Tuesday, February 06, 2007Home

Alerts on Rights for Photographers, especially where bikinis are concerned

A new blog, Photoattorney.com, was launched in February 2005 with the purpose of informing photographers about their rights. The webmaster, Carolyn E. Wright, Esq., has her own practice, the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC, with a specialty on the law in regard to photographers. She shares her knowledge every week, and has started posting alerts of news stories that should be of special concern to anyone who is getting serious about photography. As everyone should know, being ignorant of the law is no defense for breaking it. Potential gray areas are always abound, though, which makes Wright's site all the more worth tracking via RSS. The first alert is from Morristown, New Jersey.

From the Morris County/New Jersey Daily Record's website:

The judge will decide if he should dismiss an indictment of two people—a boyfriend and girlfriend—for photographing the thighs and buttocks of women in various public places, including streets fairs and parades, in a number of Morris County towns. The couple was charged with invasion of privacy.

From Photoattorney.com:

Note that the photographers were taking pics of women only as they could be seen by anyone (as opposed to the process known as "upskirting").

Good point. However, conventional wisdom dictates that permission should always be asked in a public setting. I would be a little more sympathetic to the photographer if he was going for crowd shots, or capturing women in motion. When the objective is to capture people moving in crowds, unaware of an external presence taking photographs, the situation gets complicated. Sure, you can get a few dozen or so women together, encourage them to act as if they don't notice you, and take a picture of the few who don't require some kind of compensation (I don't know about you all, but I sure can't afford to pay appearance rights or doctor's bills because of angry boyfriends).

It's apparent from this article (which is far less kind to the couple in question) that the focus was on the indivdual form.

From the Courier Post Online:

Kane allegedly told police he and his girlfriend found the photographs exciting and sexually gratifying. In a search of his apartment, police found two large shoe boxes containing thousands of photographs, many depicting females as young as eight years old to adulthood in public settings. They were clothed, but their thighs or parts of their buttocks were exposed to view because of the positions they were in when they were photographed.

Shock value, anyone? To be fair to the couple, the vagueness of this paragraph is exceeded only by that of this case. The photographer was cleared, but no one wants a mark like this on one's record. So please, ladies and gentlemen, shoot with some sense.

1 Comments:

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Howard Grill said...

As shock value goes, turns out that you can take this story and up the ante a notch. It looks like actual 'upskirting' might well be considered legal, as absurd as that seems. Check out this story:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/87863_voyeur20.shtml

Don't know if this is acceptable to post(and the moderators can edit it out if not), but I recently had a post about this on my blog at:

http://howardgrill.blogspot.com/2007/01/photographers-rights.html

 

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