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Comment Deadline For NYC Photography Permits 238

Posted by kdawson
from the drawing-the-line dept.
DrNibbler writes "August 3, 2007 is the deadline for submitting comments on the proposed permit requirements for photographers in New York. Here is a sample submission."
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Comment Deadline For NYC Photography Permits

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  • by heinousjay (683506) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:56AM (#20039383) Journal
    Ms. Oliver:

    I am writing in reference to the proposed changes to permit requirements for photography on public property. The proposed rules, as I understand them, would require a permit for "activity involving a tripod and a crew of 5 or more people at one site for 10 minutes or more" (the 10 minutes include the time to set up the tripod) or or the same activity among two people at a single site for more than 30 minutes. The permit process also requires the photographer to carry 1 million dollars in liability insurance.

    I understand that it is important for the city to draw a line between amateur and professional photographers. I have often heard of cheap professionals calling themselves amateurs solely because they use a low-end SLR camera. However this rule does not do enough to make that separation and fails to protect a much-loved American city. Allow me to suggest some effective enhancements.

    About once or twice a month, empower the police to conduct thorough searches of anyone who looks to be taking pictures, or preparing to do so. Necessary permits should be found on anyone who carries a camera beyond a drug store disposable. Justice should be carried out swiftly in situations where the necessary papers are not found. A modicum of brutality would suffice in reducing recidivism rates.

    Only when New York is free of people carrying unlicensed cameras can its upstanding citizens be free from the threat of terrorist attacks.

    Thank You for Your Time,

    __________________
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      You mention professional photographers using low-end SLR cameras. With the advancement of Digital cameras, it's not uncommon to see amateurs, like families on vacation, using what appears to be a very professional camera. Also, it's not uncommon to see professionals using what looks like the camera an amateur would use. Also, I've seen a lot of professionals not using tripods. Does getting rid of the tripod immediately mean that you don't require a permit? The lines here seem very blurred here. Just
      • by thc69 (98798)
        I guess the government (and every company's "security" department) is exempt because their cameras are mounted on buildings and utility poles instead of a tripod. Yup, big brother gets to take more pictures of everybody, while the citizens get to take fewer pictures.

        I'm glad I live in a town where there are more acres of forest (a ratio of 4 acres land, at least 59% forested, to every 1 person) than there are people. Nobody bothers with us unimportant hicks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270)

      Another open letter

      Ms. Oliver:

      My friend, I regret that I will not be able to use my camcorder to record your wedding in Central Park this weekend, as the City of New York has deemed it necessary to have a permit because more than two people are involved and I'd like to use a tripod. I'm sorry your precious memories will not be able to be captured without requiring you to hire a professional videographer, but you simply can't expect your friends and family to carry a million dollars in liability insuran

  • Great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ta bu shi da yu (687699) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:58AM (#20039397) Homepage
    If this takes off in the States, how long before the nimrods in Australian government decide to follow suit?

    It's amazing: first "free speech zones", then forbidding photographers from taking photos? Has the U.S. gone nuts?
    • Re:Great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Swampash (1131503) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:35AM (#20039577)
      Has the U.S. gone nuts? Have you been living in a cave for the past six years or something? Of COURSE it has gone nuts.
    • by Archtech (159117) on Monday July 30, 2007 @06:15AM (#20040249)
      Depends how you look at it. The way I see things, Americans as a people have never been particularly liberal. There have been many outstanding liberal Americans, but mostly they were swimming against the tide.

      240 years ago a bunch of (mostly) propertied, upper-class, far-liberal Americans got together and wrote the Constitution of the United States of America. Ever since, the majority of Americans have been simultaneously proud of this document (which allows them to feel better than everyone else), and dismissive of its actual ideas. Now, at last, a majority of them has elected a President who is prepared to put an end to quarter of a millennium of pretence. At last, Americans can relax and enjoy the authoritarian government that so many of them clearly prefer.

      That's great news for Americans (except for the minority of troublemaking liberals), but rather queasy for the rest of the world.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *
        No, the Founders were not particularly far-liberal, they were mostly decent men who were pushed to extremity.

