Laws governing public photography


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Jul 10, 2008
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#1
I have found a number of guides clarifying the rights of photographers in the UK, US and Australia but none that clearly state the guidelines for photographers in Singapore.

Specifically rules around
- Photographing buildings from public locations such as sidewalks
- Restricted sites that are not allowed to be photographed
- Guidelines in shopping centres

There is alot of opinion and way too much misinformation and as a keen photographer I want to know where I stand when confronted by a security guard that doesnt actually know the legalities behind his work.

Is there any guide or reference that clearly outlines the situation here in Singapore

Does anyone clearly know the actual rights of the photographer here ?

(this is a copy of a post I have put up on other sites and got no response on)
 

ninelives

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Jan 16, 2002
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ninelives.clubsnap.org
#4
I have found a number of guides clarifying the rights of photographers in the UK, US and Australia but none that clearly state the guidelines for photographers in Singapore.

Specifically rules around
- Photographing buildings from public locations such as sidewalks
- Restricted sites that are not allowed to be photographed
- Guidelines in shopping centres

There is alot of opinion and way too much misinformation and as a keen photographer I want to know where I stand when confronted by a security guard that doesnt actually know the legalities behind his work.

Is there any guide or reference that clearly outlines the situation here in Singapore

Does anyone clearly know the actual rights of the photographer here ?

(this is a copy of a post I have put up on other sites and got no response on)
if security guard come after you , you can run ! security guard in singapore cannot make it one, usually they are above 50 yrs old.
 

All Blue

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Nov 8, 2006
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you are all wrong, guys. the guards are smart. they won't chase you but instead they can police saying that there are suspicious character spying around. the station will dispatch a team after the call. when they catch up, they would question you about what you are doing. it's clearly that here in singapore, there are no clear right for street photography or whatsoever. so pls watch out if you want to do so.
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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#9
you are all wrong, guys. the guards are smart. they won't chase you but instead they can police saying that there are suspicious character spying around. the station will dispatch a team after the call. when they catch up, they would question you about what you are doing. it's clearly that here in singapore, there are no clear right for street photography or whatsoever. so pls watch out if you want to do so.
No rights for street photography? Explain these:




If you are ill-informed, it is best to clarify it, or keep your misinformation to yourself.

In a public place, unless you are photographing a protected building (for instance the Parliament House or an army camp), there is no law restricting you from taking photographs (unless they are deemed uncouth or indecent, such as upskirting).
 

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lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#10
Specifically rules around
- Photographing buildings from public locations such as sidewalks
- Restricted sites that are not allowed to be photographed
- Guidelines in shopping centres
First, disclaimer : I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internet or on TV.

Photographing buildings from public locations should not be an issue.

Well, rules around restricted sites that don't allow photography should be pretty clear - no photography. If any such place do not allow photography, the signs should be posted clearly. I wouldn't go poking a long lens through fences that has the sign with a guard shooting a person (hmm, I think I got a photo of that sign somewhere...)

Shopping centers are not public places. I don't think there's a rule that covers all shopping centers.

As you probably know, security guards may not know the rules and regulations that well either. Whipping out a binder with the rules and arguing about their ignorance when confronted is not the best strategy. My recommendation is that, in the absence of clear "no photography" rules, just do it, and if confronted, be friendly, smile, explain and if necessary, plead ignorance and ask to speak to management. And remember that in a pissing contest with security, management is more likely to side with their own employees, so smile, be nice and polite, and you're more likely to get your way with less time wasted.
 

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All Blue

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#11
bro, i doubt you are reading the thread. i merely enforcing TS concern about the actual rights of a photographer here. of course you are right to say that there's no law it taking photos.
it's just that you're lucky and i was unfortunate to have to be questioned by the policeman sent by the security guard who called police.
this was despite i was with a group fellow CS'ers. it's not about misinformation. it's about reality.
it's alright to be naive until the day you get it. then don't cry "why me?"


No rights for street photography? Explain these:




If you are ill-informed, it is best to clarify it, or keep your misinformation to yourself.

In a public place, unless you are photographing a protected building (for instance the Parliament House or an army camp), there is no law restricting you from taking photographs (unless they are deemed uncouth or indecent, such as upskirting).
 

Sep 8, 2004
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near the Equator
#12
The police may enquire, but there are specific guidelines stating what you MAY NOT shoot. Anything outside that boundary is to be considered fair game.
 

lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#13
The police may enquire, but there are specific guidelines stating what you MAY NOT shoot. Anything outside that boundary is to be considered fair game.
Which brings us back to the TS's original question : is there any specific guideline? If so, what are they, and where can they be found?
 

Nov 25, 2005
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North
#16
First, disclaimer : I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on the Internet or on TV.

Photographing buildings from public locations should not be an issue.

Well, rules around restricted sites that don't allow photography should be pretty clear - no photography. If any such place do not allow photography, the signs should be posted clearly. I wouldn't go poking a long lens through fences that has the sign with a guard shooting a person (hmm, I think I got a photo of that sign somewhere...)

Shopping centers are not public places. I don't think there's a rule that covers all shopping centers.
taking pictures from public places are usually fine except when taking military bases, restricted places, etc. However, if you are found with pictures of security cameras, exits, points of entry, etc i guess they will suspect that you are conducting some sort of survillence... remember that the japanese army sent spies to singapore posing as tourists to snap snap before they invaded in WW2? and i doubt anyone can have a fetish for security cameras...haha:sweatsm:

Shopping centres and other private places may have their own rules governing your rights and you are assumed to have agreed to the terms (e.g. no photography, no food, etc signs on the glass door) in order to gain entry.

As you probably know, security guards may not know the rules and regulations that well either. Whipping out a binder with the rules and arguing about their ignorance when confronted is not the best strategy. My recommendation is that, in the absence of clear "no photography" rules, just do it, and if confronted, be friendly, smile, explain and if necessary, plead ignorance and ask to speak to management. And remember that in a pissing contest with security, management is more likely to side with their own employees, so smile, be nice and polite, and you're more likely to get your way with less time wasted.
This piece of advice is a gem.... we only go into battle with a clear indication of how much ammo we have....no point going in when you do not know if you are able to survive. A simple argument over rights may end up with bloodied noses, defamation suits, criminal intimidations, trespassing suits, etc etc :sweat: Just be wise and we can enjoy all the photography we want...
 

Nov 25, 2005
1,105
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North
#17
The police may enquire, but there are specific guidelines stating what you MAY NOT shoot. Anything outside that boundary is to be considered fair game.
true...the police are there just to ensure that whatever you take is legal. no harm...i have been questioned by police a couple of times in my lifetime already haha :dunno:
 

tungtong

Senior Member
Jan 5, 2008
3,042
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serangoon
www.flickr.com
#20
i :heart: singapore.......................&

NO rights for photographer here in :nono: sing.

ALL security guard that doesnt :think: know the legalities behind his work.

NO running or some one may "shoot" :thumbsd: u.

NO lawyer :flame: to help in CS ? ? ? ! ! !.


I am not tungtong 2008

.
 

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