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Thread: Our rights?

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    Default Our rights?

    Hi there,i just recently read an article in Digital camera world regarding what we as photographers can and cannot do.Or whether police officers can demand us to delete images off our cameras.Well those are rules in the UK,is there an official place i can go to find out regarding our rights here as photographers.Regarding ownership of pictures,our do's and don'ts etc...hope you guys can help.Thanks!

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    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duinchlfc View Post
    Hi there,i just recently read an article in Digital camera world regarding what we as photographers can and cannot do.Or whether police officers can demand us to delete images off our cameras.Well those are rules in the UK,is there an official place i can go to find out regarding our rights here as photographers.Regarding ownership of pictures,our do's and don'ts etc...hope you guys can help.Thanks!
    No too sure where you could find an Official Place to get such information..... short of the Ministry of Home Affairs..... But I really doubt they would answer you..... But you could try there never the less.

    Ministry of Home Affairs - Website

    I think common sense should be a better guide..... avoid taking Photos of military & govt building..... and inside MRT stations..... Since the exposed JI operation at Yishan SMRT Station.... Photographer taking pics are commonly view as somewhat a threat.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

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    Default Re: Our rights?

    If you stand on public road, you can shoot whatever you want except sensitive places like military installations, etc.

    With regards to MRT stations, interchanges etc, are there any explicit signs/rules that say we cannot take photographs there? Maybe have, but I never bothered to go and find out lah.

    However, we can take photos of people and xmms and etc because in Singapore there are no privacy laws (not to the extent of those in U.S. Canada anyway).
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  4. #4

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by synapseman View Post
    If you stand on public road, you can shoot whatever you want except sensitive places like military installations, etc.

    With regards to MRT stations, interchanges etc, are there any explicit signs/rules that say we cannot take photographs there? Maybe have, but I never bothered to go and find out lah.

    However, we can take photos of people and xmms and etc because in Singapore there are no privacy laws (not to the extent of those in U.S. Canada anyway).
    you can take pictures inside a MRT station. you see tourists doing it all the time, xmms taking pictures of themselves etc. as long as its not used for commercial or "unfriendly" purposes.

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    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by vonlichenstein View Post
    you can take pictures inside a MRT station. you see tourists doing it all the time, xmms taking pictures of themselves etc. as long as its not used for commercial or "unfriendly" purposes.
    You can take pictures inside a MRT station.... as long as you are not caught.

    I work for SMRT..... I know.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  6. #6

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Shoot film then you cannot delete.
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr - adamloh.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by diver-hloc View Post
    You can take pictures inside a MRT station.... as long as you are not caught.

    I work for SMRT..... I know.
    really (as long as you're not caught)? my aunt is in the PR department of Comfort del Gro, i dunno bout train stations, but for interchanges as long as its not commercial/you're not setting up tripod, studio lightings, giant reflectors and a fan to blow your model's hair, its fine. i've shot in train stations and trains before, even had an smrt staff come up and talk to me bout cameras and stuff.

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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamadam View Post
    Shoot film then you cannot delete.
    Hi everyone,

    It is my understanding (from my Dad who is a Security Officer with one of the Uniformed Government Agencies) that if you shoot places that are "Protected" under the Gazetted Areas under "Protected Areas and Protected Places Act" (PAPPA). Theses are places that have the "Red Signboards" you will be under authority to hand over your camera to the persons authorised to protect these areas. They may be Police, Military and even employed Security Personnel.

    If you shoot digital it is more likely that you will be asked to delete the contents of your camera by the security personnel. Nowadays, these security guys are quite knowledgeable and do know how to "Format" media storage devices to delete any pictures. If they cannot do it they may confiscate it or if they find and pictures that are sensitive then bigger problems in store for the photographer.

    If you shoot film then it is more likely the person checking your camera is going to have to confiscate the roll of film and any other recording media that you may have on you to check the items. Believe me they have the right to detain you until the Police comes along and then you may be in bigger trouble for photographing in a "Protected Area". Good and Bad, you may get a free developing of your roll of film. But if found to have sensitive pictures, you may even get prosecuted by the authorities.