        I disagree that Americans are mostly dismissive of the ideas of the Founders. We are a pragmatic people who just have come to forget that our freedoms our not guaranteed by history. When we are pushed to extremity, we have risen to the occasion. Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's. I'm not t
        • by iBod (534920) on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:39AM (#20040703)
          >>Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's.

          The US would probably never have joined WWII had it not been for the Pearl Harbor attack. The US populace were on the whole quite indifferent to the war in Europe and would have been quite happy for Hitler to have taken over.

          As for "rushing to save the rest of the world", the Russians did far more to defeat Hitler, at huge cost to themselves.
          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
            Pearl Harbor was barely part of the USA in Dec, 1941. Whatever reasons we had for joining WWII were not my point anyway. The fact that the people of America were so willing to sacrifice their lives and treasure was what I was pointing out. And that, my friend was quite a liberal position for them to take.

            The US populace were on the whole quite indifferent to the war in Europe and would have been quite happy for Hitler to have taken over.

            You could not be more wrong. Perhaps you're not aware of the sacri

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            the Russians did far more to defeat Hitler, at huge cost to themselves

            Russia signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler and then acted defensively after being invaded by Hitler. The "huge cost to themselves" was not of their own choosing, so they get no altruism points for that; Hitler came within miles of Moscow.

        • by Archtech (159117) on Monday July 30, 2007 @07:41AM (#20040719)
          "Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's. I'm not talking about the decisions made by our government or corporations, I'm talking about the way regular Americans rose to the challenge. That was a completely liberal act".

          I never indulge in vulgar personal abuse, but those remarks strongly tempt me. Perhaps *you* don't realize that:

          1. The USA did not lift a finger to help Britain (or Poland, or France, or Denmark, or Holland, or Belgium, or Norway, or Yugoslavia, or Greece, or the USSR) when they were attacked by Nazi Germany. The USA assiduously sat on its hands while France was conquered and Britain went through the near-death experiences of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. It did nothing to stop Hitler conquering all of Europe, and it was only by chance that it finally entered the war shortly after the Soviets decisively turned back the Wehrmacht at the very gates of Moscow. During all of this - the first 2 years, 3 months, and 10 days of the war (very nearly the first half) - the USA remained neutral.

          2. While neutral, the USA supplied food, weapons, and other goods to Britain. But every single item was paid for in full, then or later. (As a British taxpayer I know this only too well - we made the last repayment a year or two back). Many of the USA's far-flung military bases around the world were handed over by Britain in part payment for the supplies we needed to continue fighting.

          3. The USA entered the war only when Japan and, a week later, Germany, declared war on it. At that point, it became impossible to stay neutral. Congress even declared war on Germany, a redundant act since a state of war already existed after the German declaration. No doubt the Congresscritters already saw the value in future of being able to talk about "the day the USA declared war on Germany". All that "regular Americans" rose to was the challenge of defending their country against two Fascist dictatorships that had declared war on it - the very least they could do, if they didn't want to end up speaking German and being ruled from Berlin. They took the war to Europe because they had to - the Nazis already had detailed plans for nuclear weapons, and intercontinental delivery systems to hit American cities.

          My father fought in WW2 (all of it) and my mother was ready to do her bit with a rifle in case of invasion, so I have a very personal interest in the facts. It is ironic that, the one time the USA had the chance to take down a really vicious, murderous dictator, it chose to remain neutral until he declared war on it. Moreover, directly contrary to what you say about "the people", historians agree that FDR would have liked to join the war against Hitler earlier - but he found it politically impossible, because the people were dead set against it.

          So please, let's not have any more garbage about how America rushed to save the rest of the world in the 1940s, or any other time.
          • you can recharacterize a contribution, and thereby dismiss it

            look, the guy you are responding to is an asshole: the dimwitted conservatard, and deserves a verbal smackdown. however, you're not the one to do that smackdown, because you are merely another flavor of asshole: the dimwitted usa hater, who deserves a smackdown yourself

            the truth is, anyone who starts with "i love america" or anyone who starts with "i hate america" as their hypothesis in what they write is a loser. the only morally and intellectual
            • the only morally and intellectually defensible position on the usa is neutral: not caring for it, not caring against it. only with that as your starting thought can you make a reasonable and intelligent comment

              I have to call bullshit here. Example: A family can love 'Uncle Fred', while acknowledging that he's an insomniac bulemic alcoholic sheep-humper. I can love the USA, while also recognizing that we're quickly ending up more screwed than a football bat.

