Posts Tagged ‘rights’

Police in the US to Turn iPhone Cameras Back on Citizens

If ordinary citizens have the right to photograph police in public places, what about the other way around? That’s a question that’s sure to be asked often in the coming days, as 40 law enforcement agencies across the US are planning to use iPhones to photograph civilians for the purpose of identifying wanted perps. The system, called Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS), costs $3,000 apiece and will be able to do facial recognition searches on a database of known criminals. Photographers’ rights will apply to cops too — police won’t be required to ask permission before snapping a photograph of your face!

(via Amateur Photographer and WSJ)

At What Point Does Inspiration Turn Into Copyright Infringement?

At what point does inspiration turn into plagiarism? That’s the question that popped up last year when Rhianna was sued by David LaChapelle over scenes found in one of her music videos, and it’s the same issue with a lawsuit recently filed by photographer Janine Gordon against photographer Ryan McGinley. Gordon claims that 150 of McGinley’s images — including some used for a Levi’s ad campaign — are “substantially based” on her photos. In the three pairs of disputed images shown above, the ones on the left are by Gordon and the ones on the right by McGinley.
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Tech Blog Receives Takedown Request Over Photos Monkey Took

Just as the monkey photography story was dying down, a new twist emerges: on Monday tech blog TechDirt received an email from Caters News, the agency representing wildlife photographer David Slater, whose camera was hijacked by a monkey and used to shoot a number of self-portraits.
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FUD Over Google+’s Terms of Service

Last year Scott Bourne caused some commotion among photo-enthusiasts by claiming that Twitter’s ToS forced photographers to give up rights to photos shared through the service. After Google launched their new Google+ social network, Bourne again wrote a very similar post warning his readers about the ToS. We weren’t planning on weighing in, but seeing that the FUD has spread to our comments and even The Washington Post, we’d like to clear some of it away for our readers.
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Can Monkeys Own Rights to Photos?

When we shared the story of how monkeys hijacked photographer David Slater’s camera and unwittingly snapped some self-portraits, we asked the question “doesn’t the monkey technically own the rights to the images?” Techdirt, a blog that often highlights copyright issues, went one step further and dedicated a whole post to that question.
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Woman Argues that a Men’s Restroom is a “Public Space”, Gets Arrested

Update: We hear that all charges against Rhonda Hollander have been dropped after a judge found the testimony “not credible.”


In the United States, anyone can be photographed in most public places without their consent… as long as they don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. A female traffic magistrate named Rhonda Hollander was arrested last week after following a man into a courthouse bathroom and photographing him as he used the urinal.

When Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Darlene Harden confronted Hollander a short time later, the magistrate admitted taking a picture but refused to turn over her phone, arguing that it was a public restroom and she was not violating any laws, according to the report. [#]

Other places where people have an expectation of privacy include homes, dressing rooms, medical facilities, and phone booths. Basically, it helps to have some common sense.

(via SunSentinel via Pixiq)


P.S. You can find a list of photographers’ rights in the US here. The text is printed on the gray card set we sell through our store.

Tennessee Makes Posting ‘Emotionally Distressing’ Images a Crime

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

Man Preserves Video of Police Shooting by Hiding Memory Card in Mouth

On Memorial Day 2011, Narces Benoit witnessed and filmed a group of Miami police officers shooting and killing a suspect in a car chase and armed robbery. He was then confronted by officers who handcuffed him and smashed his cell phone, but Benoit was able to sneakily preserve the video with some quick thinking. The Miami Herald writes,

Benoit said the officers eventually uncuffed him after gunshots rang out elsewhere and he discreetly removed the [memory] card and placed it in his mouth.

Officers again took his phone, demanding his video. He said they took him to a nearby mobile command center, snapped a picture of him, then took him to police headquarters and conducted a recorded interview while he kept the [memory] card in his mouth. He insisted his phone was broken.

The video was uploaded to YouTube yesterday, and has since gone viral. A local news cameraman also had his camera confiscated and thrown into the back of a police car.

(via The Miami Herald via Carlos Miller)


Update: Turns out it wasn’t a SIM card, but an SD memory card that was used in a HTC EVO. (Thanks Caleb!)


Update: You can read the National Press Photographers Association’s response here.

Apple Patent Appears to Show System for Disabling Camera Remotely

Apple recently filed a patent having to do with baking infrared communication capabilities into the iPhone. Although there are certainly useful applications for the technology (e.g. a museum beaming information to the phone at different exhibitions), what’s troubling is that the feature may also allow the camera to be remotely disabled by those who wish to prevent photography.

[...] the transmitter could be located in an area where photography is prohibited and the infrared signal could include encoded data that represents a command to disable recording functions.

This example could easily apply to movie theatres trying to stop customers from filming a movie for illegal distribution or any kind of music concert to protect an artist’s image from being photographed or videoed illegally, as shown below. [#]

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a camera that could be disabled remotely by a third party…

(via Patently Apple via Engadget)

Baltimore Officers Make Up Laws and Detain Student for Photography

29-year-old student and avid photographer Christopher Fussell was taking photographs of trains at a Baltimore station back in March when he was confronted by Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) officers. He was able to record the conversation, which shows the officers having a complete lack of understanding of laws and photographers’ rights. Fussell writes,

I have no qualms with MTA Police inquiring what I’m doing, but the fact that they took it to the next level with so many lies, unreasonable detainment, denying my boarding of my train that caused me to be delayed and following me to delay me further; this whole episode of theirs was unprofessional and perhaps unconstitutional. I am posting this video in hopes to further strengthen photographer’s constitutional rights.

The story has since become a pretty big deal after the video went viral online, with the MTA admitting that the officer had incorrectly cited the Patriot Act and other laws. The American Civil Liberties Union has also sided with Fussell and may sue MTA over his detainment.