PetaPixel

Shooting Kids without Parental Consent May Become 3rd Degree Crime in NJ

New Jersey is considering a new law that would make it a third-degree crime to photograph children without parental consent. More specifically, bill A3297 would prevent people from shooting photos or videos of children when “a reasonable parent or guardian would not expect his child to be the subject of such reproduction”. Apparently the bill was proposed after a 63-year-old pedophile was caught recording young children at a swimming pool last summer, but was released because he hadn’t committed any serious crime. In New Jersey, third-degree crimes carry potential punishments of 3-5 years in jail and a $15,000 fine.

It’s too bad bad a few bad apples always seem to ruin things for legitimate photographers.

(via nj.com via Reddit)


Image credit: NJ – Jersey City: Justice Brennan Courthouse by wallyg


 
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  • Anonymous

    So, if a parent is photographing their own child and happens to catch someone elses child in the frame, they can be arrested. Anywhere in a public place, you shold be expect to be photographed. Everyone has a camera on their phone these days, and everyone is always snapping a photo somewhere. This is one step closer to loosing personal freedoms in this country.

  • Mouring

    “a reasonable parent or guardian would not expect his child to be the subject of such reproduction” seems pretty broad… What is the baseline for “reasonable?” Since the PDF link is dead it is hard to guess.

    But in general laws that use the term “reasonable” without later defining the limits and constructs around it tend to be struck down as there is no community standard to hold them against.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PQ54IG5P6I73FWHYGC4LVDZQYI Michael

    Utterly bonkers.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelbird michaelbird

    “It’s too bad a few bad apples always seem to ruin things for legitimate photographers.”

    No, it’s too bad photographers are going to be scapegoats because politicians want to appear tough on a non-problem.

    It’s unfortunate that pedophiles exist, but you cannot police what is inside someone’s head and if they were found to not be violating a law, then it doesn’t naturally follow that you create a law to allows you to punish them for not breaking a law that doesn’t exist. If they’re seeing something sexual from children at play at a swimming pool, well, in what way does it harm the children? Sure, this might be the means for the pedophile to stair-step into something more extreme, but anything might push them forward. Do we start sending kids around in burkas because pedophiles find children sexual in general?

    Blanket laws that do nothing to directly address the actual problem because the actual problem is too big to address are a non-solution. All they do is create more problems that then get addressed by more idiotic redresses of law. You end up with a clutter of one-off laws that do nothing to protect anyone but rather create lucrative liability traps to be exploited by attorneys.

    Good luck to the newspaper photographer who catches a great play at the plate. The parent of the scoring kid will approve your photograph, but the kid who missed the play will be plaintiff in your future lawsuit.

  • JD

    Bad idea to try to legislate away bad manners, at least to this degree. Where are the pseudo libertarians on this? Did they get shouted down? It’s also a bad idea to criminalize this based on one case. I would hate to get in trouble for incidental and unintentional recording. I specifically avoid photographing or recording children, I’m not interested in them and I have no interest in getting hassled either.

  • http://twitter.com/Myrddon Holybasil

    I’m sure it won’t be long til it crosses the ocean over to europe as well.

  • http://blog.wingtangwong.com/ Wing Wong

    So… next time I’m shooting at a child’s party, I’ll hand out waivers and model releases it seems. Oh… and I guess long lenses and shallow DOF is the order of the day to reduce accidental captures… *SIGH*

  • ranger9

    What do you mean “a FEW bad apples”? Don’t you know that EVERY photographer is a pervert, a sociopath, a terrorist, and personally helped hound poor sweet Princess Diana to her death?
    :-P

  • Anonymous

    It’s 3-5 years of jail time and a $15k fine. The lawsuit comes from the “Pain and suffering” suit in a seperate civil trial. Now you have to pay your lawyer twice for basically the same thing, pay your fine, do your time, and give whatever you have left to the parents of the kid that missed the play (and whatever other kids may have been in the shot).
    The whole thing is just sickening. Glad I don’t live in Jersey (but this issue isn’t the only reason I’m glad about that :) )

  • http://www.article19.co.uk/ Article19

    surely such a law violates the 1st amendment and would be struck down.

  • http://twitter.com/mjardeen Michael Jardeen

    This is simply stupid. Just last week I was at a local park and took shots of the kids running through the waterworks. It would have been so simple to have listed “For a convicted pedophile to…”

  • Ces

    A few years ago, I was at a public beach when a little girl ran in front of my camera.. I shot, and was accosted by her grandfather.. I researched the law. The Law Sates that is a person is in a public place (Beach) they have no right to privacy.

  • Ces

    A few years ago, I was at a public beach when a little girl ran in front of my camera.. I shot, and was accosted by her grandfather.. I researched the law. The Law Sates that is a person is in a public place (Beach) they have no right to privacy.

  • Snooze

    Would a CCTV security camera system make an amusement park’s or mall’s management chain criminals?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EFMJYDPP2TQZFQZWLYL4OVUQBQ DoM

     Thats on private property and the laws are different…