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Old 17-04-2008, 22:36   #1 (permalink)
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BBC article on photography curbs

Found this on the BBC website today. Interesting read, and very concerning for photographers. Something to be aware of I guess.

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Innocent photographer or terrorist?

After reading this I did a bit of browsing which brought me to the following.

UK Photographers' Rights

I'll be printing out a copy to keep in my camera bag, just in case.

Last edited by Larne; 17-04-2008 at 22:44.
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Old 18-04-2008, 00:20   #2 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Very important issue, Larne, and one which should all be concerned about. Thanks for the links - the guide is four years old but I guess the law hasn't changed since then.

If you want to avoid being harassed by stupid 'security' people, it's important to look like a visitor or tourist rather than a professional photographer. You can snap anything you like on a mobile phone or compact camera, but pull out an SLR and you'll have the Gestapo swarming around in no time.

Slightly OT but it shows how daft all of this is...

A couple of years ago I was commissioned to photograph a trade show which was attended by the Duke of York (aka Prince Andrew). There were very strict rules about where the press photographers could stand, how close they could get, and how they weren't allowed to follow him around the exhibition. He had a posse of minders to make sure that none of the press togs got too close, and they were strict to the point of absurdity.

There were no restrictions on proximity or photography by other people attending the show, who were merrily snapping away on their Nokias or whatever. So I dumped the camera bag and the press badge on one of the stands where I knew someone who wouldn't eBay it, and spent the rest of the time following HRH around and taking pics of him with a little Sony P200 which I keep in my pocket. Nobody objected at all.

Crazy world.
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Old 18-04-2008, 08:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

I didn't initially spot that the guide was 4 years old, might be time for someone with a better understanding of the law to produce a new one I guess.

It's a good point on the 'tourist' camera. I think I will remember to pack my Ixus in with the rest of the gear just in case such an opportunity turns up.
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Old 18-04-2008, 09:53   #4 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by silkstone View Post
A couple of years ago I was commissioned to photograph a trade show which was attended by the Duke of York (aka Prince Andrew). There were very strict rules about where the press photographers could stand, how close they could get, and how they weren't allowed to follow him around the exhibition. He had a posse of minders to make sure that none of the press togs got too close, and they were strict to the point of absurdity.
To be fair, think this down to the Press 'agreement' regarding the Royals, whereby they 'volunteered' to restrict the pics taken

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
I didn't initially spot that the guide was 4 years old, might be time for someone with a better understanding of the law to produce a new one I guess.

It's a good point on the 'tourist' camera. I think I will remember to pack my Ixus in with the rest of the gear just in case such an opportunity turns up.
Law's not changed but the attitude has, if anything, hardened from 'offiialdom' point of view

There was a guy on the BBC this am who was out taking street photography (he'd just finished a course and was out putting theory into practice) and a 'plastic policewoman' (community police) told him to delete the pics that he'd taken. He's written to his MP but has not had anything from the police by way of apology.

It's never happened to me (and await the moment with interest!) but I have been hassled about taking pics in gardens (accused of taking 'professional' pics) and a fun conversation with the National Trust at some gardens who suggested I couldn't use my "tripod" (it was a monopod) despite there being virtually no one there (and poor gardens to boot). Needless to say I don't frequent National Trust any more!
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:15   #5 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Biggest problem with the attachment I posted on Photographers' Rights (aside from its age) is that it focusses on what you are not allowed to do rather than highlighting what we are allowed to do.

What I would love is when hassled by some officious type to be able to pull out some 'evidence' (i.e. court rulings, excertps from legislation) to argue the case.

My son is home educated. Because of the new laws on truancy the umbrella organisation that we work with, Education Otherwise, issues parents with a credit-card sized plastic card laying out the specific legislation that we are operating under. This is to stop us from getting (legitimately) arrested under existing law when out and about during school hours.

