protect people you disagree with.

Re:Potential Police State (-1, Flamebait)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040171)

oh, and a big fuck you to whomever modded me as flamebait. The ACLU has defended the worst scum on the earth under the guise of 'civil rights' for decades.

Re:Potential Police State (3, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040525)

"oh, and a big fuck you to whomever modded me as flamebait. The ACLU has defended the worst scum on the earth under the guise of 'civil rights' for decades."

Look, I don't like Rush Limbaugh any more than you do, but he deserves his rights just as much as anyone else.

Re:Potential Police State (4, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040535)

That's right. Only nice people have civil rights. We all know that. And what's with these lawyers defending people in court who are clearly guilty. Eh?

I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039525)

As a former New Yorker (and hoping to be one again soon) who lived in an area that rapidly went from "ghetto" to "hip" I saw the disruption a photo or film shoot could cause. Blocking a sidewalk or part of a street, barring entry to buildings and businesses and holding up traffic both vehicle or pedestrian can cause a nightmare. This isn't an occasional thing, either; in some areas for whatever reasons (often the most trendy or fashionable) this is a daily occurance.

I am honestly not sure why a small crew with substantial equiptment who set up camp should not get permission to do so. These rules do not seem unreasonable by any means, and in fact a smart professional photographer could easily work within the limits without the permit if they travelled light and worked quickly. They aren't outlawing amateurs or even pros with handheld cameras from taking film or video (so, say, independant journalists would not be hampered as long as they were able to be mobile), this isn't based on the quality of the camera and all that as some suggest but rather whether they block off real estate with tripods, mics and lights... And and I fail to see a "terrorist" angle at all outside of knee-jerk Slashdot comments (unless I'm missing something?) To me it just seems to be about keeping fashion shoots, Indie films and whatever else from taking over public space in an extremely congested city.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (2, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039661)

Blocking a sidewalk or part of a street, barring entry to buildings and businesses and holding up traffic both vehicle or pedestrian can cause a nightmare.

These all seem like sensible criteria for requiring a permit. They also make the case that getting a permit for such activities should not just be a case of filling in some form, residents and business owners that will be affected should be informed as well and have a chance to object or suggest changes to timetables to fit better with their lives. But two people using a tripod do not cause such disruption, and should not have to seek permission to take photos.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040453)

Not saying it's good/bad but why the permit? What's wrong with "public nuicance" laws that target the problem (blocked access) rather than the technicalities of tripods? Perhaps it's the risk that such "nuicance" laws might backfire and the (political/commercial) event attracting tripods could be seen by the courts to be the "nuicance".

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041081)

"Public nuisance" is such a vague concept that there is potential for abuse. The proposed permit system at least defines what the limits are, even if the limits reach too far into legitimate amateur activity. As for why the permit - the permit is for those who want to exceed the limits, that's fair enough as they don't want to prevent all such photography/filming in New York, just regulate it. Personally I think a better balance would be permits that are harder to obtain, but required in fewer circumstances. By harder to obtain, I mean that if you are going to cause disruption to traffic, pedestrians, residents, business or whatever, you should have to justify the scope and timing of the disruption and demonstrate that you've taken steps to inform those disrupted and accommodate them as much as possible.

The proposed system seems to place too much burden on the small guys, while its really only a rubber stamping exercise to the big film companies etc, who are causing the real disruption.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (5, Insightful)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039699)

While they claim it's not targeted at amateurs and tourists, it clearly applies directly to them. For example, a tour group of 5 or more people where at least one is holding a camera cannot stay in a single area for more than 10 minutes. The way it's written no one even has to be taking photographs for it to apply. One member of the group merely having a camera visible is enough to trigger these new rules.

How about if you're sitting on a bench reviewing the day's photos? If you're by yourself and have been there for 30 minutes, you better have a permit and $1 million insurance coverage. Add in the fact that they're saying the permits may take as many as 30 days to acquire plus proof of insurance and what you've done is effectively outlawed amateur and tourist photography.

Blocking sidewalks and streets is a serious issue, but commercial photography that impedes traffic already requires permits. No changes are required for that. Chances are good that the people you're complaining about have secured all the necessary permits. I rarely if ever see an amateur causing traffic problems. Tourists often do, but they can cause problems whether they're taking pictures or not.

Despite their stated intentions, this appears squarely aimed at either deterring amateur photography or providing a reason to question and detain anyone with a camera.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039765)

I messed that up a bit. Sitting alone for 30 minutes is fine, you just can't have anyone with you. Add another person and you need a permit.

"Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving an interaction among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes"

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040029)

Now, how many tourists travel alone? Do you? I don't.

Most people travel at least in pairs. A couple, a family, whatever. Are you gonna sit down alone and review your photos while your SO is going to stand 10 feet from you, watching you and waiting for you?

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040471)

Well actually following the ridiculous law is hardly the right way to protest it. Just make sure your less-than-$1M insurance covers theft via police harassment should your argument go badly, and take out the storage medium first.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039957)

I see your point but I still think this is in reaction to what is a very real problem in New York, photo shoots disrupting traffic. As far as I can tell this does not apply to handheld cameras in any way, so tourist activity should be unaffected. I think the wording does seem to make a point of targetting commercial productions as well.

As for the other point if you're sitting alone reviewing the photos, would you have your equpitment set up, tripod out and all that? Possession of photographic equiptment is not criminalized here, but a time limit is being set on having it out and presumably blocking others from passing in front of it.

I do think harassment of photographers by the police is a serious problem, however that was already going on. I don't think this law has anything to do with that; this to me seems like it is a reaction to what many New York residents consider a nuisance, which is production crews taking over public space without permission.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040021)

I don't think this law has anything to do with that; this to me seems like it is a reaction to what many New York residents consider a nuisance, which is production crews taking over public space without permission.
The path to hell is paved with good intentions.
If it can be abused by the police, it will be abused by the police.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

mph (7675) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040621)

As far as I can tell this does not apply to handheld cameras in any way, so tourist activity should be unaffected.
Why on earth do you presume that "tourists" don't use tripods? What about somebody doing macro photography of flowers or insects in Central Park, for example?

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040643)

WTF?

How about if you're sitting on a bench reviewing the day's photos?

You need a crew of five people and a tripod to sit on a bench and review the day's photos? I thought I had really bad eyesight, but that's one hell of a pair of glasses you've got there!

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039877)

And and I fail to see a "terrorist" angle at all outside of knee-jerk Slashdot comments (unless I'm missing something?)
Yes, you missed the news. Posting AC makes you the terrorist. [slashdot.org]

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040141)

I agree with your indignation however, if you read the legislation correctly then it does include me when
1) I as a tourist visit New York
2) Bring with me my Plate Camera and Tripod. Glass Plate Negative size 6x8 inches. The camera is beautifully made from Mahogany and is over 100 years old.
3) Set it up on a sidewalk and use the build in perspective control facility to correct the verticals of the Empire State Brilding
4) Wait a few minutes for the lighting to be perfect or the clouse to frame the building correctly
Please note, I am an amateur phorotgrapher. I write Software for a living.

And Wham Bang thank you sir
New Yorks finest swoop, guns at the ready and throw me in Jail for not having the requisite permit. Oh, and because I'm not a US resident, they kindly add Terrorist charges to the list and I disappear off to god knows where for years.

Guess which place I won't be visiting anytime soon. My tourist Dollar/Euro/Pound/Yen will go elsewhere.

About 18 months ago I was able to photograph many of the public buildings in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) without hassle with the same camera. The Police stopped by and were totally intrigued with the camera. It was obvious that I was doing architectural photography. One Policeman even kept the road clear for one shot!

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (3, Insightful)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040157)

Blocking a sidewalk or part of a street, barring entry to buildings and businesses and holding up traffic both vehicle or pedestrian can cause a nightmare.


Then make a law that bans those things! What does this have to do with photography, other than some photographers do these things?

you don't get it (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040759)

look at the woridng of the actual legal document. it's quoted in another comment here below the parent story

it only applies to film crews, not random tourists with a camera

so no, the poster you are responding to didn't miss the point, he's just on a tangential subject. you however, did miss the whole point. but if it's any solace, so does the mass of slashdotters commenting here who didn't RTFA

Re:you don't get it (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041019)

an interaction among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes

That's a small 'film crew.'

you don't live in new york city (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041159)

it's film crews everywhere, all the time

it's not a fearful fascist government response, it's more like a quality of life campaign

hell, i'm a low budget movie maker, AND i've been a target of police for filming near the midtown tunnel [slashdot.org] , and i don't have a problem with the law

Re:you don't live in new york city (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041491)

Yes, but everyone who reads your posts on on slashdot understands that you are a sociopath and a psycho. Hence your views are marginalized to the loony bin.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (1)

abirdman (557790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040263)

