June 29, 2007

If you want to be a photographer in NYC, you'd better be a loner.

Because unless you're alone, you'll need a license and $1 million in insurance to take pictures for more than a half hour in a single public location if this idiotic proposal goes through.

14 comments:

jimbino said...

Looks like NYC isn't happy with just the alienation our foreign policy has caused, but wants to alienate another entire class of people.

Dewave said...

Sounds pretty awesome. Is communist China even this repressive?

MadisonMan said...

And note the underlying reason for the new rule: A dark-skinned man was making a movie with a hand-held camera. This new law is related to trying to maintain power through fear.

Joe R. said...

Is communist China even this repressive? No. I can't even imagine the hell people without permits would be put through. The police will talk to them and they may get fined which, of course,is so much worse than being imprisoned and tortured for dissenting topolitical or religious views.
This new law is related to trying to maintain power through fear.
It's not really new. They are just explicitly stating the rules that before they were arbitrarily enforcing without anyone really knowing what they were.

Cedarford said...

I think it is to cut down on officious, smug little jerks demanding exclusive use of public space merely because they have a videocamera and are "entitled to no one intruding in their space because it is 1st Amendment-protected ART!

A few years back we took a walk down on the Battery and found the sidewalk blocked by "serious" men and women, all who looked like Woody Allen in his long-haired days, who were filming some guy dressed up as a skeleton and some big black woman in green with a foam Statue of Liberty headband yelling at one another.

Then the cops arrived. "Unless you have a permit, you can't block the public sidewalks."
"We have 1st Amendment Rights".
"You assholes have a right to be arrested if you don't move along and let others use the Battery walk."

And all the Woody Allen types, with and without boobs, broke set, muttering about "Gestapo, worse than Hitler, in NYC of all places.."

Palladian said...

"And all the Woody Allen types, with and without boobs, broke set, muttering about "Gestapo, worse than Hitler, in NYC of all places.."

So your one encounter with a claque of losers justifies repressing the rights of everyone?

MadisonMan said...

So your one encounter with a claque of losers justifies repressing the rights of everyone?

It's the American Way! One skateboarder causing problems? Ban them! One thug in High School wearing ghetto wear? Ban it!

Just ban it! No need to think about useful solutions!

Joe Hogan said...

Pity the poor casual photographer with tripod who is simultaneously smoking a cigarette and munching on some trans fat cooked french fries. They will not see daylight outside the Tombs for a long time for violating these important citizen protections in NYC.

Imagine the order Mayor Mike could bring to America if elected President. And you guys thought Rudy was tough.

Nels said...

That Mike Bloomberg's going places!

dick said...

Away from NYC if we are lucky!! and I live here. The only reason he was elected was that the dem running against him was such a total idiot that nobody in their right mind would vote for him.

Pogo said...

NYC's new motto?

That which is not Compulsory is Forbidden.

Methadras said...

From the article:

Mr. Dunn suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules.


How about the city not enact such nonsensical legislation or statute and then you can avoid the whole problem of misinterpretation altogether. I would imagine that a law like this, if enacted would come under heavy court action, if the ACLU or any other Constitutional watchdog group doesn't challenge it in court the minute it gets passed.

XWL said...

Most communities in Southern California have fairly strict rules on commercial photography, still or film.

I've known photographers warned to quit shooting at public places for not getting the proper permits when doing model shoots, and that's even with minimal equipment.

Here's the code for L.A. city.

The tricky part is how 'commercial use' gets defined, and who gets to define it. To use this site as an example, someone might be able to argue that all of the photography here constitutes commercial photography since it helps draw traffic to a website that sells advertising.

Not saying it would be a winning argument, but it is an argument that could be made.

One reason why we have laws on the books like this is to help the film industry. FilmLA handles the permit process for the city, and it's run by and for the big studios (though officially an unaffiliated non-profit organization).

The rules are set up to keep the big boys playing nice, and keep the little guys from getting access too easily.

Works for the studios, and means that if a neighborhood is going to be disrupted, at least it will be by real stars, and not just a bunch of college students running around.

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