Legalities for photographers - any lawyers out there ?


#1
I posted this a couple of years back (under a different avatar). Got a couple of interesting comments but nothing definitive

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threads/393699-Laws-governing-public-photography?highlight=

Now you can buy cards that tell you what you can or cant do.
- in the US no-one has the legal right to ask you to delete a photo from your camera (not even the police)
- new laws in some states prohibit taking photos of law officers !!
- shopping centres are deemed public places and security guards have no rights to stop you taking photos

As photographers we should know our rights - not have to have arguments with security guards in shopping malls !!
 

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Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#2
You *really* think you have the same rights here as in the USA? Think again.

Shopping malls here are private property - you have no rights there if they tell you not to take a picture.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#3
I posted this a couple of years back (under a different avatar). Got a couple of interesting comments but nothing definitive

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threads/393699-Laws-governing-public-photography?highlight=

Now you can buy cards that tell you what you can or cant do.
- in the US no-one has the legal right to ask you to delete a photo from your camera (not even the police)
- new laws in some states prohibit taking photos of law officers !!
- shopping centres are deemed public places and security guards have no rights to stop you taking photos

As photographers we should know our rights - not have to have arguments with security guards in shopping malls !!
better consult a real lawyer are these applicable in the local context.
 

Deathegg

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Dec 4, 2010
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#4
IIRC in US there's an old lady who burnt herself with McDonld's hot tea/coffee and sued them for millions. Don't think it's remotely possible to even do it here.
 

detritus

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Sep 12, 2009
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#5
just a thought... even if it was "legal", does it make it "proper"? esp if the photographer was potentially making a nuisance of himself / herself.

also to consider more sensitive subjects - is it all that "proper" to take pictures of little kids playing in a public place without permission from their parents? :confused:

kinda creepy isn't it?
 

Octarine

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#6
also to consider more sensitive subjects - is it all that "proper" to take pictures of little kids playing in a public place without permission from their parents?
How many pictures of children have been taken 10..30 years back? But suddenly people start getting sensitive about it, discussing approvals. That's rather worrying ...
 

detritus

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Sep 12, 2009
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#7
How many pictures of children have been taken 10..30 years back? But suddenly people start getting sensitive about it, discussing approvals. That's rather worrying ...
blame the pedophiles :dunno:

i don't make the rules and i certainly don't want to get into an ugly (and perfectly avoidable) situation with overly-protective parents.

fortunately, i have no shortage of children to use as subjects as i have a relatively large extended family :)
 

diver-hloc

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Apr 17, 2007
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#8
TS… here, is S'pore... not US. Things that can be done in US doesn't automatically meant it could be done here.

Its the same no matter where you go, follow the local law.
 

Octarine

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#9
blame the pedophiles :dunno:
That's too simple. Pedophiles are not an invention or fashion of today. Such behaviour existed already in Roman Empire and I guess that wasn't the beginning either. But the difference is awareness .. and the human tendency to exaggerate things. Despite the low crime rate here in SG (let's take this as assumption for the moment) it still amazing how well-filled the newpapers are with reports about crimes. Selective reporting, selective awareness...
 

wilb87

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#10
i always state my kind intention by giving them a smile before and after taking a photograph. Not really sure whether that makes me look like a Pedophiles. But if theirs parents are uncomfortable, i can always delete the pictures for them. Sometimes its not about who is in the right or wrong, or should i say i could not be bothered to argue with them.

Another way is to shoot tactically.
 

detritus

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#11
That's too simple. Pedophiles are not an invention or fashion of today. Such behaviour existed already in Roman Empire and I guess that wasn't the beginning either. But the difference is awareness .. and the human tendency to exaggerate things. Despite the low crime rate here in SG (let's take this as assumption for the moment) it still amazing how well-filled the newpapers are with reports about crimes. Selective reporting, selective awareness...
we digress but the difference is not awareness, but perspective.

in ancient greek and roman times, they did not have the same idea of sexuality as we do today. blame victorian prudishness exported by british imperialism for that.

our idea of what is "normal" and what is "deviant" would have been a joke to the ancient greeks and romans.

anyway, sexuality and newspapers aside, its perfectly understandable that parents may take a more cautious approach with their children if a stranger was showing an unusual amount of attention to them.

the same idea would extend to property owners as well and people in public places. u can snipe them from a distance, you can ask for permission and some may be accommodating, some may shield their faces and walk away, some may give u a shove and tell u to bugger off.

