Is there a Law/Regulation?


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nokin

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Dec 18, 2003
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#1
I was wondering if there is a Law or Regulation in Singapore that forbids taking photos inside buildings and public areas. I'm asking because:

1. I was in Caltex House on level 2 taking photos down into the alley on level 1 where there are stalls selling stuffs. Shooting in ambient light, no flash used. Then came 2 guys, one of them told me that it is not allowed to take photos in the building. I was surprised and just looked at him in astonishment. He told me that he's from the building's management and told me to stop taking photos. Not wanting to create a scene, I told him "sorry, I didn't know that photo taking is not allowed" and left. I walked around the building and there was no sign which says that photo taking is forbidden.

2. Was at Changi Airport Terminal 2 upper level. Place was renovated with new eateries. Saw a Japanese Restaurant with nice decoration out front, took a few photos. A few of the Restaurant staff saw me taking photos and they allowed me to carry on, smiled to them, "thank You' and proceeded on. Came to a food court, was standing outside and taking photos of the interior deco. Out came a lady and told me that it is not allowed to take photos. Again no flash used, wanted to capture the ambient lighting. What to do, just say "sorry and walked away". There is/are no signs around the airport which says that photography is not allowed.

Anyone knows if there are any regulations against taking photos in public areas? Or can some people just come up to you and tell you that you cannot take photos? (Of course, you're not shooting them).

Please enlighten
Thanks
nokin
 

eug

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Oct 23, 2002
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#2
>>forbids taking photos inside buildings
Yes. You need permission for that.
 

V

vince123123

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#3
This topic has been discussed many many times, do a search.

In short, I am unaware of any laws prohibiting you from generally taking photos in a public area (excepted protected areas specifically gazetted as being prohibited). Meaning if you stand outside the building, you can take all you like.

Inside the building however, they have the right to prevent you from taking (principles of trespass). however, ONCE you have taken, they won't be able to confiscate your film/memory card, or force you to delete anything.

hope it helps.

nokin said:
I was wondering if there is a Law or Regulation in Singapore that forbids taking photos inside buildings and public areas. I'm asking because:

1. I was in Caltex House on level 2 taking photos down into the alley on level 1 where there are stalls selling stuffs. Shooting in ambient light, no flash used. Then came 2 guys, one of them told me that it is not allowed to take photos in the building. I was surprised and just looked at him in astonishment. He told me that he's from the building's management and told me to stop taking photos. Not wanting to create a scene, I told him "sorry, I didn't know that photo taking is not allowed" and left. I walked around the building and there was no sign which says that photo taking is forbidden.

2. Was at Changi Airport Terminal 2 upper level. Place was renovated with new eateries. Saw a Japanese Restaurant with nice decoration out front, took a few photos. A few of the Restaurant staff saw me taking photos and they allowed me to carry on, smiled to them, "thank You' and proceeded on. Came to a food court, was standing outside and taking photos of the interior deco. Out came a lady and told me that it is not allowed to take photos. Again no flash used, wanted to capture the ambient lighting. What to do, just say "sorry and walked away". There is/are no signs around the airport which says that photography is not allowed.

Anyone knows if there are any regulations against taking photos in public areas? Or can some people just come up to you and tell you that you cannot take photos? (Of course, you're not shooting them).

Please enlighten
Thanks
nokin
 

Aug 12, 2004
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#4
Yes, this "No Shooting in Building" nazi policy really irks me to no end. I've had my run-ins with security in several buildings but there's nothing you can do about it. The building you're in belongs is private property and they have the right to just about kick your butt out if they're minded to do so.

Oh and in this post-Sept 11 era, it's better to watch what and where you're snapping away. Taking pictures at sensitive locations like the airport or naval bases is almost always a flirtation with a telling off from the authorities.
 

mpenza

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#6
if you really need to take picture inside a building and the building owner forbids it, you could always try writing to the management.
 

Newman

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Mar 2, 2003
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#7
Same as asking would you want someone to shoot into your landed property or HDB flat? :D
 

nokin

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#8
Thank you guys for your quick responses and clarifications. I understand the part about taking photos inside private property.

But what about public areas like in the airport? And taking photos from outside their establishments. Some tourists may want to do that too.