    Best Practices is to use common sense and ask security personnel if it is ok to take pictures around the vicinity of such places that are gazetted as "PAPPA". As mentioned these places are usually Government Buildings, inside and outside of Military Installations and other sensitive areas protected by "PAPPA".

    Just thought I would like to share this as I saw this and asked my dad about it and got this answer from him.

    TJ
    Do No Harm to Others and Others Will Do No Harm to You. Everything In Life Comes Full Circle.:heart:

  9. #9

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by TimJohn View Post
    Hi everyone,

    (from my Dad who is a Security Officer with one of the Uniformed Government Agencies)
    lol thats a very diplomatic way of putting it.

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    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by vonlichenstein View Post
    really (as long as you're not caught)? my aunt is in the PR department of Comfort del Gro, i dunno bout train stations, but for interchanges as long as its not commercial/you're not setting up tripod, studio lightings, giant reflectors and a fan to blow your model's hair, its fine. i've shot in train stations and trains before, even had an smrt staff come up and talk to me bout cameras and stuff.
    Again... it very much depends on the 'Mood' of the staff. Don't believe, try shooting your DSLR - ALONE - with a large lens around the station under plain view of the staff..... not just 1 or 2, but snaping all over the place.

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  11. #11

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by TimJohn View Post
    If you shoot digital it is more likely that you will be asked to delete the contents of your camera by the security personnel. Nowadays, these security guys are quite knowledgeable and do know how to "Format" media storage devices to delete any pictures. If they cannot do it they may confiscate it or if they find and pictures that are sensitive then bigger problems in store for the photographer.
    actually deleted/formatted images from a memory card is so easily recovered...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Our rights?

    oh no, here it goes again!

    well, there are going to be rules, and there are going to be rules, but on the street sometimes rules don't matter. it's simple. for example, if every person around you is taking pictures openly in a cathedral even though there are "no photography" signs everywhere, then follow the crowd. if the building happens to be a potentially sensitive building, e.g. embassy, governmental building, weigh the pros and cons and make your decision. most of the time the building is not photogenic enough to warrant it, since they tend to be low key. if the man on the street looks like the explosive sort, even though you want to capture his scarred face full of character, maybe you want to ask nicely first. it is better to try than not to get anything at all, but it is also better to not get any photograph rather than losing your camera.

  13. #13
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Duinchlfc: In Singapore, if a policeman asks you to delete photographs from your camera, ask him what his legal basis for the demand is. I am not aware of any law which prescribes that a policeman can make such orders. Take down his particulars as well if he insists or tries to badger you into doing so.

    There is also, in my view at least, a misconception that there are laws prohibiting the photography of sensitive installations. According to my research in the past, the only prohibition is taking photographs "IN" a protected place/area and not "OF" a protected place/area. Ie, if you are outside the protected place/area and you take photos of the place/area, it doesn't come under that provision.

    Of course, no research is 100% complete, and if someone knows of some laws which specifically prohibit photography of protected places (even though the photographer is outside of that area), kindly share for further discussion.

    Although my interest is in legal issues and I tend to only discuss what's legal/illegal, night86mare has provided an insight into factors to consider besides the strictly legal factors. Those should also be borne in mind before you click the shutter - sometimes things go beyond the legal.

    Hope this helps.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Duinchlfc: In Singapore, if a policeman asks you to delete photographs from your camera, ask him what his legal basis for the demand is. I am not aware of any law which prescribes that a policeman can make such orders. Take down his particulars as well if he insists or tries to badger you into doing so.

    There is also, in my view at least, a misconception that there are laws prohibiting the photography of sensitive installations. According to my research in the past, the only prohibition is taking photographs "IN" a protected place/area and not "OF" a protected place/area. Ie, if you are outside the protected place/area and you take photos of the place/area, it doesn't come under that provision.

    Of course, no research is 100% complete, and if someone knows of some laws which specifically prohibit photography of protected places (even though the photographer is outside of that area), kindly share for further discussion.

    Although my interest is in legal issues and I tend to only discuss what's legal/illegal, night86mare has provided an insight into factors to consider besides the strictly legal factors. Those should also be borne in mind before you click the shutter - sometimes things go beyond the legal.

