A man in Atlanta was just awarded $40,000 in damages after having his cell phone confiscated and photos deleted while filming police activity from a public location. The man was filming for Copwatch, an organization that aims to crack down on law enforcement wrongdoing by filming their activities, and was told by the police that he had no right to record them. An interesting quote from the CNN segment above is the lesson this case should send to other police departments,
The lesson is that police departments need to know that citizens can film their activity if it is taking place in a public place.
Not a bad result for having some cell phone photos deleted, huh?
We reported in October of last year that a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union against the US Government ended with a settlement upholding the right to photograph and film in public spaces outside government buildings. The US Department of Homeland Security also agreed to notify its officers and employees in writing of the “public’s general right to photograph the exterior of federal courthouses from publicly accessible spaces”
Now, a redacted version of the directive sent out last year has been made public. Read more…
Flickr member Deeepa Praveen 4-year-old pro account was deleted recently without any warning or explanation, and in response she created this graphic showing what she lost in the blink of an eye. While Flickr is undoubtedly one of the best photo-sharing services on the web right now, the fact that pro accounts can be permanently deleted without any warning doesn’t sit too well with many users. Even if the deleted accounts deserved to be removed, it would be much nicer if they followed a notice and were temporarily removed at first.
What are your thoughts on how Flickr handles account deletions?
It’s interesting (though some might say infuriating) to see how photographers are depicted in some police training videos. Lesson learned? Don’t carry camera gear and sleeping bags together in the back seat of your car.
In case the video doesn’t start at the right place automatically, photography-related stuff starts around 4:30.
If you think photographers’ rights in the US or UK are bad, get a load of this: Kuwait is now banning the use of DSLR cameras in public places for everyone except accredited journalists. Three ministries (information, social affairs, and finance) issued the joint ban last week, but strangely ignored the use of other cameras and forms of photography, meaning that citizens can still shoot publicly with compact cameras and camera-equipped phones. Read more…
A Texas-based photographer named David Langford received quite a surprise earlier this year when his friend tipped him off about a photo of his being used on vehicle registration inspection stickers in Texas. Turns out an estimated 4.5+ million stickers used a silhouette created from a photo of his from 1984 titled “Days End 2″. Langford is now suing the state to stop further use of his photo on the stickers — designed by prison inmates as part of a contract between the Department of Criminal Justice and the Department of Public Safety — and to collect damages and attorney fees.
Earlier this week stock agency FotoLibra received an email from English Heritage (the public organization that manages historical sites) that read,
We are sending you an email regarding images of Stonehenge in your fotoLibra website. Please be aware that any images of Stonehenge can not be used for any commercial interest, all commercial interest to sell images must be directed to English Heritage.
On November 9th, 2009, Software programmer Antonio Musumeci was filming the arrest of a protestor outside a federal courthouse in NYC when he himself was arrested. His main camera was confiscated, but he recorded the entire encounter on a second camera (the resulting video is above). In April 2010, the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the government on Musumeci’s behalf, and yesterday it was was announced that a settlement had been reached, with the government recognizing the public’s right to photograph and film in public spaces outside federal buildings. Read more…
Last week Scott Bourne published an article on Photofocus titled, “Photos On Twitter – What You Should Know“. In it, he claimed that Twitter’s terms of service (TOS) forced photographers to give Twitter a license to do whatever they wanted with photos shared through the service. The argument centered around a couple paragraphs found in the document:
By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).
This was used to argue that Twitter owns a license to photos shared through the service. Read more…