              My suggestion: The more one moves around this mudball, the more one realizes that people are the same with minor cultural variants. When we start working together on our similarities instead of fighting over our differences, we'll be OK. As long as we're s

              • mainly because there are a lot of problems in this world. some of which the usa helps with, some of which the usa hinders progress on. but rather than try to solve problems, a certain segment of the world (you) is more obsessed with blaming the usa for the problems than with actually fixing the problems

                le'ts put it another way: pick a problem in the world. any problem at all. now, go ahead and do what you obviously do, and blame the usa for it. fact: when you do that, when you hold the usa as accountable an
                • by spun (1352)
                  Your argument is valid, but I think you have to aim it better. The person you are responding does not appear to be an irrational USA hater. You can't use your argument to quash all criticism of the US. Affixing blame to any single entity is usually less valid than looking at systemic causes, but it isn't always completely invalid, either. And even your logic is flawed. Sometimes we do discuss blame not because we want the "guilty" party to make amends, but because we want them to stop. Not looking at or thi
          • by russotto (537200)
            Looks like anti-Americanism is still in fashion at slashdot.

            The USA did not lift a finger to help Britain (or Poland, or France, or Denmark, or Holland, or Belgium, or Norway, or Yugoslavia, or Greece, or the USSR) when they were attacked by Nazi Germany.

            Apparently US history classes AREN'T the worst in the world after all.

            They took the war to Europe because they had to - the Nazis already had detailed plans for nuclear weapons, and intercontinental delivery systems to hit American cities.

            No, not the w

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Archtech (159117)
              "Looks like anti-Americanism is still in fashion at slashdot".

              And yet I'm not anti-American. On the contrary, I'm very much pro-American - you have no idea how much. I just won't let you get away with saying things that are downright untrue about the historical record. And the fact that A criticizes B does not mean that A hates B, or even dislikes them. One of the toughest tests of friendship is willingness to offer honest criticism, even if it is resented.

              "Apparently US history classes AREN'T the worst in
              • by russotto (537200) on Monday July 30, 2007 @10:51AM (#20042743) Journal

                And yet I'm not anti-American. On the contrary, I'm very much pro-American - you have no idea how much. I just won't let you get away with saying things that are downright untrue about the historical record.

                Like "The USA did not lift a finger to help Britain (or Poland, or France, or Denmark, or Holland, or Belgium, or Norway, or Yugoslavia, or Greece, or the USSR) when they were attacked by Nazi Germany. "?

                That's downright untrue.

                if you don't win a war, you will eventually lose it, so it was essential to attack Germany. By the time the US forces arrived, though, the Soviets had already strategically won the European war.
                The first part is also untrue -- war can end in a stalemate, with no clear winners or losers. The second is speculation; IMO, without the western front, the Nazis could have held against the Soviets and partitioned Europe between them.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Archtech (159117)
                  'Like "The USA did not lift a finger to help Britain (or Poland, or France, or Denmark, or Holland, or Belgium, or Norway, or Yugoslavia, or Greece, or the USSR) when they were attacked by Nazi Germany. "?

                  That's downright untrue'.

                  Now please say what is untrue about it. Facts, please.

                  'The first part is also untrue -- war can end in a stalemate, with no clear winners or losers. The second is speculation; IMO, without the western front, the Nazis could have held against the Soviets and partitioned Europe betwe
          • by plague3106 (71849)
            Lets not forget we were all to happy to sell the to Nazis as well. It was only when GB said it would sink our ships if we didn't stop did we stop..
        • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Monday July 30, 2007 @08:04AM (#20040863)

          Perhaps you don't realize the extent of liberalism in the way the American people embraced rushing to save the rest of the world in the 1940's.

          Likely because we did no such thing. The vast majority of Americans wanted nothing to do with the war. We were, we thought, safely cocooned in our isolationism, and after the hundreds of thousands of sons we lost too few years ago to a European war we were largely content to let the rest of the world handle its own affairs. That is why we permitted the war to rage on for several years before we had anything to do with it. It's true that our president realized we had to get involved, and was steering public opinion in that way, but he was having a tough time of it. He had to invent programs such as the Lend-Lease act just so he could offer what aid he could.