This seems like bad government. It's frustrating when Mama's Delicatessen calls the police when their customers can't get to the restaurant, and the police can't do anything because the film crew who's encamped there aren't breaking any law. Every couple of years a movie crew decides to film in my city (Portland, Maine), and it's horribly disruptive. In Maine, though, everyone is so flattered they're shooting a movie here, they just overlook the inconvenience. In Manhattan, it happens every day, all over the city, and is likely a PITA for many. To set up a new licensing authority to try and regulate it is just a "big government" solution. It seems like they could just enforce the existing parking and public nuisance laws-- perhaps amending some interference-with-commerce laws so they better address the particular problem-- rather than setting up another department in an already bloated and corrupt City Government. The problem isn't photographers and film crews, the problem is the disruption they cause. So go after that.

Re:I'm sorry but I am not feeling the indignation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041293)

I think you have never ventured beyond the point-n-shoot photography. There are amateurs who take time and even use tripod for their amateur grade SLRs to take very good shots of your hip city. And they may not be alone while doing so.

who does this affect? (2, Interesting)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039629)

does this affect anyone who wants to use a camara in public? or does it only affect professional photographers? ie, photographers for news papers and such

Re:who does this affect? (2, Informative)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039715)

It affects anyone who wants to tale anything more than a quick point-and-shoot photo. There's plenty of amateur photographers out there that like taking nice pictures, and taking their time doing so. It also applies to pretty much any amateur filmmaker, and effectively bans anything more than small handheld camcorders from use in new york. I'm a film student, and it takes me 10-15 minutes just to set up for some quick shoots with my camera (it's pretty big). Taking into account my possibly shooting for more than 15 minutes in some place, that means I'd need to shell out ONE MILLION DOLLARS (cue Dr. Evil pinky + laughter), in order to make some dumb student film. It's not a matter of what they intended to do, it's a matter of what the actual effects are.

Re:who does this affect? (1)

themassiah (80330) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041349)

Just a quick note - having insurance for $1M does not cost 1 million dollars. :) Actually, it's quite affordable at around $500 / year.

Re:who does this affect? (1)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039717)

The way it's written it applies to everyone with a camera.

Re:who does this affect? (1)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039743)

I guess it should affect everyone. I mean, couldn't pros just use an excuse that they're tourists? Then photos SOMEHOW slip to the newspapers :) Though it could go the other way around - only reporters allowed to take photos.
Yet if this happens, I guess I won't be updating my photogallery with pictures of New York :/

Re:who does this affect? (1)

andyh3930 (605873) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039803)

TFA States...

"The proposed rules would require a permit for "activity involving a tripod and a crew of 5 or more people at one site for 10 minutes or more" (the 10 minutes include the time to set up the tripod) or or the same activity among two people at a single site for more than 30 minutes. The permit process also requires the photographer to carry 1 million dollars in liability insurance. Although the city believes that this is rare for "recreational" photographers, most amateurs I know would require a permit a good percentage of the time."

So it's pretty clear

HTH

Re:who does this affect? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040473)

If you're trying to do a quality portrait, you'll probably be spending more than 30 minutes with atleast two people (the photographer and the model). It also begs the question what a "single site" is; does it mean having a tripod unmoved and aimed at one direction at all times or does it mean an entire park from every possible angle?

Workaround (2, Interesting)

fadilnet (1124231) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039737)

The way I see it - it's just another way to make money. Anyway, I don't know if this workaround will work - an organisation is formed (consisting of film makers, and even people who are not related to the film industry). The organisation pays the city and films it from various angles - the entire bloody city! - even if it takes months. Then, the organisation offers free or paid (little fee) for the entire footage! It may be useful to filmmakers to have footage available (of course, the scenes can be edited (beauty of CGI)). As far as the av. person goes, upon registration, he's part of the organisation and can take snaps and film anywhere he wants to.

This is so brutality is kept secret (5, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20039741)

For those of you who do not remember the Tompkins Square Park Police Riot, here's the Wikipedia link [wikipedia.org] . Police clubbed people on the head, regardless of who they were (even the press were beaten, there only to report on the incident).

Were it not for amateur videographers, it would have been the victims word alone versus the cops, and everyone knows the judge will side with the cops.

