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Thread: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    I just want to know how you guys feel when you see this "No Photography" sign inside a shop. I know, I know, this is the shop’s rule and if you enter the shop, you have to abide by it.

    Ok, let me just ask you this: If you are standing outside the shop, is there any regulation that prevents you from taking photos of the shop? After all, you are not inside the shop and the street you are standing on is a public place. I have been stopped from shooting from the street before. It seems that shops (especially the fashion shops) are very sensitive about people taking photos of their fashion displays.

    The worst one I have encountered is at Sentosa Palawan Beach. Of all the places, Movxxpick Ice creams stall. I was standing next to the beach and was shooting those colorful wooden statues near the Indonesian/Indian restaurant. The ice creams shop worker just shouts at me saying no photographing is allowed. I just ignore him and continue with my shooting. He then came out of the stall and insists that I stop. I told him I was not taking photos at his stall at all but since he has annoyed me with his rudeness, I am going to start shooting his stall. He then continues and repeats that I have to stop shooting. I just tell him if he really wants me to stop, go call the police or the Sentosa Rangers. At the end, he just leaves me alone. Does any you guys know why an ice creams shop doesn’t want people taking photos of their shop? This is really beyond me.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    I find that the best way out of such situations is to be nice about it. The employees are probably just doing their job. Technically, if you stand on public property, you are able to photograph anything from where you are (I was informed about this by a cop who stopped me for routine checks when I was walking around the Rochester Park area).

    However, do note that Sentosa itself is not public property. It belongs to Sentosa Development Corp. so you will be subject to whatever rules that may apply to photography on the island.

    Be that as it may, I feel that you should've shown more empathy towards the person who told you not to take photos. We as photographers MAY have the right of way, but sometimes it may be better to walk away (and then later come back to take the shots anyway, but more discreetly! ). Ask the fella why cannot, explain to him what you're doing, and offer to show him what you've photographed. Often, people are more placated when you offer them a reason, as opposed to offering them a challenge.

    One time I was at a shopping centre's multi-storey carpark, trying to shoot the scenery outside. Out of nowhere, one security guard told me cannot take photos. I explained I understood that I cannot take photos of the complex, but what about the outside scenery? He radioed in his boss over the walkie-talkie, and in the end I was given the green light, no problems. Had I been defensive and aggressive, I sure I would've been escorted out of the place.

    In short, don't force the issue. You don't need that shot for your next paycheque, do you?
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  3. #3

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Well said

    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman View Post
    I find that the best way out of such situations is to be nice about it. The employees are probably just doing their job. Technically, if you stand on public property, you are able to photograph anything from where you are (I was informed about this by a cop who stopped me for routine checks when I was walking around the Rochester Park area).

    However, do note that Sentosa itself is not public property. It belongs to Sentosa Development Corp. so you will be subject to whatever rules that may apply to photography on the island.

    Be that as it may, I feel that you should've shown more empathy towards the person who told you not to take photos. We as photographers MAY have the right of way, but sometimes it may be better to walk away (and then later come back to take the shots anyway, but more discreetly! ). Ask the fella why cannot, explain to him what you're doing, and offer to show him what you've photographed. Often, people are more placated when you offer them a reason, as opposed to offering them a challenge.

    One time I was at a shopping centre's multi-storey carpark, trying to shoot the scenery outside. Out of nowhere, one security guard told me cannot take photos. I explained I understood that I cannot take photos of the complex, but what about the outside scenery? He radioed in his boss over the walkie-talkie, and in the end I was given the green light, no problems. Had I been defensive and aggressive, I sure I would've been escorted out of the place.

    In short, don't force the issue. You don't need that shot for your next paycheque, do you?
    thegaleria - web . facebook . instagram @ thegaleria_photo

  4. #4

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    but since he has annoyed me with his rudeness, I am going to start shooting his stall.
    ...

    your attitude does not help matters at all

    be nice to people, even if they are not nice to you

    only then, if they are still nasty, be nasty

  5. #5

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Bravo. You can read about your rights in this forum if you search.