          We got involved when we were attacked. What you really saw was a groundswell of indignation and patriotism, rather than a concern for others. We got involved, we did a good job and turned the tide of the war. As we found out more and more about what was going on we were probably very happy that we did, but to imply Americans were just rising up to save the world is demonstrably false.

          But when pushed, even those of us that are fat and comfortable will fight to stay free. It just takes a while to wake us up.

          I disagree, or else we are very slow to wake up. We can hardly be bothered--to the tune of some 62% turnout--to vote when the elections have important implications on our freedom. Even last election, after the Patriot Act, and Guantanamo Bay, and domestic spying, and Valerie Plame, and even the Iraq War itself, retention for our Congressmen was nearly 90%. At least in my estimation we are already given up too much freedom with too little fight.

          As far as the Founders go, I think they tended on the liberal side of things for their time. Many of their ideas were certainly revolutionary. It was, for example, the first time in history that, enshrined in a document (constitution), was the idea that a government's power came from the people it governs. Today that gets a resounding "duh," but it was liberal back then.

          The problem is really our complacency. We are so very proud of our Constitution and our Founders and the ideas we introduced to the world--and rightly so, I think--that we focus on it and lose sight of the fact that other countries have made progress and we really haven't. It reminds me of the quote, "it only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."

          America has become a conservative nation, and I think that is a travesty.

          The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, wrote Thomas Jefferson. We've done it a great disservice by providing only complacency and living in our past successes.

          • by Archtech (159117)
            'It reminds me of the quote, "it only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."'

            Utterly brilliant! Thanks for sharing that thought, which encapsulates a lot of this (local) discussion within a single sentence. Please mod parent UP!
            • by edmicman (830206)
              As an example, see every hippie "I'm going to change the world" college student, then fast forward 20 years when he/she has a house, family, and kids to take care of...where's the graph of political leanings vs age?
              • by Reziac (43301) *
                I'm reminded of another that goes something like this:

                "If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at 40, you have no brain."

              • As one who has been there, that curve is a steep one and the knee is at the moment of birth of the first child. The curve then bends a bit as the second child is born and the eduction system is engaged.
                -nB
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Control Group (105494) *
            "it only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."

            I don't think you understand that quote, or you wouldn't be using it. Unless you're using it to ridicule it, but I didn't get that from your post.

            The quote claims the country is becoming more liberal as time goes on, such that what was "liberal" in 1950 is considered "conservative" in 1970. You seem to be ignoring the "without changing a single idea" portion of the sentence.
    • by ScentCone (795499)
      If this takes off in the States

      What, cities requiring businesses and professionals to have permits before they're allowed to tie up public property for their own pet projects? Cities not allowing you to block a sidewalk or a street without working out some of the logistics (and, potentially, the expense of dedicating law enforcement people just to babysit your money-making venture on taxpayer-owned property)? Yes, that insidious, creeping terror will soon spread the world over! What a load of crap. It wo
      • by Lockejaw (955650)
        Yes, yes, I know, this is from from wikipedia, but...

        Free speech zones are created by the Secret Service for President George W. Bush and other members of his administration.


        It's about insulating politicians from dissent. It's from the same party that wants a woman seeking an abortion to have to look at ultrasound pictures of the fetus. Of course, there was also this really ugly free-speech zone at the Democratic National Convention.
  • Remember when... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Monday July 30, 2007 @02:59AM (#20039403)

    NYC was a liberal enclave?

    Why don't they just make a law against breathing so that the growth of police power via selective enforcement is complete.

    • No, I don't remember that. NYC has been the home of the wealthy and powerful for a long time. NYC may have been more libertine, but politically, conservative forces have been quite strong in NYC as well.
      • No, I don't remember that. NYC has been the home of the wealthy and powerful for a long time. NYC may have been more libertine, but politically, conservative forces have been quite strong in NYC as well.

        NYC has a powerful anti-tax political sway, but before Gulliani, it was a fairly liberal place when it came to, well, everything. Liberal != high taxes, in fact liberal is silent on economic matters. Onyl Ann Coulter/Bill O'Reilly disciples believe otherwise.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    We'll need a permit to take a screenshot of Google Street View?
    • by Reziac (43301) *
      That was modded funny, but it occurs to me to wonder about copyright, fair use, and "national security" issues regarding such screenshots.