They will twist this law to confiscate any cell-phone, video camera, ipod, or other device that might bear witness to the over-reaching authority of the police-state of NY. Cops will have the ability to harass, beat, or otherwise abuse anyone they please, and no one will be able to bring in their evidence, because the shooting of such incident did not have a "permit".

I'm moving to Canada.

Re:This is so brutality is kept secret (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040089)

I also imagine they won't be issuing permits to people who want to film protests that the police might crack some heads at.

Re:This is so brutality is kept secret (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040101)

I'm moving to Canada.

Everybody knows you have no intent of following through, so stop making empty threats/promises, mmmmkay?

I think you meant to write: "I wish I would grow a pair, because then I might be able to bring myself to pack up and move to Canada, but in the mean time I'll just whine on Slashdot."

Seriously dude, don't tell us you're going to move to Canada. Tell us you're campaign to get the corrupt officials out of power.

It's a cliche, but it's true: if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem (myself included).

just move to williamsburg (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040677)

which is what actually happened to the tompkins square crowd

so how exactly do you deal with violent squatters in a public park? they own the park? they have a right to live there? really?

as a resident of times square, about which some village voice commentators lamented the loss of needle park and peep shows, i say to hell with the old lower east side and to hell with the old time square. mickey mouse moved in and rich japanese with their stupid boutiques took over st. marks. to all of which i say: good. it's superior to the past

and you talk like the police were the only one resorting to violence. pfffft. the tompkins square park crowd just ate each other [tripod.com] . funny, you don't seem to be so upset about that

iggy pop seems to be doing ok with the new tompkins square park, so you should stop revisiting the past. if you actually have nostalgia for the type of losers the cops cracked a few skulls of, then you're probably one of those fruit loops yourself. in which case: sorry. the gentrified lower east side: not yours

you're fighting a decades old battle lost a long time ago

Re:This is so brutality is kept secret (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041161)

I wonder how long it will take before photogs start using live real-time wireless transmitters to REMOTELY (even just a few yards away, even) store their photos.

think of this: some guy is 'wearing' a camera or a few of them, taking pics of some scene that some cop does not like. he grabs the cam from the photog or demands he stop and then harasses him. possibly even taking his gear or forcing him to give his memory cards to him.

BUT - what if, all along, a live wireless save-to-remote-disk was going on? the cop grabs your stuff but he can't know that you've been wirelessly simulcasting your data 'offsite' (off your own person). what's he going to do? send an EMP to the whole block/neighborhood? ;) arrest everyone in sight?

I think this is the only way to fight back against our corrupt system. have a 'support team' for PJ's (photo journalists) and some of them carry wireless remote disk receivers (wireless usb is supposed to be on its way; that might be one tech to look at, for this app.).

other than extreme measures like this. we have no freedom to truly document the injustices found in this country.

I wonder how long it will be before there is product support for this idea (either official or underground)...

but you can see, its needed, since 'the state' is getting very sensitive about having the public see it for the corrupt body it is.

Global warming is bullshit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039849)

Only stupid people believe in it.

Here's a simple probability question:
calculate the propability that temperature increase every years for 10 years.

answer: 1/2^10=1/1024

That means in 1 thousand years, we can find a period that temperature increase every year for 10 years.

The temparature increase that earth is facing now is just simple probability, nothing to be worried about.

Temperature of earth going up and down is normal, temperature goes up, then goes down, then goes up up down down. Only a dumbfuck make a big deal out of it.

Re:Global warming is bullshit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039969)

Yeah, like all those poor fuckers in England [bbc.co.uk] who've just suffered the worst flooding in years. And all those dumbfucks across Europe who're suffering a heatwave [bbc.co.uk] . Hundreds of people in Hungary have died [bbc.co.uk] .

It's stupid, SUV-driving, head in the sand, cunts like you who're going to destroy the Earth, ruining it for all of us.

your stupid lies about global warming (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040929)

only work on moronic mass who can't think and swallaw everything the media tell them

Since I'm intelligent, I can see through all the lies and know global warming is a bullshit pseudoscience proposed by some crackpot scientists.

If I have free time, I am going to expose all your lies about global warming and humiliate dirty liar like you in public for cheating everyone. Currently I'm busy making money and enjoying life, have no time for waste like you.

Re:Global warming is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039995)

It's not the increase, it's the rate of increase. Also, wrong thread.

