Photographer Cleared of All Charges

Discussion in 'News' started by scott_fleming|1, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. link
    This was the case of the man at a street fair in Texas taking pictures and the police accused himof taking pics for sexual gratification. He spent 24 hours in jail and his photo and name were printed in the paper and went world wide on the internet. I posted a thread on this board a couple weeks ago about it.
    The DA looked at the pics and dropped all charges. Said police had NO CAUSE for the arrest.
    I hope he sues for A LOT of money. This was an egregious abuse of police power. The guys reputation was destroyed for NOTHING. This could happen to any of us at any time.
  2. Sad, but this is the world we live in. In the UK there were people taking pictures outside the 'Bull Ring' in Birmingham which is a tourist attraction and were immediately told to stop by over zealous security staff! The reason? Apparently it might be a target for terrorist attacks! It's getting ridiculous and it seems that you have to be very careful where you take pictures.
  3. .

    "Man Cleared Of Improper Photography At Public Fair"


    No one understands photography, not even us on (including some of the moderators, apparently).

    Photography is the creative work of the photographer, as such it has immediate copyright status for the photographer recognized by US Supreme Court decisions dating back to the origins of modern photography, established by the copyright section of the US Constitution. Thus, writing, sketching, thinking, speaking, and yes, even photographing, are free speech rights. Free speech rights are mentioned in the US Constitution and the US Bill of Rights. In the US Declaration of Independence, these rights to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" are considered "unalienable, endowed by their creators", in others words, "natural" rights, NOT a right "given" to us by any government as if they could also be taken away on a whim, but a right that we have just because we "are", it just comes with the "package" of existing.

    Now, publishing a photograph has some socially based "limitations", but there cannot be any such limitations on TAKING a photograph because photography is FREE SPEECH. And I do not mean taking a photograph when you are trespassing on someone else's private, non-publicly accessible property, as that's trespass regardless, but the photography done there is neither a crime nor the property of the property owner - it's the photographer's property regardless of where it is created.

    A photographer's creative property never was nor never will be the automatic property of the subject of the photograph (unless there's a specific contract agreed to by the photographer and subject to transfer the ownership of the copyright of the photograph). The people in the photographs at a public fair have NO superior right over someone else TAKING photographs in which any part of the latent, negative or positive, monochrome or color, two-dimensional image might subsequently appear, recognizable or not.

    I think because we have laws and successful prosecution against PUBLISHING certain photographs, numb-nutz like certain police, certain politicians who make subsequent laws (such as the blatantly unconstitutional Taxas law that "...prohibits photographing someone without their permission for the photographer's sexual gratification..." - how absurd and un-prosecutable a proposition - are ALL politicians from Texas IDIOTS nowadays?), lay people, and yes, even moderators here at misunderstand and think that TAKING a photograph, and apparently discussing a photograph, falls into the same category as PUBLISHING a photograph.

    PLEASE write to your local elected officials and publishers and try to raise the understanding that PHOTOGRAPHY IS FREE SPEECH, and not some "regulatable offense". Otherwise, our silence brings our photographic death.

    The price of our photographic freedom is eternal vigilance, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, author and co-signer of the US Constitution, 3rd President of the US.

    What say you all?


    Love and hugs,

    Peter Blaise
  4. Federal goverment declares mermaids to be terror targets:

    The "war on terror", is like the "war on drugs" both very real (Afghanistan) and surreal (law
    enforcment agencies in the USA). the surreal part is (guess what) all about money.

    Free speech has its limits

    Photography has its limits
  6. "Photography has its limits"

    No, it doesn't. Your may have your limits but photography doesn't.
  7. Free speech shouldn't have limits. Even the 'yelling fire in a crowded theater' example
    bandied about is BS - that's what the FIRE ALARMS are for.

    If someone yelled 'FIRE!' in a crowded theater, you have to take stock. Is there smoke? Is
    there fire? If so, yell back "PULL THE DAMN ALARM!"
  8. Some bad logic in this thread.
    All freedoms are limited by those same freedoms.

    The freedom to own property inibits the freedom of non-owners to enter when they are not wanted.

    The freedom to photograph is not absolute.
    If I find you taking pictures in my beroom, I may mistake you for a burgler and shoot you. I have a right to defend my property and my privacy, don't I?

    If you don't agree that I have those rights, you shouldn't agree that the right to photograph is absolute, either.

    I agree that the Texas law is sounds unconstitutional, but some idiot holding a cell phone under women's skirts to shoot pictures is probably an invasion of her privacy. I imagine that this is the sort of thing that the lawmakers tried to target. That doesn't justify a stupid law, which will be struck down if it is, presumably.
  9. BTW, photography doesn't have limits?
    Photography, in a sense, is all ABOUT limits.
    It's fraught with limits, and perpetual limits.
    Want images of unlimited sharpness:
    1. Use a higher shutter speed.
    2. Not sharp enough. Stop down for more DOF. Why, because shutter speed is limited.
    3. Still not sharp enough? You may need to open back up. You may have diffraction limiting your sharpness at high F-stop.
    3. Your image may now be under-exposed. Oops, correct by pushing the film or increasing the ISO. Limited by sensor/film sensitivity.
    4. Now that you have optimum (subjective) DOF, work or sharpness. Again, compromise, because DOF is limited. Focus on the "optimal" focal point.
    5. Take the exposure, and blow it up. What you want to print it on the planet Neptune, and it's a bit pixellated or grainy? Oh well, perhaps resolution is also limited...
    6. Explain to the cop that you murdered the subject to stop motion blur from breathing... Discover that you, as a photographer are now limited to a 10x20 cell.

    Photography is continual compromise against limits and constraints.
    Otherwise we would bulldoze trees, hire helicopters, or dig away half a mountain to get "the perfect" angle. Oops. and in so doing, we would distroy the scenery we're trying to shoot. (Well, maybe not the helicopters, but sometimes they crash and burn and start forest fires. As a photographer, you're entitled not to worry about fuel and weather conditions, right? You're not subject to any limits, right?)

    The point here is that a photogropher also has social limits.
    Let me know how it goes when you shoot nudes in the streets of downtown Riad at rush hour, using local models. If you do, and survive, you may find access to the entire country limited because of backlash against your actions. There are legal, social, ethical, moral limits on photography. You may choose to ignore some of those limits, but not all of them.

    Photographers who ignore those limits make it harder (limit) the rest of us. Or was it ok for a photographer to cut down trees in Garden of the Gods so that nobody could take a picture as good as his? (Or perhaps to improve the view. I heard it the first way.)
  10. >>The point here is that a photogropher also has social limits. Let me know how it goes when you shoot nudes in the streets of downtown Riad at rush hour, using local models. If you do, and survive, you may find access to the entire country limited because of backlash against your actions. There are legal, social, ethical, moral limits on photography. You may choose to ignore some of those limits, but not all of them. <<

    No, you misunderstand. Being nude in public may be illegal, but photographing a person who is nude in public is not illegal.

    Physically being in a certain place at a certain time may be illegal, such as trespassing, but the act of holding a camera and releasing the shutter is not illegal.

    Even with regard to child pornography, it's not the act of holding the camera and releasing the shutter that is illegal--it's the actions placing the children in that situation and the later actions distributing the photographs that are illegal.

    If you can find a situation where everything was legal, moral, ethical, whatever, right up until the shutter was released--and the act of releasing the shutter per se was the illegal/immoral/unethical component...I'd like to see it.

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