  • Proposed regulations (Score:5, Informative)

    by FleaPlus (6935) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:04AM (#20039425) Journal
    I've posted a relevant portion of the proposed regulations below, regarding what will and won't need a permit:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/080107_prop osed_permit_rules.shtml [nyc.gov]
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/downloads/pdf/moftb_p ermit_regs.pdf [nyc.gov]

    Section 9-01. Permits for Scouting, Rigging and Production Activities.
    (a) Introduction. The Mayor's Office of Film Theatre and Broadcasting ("MOFTB")
    shall issue permits in connection with filming, including but not limited to the taking of motion
    pictures; the taking of photographs; the use and operation of television cameras, transmitting
    television equipment, or radio remotes in or about city property; load-ins or load-outs supporting
    1
    indoor performances; or such activities in or about any street, park, marginal street, pier, wharf,
    dock, bridge or tunnel within the jurisdiction of any City department or agency, or involving the
    use of any City owned or maintained facilities or equipment. As defined herein, MOFTB will
    issue permits for scouting, rigging and shooting activities. Obtaining such a permit does not
    obviate the need to obtain approval for an activity that may also be subject to other laws, rules or
    case law.
    (b) Permits.
    (1) The following activities require that a permit be obtained pursuant to this chapter:
    (i) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring
    on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, that uses vehicles or
    equipment, except as described in subparagraphs (2)(i) and (ii) of this subdivision;
    (ii) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring
    on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving an interaction
    among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes, including all set-up
    and breakdown time in connection with such activities; or
    (iii) Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring
    on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving an interaction
    among five or more people at a single site and the use of a single tripod for ten or more
    minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in connection with such activities.
    (2) The following activities do not require that a permit be obtained pursuant to this
    chapter:

    (i) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in
    subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a hand-held device as defined in
    paragraph three of subdivision (a) of 9-02, provided that such activity does not involve
    an interaction among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes,
    including all set-up and breakdown time in connection with such activities.
    (ii) Filming or photography occurring on City property, as described in
    subdivision (a) of this section, involving the use of a single tripod, provided that such
    activity does not involve an interaction among five or more people at a single site and the
    use of a single tripod for ten or more minutes, including all set-up and breakdown time in
    connection with such activities.
    (iii) Filming or photography of a parade, rally, protest, or demonstration except
    when using vehicles or equipment other than a handheld device or single tripod.
    I'm rather curious about how they're defining a "tripod." For example, what if somebody has a Gorillapod [thinkgeek.com] or a string tripod [instructables.com]?
    • by lurker412 (706164)
      Yes, the devil is in the details. Other than the insurance requirement, the restrictions do not seem excessively harsh to me. The real question is how they will be implemented. A police officer has more important things to do than to keep track of how long somebody has a tripod set up. This lends itself to arbitrary enforcement, otherwise known as hassling people. Bleh.
    • This information is actually not going to the people who need it. We're not the ones who need to understand the permit rules. Send it to the liberals at the NYPD who will undoubtedly start roughing up grandmothers who are just trying to take a picture of the Empire State Building.

      I see this as yet another big government intrusion into our lives, to regulate every last thing we can do, in the name of Socialism. I seem to recall horror stories when I was growing up about how you could get arrested in the USSR
  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:11AM (#20039449) Homepage Journal
    There's been many instances of police officers harassing photographers in the last few years. This little bit of foolishness will provide the police with something they can use to justify that harassment.

    I know I won't be visiting New York anytime in the forseeable future; sightseeing there is getting too risky...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The road to hell is paved with good intentions
      • by Ender77 (551980)
        There is no good intentions about this. This is about preventing embarrassing videos of police and polititions ending up on youtube.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      You know what, I feel terrible saying this, but living in a big tourist place (San Francisco), if I heard that tourists were going to boycot San Francisco, I would be overjoyed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bky1701 (979071)
        You probably would be. Until you lost your job because the economy died there. Removing a large part of any economy is a bad idea in most cases, regardless of how much you dislike it.
      • by Angostura (703910)
        Really?