    Hope this helps.
    hey thats interesting. i didn't realise that. But i think there is a law that encompasses taking a photo OF a restricted place as well. I can't be sure because i haven't researched it thoroughly. My brother (an ex police officer) isn't sure either.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Our rights?

    I thought I read somewhere before that no security officers or policeman is authorised to ask a photographer to delete the pictures in the camera ?

    Not very sure, maye someone can verify ?

    Cheers

  16. #16
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by vonlichenstein View Post
    hey thats interesting. i didn't realise that. But i think there is a law that encompasses taking a photo OF a restricted place as well. I can't be sure because i haven't researched it thoroughly. My brother (an ex police officer) isn't sure either.
    Hmm, perhaps you could let us know when you find out that law then we can discuss further

    Quote Originally Posted by Will03 View Post
    I thought I read somewhere before that no security officers or policeman is authorised to ask a photographer to delete the pictures in the camera ?

    Not very sure, maye someone can verify ?
    I think what you're referring to was a Forum Letter from Ministry of Home Affairs or a new article at the time where people was asking whether it is legal to take photos of pple using mobile phone on the MRT, and I think the Police or MHA said it was not. Can't really remember whether the issue of police demanding photos be deleted was discussed though.

    Cheers
    Last edited by vince123123; 1st August 2008 at 10:53 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I think what you're referring to was a Forum Letter from Ministry of Home Affairs or a new article at the time where people was asking whether it is legal to take photos of pple using mobile phone on the MRT, and I think the Police or MHA said it was not. Can't really remember whether the issue of police demanding photos be deleted was discussed though.
    Live and let live people. Security within our transportation system is indeed a very serious thing n the threat till today is very real. THe JI incident serves as a stern reminder that today's peace cannot and should not be taken for granted. I have seen alot of remarks and replies and people seems to be viewing it very lightly (seems to have the it cannot happen here mentality). Incidents in London and Madrid should be taken upon as a lesson and we should not allow any possibility for it to take place here. Like what someone said, photographers being targetted after the JI incident. We as photographers can help by making it better and not any worse, making it difficult for the authorities.

    Regardless of whether photo taking is allowed in places such as the MRT is allowed, photography is afterall an activity to relax, why create something more to stress out? I do agree that the way some security personnels and/or staff handling the matter could have been better, but its their job and let's jus cooperate with them. We all have a part to play. A little smile will go a long way. If people wants to know whether SMRT staff can ask you to stop taking picture or ask you to leave, yes, true that they are a public listed company. They can have their set of rules and regulations which they are not required to publish. However, under Rapid Transit Systems Act (Chapter 263A, Section 42) Rapid Transit Systems Regulations, Arrangement of Regulations, Part IV, Conduct of Passengers, Point 11. Compliance with Instructions- Every person while on the railway premises shall comply with all notices, signs and all reasonable directions and instructions of any authorised person. Oh, if you are interested to know what denotes "authorised person", under the same chapter, same section, "authorised person" means any officer, employee or agent of the Authority, or of its licensee, acting in the execution of his duty upon or in connection with the railway. Anyway, they usually just request you to stop taking pictures, record down your name in case of any links (to provide to the police if needed). As for whether they will ask you to delete them and whether they are authorised to do so, leave that for another debate.

    Ok, enough of the law stuff, but all in all everyone who is working in a security job has a responsibility towards others. The security personnel of a building is responsible to its ocupants, SMRT staff responsible to the commuters, etc. Its never a nice or easy job. We can try not to make it worse? Comparative to UK, photographers are already treated in a much better way. We are in CS cause we like photography and missing a picture or two of a certain place or building will not dampen the mood. Let move on from here, there is a whole world out there waiting for us to take pictures of. We are kind of becoming a place where if there are no laws, we do not have to do that. A little social grace will find its way back to you. Remember, what goes around, comes around

    cheers ppl!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Our rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by tan131 View Post
    Live and let live people. Security within our transportation system is indeed a very serious thing n the threat till today is very real. THe JI incident serves as a stern reminder that today's peace cannot and should not be taken for granted. I have seen alot of remarks and replies and people seems to be viewing it very lightly (seems to have the it cannot happen here mentality). Incidents in London and Madrid should be taken upon as a lesson and we should not allow any possibility for it to take place here. Like what someone said, photographers being targetted after the JI incident. We as photographers can help by making it better and not any worse, making it difficult for the authorities.

