Bad news for photographers in Southern California: the Los Angeles Police Department issued a notice regarding its official terrorism handling policy earlier this week, and the document still identifies photographers as potential terrorists. The intradepartmental correspondence, sent out by the Chief of Police, warns officers about the following:
Photography. Taking pictures or videos of facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites in a manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person. Examples include taking pictures or videos of ingress/egress, delivery locations, personnel performing security functions (e.g., patrol, badge/vehicle checking), security-related equipment (e.g., perimeter fencing, security cameras), etc.;
Observation/Surveillance. Demonstrating unusual interest in facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites beyond mere casual or professional (e.g., engineers) interest, such that a reasonable person would consider the activity suspicious. Examples include observations through binoculars, taking notes, attempting to measure distances, etc. …
Dennis Romero of L.A. Weekly writes that “the LAPD is now poised to detain and question half the L.A. Weekly staff.”
The Portland Press Herald has agreed to fork over $400 to a woman named Audrey Ann Slade after its use of one of Slade’s photos sparked a furious fair use debate online. The paper published a story last week about Reverend Robert Carlson, a minister who committed suicide recently after being accused of abusing young boys. Specifically, the piece reported on the fact that Slade’s photos proved that Carlson continued to engage in on-campus events after resigning abruptly in 2006 from his position as chaplain.
It decided to publish one of Slade’s photographs — both online and in print — showing Carlson at a 2010 ceremony held on campus grounds. Problem was, they badly mishandled the process, and neither contacted Slade nor attributed the photos to her.
It’s like “déjà vu all over again”: New York Times freelance photographer Robert Stolarik was arrested this past Saturday while on assignment in the Bronx. As he was taking photographs of a developing street fight, Stolarik was confronted by officers, ordered to stop, and then allegedly assaulted.
The University of California has agreed to dish out a $162,500 settlement to David Morse, a 43-year-old photographer who was arrested back in 2009 while covering a student protest. The SF Chronicle writes,
[The suit] an officer told Morse, “We want your camera. We believe your camera contains evidence of a crime.”
The officers ignored his press pass and arrested him and seven others on suspicion of rioting, threatening an education official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, the suit said.
Morse spent the night in jail. Prosecutors declined to file charges.
But police obtained a search warrant and used several of his photos in brochures and online in hopes that the public could identify individuals.
As part of the settlement, the police department has also agreed to modify its procedures regarding seeking materials from journalists and will be conducting training sessions teaching its officers about media rights.
UC pays to settle photographer’s suit over arrest (via PDN Pulse)
Image credit: 200911x_098 by Paul A Hernandez
The UK government issued an updated copyright policy statement today that’s intended to modernize copyright law in a digital era. But here’s where those traditionally protected under copyright — authors, poets, artists, photographers and so forth — begin to cringe: sweeping definitions of “orphan works” and Extended Collective Licensing could allow companies to buy chunks of content without compensating original authors.
Earlier today Amateur Photographer reported that the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) in Glasgow, Scotland is set to impose a series of bylaws for the cities transport, including a ban in section 12.1 which would prohibit riders from “take[ing] photographs, or make[ing] video, audio or visual recordings on any part of the subway.” In fact, the only way around the ban would be to get express written permission from the SPT and show it to any officer that may request to see it. Read more…
Earlier we reported on two separate cases where video evidence of police shot by random citizens wound up being crucial in the exoneration of photographers arrested while doing their job. Well, appropriately enough, the US Department of Justice just recently came out in defense of the right to record police while they are on duty. Read more…
Photographers have already lodged complaints against the security firm that tried to prevent them from taking photos of the Olympic sites from public land, but it seems that even stricter rules will be imposed on ticket holders once the games begin. According to a freelance photographer named Peter Ruck, the Olympic organizing committee Locog intends to prevent attendees from uploading images and videos captured at the games to social networks.
During the past week, a new meme called “Texts From Hillary” has been taking the web by storm. It involves two photographs of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checking her phone on a flight while wearing sunglasses. By combining the images with other photographs and witty captions, the creators imagined what her texts conversations with other famous individuals might be like. Not everyone found the meme hilarious: the Washington Post writes that photographer Diana Walker wasn’t amused when she first saw her images being used:
[...] the incident underscores the conflicts between photographers, who want to control their work, and the wide world of the Internet, where everything seems free. “There needs to be a dialogue about this,” she says.
And she wishes that people who want to grab photos from the Internet and use them for their own purposes would make an effort to contact their original creators. “Before they used it, how about a call to me?” she asked. But, she admits, that might have resulted in no such memorable meme. “I’m not sure I would have said yes.”
However, the site’s creators soon added a credit line for Walker with each photo and the photographer — along with Clinton herself — is now “amused and taken with the idea that this picture is all over the world.”
French photographers organization Union des Photographes Professionnels (UPP) launched a controversial new advertising campaign this week, speaking out against the use of photographs without proper permission and/or payment. The ad reads: “Each day, a photographer’s work is used without his consent”. A spokesperson for UPP states,
It’s obvious that professional photographers are not being listened to. So, for the first time, we’re speaking to the photographic community with an image. We hope to raise awareness among the public, as well as the media and the government, about photographers’ problems. Each day, photographers are faced with decreasing rates. They are forced to compete against image libraries that are offering vile prices. These practices are infringing on photographers’ moral rights.
In a blog post, the organization adds, “Each day, photographers risk their lives to allow us to stay informed. And each day, photographers continue to be dealt with as if they weren’t producing anything. [...] With this image, we want to show the violent and disrespectful economic reality that photographers have to deal with.”
(via UPP via BJP via The Click )