This is FUD by the poster (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20039895)

It's not directing at "photographers", we're talking about anything that's gonna require multiple people and a friggin tripod. That is a minor fucking subset of photographers. A non-FUD title AND SUMMARY would mention film-makers. You know, people blocking the damn sidewalk for 20 minutes. Why the fuck is this on slashdot? And who the hell tagged it "privacy"

And it is perfectly reasonable for a big city to require insurance, though the number shouldn't be specified...the city should really just make sure the workers and their own ass is covered. You do realize that people video tape sidewalks, send a copy to the city, and then the second someone trips sue the city for negligence? Or do you really have no fucking clue how cities work?

goddamn geeks posting shit from idaho.

THANK YOU! (1)

Linkiroth (952123) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040123)

As a constant visitor to New York City, I can agree with the other posters in this thread that it's to burden indie film makers who make it difficult to get around. A major thing you will note is that this REQUIRES THE USE OF A TRIPOD. Everyone, let me make this clear: VIEWING YOUR PHOTOS ON A BENCH OR WALKING AROUND WITH A CAMERA IS NOT GOING TO BE OUTLAWED. SETTING UP EQUIPMENT AND CAUSING A RUCKUS WILL BE. Damn, you'd think that the government wanted your first born.

Re:THANK YOU! (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040893)

It's not like a tripod is such a weird thing to use, even in amateur photography.

I wouldn't use 400+ mm lenses without a tripod. Nor would I like to shoot my large format camera from the shoulder. I need to set up a pretty heavy tripod, place the camera on, do some adjustments, readjust, refocus, measure, measure light, adjust timing on the front of the camera, insert polaroid holder, take test photo, take out polaroid holder, develop polaroid, consider whether it is good enough, insert film holder, take shot, rotate film holder, take second shot, and then break up equipment.

And no, I do not have a million in small change on me.

Re:This is FUD by the poster (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041091)

Multiple people + tripod. Equals just about ANY amateur photo group getting together. I mean, a bunch of us from a hobbyist photo site got together at Glenn Rock State Park to shoot waterfalls it equated to 20+ photographers and half that number of tripods.

I am sure the second gathering in Washington D.C. equated to about the same. So this DIRECTLY affects amateur / hobbyist photographers.

And frankly, if enforced it will one day go from shooting cameras to shooting bullets. (And dead photographers and guilty police.)

Re:This is FUD by the poster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041721)

Sorry, but I call Bullshit. It is completely easy to take 20 minutes taking photos at a single site. Just people some people put a bit more effort into their photo doesn't mean we need a stupid law that applies to everyone.

Sorry New York, but I won't be visiting no more.

Photos in the UK (1, Informative)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040211)

This seems to have hit the USA a lot later than the UK. I live in Birmingham, Great Britons second city, and there is quite literally a zero tolerance to photos. I myself have been stopped by the police and had my film taken away and asked for images to be removed from my digital camera. You have to apply for a permit from both the police and the council. I have applied for a permit in the past for video i had to do for university, it took three weeks to process. I have also seen a tourist get arrested for taking images of the city council house. I was told it comes under anti terror, human rights and data protection acts. They wanted to give me a formal caution, but I refused. A caution in the UK can be given out and it would be on your criminal record. Normally if you refuse a caution such as being drunk, the police let you go as its too much of bureaucratic hassle.

I don't believe you... (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040421)

"Great Britons second city, and there is quite literally a zero tolerance to photos"

This can't be true because a quick look on the internet shows lots of photos of Birmingham.

http://flickr.com/search/?q=birmingham&w=all [flickr.com]

Including a photo of the Council House from 2007.

I don't believe all these people got police clearance to take these photos. I'd suggest you're making a bigger issue out of the whole situation than really exists. Though I sympathise with your concern about creeping legislative powers.

Incidently, the name of the country is "Great Britain" not "Great Briton".

Correction since you want to be pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20040785)

The name of the country is not Great Britain. Great Britain is the name of the island.

Birmingham is in the country of England, part of the country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_kingdom [wikipedia.org]

Re:Photos in the UK (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040765)

I live in Birmingham too, I and several people I know take photos in town fairly often. One of them was once told he needed to ask permission to take photos in the actual Bull Ring building - he did and they let him carry on but other than that, outside, I've never been stopped by the police or heard of anyone who ever has been.

In fact if you go onto the balcony overlooking St Martins at pretty much anytime of day you can count at least 15 people with cameras photographing the Church.