        What do we do? Apart from spend outrageous amounts of money.
      • by daem0n1x (748565)

        I feel the opposite, inhabitants bother me far more than tourists. And my city is very touristic (Lisbon).

        I wish half the population would boycott the city and move to somewhere else so I could go to work without (sigh) traffic jams.

    • by bersl2 (689221)
      OK, idea: Hundreds of people show up with cameras in front of some site where these incidents have been taking place and start taking pictures.

      What could go wrong? :D (Just don't bring a camera you expect to get back...)
  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:22AM (#20039505) Homepage
    That's fine, what we'll do to help you is stop sending tourists over. No problem. Hope it works out for you.

    Yours sincerely,
        ABTA [abta.com]
    • good. stop coming. there's too many of you here already.

      #2. if you RTFA, your sentitment should only apply to tourists that are also small film crews. gee, that's what, 0.0001% of tourists?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2007 @03:25AM (#20039525)
    As a former New Yorker (and hoping to be one again soon) who lived in an area that rapidly went from "ghetto" to "hip" I saw the disruption a photo or film shoot could cause. Blocking a sidewalk or part of a street, barring entry to buildings and businesses and holding up traffic both vehicle or pedestrian can cause a nightmare. This isn't an occasional thing, either; in some areas for whatever reasons (often the most trendy or fashionable) this is a daily occurance.

    I am honestly not sure why a small crew with substantial equiptment who set up camp should not get permission to do so. These rules do not seem unreasonable by any means, and in fact a smart professional photographer could easily work within the limits without the permit if they travelled light and worked quickly. They aren't outlawing amateurs or even pros with handheld cameras from taking film or video (so, say, independant journalists would not be hampered as long as they were able to be mobile), this isn't based on the quality of the camera and all that as some suggest but rather whether they block off real estate with tripods, mics and lights... And and I fail to see a "terrorist" angle at all outside of knee-jerk Slashdot comments (unless I'm missing something?) To me it just seems to be about keeping fashion shoots, Indie films and whatever else from taking over public space in an extremely congested city.
    • Blocking a sidewalk or part of a street, barring entry to buildings and businesses and holding up traffic both vehicle or pedestrian can cause a nightmare.

      These all seem like sensible criteria for requiring a permit. They also make the case that getting a permit for such activities should not just be a case of filling in some form, residents and business owners that will be affected should be informed as well and have a chance to object or suggest changes to timetables to fit better with their lives. But

      • Not saying it's good/bad but why the permit? What's wrong with "public nuicance" laws that target the problem (blocked access) rather than the technicalities of tripods? Perhaps it's the risk that such "nuicance" laws might backfire and the (political/commercial) event attracting tripods could be seen by the courts to be the "nuicance".
        • by jrumney (197329)

          "Public nuisance" is such a vague concept that there is potential for abuse. The proposed permit system at least defines what the limits are, even if the limits reach too far into legitimate amateur activity. As for why the permit - the permit is for those who want to exceed the limits, that's fair enough as they don't want to prevent all such photography/filming in New York, just regulate it. Personally I think a better balance would be permits that are harder to obtain, but required in fewer circumstances

    • by GizmoToy (450886) on Monday July 30, 2007 @04:10AM (#20039699) Homepage
      While they claim it's not targeted at amateurs and tourists, it clearly applies directly to them. For example, a tour group of 5 or more people where at least one is holding a camera cannot stay in a single area for more than 10 minutes. The way it's written no one even has to be taking photographs for it to apply. One member of the group merely having a camera visible is enough to trigger these new rules.

      How about if you're sitting on a bench reviewing the day's photos? If you're by yourself and have been there for 30 minutes, you better have a permit and $1 million insurance coverage. Add in the fact that they're saying the permits may take as many as 30 days to acquire plus proof of insurance and what you've done is effectively outlawed amateur and tourist photography.

      Blocking sidewalks and streets is a serious issue, but commercial photography that impedes traffic already requires permits. No changes are required for that. Chances are good that the people you're complaining about have secured all the necessary permits. I rarely if ever see an amateur causing traffic problems. Tourists often do, but they can cause problems whether they're taking pictures or not.

