Each year, an estimated 300 million animals are brought into the United States illegally to serve as exotic pets. In New York, many of those animals wind up at the New York City Center for Avian and Exotic Medicine, where the trained practitioners there nurse them back to health.
Animal photographer Linda Kuo‘s new series Displaced tells these animals stories and seeks to draw attention to this rarely mentioned societal problem. Read more…
Korean-American Kenneth Bae made headlines back in November when he was arrested while leading a tour group though the Rason Special Economic Zone in North Korea. The reasons behind the arrest have never been properly confirmed, but it seems that his detainment had something to do with photos he was taking while he was spending time in the country.
No headway has been made in the case since he was taken into custody, but a recent report by the Korean Central News Agency claims that Bae has “admitted that he committed crimes aimed to topple the DPRK,” and that he will now be tried in North Korean supreme court for those crimes, the maximum punishment for which is the death penalty. Read more…
In response to September 11th and London Bombings, the UK drafted a series of Terrorism Acts, giving their officers certain rights they thought would help fight terrorism. This included a section (58a) added in 2008 that made it illegal to photograph or film a police officer if the footage was likely to be useful to a terrorist. The police’s interpretation of that section has since changed, but not before that “if” caused some newsworthy controversy.
This short animated documentary covers that controversy from the point of view of one of the act’s victims, Gemma Atkinson, who was assaulted by police in 2009 because she was filming them searching her boyfriend. It tells the story of the subsequent legal battle she went through trying to get the act changed and hold the police officers who were unnecessarily rough with her accountable. Read more…
A short form bill was recently introduced into the Vermont House of Representatives that ought to have photographers curious, if not worried. That’s because this particular bill seeks to “make it illegal to [photograph] a person without his or her consent … and distribute it,” essentially outlawing most forms of public photography. Read more…
Russian photographer Vitaliy Raskalov recently visited the Great Pyramid of Giza with two of his adventuring photography buddies: Vadim Mahorov and Marat Dupri. Unlike most camera-toting tourists visiting the famous site (the pyramid is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the trio was not content with sticking to visitor-approved areas: they decided to risk prison time by sneaking to the top of the pyramid and photographing that rarely-seen view.
This past Wednesday, customs officers in China announced the bust of a gigantic camera smuggling operation and the arrest of 14 suspects connected with the illegal transportation of $63.5 million worth of camera equipment. The smuggling ring has allegedly smuggled 60,204 cameras, 13,623 lenses, 483 flashes, 1,025 video cameras, and 348 projectors. Since camera equipment is much cheaper to buy in Hong Kong — 20% to 30% less — smugglers profit by sneaking the gear into mainland China (avoiding customs taxes in the process) and selling it through the gray market.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a new law last week that makes it a crime to post images to the Internet that “frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress.” Violators found guilty of doing so now face up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
[...] for image postings, the “emotionally distressed” individual need not be the intended recipient. Anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. If a court decides you “should have known” that an image you posted would be upsetting to someone who sees it, you could face months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. [#]
Needless to say, the Internet is in an uproar over this, and it seems pretty likely that the law will be struck down for being unconstitutional very soon.
(via The Volokh Conspiracy via Engadget)
Image credit: Peek-A-Brother by evilpeacock
A bill recently introduced by Florida state senator Jim Norman would, if passed, making taking pictures of farms a felony unless permission is granted by the owner.
A person who photographs, video records or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree. [#]
Apparently the bill is meant to deter animal rights activists from secretly posing as farmworkers to make hidden camera videos of animals being abused. Needless to say, a lot of photographers aren’t very pleased.
(via Boing Boing)
Image credit: Webpage Farms? by ASurroca
We’re on a roll with controversial advertisements today. New York garment company Weatherproof has gotten the attention of the White House after illegally using a photograph of President Obama’s visit to the Great Wall of China on a billboard in New York City (41st St. and 7th Ave.)
While Weatherproof did pay the licensing fees to use the image from the The Associated Press, they didn’t ask for permission from the White House, which has a pretty strict policy of not allowing the President’s image to be used for commercial purposes.
It all started when the company’s president Freddie Stollmack recognized the coat in the photo, and had it confirmed by examining a high resolution version. After having an advertisement containing the image rejected by a few of NYC’s top newspapers, the company installed the billboard advertisement two days ago.
Since then, the White House has in fact contacted the company about the ad, and the company has agreed to take the ad down but — get this — in two weeks. In the end, Weatherproof is likely the big winner, having succeeded in generating a buzz with this publicity stunt.
(via A Photo Editor)
Image credit: Photograph by Brechtbug and used with permission.