I read this from a forum thread. Not sure who the author is but may worth sharing and reading.
The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography
I. Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though itís technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space.
II. If you are on public property, you can take pictures of private property. If a building, for example, is visible from the sidewalk, itís fair game.
III. If you are on private property and are asked not to take pictures, you are obligated to honor that request. This includes posted signs.
IV. Sensitive government buildings (military bases, nuclear facilities) can prohibit photography if it is deemed a threat to national security.
V. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy. Kids swimming in a fountain? Okay. Somebody entering their PIN at the ATM? Not okay.
VI. The following can almost always be photographed from public places, despite popular opinion:
- accident & fire scenes, criminal activities
- bridges & other infrastructure, transportation facilities (i.e. airports)
- industrial facilities, Superfund sites
- public utilities, residential & commercial buildings
- children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
- UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster,
VII. Although ďsecurityĒ is often given as the reason somebody doesnít want you to take photos, itís rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a companyís trade secrets.
VIII. If you are challenged, you do not have to explain why you are taking pictures, nor to you have to disclose your identity (except in some cases when questioned by a law enforcement officer.)
IX. Private parties have very limited rights to detain you against your will, and can be subject to legal action if they harass you.
X. If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you donít have to give it to them. If they take it by force or threaten you, they can be liable for things like theft and coercion. Even law enforcement officers need a court order.
What To Do If Youíre Confronted
1. Be respectful and polite. Use good judgement and donít escalate the situation.
2. If the person becomes combative or difficult, think about calling the police.
3. Threats, detention, and taking your camera are all grounds for legal or civil actions on your part. Be sure to get the personís name, employer, and what legal grounds they claim for their actions.
4. If you donít want to involve the authorities, go above the personís head to their supervisor or their companyís public relations department.
5. Call your local TV and radio stations and see if they want to do a story about your civil liberties.
6. Put the story on the web yourself if need be.
I doubt there's many "nuclear facilities" in Singapore. I and III contradict each other with regards to "private property". The phrase "Superfund site" pretty much means this is written for the United States. Singapore law may differ significantly. I'm not even sure if they are accurate for the United States - over here, cities, counties and states have laws that can be significantly different from each other.
A quick search throws this up:
NATIONAL REGISTRATION ACT
Arrest and search.
16. ó(1) Where any person ó
(a) is reasonably suspected by a registration officer or police officer of the commission of any offence under this Act or any regulations made thereunder; or
(b) on demand by a registration officer or a police officer ó
(i) does not give his name and address;
(ii) gives a name or address which the officer has reason to believe is false; or
(iii) gives as his address a place outside Singapore,
that person may be arrested without warrant by the registration officer or police officer
Notice that it says give name and address, and not so much giving of the IC itself.
Of course, there could be some requirement that I'm not aware of, since there are so many laws around. My own humble opinion is that if asked to produce your ID, go ahead and produce it. However, also ask what the problem is, and at the same time, ask the police officer for HIS own ID. Copy down his rank/name/ID as well for future reference if a complaint needs to be lodged later.
Thanks for looking that up, Vince. I have no intention of arguing with a police officer any time soon Advice of getting the police officer's ID is good, but are they required to produce it? For that matter, I don't even know how to tell a real police ID from a fake one, either over here or in Singapore.
I haven't been able to find one relating to police officers in general, but located one in the Road Traffic Act:
Police officer not in uniform to produce identification card
128. —(1) Every police officer when acting against any person under this Act shall, if not in uniform, on demand declare his office and produce to the person against whom he is acting such identification card as the Commissioner of Police may direct to be carried by police officers.
(2) It shall not be an offence for any person to refuse to comply with any request, demand or order made by any police officer not in uniform who fails to declare his office and produce his identification card on demand being made by such person.
I suppose it is not a stretch to say that similar rules should apply for policemen in general. I also found some provisions relating to customs officers.
If the person is in uniform, you can probably already get his name/rank/id from the uniform.
Anyway, when in doubt, you can always call 999 and ask them to verify the identity of the police officer. I do recall that has been mentioned in the days of when "Dear Mr Policeman" was still being taught in school.
So off we went to one of the walls, and started shooting there. After about an hour or so, the same security officer came to us and told us that we are not allowed to do any photoshoot (notice the difference with photography) in the area. She said that it is passed down from the NL guys, so she, as an officer, does not understand anything about it also.
She told us that there's a no photo sign around the area (which I can't found, yet), so she said that the sign is effective to all the NL area. Since we don't want any problem with anyone -- we pity the officer too, she's quite scared also, we just packed our things.
So, that rules out public library as one of the public places to take photos.
Or is it because we used high profile lighting system? High profile does not equal high price nor professional. But the original complainer (don't know who) seems to understand it that way.
Do you have any photo of your setup? Just curious about how high profile the whole setup is.
No photographs or filming may be taken/or surveys carried out in the libraries without authorised permission.
Anyway, next time I will try replacing static lightstands with voice-activated lightstands. We'll see how they react.
you can shoot almost anything you want, the restriction is not for commercial usage, (pre wedding or wedding are not under commercial usage) and you are not allow to set up more than one tripod (to them, light stands are consider tripod)
What's your definition of public place?
Wikipedia have definition on public space, but founder said don't quote it without consulting other sources. So the definition there may or may not apply to Singapore.
A public place is one which is not owned by any private entity. A private place that is opened for public access, is not a public place.