i don't shoot street much, so my experience with this genre is limited. but the point i'm trying to make here is this: you may have a right by the definition of the law, but if you annoy pple in the exercise of that right, all bets are off.

just like a pedestrian crossing the road: pedestrians may have a "right" to cross at the zebra crossing, but its still wise to wait till the cars stops before you cross. the pedestrian will pay a higher price for his / her lack of caution even if the car is in the wrong :sweat:

knowing those rights that are highlighted by TS is useful for situations when u encounter unreasonable behavior like over-zealous security guards. i'm currently typing this from the USA where i'm on a work trip and i know where he's coming from. due to "security concerns", u do encounter some pretty ridiculous situations from mall cops trying too hard to do their job.

a friendly explanation with those WB cards might diffuse a potentially tense situation in some cases. if not, just smile and walk away before they draw their stun guns.
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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#12
TS, having lived in USA for close to 12 years, I can tell you honestly freedom in USA (or western countries) are not as 'free' as you make them out to be.

I encourage you to read up the US laws before making statements such as this.
 

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Jun 8, 2010
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#13
i always state my kind intention by giving them a smile before and after taking a photograph. Not really sure whether that makes me look like a Pedophiles. But if theirs parents are uncomfortable, i can always delete the pictures for them. Sometimes its not about who is in the right or wrong, or should i say i could not be bothered to argue with them.

Another way is to shoot tactically.
or sit far away and use big zoom.:bsmilie:
 

#14
IIRC in US there's an old lady who burnt herself with McDonld's hot tea/coffee and sued them for millions. Don't think it's remotely possible to even do it here.
it's true. That's why now, McDonald's hot beverages comes with an exclusion clause of "WARNING: HOT BEVERAGE INSIDE!" to protect themselves from getting sued again.
 

Jun 15, 2010
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#15
In Singapore, are we allowed to shoot private property when not standing on the private property? I read some where before that you can do that as long as you're not trespassing.
 

#16
Its the same no matter where you go, follow the local law.
Nice idea but the point of the post is to find out what the local law is - no one here seems to actually know !!!!
I find that strange for a forum of local professional and serious hobbyist photographers that we do not actually know what we can or can't do.

Shopping malls here are private property - you have no rights there if they tell you not to take a picture.
Do you know that for a fact or is just the stance of the security guards that hasn't been tested and we keep getting chased off. Dont forget Singapore has the same common law foundation as most western jurisdictions.
 

Oct 27, 2009
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Tampines
#17
Nice idea but the point of the post is to find out what the local law is - no one here seems to actually know !!!!
I find that strange for a forum of local professional and serious hobbyist photographers that we do not actually know what we can or can't do.



Do you know that for a fact or is just the stance of the security guards that hasn't been tested and we keep getting chased off. Dont forget Singapore has the same common law foundation as most western jurisdictions.
Shopping malls are private property opened to the public, so they have the right to tell you to stop taking pictures of the mall/inside etc. But if your on a public walkway and take a picture of the mall then they cannot do anything.
 

Octarine

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#18
I find that strange for a forum of local professional and serious hobbyist photographers that we do not actually know what we can or can't do.
If everyone knew all the details then thounsands of lawers would be jobless. But on the other side, not everything can be ruled and defined down to the last details. It would be tedious and also a eneverending job due to the nature of change happening all the time. So we all need to feed the lawers...
Do you know that for a fact or is just the stance of the security guards that hasn't been tested and we keep getting chased off. Dont forget Singapore has the same common law foundation as most western jurisdictions.
Has been discussed here already. Search for 'shopping mall', bro vince123123 has made several comments about it. Although I don't know him personally I think he has a job in the legal profession. Search for his comments for some profound comments on common legal issues related to photography.
 

mitsucolt

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Jul 16, 2009
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#19
In Singapore, are we allowed to shoot private property when not standing on the private property? I read some where before that you can do that as long as you're not trespassing.
there is no privacy law in singapore, except when in some circumstance.

1/ u stalking ministers for whatever agenda.
2/ when u take pictures/ video of ur maid inside ur house, without informing her that u hv hidden cam and she fully understand her moves r being monitored. ie u hv no ulterior motives
 

Jun 15, 2010
328
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miltontan.com
#20
there is no privacy law in singapore, except when in some circumstance.

1/ u stalking ministers for whatever agenda.
2/ when u take pictures/ video of ur maid inside ur house, without informing her that u hv hidden cam and she fully understand her moves r being monitored. ie u hv no ulterior motives
I meant buildings or houses and stuff, not people.
 

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