      Despite their stated intentions, this appears squarely aimed at either deterring amateur photography or providing a reason to question and detain anyone with a camera.
      • by GizmoToy (450886)
        I messed that up a bit. Sitting alone for 30 minutes is fine, you just can't have anyone with you. Add another person and you need a permit.

        "Filming, photography, production, television or radio remotes occurring on City property, as described in subdivision (a) of this section, involving an interaction among two or more people at a single site for thirty or more minutes"
        • Now, how many tourists travel alone? Do you? I don't.

          Most people travel at least in pairs. A couple, a family, whatever. Are you gonna sit down alone and review your photos while your SO is going to stand 10 feet from you, watching you and waiting for you?
          • by Firehed (942385)
            Well actually following the ridiculous law is hardly the right way to protest it. Just make sure your less-than-$1M insurance covers theft via police harassment should your argument go badly, and take out the storage medium first.
      • WTF?

        How about if you're sitting on a bench reviewing the day's photos?

        You need a crew of five people and a tripod to sit on a bench and review the day's photos? I thought I had really bad eyesight, but that's one hell of a pair of glasses you've got there!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I agree with your indignation however, if you read the legislation correctly then it does include me when
      1) I as a tourist visit New York
      2) Bring with me my Plate Camera and Tripod. Glass Plate Negative size 6x8 inches. The camera is beautifully made from Mahogany and is over 100 years old.
      3) Set it up on a sidewalk and use the build in perspective control facility to correct the verticals of the Empire State Brilding
      4) Wait a few minutes for the lighting to be perfect or the clouse to frame the building co
    • by whereiswaldo (459052) on Monday July 30, 2007 @05:54AM (#20040157) Journal

      Blocking a sidewalk or part of a street, barring entry to buildings and businesses and holding up traffic both vehicle or pedestrian can cause a nightmare.


      Then make a law that bans those things! What does this have to do with photography, other than some photographers do these things?
    • This seems like bad government. It's frustrating when Mama's Delicatessen calls the police when their customers can't get to the restaurant, and the police can't do anything because the film crew who's encamped there aren't breaking any law. Every couple of years a movie crew decides to film in my city (Portland, Maine), and it's horribly disruptive. In Maine, though, everyone is so flattered they're shooting a movie here, they just overlook the inconvenience. In Manhattan, it happens every day, all over th
  • by Bizzeh (851225)
    does this affect anyone who wants to use a camara in public? or does it only affect professional photographers? ie, photographers for news papers and such
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by sykopomp (1133507)
      It affects anyone who wants to tale anything more than a quick point-and-shoot photo. There's plenty of amateur photographers out there that like taking nice pictures, and taking their time doing so. It also applies to pretty much any amateur filmmaker, and effectively bans anything more than small handheld camcorders from use in new york. I'm a film student, and it takes me 10-15 minutes just to set up for some quick shoots with my camera (it's pretty big). Taking into account my possibly shooting for more
      • by themassiah (80330)
        Just a quick note - having insurance for $1M does not cost 1 million dollars. :) Actually, it's quite affordable at around $500 / year.
    • by GizmoToy (450886)
      The way it's written it applies to everyone with a camera.
    • by Klaidas (981300)
      I guess it should affect everyone. I mean, couldn't pros just use an excuse that they're tourists? Then photos SOMEHOW slip to the newspapers :) Though it could go the other way around - only reporters allowed to take photos.
      Yet if this happens, I guess I won't be updating my photogallery with pictures of New York :/
  • Workaround (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fadilnet (1124231)
    The way I see it - it's just another way to make money. Anyway, I don't know if this workaround will work - an organisation is formed (consisting of film makers, and even people who are not related to the film industry). The organisation pays the city and films it from various angles - the entire bloody city! - even if it takes months. Then, the organisation offers free or paid (little fee) for the entire footage! It may be useful to filmmakers to have footage available (of course, the scenes can be edited
  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday July 30, 2007 @04:17AM (#20039741) Homepage Journal
    For those of you who do not remember the Tompkins Square Park Police Riot, here's the Wikipedia link [wikipedia.org]. Police clubbed people on the head, regardless of who they were (even the press were beaten, there only to report on the incident).

    Were it not for amateur videographers, it would have been the victims word alone versus the cops, and everyone knows the judge will side with the cops.