Re:Photos in the UK (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041199)

What utter CRAP.
Under UK Law, you do not need any permit/licence/whatever to take pictures of people, places, objects from a public thoroughfare or place UNLESS there is a sign indicating that the places is a restricted area under the official secrets act.

If anyone asks you for your film or digital images then evein if they are a police officer they are commiting a crime themselves. They need a court order to sieze items like that from you.

I am an amateur snapper. I carry a card with me that describes my rights to take pictures in Public. Several 'jobsworths' have been sent packing after reading the details.
I have carried this since an over zealous railway policeman tried to stop me taking pictures fo the Flying Scotsman (LNER 4472) some years ago. He wanted to arrest me but his inspector told him that as I was standing on a public road he couldn't stop me and anyway, I was not committing an offense.

If you are approached by some 'official' ask them to produce their identification and then to quite in detail what section of what law you are breaking by taking a picture of Birmingham Town Hall from a public road. Then if you are really bloddy mined tell them calmly that if they touch you then they will be comitting a crime of assault with intent to rob (ie Mugging) and thay you will take them to court. If it is a poilceman then volunteer to accompany him toy the police station and have a word with the desk sergeant. Remind him polietly that you were in a public place and therefore NOT comitting a crime unless there are signs clearly visible stating that ALL Photography is banned.

I will be in Brum later this week and I'll be sure to carry my camera in the city centre and use it to capture images of public buildings.

Re:Photos in the UK (2, Interesting)

ratbag (65209) | more than 7 years ago | (#20041341)

As a fellow resident of "Great Briton", I'd like to point out to the world at large that "Simon the SoundMan" is talking out of his hat.

I've been snapping away for many years now and I've only twice been accosted: a security guard at Canary Wharf asked me if I was a professional photographer (quantity and quality of kit, plus the fact I was taking photos in a howling gale). I assured him I was merely a keen amateur and he wished me well and went on his way. Secondly, in Verbier (not part of "Briton") I was verbally harangued by a passenger when I took a picture that included a ski lift. Supposedly I had not asked her permission. Since the field of view covered around 5 miles of countryside and ski slopes I suspect I'd also forgotten to check with one or two other people - oops!

Rob.

It's stuff like this that makes me wonder (1)

vpetite (1111039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040277)

The fact that this hadn't been thrown out immediately bewilders me. Personally, I'd like to see this pass, and abused to the fullest extent. It's becoming increasingly apparent that the government is capable of doing whatever it pleases, while the people simply sit back. I mean, first off, the only permissible protest from the people is through a written letter with a deadline. This is something that will directly affect the public, not law officials. And by the way, this is a city that has over 2400 video surveillance cameras [mediaeater.com] , all accessible under "certain" circumstances by those law officials. Seriously, why has it become okay for the government to record/access any type of information, but it's becoming absurd to believe the people have even a fraction of that right without their approval?

I'm sorry, but I'm really getting fed up with the amount of people that almost act as though our rights are not really rights, but instead wonderful (but not necessary) gifts from those in power. I would much rather see the government continue to recklessly widen the gap between themselves and the public until the inevitable day that they've gone too far, and people are willing to give up their comfortable lifestyles to fight for the ideas that founded this country.

To those that believe this is a good thing/okay thing/you don't really care, please, get your head out of the sand. There is entirely too much room for abuse. There is a similar law regarding camera usage in the NY/NJ PATH train stations. I can tell you firsthand that I've been harrassed more than once for simply having a camera in my possession, when the rules [panynj.gov] pertain only to the act of taking pictures.

Too much to ask for a sense of persepctive (0)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040727)

Listen, there may be some valid criticisms of that proposal, but most of the posts so far are the kind of knee-jerk, ignore-the-facts attitude that doesn't get anywhere.

I've been a fairly regular visitor to New York, and travel extensively, and I can't think of any occasions where a tourist or professional photographer goes around with a crew of 5 and a tripod. That's more than your regular TV news crew shows up with.

You know the classic style of footage where you see a cop or security guard put their hand over the camera, with the old "you can't take photos here"? How many times was the camera stationary i.e. on a tripod? Did you ever really get the impression that guy was trying to intimidate a group of five or more people who spent time setting up their gear? Would any kind of investigative journalist both have the budget to waste and the complete lack common sense to drag around that kind of expensive, highly visible support? And if your answer is "oh yes, frequently" - you're bullshitting.