  6. #6

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    I know sometimes idiots in retail seem very unflexible, and will go by the rules are rules.. But I was once an unflexible retail fella, and it's really hard when boss say something, client say something, and you have to follow boss, if you want the job.. One customer made me cry once.. Sigh.. Retail people are just doing what they are told, bo bian...

    I agree that you can shoot what you want, but to shoot the shop on purpose because of that event was.. Childish, eh? You poke me I poke you =(

    In this case you were not in the wrong at all. However, shops have every right to prohibit photograph in their shops, be it for trade secrets or the like, which should be respected. The sales fella was wrong for telling you to stop shooting. But, some tact in revolving the situation could have been used. =)
    Meow!

  7. #7

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Gavin, you're absolutely right - it's not that they are 'idiots', it's that they are trained to be that way.

    I can understand how frustrating TS situation must have been. Many of us have been there and probably received a lot more abusive treatment.

    So I can't blame TS for doing what he did.

    But the problems is now, staff report back to supervisor. Super reports back to higher management. Higher Mgt speaks to Sentosa Mgt ... you see where this is leading.

    Guess we can all be a little more gracious in life. Afterall, if we have the benefit of knowledge and information, we can use it to help educate others in a nice way, and then if they still super du-lan, we have to make a stand and choose to win a battle and loose a war, or loose a battle and win a much longer-drawn out war. Never easy to choose.

  8. #8

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    the issue about adhering to any "rules" is that the rule must be very specific and fair.

    if photography is "NOT ALLOWED" eg army camp, then all image capturing devices are banned, except for authorised personnel.

    but in the case of, say Sentosa, any Tom, Dick, Harry can prohibit photography, then i'd assume that S'pore will again be in the international limelight. or perhaps the rule can specify that only tourists can take photographs or only P n S are allowed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman View Post
    I find that the best way out of such situations is to be nice about it. The employees are probably just doing their job. Technically, if you stand on public property, you are able to photograph anything from where you are (I was informed about this by a cop who stopped me for routine checks when I was walking around the Rochester Park area).
    I guess it is easier said than done when you are in the heat of the moment. On hind sight, I should have just walk away but maybe this is an accumulation of frustration on the kiasu and kiasi attitude of Singapore shops that put up "No Photography" sign even for an ice creams shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman View Post
    However, do note that Sentosa itself is not public property. It belongs to Sentosa Development Corp. so you will be subject to whatever rules that may apply to photography on the island.
    I would really doubt Sentosa being a tourist spot will have rules forbid people from taking photos at the beach. The stall was right next to the beach so it is pretty hard for people to avoid shooting at them. And for an ice creams shop to have this “No Photography” rule in a tourist area is really mind baffling.

    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman View Post
    One time I was at a shopping centre's multi-storey carpark, trying to shoot the scenery outside. Out of nowhere, one security guard told me cannot take photos. I explained I understood that I cannot take photos of the complex, but what about the outside scenery? He radioed in his boss over the walkie-talkie, and in the end I was given the green light, no problems. Had I been defensive and aggressive, I sure I would've been escorted out of the place
    the attitude and the tone of the voice of the shop employee is really hostile. I guess I was frustrated at the situation because I was not even shooting at the store and this guy just comes out yelling at me.
    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    ...

    your attitude does not help matters at all

    be nice to people, even if they are not nice to you

    only then, if they are still nasty, be nasty
    I guess I was being nasty since the guy keep yelling at me. For someone who is just doing their job, they should just tell me to stop in a reasonable tone of voice and not yelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by GavinTing View Post
    I know sometimes idiots in retail seem very unflexible, and will go by the rules are rules.. But I was once an unflexible retail fella, and it's really hard when boss say something, client say something, and you have to follow boss, if you want the job.. One customer made me cry once.. Sigh.. Retail people are just doing what they are told, bo bian...

