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Thread: "You can't take pictures here" - Restrictions on photography

  1. #31
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    /me snickers....


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

  2. #32

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    I always wanted to photograph at Penn Station, of the people standing in front of the big board waiting for their tracks to come up. And leaving the shutter open just long enough to get the ghost movements of people walking in front.

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

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

    Cool.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Zerlina's Avatar
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    Well, some private museums do not allow any photography of their exhibits... but in public spaces it could be only because of security troubles... just like for our Court House...

  4. #34
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Zerlina! I mised you. Where have you been, hiding?

  5. #35

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    June 29, 2007

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

    By RAY RIVERA

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  6. #36

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    A question to Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting - why do you hate photographers?

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

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

  7. #37
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    They want a law that will pretty much give them the right to tell just about anyone to do what they want when they want them to.

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

  8. #38
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    In Washington, D.C., last year, I took some pictures of an art deco frieze at the entrance to one of the commerce department buildings. Instant challenge from the security guards. They asked for I.D., and wrote down my name. I was most cooperative, and they scooted me along. without any fuss. And so I left, with my camera and pictures intact. I figured, "Hell, they're just minimum wage security guards, doing what they're told to do, and they were courteous."

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

  9. #39

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    To snap a picture of architectural detail, you have to show your ID and your info collected - how is that a win?

  10. #40
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Far from a win, its an outrage! Sometimes I really wonder how enjoyable it will be to live in this country 10 years from now, the way things are going. And the population is so complacent and drugged (not just chemically). They watch their liberties disappear one by one.
    I love New York, and I hope I never have to leave because its no longer a free and liberal place. Just in case, I would like to buy property somewhere in the Mediterranean so I have an escape. The USA is no longer a bastion of freedom, its becoming a repressive, corporate cypto-fascist state. I'm free to choose between 30 flavors of Snapple, but my meaningful freedoms and choices are being diminished every day.
    Sorry forefathers, your experiment is failing. I must now show ID to scratch my ass.

  11. #41
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Actually MT, you are free to scratch all you want.

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

  12. #42
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Lol

  13. #43

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

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

  14. #44

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    Editorial

    Film permit rules make a frightening picture

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

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

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

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

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

  15. #45
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Gonna have to be sneakier than ever ^^^

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