New York's Office of Film and Broadcasting also deserves a bit of credit here. NYC is well known in the movie business to being friendly to filming. The biggest challenge is deciding whether to film in Toronto for the cost savings. That's the context this should be viewed in, not the attitude of the NYPD.

Everytime I see a set of reactions like this, it makes me think that Slashdot actually wants to be the Fox news of online communities.

Re:Too much to ask for a sense of persepctive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041423)

"I can't think of any occasions where a tourist or professional photographer goes around with a crew of 5 and a tripod. That's more than your regular TV news crew shows up with."

I think you've misread the proposed legislation. As described below in the section on permitted photography without permit, you are limited to 10 minutes total time with a tripod even if you're by yourself. Once you have 5 or more people, you're no longer allowed to do so without permit. You seem to think that the activity being limited is the combination of a tripod with 5 or more people.

(ii) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in
subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a single tripod, provided that such
activity does not involve an interaction among five or more people at a single site and the
use of a single tripod for ten or more minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in
connection with such activities.

i am making a low budget horror movie in nyc (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20040729)

And I have some experience with this. I'm done filming (just editting), but I had a run in with the cops in the Fall of '06.

So it was a nice October night and I had a few scenes I wanted to knock out, I was almost completely done with principle photography. I had made the fake newspaper headlines in Word and Photoshop, blew them up on the copier, then transferred them at Kinkos to the newsprint I bought at the specialty art supplier. Lot of bullshit just to make a fake newspaper. Anyways, I had arranged with the Bangladeshi dude at the deli around the way to use their newsstand for 15 minutes.

I showed up with my actors at the deli, dropped a $20 for the dude, and placed out fake newspapers over the real ones. Then I had my lead and his dead girlfriend walk by the deli, the lead glanced over at the newsstand, saw the headlines about various gruesome attacks in Manhattan, pause, stop, pick one up, look over at his dead girlfriend, and change his mood, she showing no affect whatsoever the whole time.

It went fine. I thanked the Bangladeshi deli dude, and went around the corner to shoot the scene that would preview that: the lead and his dead girlfriend walking down the street, him happy, her... well, what she is supposed to show the whole time: no affect.

That was easy, wham bam, thank you ma'am I was whipping through these scenes just fine.

Now I wanted to film a scene of him walking with his dead girlfriend after reading the headlines, to show the change in his level of concern about his place in everything at that moment. To show his happiness being replaced with worry. To establish the conflict in the next scene, which I shot weeks before.

Anyways, so I went around the corner again, completely oblivious about where I was, just looking for something with enough lighting and no obvious commercial street signs. I found a secluded spot and had my actors wait around the corner.

I steadied the camera, yelled action and gee, look at that in the viewfinder... flashing lights. That will ruin a shot.

I was on the midtown tunnel access road. Oops.

Yes officer, sorry officer.

No officer, I didn't know it was a misdemeanor. I'm deeply sorry officer. I had no intention officer.

Sure, here's my license... No, that's not my address, in fact I live right over there now.

No officer, sorry officer, I didn't know I had 10 days to report to DMV my new address when I moved or I was breaking the law, again.

My footage? Sure (bzzz... rewind...)

Here is a scene I just shot...

Yes, that's over on 3rd Avenue. And...

What? Fast forward through this?

WHAT? YOU DON'T LIKE MY F**ING MOVIE YOU F**ING... ;-)

I mean, yes officer, right here, this is the final shot of your cop car pulling up. Last shot.

Yes, that's all I had shot, nothing more.

Yes officer, I'll go away I won't come back here, sorry officer for the misunderstanding...

(PHEW)

Fuck NYC (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20041641)

Dear Authorities, re. "photo pass" in NYC,

I was planning to travel to NYC, since it used to represent me the American Dream, the freedom of the New World.
The Statue of Liberty became bigger than life - it represented freedom, probably more than it could have anywhere in the whole world.
With your photo pass requirement you are turning "Miss Liberty" to this ugly woman, standing lonely in the sea.
You are also turning NYC into something else than it used to be... a nothing special, big, dirty, noisy city... just like the other similar ones around the world.

Dear Authorities, if that's your new dream about America, that's fine. You can have it - but I am not interested in it.
I will visit other parts of the world, in which authorities can fight whatever enemies they need to fight without photo pass.
Best wishes, but you will have to fight your deamons all by yourself - without the rest of the world.

While you do that, we will travel around trying to explore where in the world emerges the New New York City - where the Statue of Liberty is bigger than life, not just a sad lonely woman.
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