    I agree that you can shoot what you want, but to shoot the shop on purpose because of that event was.. Childish, eh? You poke me I poke you =(
    You can say I am childish but I would say I am just giving the guy a taste of the same medicine for being unreasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by GavinTing View Post
    In this case you were not in the wrong at all. However, shops have every right to prohibit photograph in their shops, be it for trade secrets or the like, which should be respected. The sales fella was wrong for telling you to stop shooting. But, some tact in revolving the situation could have been used. =)
    I never said I should be shooting in shops that have put up the "No Photographing" sign. I do respect the rule and what I am trying to say is that shopkeepers sometimes come out of the shop to stop me shooting from the street which I think is wrong.

  10. #10

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post

    I never said I should be shooting in shops that have put up the "No Photographing" sign. I do respect the rule and what I am trying to say is that shopkeepers sometimes come out of the shop to stop me shooting from the street which I think is wrong.
    If you read my comment again, I did agree that the shopkeeper was wrong, and you are in no wrong at all.
    Meow!

  11. #11
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Ok, my mistake. My reply should be made as a general comment rather than a directly reply to yours.

  12. #12

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    I too had a similar experience like TS,
    I was shooting a candid shot of my friend sitting on the stairs in front of the subordinate court (Opp Ministry of Manpower). Then suddenly outa of no where, a security guard just came over and scolded us for taking photos of a Gov building... He was extremely harsh in his words and commanded us to leave the place. We were only outside the building... not knowing our rites, my friend and I apologized and left. but i drive ard the compound again to see if there is any signs saying 'No photography' ... There wasnt any (or at least the outside of the building) and i'm quite sure abt it.. So i thought, if I'm a tourist and not a local, I don think i will be treated this way, does ppl who carry big DSLRs with big lens equates to terrorism?? I mean if I'm really one, wont it be stupid to stand infront of the building and uses a 70-200mm 2.8 lens to shoot targetted location ????????? anyway, I've seem countless of photos and also wedding couples having their wedding shots taken at Supreme court at padang... wont it be a infringement if its according to wad the security guards have said to me abt ' no taking of photos of gov buildings!!' ??

    I have the strange feeling, the guards employed at the Court (from Cisco according to the badge he's wearing) don even know abt wad can be done and wad cant... or at least towards this issue... well, maybe i could be wrong..
    Last edited by Tamedriver; 25th February 2008 at 12:04 AM.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    I too had a similar experience to wad the TS,
    I was shooting a candid shot of my friend sitting on the stairs in front of the subordinate court (Opp Ministry of Manpower). Then suddenly outa of no where, a security guard just came over and scolded us for taking photos of a Gov building... He was extremely harsh in his words and commanded us to leave the place. We were only outside the building... not knowing our rites, my friend and I apologized and left. but i drive ard the compound again to see if there is any signs saying 'No photography' ... There wasnt any (or at least the outside of the building) and i'm quite sure abt it.. So i thought, if I'm a tourist and not a local, I don think i will be treated this way, does ppl who carry big DSLRs with big lens equates to terrorism?? I mean if I'm really one, wont it be stupid to stand infront of the building and uses a 70-200mm 2.8 lens to shoot targetted location ????????? anyway, I've seem countless of photos and also wedding couples having their wedding shots taken at Supreme court at padang... wont it be a infringement if its according to wad the security guards have said to me abt ' no taking of photos of gov buildings!!' ??

    I have the strange feeling, the guards employed at the Court (from Cisco according to the badge he's wearing) don even know abt wad can be done and wad cant... or at least towards this issue... or maybe i could be wrong..
    D300|MB-D10|17-55 f/2.8G|VR 70-200 f/2.8G|VR 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G|50 f/1.4D|105 VR f/2.8G|SB-800

  14. #14

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    To my understanding, the "No Photography" doesn't mean you can't take picture. However, not to picture THEIR PRODUCTS.