And what about fashion shows inside shopping malls? Anyone gets permission from the building management or the fashion show organiser before shooting? :think:

I was inside a local 5* hotel once, not too long ago taking photos. Of course I was just at the lobby area takiing photos of their interior deco. The security personnel saw me and allowed me to carry on. Maybe it's a matter of whether the guy likes your face or not. :bsmilie:

I'm not argueing, but just a matter of discussion.

nokin
 

reachme2003

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Oct 6, 2003
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#9
nokin, 5 stars hotels and shopping malls are private properties, thus, the mgt can prohibit taking of pictures inside their buildings. however, taking the facade of such buildings from outside the building, say, along the road, the mgt will not be able to enforce such prohibitions, even if it exists.

Again, sensitive areas like power stations and airports, their security personnel can stop one from taking pics or even ask what are the pics for.

Genuine tourists snaps are exception, but they are also subjected to similiar questioning, etc by security personnel.

In short, there are no law banning photography in general. However, mgt of properties can put in place prohibitions eg. no photography in some retail outlets. So, pls cooperate and respect such prohibitions.
 

V

vince123123

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#10
the funny thing is that even for so called "sensitive" areas, I was unable to find any specific legislation or laws prohibiting photography. The only one uncovered was a prohibition of taking of photographs FROM AN AEROPLANE flying over a protected area...

anyone knows the legal basis for prohibiting photography from such so called "sensitive" areas?

reachme2003 said:
nokin, 5 stars hotels and shopping malls are private properties, thus, the mgt can prohibit taking of pictures inside their buildings. however, taking the facade of such buildings from outside the building, say, along the road, the mgt will not be able to enforce such prohibitions, even if it exists.

Again, sensitive areas like power stations and airports, their security personnel can stop one from taking pics or even ask what are the pics for.

Genuine tourists snaps are exception, but they are also subjected to similiar questioning, etc by security personnel.

In short, there are no law banning photography in general. However, mgt of properties can put in place prohibitions eg. no photography in some retail outlets. So, pls cooperate and respect such prohibitions.
 

AReality

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Jun 9, 2003
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#12
vince123123 said:
the funny thing is that even for so called "sensitive" areas, I was unable to find any specific legislation or laws prohibiting photography. The only one uncovered was a prohibition of taking of photographs FROM AN AEROPLANE flying over a protected area...

anyone knows the legal basis for prohibiting photography from such so called "sensitive" areas?
Doesn't ISA cover everything else? :dunno:
 

reachme2003

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Oct 6, 2003
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#13
vince123123 said:
the funny thing is that even for so called "sensitive" areas, I was unable to find any specific legislation or laws prohibiting photography. The only one uncovered was a prohibition of taking of photographs FROM AN AEROPLANE flying over a protected area...

anyone knows the legal basis for prohibiting photography from such so called "sensitive" areas?
'Sensitive' areas includes protected areas eg. military airbases, Jurong Island, etc.

The reason that you are unable to find specific legislation or laws prohibiting photography is because there are none there in the first place. If any, they usually found in sub legislations, regulations, etc.

But law banning chewing gums here is a different matter. The key difference is prohibitions and banning.
 

Stereobox

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Dec 21, 2003
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#18
as far as i know, to do aerial photography, you need proper clearance and authorisation. usually a representative from the relevant authority will go up with you during the shoot to make sure, yes, you are not photographying so called "sensitive" areas. heard a story where a photographer went ahead to photograph other stuff for his own stock photography, and happen to capture a police station. somehow, he was detected doing that. the moment his helicopter landed, he was picked up by the police and charged. so ... dont play play! :nono:
 

reachme2003

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Oct 6, 2003
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#19
Stereobox said:
as far as i know, to do aerial photography, you need proper clearance and authorisation. usually a representative from the relevant authority will go up with you during the shoot to make sure, yes, you are not photographying so called "sensitive" areas. heard a story where a photographer went ahead to photograph other stuff for his own stock photography, and happen to capture a police station. somehow, he was detected doing that. the moment his helicopter landed, he was picked up by the police and charged. so ... dont play play! :nono:
so serious meh!
 

reachme2003

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#20
I once shot for a force of our SAF. After shooting, the films were handed to a personnel from a certain department for clearance. A week later, the films were returned to me intact. However, the producer who were to accompany me did not get clearance, so I went alone. I can only attribute it to my security clearance from my NS days.

Also, I once shot from a helicopter for our civil aviation. Clearance was almost not noticeable to me.
 

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