What I want is something similar that I can use to 'educate' any official who tries to interfere. I for one would be tempted to go for a trip down the station rather than delete my pictures due to an instruction that has no legal basis.
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:29   #6 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

This is as good a guide as anything: UK Photographers Rights tho' it is quite lengthy
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:47   #7 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

That's the same link I posted at the top, Markulous

Been doing a bit of research and came up with the following two articles, written last year. The first one makes reference to a legal case (David Murray v Express Newspapers PLC & Another 2007) in which it was ruled that there is no right to privacy in a public place and taking photographs in a public place is not illegal.

Chapter Thirteen Photography - Public Photography And The Law

The following link has some legal analysis on the Murray v Express Newspapers case (it's near the bottom). This one indicates that the case ruled not only on the right to take photographs but also that there were no data protection implications of doing so.

http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=55852

And another article covering the legal position and referencing Murray v Express Newspapers

Doherty, 'The Right to Tell One’s Own Story? Balancing Privacy and Expression Claims' [2007] 5 Web JCLI

The second article covers Stop and Search by either Police or a member of the public and is again very informative.

Chapter Thirteen Photography - Public Photography - Stop And Search

I have bookmarked these resources and when I get some time I reckon I might put together a little 'defence' statement for photographers. When I get it done I'll post a copy up here for people to comment on.

There are plenty of other sources covering Murray v Express Newspapers if you do a google search and they lead on to lots of other interesting information on the topic. Because the case took place last year the legal stuff is all current.
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:52   #8 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larne View Post
That's the same link I posted at the top, Markulous
Oops! A bad case of not RTFM! Apologies!

Working my way through your other useful links, bookmarking along the way!
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Old 18-04-2008, 14:51   #9 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

There's no real cure for stupidity that doesn't include The Darwin Awards .

I use a combination of sneakiness (cameras with waist level finders, etc.) and the 'stupid' approach (set up to take a picture, wait for the subject to walk into the image area and press the release).

So far, I've never been challenged but, hey, I've only been doing this sort of thing for forty years, so there's plenty of time yet.

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Old 24-04-2008, 22:17   #10 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

As promised I have put together something that I think covers the key points. I did this originally for my own use but I have since edited it to try and properly reference all the material as it is drawn very much from the sources I identified above.

I really want to stress that this is just a summary of other peoples' work, I am in no way trying to take any creative credit for it. All I did was cut and paste from the original works identified in the references on each page with a bit of editing to cut it all down to two pages.

The document is designed to be printed double-sided onto an A4 sheet then folded into three so you can slip it into a camera bag for reference.

Photographers' Rights

If you think this might be of interest please feel free to print out a copy for your own personal use.
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Old 25-04-2008, 00:45   #11 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Many thanks Larne, I think I'll keep a couple in the bag perminately just in case... Rep Points duely added.
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Old 25-04-2008, 08:05   #12 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Thanks Sonsey, I'm glad you found it useful!
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Old 26-04-2008, 23:08   #13 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Looks great will have a nose thanks you
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Old 01-06-2008, 18:37   #14 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

Stumbled onto the article below while browsing today. It looks like the JK Rowling case went to appeal and the ruling was changed in their favour.

In summary what the courts now appear to be saying is that taking photographs of children (and probably adults) in public is not illegal but publishing them without permission is probably a breach of privacy under European Human Rights.

Link to full article below...

Journalism jobs and news from Holdthefrontpage.co.uk
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Old 01-06-2008, 19:26   #15 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

I believe the Togs rights as linked above are English law only, Scottish laws differ. Something rings a bell if you don't move on when instructed by the pi..(was thinking of bacon there) Police they can charge you with a breach of the peace. Anyone know if a similar togs rights has been made to cover Scottish law?
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:02   #16 (permalink)
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Re: BBC article on photography curbs

And for the aussies here - after a quick search

4020 Φ NSW Photographer's Rights

Although focussed on NSW there is probably much that would be relevant throughout.

And a related wiki - not sure of the veracity ....

Photographers Rights, General Privacy, and Copyright in Australia - OCAU Wiki

Plus Arts Law

Legal Information : Street Photographers Rights
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