    Regardless of whether photo taking is allowed in places such as the MRT is allowed, photography is afterall an activity to relax, why create something more to stress out? I do agree that the way some security personnels and/or staff handling the matter could have been better, but its their job and let's jus cooperate with them. We all have a part to play. A little smile will go a long way. If people wants to know whether SMRT staff can ask you to stop taking picture or ask you to leave, yes, true that they are a public listed company. They can have their set of rules and regulations which they are not required to publish. However, under Rapid Transit Systems Act (Chapter 263A, Section 42) Rapid Transit Systems Regulations, Arrangement of Regulations, Part IV, Conduct of Passengers, Point 11. Compliance with Instructions- Every person while on the railway premises shall comply with all notices, signs and all reasonable directions and instructions of any authorised person. Oh, if you are interested to know what denotes "authorised person", under the same chapter, same section, "authorised person" means any officer, employee or agent of the Authority, or of its licensee, acting in the execution of his duty upon or in connection with the railway. Anyway, they usually just request you to stop taking pictures, record down your name in case of any links (to provide to the police if needed). As for whether they will ask you to delete them and whether they are authorised to do so, leave that for another debate.

    Ok, enough of the law stuff, but all in all everyone who is working in a security job has a responsibility towards others. The security personnel of a building is responsible to its ocupants, SMRT staff responsible to the commuters, etc. Its never a nice or easy job. We can try not to make it worse? Comparative to UK, photographers are already treated in a much better way. We are in CS cause we like photography and missing a picture or two of a certain place or building will not dampen the mood. Let move on from here, there is a whole world out there waiting for us to take pictures of. We are kind of becoming a place where if there are no laws, we do not have to do that. A little social grace will find its way back to you. Remember, what goes around, comes around

    cheers ppl!
    while i agree with nearly all of your points (i'm too lazy to list them ), at the same time we discuss this so we know our rights. While it is true that missing a picture or 2 of a certain location won't do much harm to us, i feel it is a matter of principle (and law) in certain circumstances as well.

    ok i had more to say, but i'm off for lunch now so i'll edit later (if i don't fall asleep at my desk after lunch) i like your point of view, tan131. its so positive and friendly

  19. #19
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    As you have put it, social graces are important, but respect for laws is as well.

    In the same way, I take a very dim view of security personnel who do not respect the laws and in some cases, create their own laws to try to justify their position. I hardly consider that as having social graces either.

    The key issue in a discussion like this on this forum is for people discuss, ask and hopefully to be aware of their rights and obligations under law. How to execute this knowledge would then depend on each person in that specific situation.

    However, in order to reach that stage, we must first educate and be aware.

    Quote Originally Posted by tan131 View Post
    Live and let live people. Security within our transportation system is indeed a very serious thing n the threat till today is very real. THe JI incident serves as a stern reminder that today's peace cannot and should not be taken for granted. I have seen alot of remarks and replies and people seems to be viewing it very lightly (seems to have the it cannot happen here mentality). Incidents in London and Madrid should be taken upon as a lesson and we should not allow any possibility for it to take place here. Like what someone said, photographers being targetted after the JI incident. We as photographers can help by making it better and not any worse, making it difficult for the authorities.

    Regardless of whether photo taking is allowed in places such as the MRT is allowed, photography is afterall an activity to relax, why create something more to stress out? I do agree that the way some security personnels and/or staff handling the matter could have been better, but its their job and let's jus cooperate with them. We all have a part to play. A little smile will go a long way. If people wants to know whether SMRT staff can ask you to stop taking picture or ask you to leave, yes, true that they are a public listed company. They can have their set of rules and regulations which they are not required to publish. However, under Rapid Transit Systems Act (Chapter 263A, Section 42) Rapid Transit Systems Regulations, Arrangement of Regulations, Part IV, Conduct of Passengers, Point 11. Compliance with Instructions- Every person while on the railway premises shall comply with all notices, signs and all reasonable directions and instructions of any authorised person. Oh, if you are interested to know what denotes "authorised person", under the same chapter, same section, "authorised person" means any officer, employee or agent of the Authority, or of its licensee, acting in the execution of his duty upon or in connection with the railway. Anyway, they usually just request you to stop taking pictures, record down your name in case of any links (to provide to the police if needed). As for whether they will ask you to delete them and whether they are authorised to do so, leave that for another debate.