    Basically the products (ice cream, t-shirts, mugs or whatever) are the intellectual properties of the designers. The shop who are handling the items is suppose to protect them on their behave. That is the purpose of "no photography"

    However, the shop keeper should not stop you from taking pictures. So unless he is stopping you from taking the products, he has NO RIGHTS to stop you from photographing anything else. Moreover, the intellectual property right is protecting against any profitable gain. If you are keeping it solely for personal record it should have no problem of that.

  15. #15

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tamedriver View Post
    the guards employed at the Court (from Cisco according to the badge he's wearing) don even know abt wad can be done and wad cant... or at least towards this issue... or maybe i could be wrong..
    exactly! many times, the security guards dunno wat they are doing.

    but cant blame them. even the relevant authority dunno.

    so, when ppl write in to ask for clarification, the most common answer is "... ...as a result of misunderstanding... ...miscommunication... ...case by case basis... ..."

  16. #16
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by tunster View Post
    To my understanding, the "No Photography" doesn't mean you can't take picture. However, not to picture THEIR PRODUCTS.

    Basically the products (ice cream, t-shirts, mugs or whatever) are the intellectual properties of the designers. The shop who are handling the items is suppose to protect them on their behave. That is the purpose of "no photography"
    This is exactly what I don't understand. If they don't allow people take photos of their products because of IP issue, why are they themselves putting up ALL their product photos on their own website for people to download?

  17. #17

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Sometimes all it takes is a friendly smile and a nod. Show them what you're shooting, convince them you're harmless and you'll be surprised how quickly people's attitude towards you change.

    If you're nice to others they might be more inclined to help you out.
    Canon EOS 66 | Kit Lens | Leung Sheung Wing Chun Singapore

  18. #18

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    I guess I was being nasty since the guy keep yelling at me. For someone who is just doing their job, they should just tell me to stop in a reasonable tone of voice and not yelling.
    they should, they should

    just like you should be a nice guy too

    but they didn't, does that mean you give them attitude right away?

    just think about it, the next time you're having a nice day and feeling snappish and someone else gives you attitude right away.. just remember this incident and see how you feel about it at that time.

    everyone deserves at least one chance. i'm sure the world would be a lot better if everyone got that one chance.

  19. #19

    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    This is exactly what I don't understand. If they don't allow people take photos of their products because of IP issue, why are they themselves putting up ALL their product photos on their own website for people to download?
    For your information, things that they have right to publish doesn't mean you have the right to do so. They allow you to download is to promote their items and the do it solely for their own profit. They have all rights to protect you from reusing. Of course if you take photographs doesn't mean you will use them. However, they are the property holders and they decide what's can and what's can't.

    Simple example, you invite people to visit your house do they have the right to stay? Or you have to give them permission to stay. Think about it.

    Another example, if you take some very nice pictures. You display them in an exhibition and show people in the public. Some nasty guy take the photo of your photographs and sell them to a stock photo company. What is your reaction?
    Last edited by tunster; 25th February 2008 at 02:44 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: “No Photography” - Does we photographers have rights too?

    Maybe I will use an example here also and you can explain to me my rights to these photos:

    a) My wife bought a LV bag for $2000 and I took a picture of her standing next to the bag at the street. b) she stood next to the same bag in the store and I took a picture of her.

    According to your knowledge about IP regarding photo rights, Is there any difference regarding my rights to the photo a) and photo b)? From my layman's understanding, I have the IP right to the photo a) but not photo b) since in the case of photo b), the shop will stop me from taking the photo. They stop me not because they are afraid of me stealing the design since I already own the product and can always view them from their website with thousands of the photos they provided there. So what are their concerns and why are they stopping people from taking photos?

    I will ask you with another example:
    Right after she bought the LV bag, my wife stands in front of the same bag in LV store and I take a picture of her with both bags. Now, can you tell me if I violated any IP laws? If not, why will the store not allow me to take photo in their store?
    Last edited by CS TAN; 25th February 2008 at 08:04 AM.

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