Jun 21, 2011

Fighting For Photography Rights

Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium - "I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery"

To see the blog post, Found Slides, A Life Remembered, click on the title below.

One of the issues I'm most passionate about is freedom of speech, particularly the freedom to take pictures. An increasing amount of confrontations are taking place between police, who do not want their activities photographed, and photographers, who have a legal right to take pictures in public.

The arguments made by some police officers have not withstood legal scrutiny, and photographers, aided by the ACLU, and the excellent blog run by Carlos Miller, Photography Is Not A Crime, are fighting back.

Remember, the rights you have, you have because they were fought for.

Here are some recent updates (click on the underlined text to take you to the story):

Boston court case tests officers' assertion of privacy in public - If a police officer is in public, performing his job in public, can he or she credibly claim their privacy is being violated? An important court case might help settle the issue, that of Simon Glik, who was arrested for filming the police with his cell phone.

EDIT: It only took five years, but the city of Boston has finally, grudgingly admitted that the arrest of Simon Glick was a mistake. Boston's intransigence will cost taxpayers $170,000. The police dragged the case out seeking qualified immunity for an obviously illegal arrest,. LINK

Often, You Can Film Cops; Just Don't Record Them - An artist who records his own arrest fights a charge of illegal eavesdropping and wiretapping

Rochester Woman arrested in her front yard while recording a police stop - A woman exercising her rights, on her own property, was arrested and accused of being anti-police, and ordered inside her house to prevent her from filming the police stop, a clear violation of her rights. She declined, and was subsequently arrested. The video has gone viral, and an official with the National Press Photographers Association has demanded the charges be dropped. The Rochester police chief has promised an investigation. See the video HERE.

Fort Lauderdale Police Harass Photographers - Carlos Miller took part in a photography protest near a Tom Cruise movie set where signs had been posted threatening arrest for any photography (video below). Interestingly, when the photographers arrived to protest, the signs were gone, and the police were vague in defining where they were allowed to take pictures. A judge issued an order for the police department to stop harassing photographers; read the judge's injunction HERE. The court proceedings make for a very entertaining read; check them out HERE

The blog for the National Press Photographers Association has the latest HERE.

Visit Carlos Miller's truly excellent blog, Photography Is Not A Crime. Miller has been documenting the struggles of photographers to legally practice their hobby and profession for four years.

Visit the ACLU; click on the logo to take you there. The rights you have, you have because they were fought for    


 To read Magnum Arts' position on the Protecting Freedom category on this blog, click HERE 


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