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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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  • 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 sykopomp (1133507) on Monday July 30, 2007 @04:13AM (#20039715)
    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 than 15 minutes in some place, that means I'd need to shell out ONE MILLION DOLLARS (cue Dr. Evil pinky + laughter), in order to make some dumb student film. It's not a matter of what they intended to do, it's a matter of what the actual effects are.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2007 @05:11AM (#20039957)
    I see your point but I still think this is in reaction to what is a very real problem in New York, photo shoots disrupting traffic. As far as I can tell this does not apply to handheld cameras in any way, so tourist activity should be unaffected. I think the wording does seem to make a point of targetting commercial productions as well.

    As for the other point if you're sitting alone reviewing the photos, would you have your equpitment set up, tripod out and all that? Possession of photographic equiptment is not criminalized here, but a time limit is being set on having it out and presumably blocking others from passing in front of it.

    I do think harassment of photographers by the police is a serious problem, however that was already going on. I don't think this law has anything to do with that; this to me seems like it is a reaction to what many New York residents consider a nuisance, which is production crews taking over public space without permission.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2007 @05:24AM (#20040021)

    I don't think this law has anything to do with that; this to me seems like it is a reaction to what many New York residents consider a nuisance, which is production crews taking over public space without permission.
    The path to hell is paved with good intentions.
    If it can be abused by the police, it will be abused by the police.
  • Photos in the UK (Score:1, Informative)

    by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Monday July 30, 2007 @06:09AM (#20040211) Homepage
    This seems to have hit the USA a lot later than the UK. I live in Birmingham, Great Britons second city, and there is quite literally a zero tolerance to photos. I myself have been stopped by the police and had my film taken away and asked for images to be removed from my digital camera. You have to apply for a permit from both the police and the council. I have applied for a permit in the past for video i had to do for university, it took three weeks to process. I have also seen a tourist get arrested for taking images of the city council house. I was told it comes under anti terror, human rights and data protection acts. They wanted to give me a formal caution, but I refused. A caution in the UK can be given out and it would be on your criminal record. Normally if you refuse a caution such as being drunk, the police let you go as its too much of bureaucratic hassle.
  • Re:Photos in the UK (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2007 @08:48AM (#20041199)
    What utter CRAP.
    Under UK Law, you do not need any permit/licence/whatever to take pictures of people, places, objects from a public thoroughfare or place UNLESS there is a sign indicating that the places is a restricted area under the official secrets act.

    If anyone asks you for your film or digital images then evein if they are a police officer they are commiting a crime themselves. They need a court order to sieze items like that from you.

    I am an amateur snapper. I carry a card with me that describes my rights to take pictures in Public. Several 'jobsworths' have been sent packing after reading the details.
    I have carried this since an over zealous railway policeman tried to stop me taking pictures fo the Flying Scotsman (LNER 4472) some years ago. He wanted to arrest me but his inspector told him that as I was standing on a public road he couldn't stop me and anyway, I was not committing an offense.

    If you are approached by some 'official' ask them to produce their identification and then to quite in detail what section of what law you are breaking by taking a picture of Birmingham Town Hall from a public road. Then if you are really bloddy mined tell them calmly that if they touch you then they will be comitting a crime of assault with intent to rob (ie Mugging) and thay you will take them to court. If it is a poilceman then volunteer to accompany him toy the police station and have a word with the desk sergeant. Remind him polietly that you were in a public place and therefore NOT comitting a crime unless there are signs clearly visible stating that ALL Photography is banned.

    I will be in Brum later this week and I'll be sure to carry my camera in the city centre and use it to capture images of public buildings.

  • by Control Group (105494) * on Monday July 30, 2007 @09:52AM (#20041955) Homepage
    "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 Archtech (159117) on Monday July 30, 2007 @10:28AM (#20042447)
    "I seem to remember that when the brits first had the opportunity to fight the really vicious murderous dictator that was hitler, Chamberlain chose to just appease the sonofabitch".

    That criticism is ironic, coming from a citizen of the USA - a nation that, at the the time, had turned its back on Europe through its policy of isolationism. If Nevile Chamberlain appeased Hitler, he was at least trying to do something about the problem. He could be compared to a neighbour who, seeing a house on fire, tries to cope with the problem by putting on a fire blanket, whereas in retrospect it would have been better to call the fire service. But the USA, in this analogy, was like a neighbour who closes the shutters, turns up the TV, and resolutely ignores the fire.

    Chamberlain had lived through WW1, and like many of his generation found the idea of a repetition unspeakably ghastly. So he was inclined to go to great lengths to avoid war. As he said in 1938, "How horrible, fantastic it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. I am myself a man of peace from the depths of my soul".

    A glance at the totals of killed and wounded sustained by the combatants in WW1, as a percentage of their total mobilised strengths, may help us to understand. Great Britain and the Empire, together, had 2.9 million casualties (so defined) out of 8.9 million (33%). The much-maligned French, nowadays despised by many Americans for their lack of fighting spirit, took 5.5 million casualties out of 8.4 million (65%). That's two thirds, and it's not a mistake. The Germans and Austrians, together, sustained 10.7 million casualties out of 18.8 million (57%). And the USA? The Americans took a grand total of 360,000 casualties out of 4.3 million (8%).

    Now 8% is bad enough, although it's nowhere near the corresponding figure for American occupying army in Iraq, for instance. But Chamberlain had seen 2 million British and Empire servicemen, 4.2 million Frenchmen, and 7.8 million Germans and Austrians, killed in a war that achieved very little. Can you see that he might cling to peace more desperately than Americans who had seen 126,000 of their brave boys killed 20 years before?

    Besides, at the time when Chamberlain appeased Hitler, it was not yet entirely obvious that Hitler was a "really vicious murderous dictator". That, at any rate, was not the view of IBM and many other US corporations, which enjoyed a brisk trade with Nazi Germany. Nor was it the view of Joseph Kennedy (father of Jack and Bobby), who was US ambassador to Great Britain in 1938-40. According to Wikipedia,

    'Kennedy rejected the warnings of Winston Churchill that compromise with Nazi Germany was impossible; instead he supported Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in order to stave off a second world war that would be a more horrible "armageddon" than the first. Throughout 1938, as the Nazi persecution of Jews intensified, Kennedy attempted to obtain an audience with Adolf Hitler. Shortly before the Nazi aerial bombing of British cities began in September 1940, Kennedy sought a personal meeting with Hitler, again without State Department approval, "to bring about a better understanding between the United States and Germany."'

    In 1938, Hitler had reoccupied the Rhineland (which many people thought was only fair, as it was traditionally part of Germany); united Germany with Austria, without a shot being fired (in public, at least); and seized the border area of Czechoslovakia. True, the Nazi party and its thugs had started murdering Jews and others wholesale, but there were influential elements in the USA (as well as many other countries) who had no objection to this. The fact is that, when Chamberlain met Hitler and brought home his infamous "piece of paper", Hitler had not conquered any other country - nor was it at all obvious that he intended to. As soon as Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Chamberlain's attitude hardened as it became obvious that Hitler had cynically tricked him. And when Germany invaded Poland in September, Chamberlain unhesitatingly joined France in declaring war on Germany.

    What did the USA do at that time?
  • 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.
  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Monday July 30, 2007 @04:02PM (#20047369)

    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.

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