    Ok, enough of the law stuff, but all in all everyone who is working in a security job has a responsibility towards others. The security personnel of a building is responsible to its ocupants, SMRT staff responsible to the commuters, etc. Its never a nice or easy job. We can try not to make it worse? Comparative to UK, photographers are already treated in a much better way. We are in CS cause we like photography and missing a picture or two of a certain place or building will not dampen the mood. Let move on from here, there is a whole world out there waiting for us to take pictures of. We are kind of becoming a place where if there are no laws, we do not have to do that. A little social grace will find its way back to you. Remember, what goes around, comes around

    cheers ppl!

  20. #20
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Our rights?

    Back to discussion on laws:

    Quote Originally Posted by tan131 View Post
    If people wants to know whether SMRT staff can ask you to stop taking picture or ask you to leave, yes, true that they are a public listed company. They can have their set of rules and regulations which they are not required to publish.
    Yes, as with any privately owned space, they can ask you to leave. Yes, they can ask you to stop taking photos within their premises.

    However, no, it is very doubtful if they have the right to ask you to stop taking photos if you are standing outside their premises. And no, it is very doubtful if they have the right to demand deletion of photos already taken.

    As for their own set of rules and regulations which "they are not required to publish", yes, every company has its own sets of rules and polices. But no, they cannot enforce such policies against you if there is no specific legislation providing them with that power.

    An example in point - SBS has an internal policy "empowering" its bus drivers to confiscate EZLINK cards. But no, they do not have such a power in law and a customer can refuse to hand over an ezlink card if they want to. (I have written to ST Forum to highlight this during the time students got their cards confiscated unjustly. and SBS implicitly agreed that they have no statutory power although they just kept saying "its in our rules" - but their rules have no weight or power.)

    Quote Originally Posted by tan131 View Post
    However, under Rapid Transit Systems Act (Chapter 263A, Section 42) Rapid Transit Systems Regulations, Arrangement of Regulations, Part IV, Conduct of Passengers, Point 11. Compliance with Instructions- Every person while on the railway premises shall comply with all notices, signs and all reasonable directions and instructions of any authorised person. Oh, if you are interested to know what denotes "authorised person", under the same chapter, same section, "authorised person" means any officer, employee or agent of the Authority, or of its licensee, acting in the execution of his duty upon or in connection with the railway. Anyway, they usually just request you to stop taking pictures, record down your name in case of any links (to provide to the police if needed). As for whether they will ask you to delete them and whether they are authorised to do so, leave that for another debate.
    Since we are already discussing, why not discuss further?

    Yes to answer your last point, they are authorised persons under the Act. The question is not authority, but reasonableness. Ie whether such a demand is a reasonable direction under the Act. I doubt this point has been tested in law, so its anyone's guess.

    Going by analogy of Rule 11A, which grants a right to search bags, we can see that even this right is not absolute. If a person refuses to get his bags searched, he can simply leave the station.

    Hence, an argument can be made to say that if I refuse to have my photographs searched (or deleted), I can simply leave the station. Of course, this is merely an argument.

    In any event, the only penalty that is provided for a breach of Rule 11 is a fine of S$500 (and a discretion for composition). Hence, balance this against the necessity of your photographs.

    One interesting thing which came up in researching the above, it seems there's a general catch all Rule 17 for nuisance:

    Passenger not to cause nuisance
    17. No person shall conduct himself on any train or in any part of the railway premises so as to cause a nuisance or annoyance to other passengers.

    Fine of S$500.

    Now we know what to do when dealing with those irritating pple who blast their mp3s on their mobile phones or PSP on the train.
    Last edited by vince123123; 1st August 2008 at 12:42 PM.

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