Monday, July 2, 2007

New York Mulls Public Photography Restrictions

The New York Times had a disturbing article:
Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.
If the city goes with the new rules, it would require two people using a camera in a single location - meaning a 100 foot radius from where someone starts - for longer than 30 minutes to have a permit and the hefty liability policy. The same would go for 5 or more people using a tripod in a public location - including sidewalks - for longer than 10 minutes, including set-up time. The film office is saying that it wouldn't include amateur filmmakers or photographers, but the proposed rules apparently don't read that way, at least to the New York ACLU. Even if the film office supposedly didn't intend to restrict amateur use, the police could esaily go by the letter of the law. Apparently no one attended the public meeting about the rules. I'd also wonder whether the permit would be for a single location, meaning that if you were going to be multiple places, you'd have to get a permit for each.

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