    They will twist this law to confiscate any cell-phone, video camera, ipod, or other device that might bear witness to the over-reaching authority of the police-state of NY. Cops will have the ability to harass, beat, or otherwise abuse anyone they please, and no one will be able to bring in their evidence, because the shooting of such incident did not have a "permit".

    I'm moving to Canada.
    • by packeteer (566398)
      I also imagine they won't be issuing permits to people who want to film protests that the police might crack some heads at.
    • which is what actually happened to the tompkins square crowd

      so how exactly do you deal with violent squatters in a public park? they own the park? they have a right to live there? really?

      as a resident of times square, about which some village voice commentators lamented the loss of needle park and peep shows, i say to hell with the old lower east side and to hell with the old time square. mickey mouse moved in and rich japanese with their stupid boutiques took over st. marks. to all of which i say: good. it
    • I wonder how long it will take before photogs start using live real-time wireless transmitters to REMOTELY (even just a few yards away, even) store their photos.

      think of this: some guy is 'wearing' a camera or a few of them, taking pics of some scene that some cop does not like. he grabs the cam from the photog or demands he stop and then harasses him. possibly even taking his gear or forcing him to give his memory cards to him.

      BUT - what if, all along, a live wireless save-to-remote-disk was going on? t
    • by hackstraw (262471)
      Were it not for amateur videographers, it would have been the victims word alone versus the cops, and everyone knows the judge will side with the cops.

      Now, when the government or even a private store puts surveillance cameras around to monitor traffic possibly have an "eye in the sky" for crimes and whatnot, of course the privacy extremists stand up for everyone's privacy. And it seems as though this gets knocked down because the philosophical argument is "Hey, what kind of privacy to you expect in public?
  • And I have some experience with this. I'm done filming (just editting), but I had a run in with the cops in the Fall of '06.

    So it was a nice October night and I had a few scenes I wanted to knock out, I was almost completely done with principle photography. I had made the fake newspaper headlines in Word and Photoshop, blew them up on the copier, then transferred them at Kinkos to the newsprint I bought at the specialty art supplier. Lot of bullshit just to make a fake newspaper. Anyways, I had arranged with the Bangladeshi dude at the deli around the way to use their newsstand for 15 minutes.

    I showed up with my actors at the deli, dropped a $20 for the dude, and placed out fake newspapers over the real ones. Then I had my lead and his dead girlfriend walk by the deli, the lead glanced over at the newsstand, saw the headlines about various gruesome attacks in Manhattan, pause, stop, pick one up, look over at his dead girlfriend, and change his mood, she showing no affect whatsoever the whole time.

    It went fine. I thanked the Bangladeshi deli dude, and went around the corner to shoot the scene that would preview that: the lead and his dead girlfriend walking down the street, him happy, her... well, what she is supposed to show the whole time: no affect.

    That was easy, wham bam, thank you ma'am I was whipping through these scenes just fine.

    Now I wanted to film a scene of him walking with his dead girlfriend after reading the headlines, to show the change in his level of concern about his place in everything at that moment. To show his happiness being replaced with worry. To establish the conflict in the next scene, which I shot weeks before.

    Anyways, so I went around the corner again, completely oblivious about where I was, just looking for something with enough lighting and no obvious commercial street signs. I found a secluded spot and had my actors wait around the corner.

    I steadied the camera, yelled action and gee, look at that in the viewfinder... flashing lights. That will ruin a shot.

    I was on the midtown tunnel access road. Oops.

    Yes officer, sorry officer.

    No officer, I didn't know it was a misdemeanor. I'm deeply sorry officer. I had no intention officer.

    Sure, here's my license... No, that's not my address, in fact I live right over there now.

    No officer, sorry officer, I didn't know I had 10 days to report to DMV my new address when I moved or I was breaking the law, again.

    My footage? Sure (bzzz... rewind...)

    Here is a scene I just shot...

    Yes, that's over on 3rd Avenue. And...

    What? Fast forward through this?

    WHAT? YOU DON'T LIKE MY F**ING MOVIE YOU F**ING... ;-)

    I mean, yes officer, right here, this is the final shot of your cop car pulling up. Last shot.

    Yes, that's all I had shot, nothing more.

    Yes officer, I'll go away I won't come back here, sorry officer for the misunderstanding...

    (PHEW)

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