Friday, March 5, 2010

Photography is still not a crime.

It's time once again for my semi-annual rant about photographers being hassled and jailed for doing an activity that is legal and safe. While I haven't had any run ins with the police, I have had some run ins with security guards this past six months or so. Luckily none of them have escalated into anything more than a polite discussion.

I have seen news stories lately that the father of a young boy was arrested as a pedophile for taking photos of his son in a busy mall. Other stories about photographers being detained for photographing in big cities because of terrorism fears. Usually the photographer is let go after a short stay in a jail cell, and if they decide to persue the case in court, they tend to get compensation from the municipality. Not always, but it happens. The trouble is, it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Paul Butzi believes he has an answer. In this post, entitled "No more running", he said he's sick of it and he's not going to take it anymore. He thinks that the next time someone gets arrested or run off of a sidewalk for doing legal photography, the photography society should make an example of them. Follow the accuser, photograph them every chance they get, and basically ruin their lives. He thinks that if you do this one or two times, the image that it's legal and easy to chase photographers around will change.

I'm really surprised that there are only two comments on the original post and that there hasn't been any discussion about it on any of the other blogs that normally follow him. My take on it is: while I'm not a fan of ruining someones life, if I or a friend of mine was arrested for doing legal photography, I would help make the complainer very uncomfortable. I would hope I wouldn't be alone.

The above photo came across my rss feed from BoingBoing, I believe. Originally published on the Coyote Blog, who made the poster. The original photo is not really credited. If anyone knows who the original photographer is, I would be glad to credit them.

The Photography is not a crime web site.

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