The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography!!


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technor

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Jan 15, 2008
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I know that this topic is debated quite often in the forums, but just came across this stuff and lot more on this at http://photojojo.com/content/tips/legal-rights-of-photographers/

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 it’s 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, it’s 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, Chuck Norris

VII. Although “security” is often given as the reason somebody doesn’t want you to take photos, it’s rarely valid. Taking a photo of a publicly visible subject does not constitute terrorism, nor does it infringe on a company’s 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 don’t 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 You’re Confronted

* Be respectful and polite. Use good judgement and don’t escalate the situation.
* If the person becomes combative or difficult, think about calling the police.
* Threats, detention, and taking your camera are all grounds for legal or civil actions on your part. Be sure to get the person’s name, employer, and what legal grounds they claim for their actions.
* If you don’t want to involve the authorities, go above the person’s head to their supervisor or their company’s public relations department.
* Call your local TV and radio stations and see if they want to do a story about your civil liberties.
* Put the story on the web yourself if need be.

Not too sure how it applies to all countries. Is there any change for Singapore or HK?

What do you think?
 

Oly5050

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Feb 1, 2005
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Reading thru it briefly....sounds reasonable.

The only thing I can think of is with paparazzi. They are taking pictures of public figure in the public. It is OK, but the security or the subject think it is excessive due to too many paparazzi and too many flashes. So where do we draw the line there if the paparazzi do not know where to draw their own line?
 

#4
Its an American website.....;)

Its seems reasonable, though I did a quick glance through it. Don't think its in our laws though. In all cases, I would thinks its a matter of understanding and common sense. I feel more comfortable being a tourist photographer than at home....sigh!
 

waileong

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It illustrates the dictum that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
 

GavinTing

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#6
Well, we are a conservative asian society ;p

We kinda don't follow American law that much eh
 

Snappy99

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#7
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.

how true is the above in Singapore law?? anyone to comment ...esp if you know the law well:)
 

night86mare

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#8
what do i think?

i think that when it comes to the crunch, i'd rather keep my teeth and my camera alive

than to haul someone to court after he has beaten me up

and that is the way of life. in extreme circumstances, laws fly out of the window, and lose all application.
 

bernards

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Feb 17, 2004
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Using a little common sense usually helps.

There was an idiot at the ECP a few days back. He sneakily started taking shots of my kids and dog. (Sneaky as in always hiding behind the back of my wife and I. When I look at him he'll avoid eye contact and pretend to fiddle with his camera. The moment I looked away he'll start framing, go away and return again.) I don't mind a couple of shots, but after 30 mins... My wife started complaining and give it another few minutes I'll have to start yelling at him. The annoyance is building by the second.

Good for him for not being so stupid that he can't read body language and left us alone... probably off to annoy another family.

If you want to take some street or candids. Go ahead. Flash a smile to reassure your subjects that you mean no harm and find them interesting. What is with the sneaky behavior. If you're the type with no social skills, do the world a favour and choose subjects with no humans involved.
 

huaiwei

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Sep 21, 2003
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#10
law enforcement officers
There will be some segments of the population who will be delighted to see this. :D

If someone tries to confiscate your camera and/or film, you don’t 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.
It used to be so, until post September 11. I understand the police do have greater "impunity" to check, sieze and even detain individuals found to be taking photographs "suspiciously", "suspiciously" of course being in the discretion of the police officer.
 

wranger

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Mar 24, 2007
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#11
We are governed by British Law, so much of the American Laws don't apply here.
 

kcuf2

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Dec 29, 2005
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#13
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.

how true is the above in Singapore law?? anyone to comment ...esp if you know the law well:)
wat is mentioned in the first post by the threadstarter is true even in our singapore legal system. HOWEVER, remember we are in singapore, even if u are right legally, u can still be challenged in such a way tat it becomes illegal.

famous example: the article wrote "Anyone in a public place can take pictures of anything they want. Public places include parks, sidewalks, malls, etc. Malls? Yeah. Even though it’s technically private property, being open to the public makes it public space."

we can see the train track concrete support, we can see the train station from outside. But if u just stand there and shoot them and u are spotted by train staff or law enforcement ppl etc. u can always be labelled as "threat to nation's security", and they have the power to do so, u will always be on the losing end.

so, go shoot butterflies. they are prettier and not so nasty, except chasing them up and down.
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#15
sigh ...


Who remembers DEE ONE and ONLY abosolutely TLUE GOLDEN rule in SG - EVER?


DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO, JUST DON'T GET CAUGHT!
 

lennyl

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Mar 27, 2008
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#16
There was an idiot at the ECP a few days back. He sneakily started taking shots of my kids and dog. I don't mind a couple of shots, but after 30 mins
Wah... your patience is legendary. I'd have given him the evil eye after a couple of minutes.

If you're the type with no social skills, do the world a favour and choose subjects with no humans involved.
:bsmilie:

We are governed by British Law, so much of the American Laws don't apply here.
Strange.. I thought we gained independence a number of years ago, no?
 

Apr 5, 2004
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Serangoon
#17
We are governed by British Law, so much of the American Laws don't apply here.
Hi,

This is UK Photographers Right guide...


Using a little common sense usually helps.

There was an idiot at the ECP a few days back. He sneakily started taking shots of my kids and dog. (Sneaky as in always hiding behind the back of my wife and I. When I look at him he'll avoid eye contact and pretend to fiddle with his camera. The moment I looked away he'll start framing, go away and return again.) I don't mind a couple of shots, but after 30 mins... My wife started complaining and give it another few minutes I'll have to start yelling at him. The annoyance is building by the second.

Good for him for not being so stupid that he can't read body language and left us alone... probably off to annoy another family.

If you want to take some street or candids. Go ahead. Flash a smile to reassure your subjects that you mean no harm and find them interesting. What is with the sneaky behavior. If you're the type with no social skills, do the world a favour and choose subjects with no humans involved.
It would be harassment and invasion of privacy under the british law..and it say that in England it is a criminal offence.. Do you think Singapore law also apply??


Regards
 

waileong

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#18
we can see the train track concrete support, we can see the train station from outside. But if u just stand there and shoot them and u are spotted by train staff or law enforcement ppl etc. u can always be labelled as "threat to nation's security", and they have the power to do so, u will always be on the losing end.
Only because there is no ACLU to fight for your constitutional rights, and most people can't afford to take on the govt just by themselves.
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#20
I do not believe that there is any corresponding invasion of privacy laws in Singapore.

It would be harassment and invasion of privacy under the british law..and it say that in England it is a criminal offence.. Do you think Singapore law also apply??
Regards
 

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