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Old Jan 4, 2005, 7:45 AM   #11
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That's true... about arguing with guys with guns. My rule is ... never throw s... at an armed man, and never throw an armed man at s...
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 8:44 AM   #12
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PeterP wrote:
Pushing the issue with a uniformed officer is probably not a good idea without legal council present. I suspect it could quickly escalate to a few bigger things like obstruction,trespassor possibly several other thingsthe government could decide to press against you if youannoyed them and they chose to pursue the issue.

Even IF photography is notspecifically against the law in a state facility, there are other laws that could possibly apply, if they wanted to push the issue. For example, here are some excerpts from thelaws regarding Disorderly Conduct in New Hampshire I found with a quick search:

"purposely causes a breach of the peace, public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm"

"Disrupting the orderly conduct of business in any public or governmental facility."

So, if they have witnesses testifying (or for that matter, only the officer's word) thatothers in line were upset because their photographs were being taken, or that you were interfering with the ability of the facility to conduct business in some way,do you really thinka Judge/Jury is going to side with you?Maybe, maybe not...

Laws tend to be interpreted differently in different communities, and some are very vague.

It could be argued that the alarm you were causing others was obvious, yet you continued taking photos (and I imagine that manyprosecutors are going to "slant" the evidence to make it sound as bad as possible, because their job is to get a conviction). I can imagine very descriptive language being used in court (people in line turning away from the camera, staff alarmed and stopping their normal workflow, etc.). ;-)

Given that many people may feel that it's an invasion of privacy to have their photographs taken without their permission (whether or notthey have a reasonable expectation of privacy in public), a judge/jury may not be very sympathetic (especially given all of the press about terrorists photographing their targets).

Would you *really* want to risk fighting something like this in court to make a point? I wouldn't.

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 9:06 AM   #13
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True...the original poster already indicated that they understood the issues, and didn't want to take things any further. Definitely a sensible person in my opinion. But on the other hand, if the officer grabbed my arm without being polite or diplomatic, and I didn't realise the issue about photographing things, then I'd report him. That's because there are certain people out there that think they're almighty if given some authority. Not only almighty, but they like the feeling of intimidating people. These are the types of people that I don't like, and I'm the type that would take him on if they stirred me up enough.

If worse comes to worse .. there's a saying. *** made all men. But colt made all men equal.
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 12:59 PM   #14
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This is only slightly related, but people might find it interesting.

There was a long discussion on dpreview's forums about someone taking a picture of their wife in front of a display at a big name department store. They were outside on the street and there for on public property and it was not at a time when the street was busy. A security guard (armed) came out and told them they couldn't do that, it was a copyright violation (the display was copyrighted) and he had the right to take the CF card if he wanted to... and was generally rude with his attitude (at least, it was described this way.)

The comment in this thread about listening to people with guns brought this to mind. Because, basically, the guard was wrong. Taking the picture was legal (what was done with the picture could be a violation.) He certainly doesn't have the right to take the film (he doesn't in this situation; the reference to the pictures of the White House is another matter.)

Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't listen to state troopers. They do a (some times) dangerous job I wouldn't want to do and I generally respect them for that. I treat them with respect. I have less confidence in security guards quoting laws at me (some know it, many don't.)

I can see why you were taking the pictures (documenting him getting his drivers license for the first time, I assume) but I can also see what it is illegal. And, like others, think it's a little sad. Maybe warranted, but sad.

Also, taking pictures of people in public is not (as a general rule) illegal. JimC points out a way which it could be made into something illegal. But just taking a picture of someone in a public place is not illegal. What you do with the image can be (like using it for advertising, making fun of them in a public way, stuff like that) but it inherently isn't illegal. A perfect example is if I went down to a local little league baseball game and took pictures of the kids. Let's say I wanted to practice some sports shots before starting a business selling sports pictures. It's a public park (town owned) and there are no signs saying photography is prohibited. But I would not be surprised if people were alarmed by it and asked me to stop. And for that reason (ignoring the fact that I have no desire to take pictures of kids play sports professionally or otherwise) I would not do it.

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 1:21 PM   #15
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Let's not forget we're talking about US law here, in general. Some other countries have more defined rights to privacy in public spaces.

Yes, the security guard in the story above was wrong. Even IF the display is copyrighted,the photographerstill may be able to use the picture (because whatthe photographerwould have been doing with the image would have been fair use, etc).The photographercertainly would have the right to take the picture; the store could attempt to sue you for copyright infringement, but they have no right to the "self help" of taking or destroying the photographer's property. Contrast that with the Secret Service, who, in the enforcement of a national security law, could confiscate property (well, technically they probably couldn't, but they could arrest you for the charge, the file forfeiture proceedings against the camera, memory card, etc, so your "voluntary" surrender of the images is adviseable...)

There was more discussion about what was right vs. what was legal in http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...amp;forum_id=2

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Old Jan 4, 2005, 9:43 PM   #16
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TunafishJoe wrote:
Me and my friends always hang out in the local Best Buy and bring our cards with us. Using the demos we take candid shots of people and make fun of them as soon as we get home. Are you trying to tell me that besides being morally wrong this is illegal too? Oh the humanity!

that is very very very wrong
if you go to bestbuy to make fun of people, then something is wrong with you, IMO
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 10:55 PM   #17
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[align=left]I know, what's wrong with me? Hehe, I was only kidding. We do like to mess with the camera's tho.[/align]
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Old Jan 5, 2005, 3:49 AM   #18
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As to the story which began this thread, insofar as the issue of taking photos of people is concerned... it is up to the people being photographed to object - it is not up to a State Cop, or security guard, etc.

Personally, I don't like the idea of taking photos of people without their permission - because I don't like people taking photos of me without my permission.

As for it being illegal to take photos in state buildings... in every corner of every state building, there are cameras taking pictures of us...

The hypocrisy of many things is incredibly transparent.

And yet, very tolerated...
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Old Jan 5, 2005, 6:53 AM   #19
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Since starting this thread, it has been interesting to read the opinions. My original question/concern/complaint was answered adequately. The entire ordeal was not dramatic and ended that way. I was able to get the photos I wanted and have now shared them with other family members. That was my sole purpose in taking them. As I stated, I was selfish by not thinking of the many facets mentioned by some of your responses. In fact, the photo I have emailed and printed for the family was one I took outside of the building as my son was getting into the car for the drive home. Being a photo nut, I tend to take more photos than the average person yet probably on par with those frequenting this forum :-) Thanks again for the comments and it is obvious there are some very, very strong opinions as to what we should be able to do with our cameras.
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