At least in Toronto: see here.
(apparently it’s been in the books since 2001)
HCB would be rolling in his grave!
I guess in practice this means someone complaining about someone else taking photographs will be on the right side of the law no matter the behaviour of the photographer. That doesn’t seem like the right balance at all. And, what about “reporting” in those places?
Is this a portent for similar rules on streets before too long?
In our city, public areas in parks that used to be free and open to anyone to take pics (weddings, portraits) now demand a prepaid permit. And our taxes which help keep the parks beautiful are already among the highest in the US. These permits used to be restricted to floral gardens that required high maintenance. In the case of our county parks, it has nothing to do with “pervs”, but more about another way to squeeze money out of you. Pretty soon they’ll be charging us for the pollluted air we breathe 😦
These regulations/policies seem backwards. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in any public space. If you want to temporarily use a portion of an otherwise public space, like a park, as if it were in fact private you should need to obtain permission to restrict other peoples’ use of that portion of the park from otherwise permissible public uses, like photography. Or maybe a portion of an otherwise public space might be routinely restricted for a portion of the day.
On the other hand, the routine publication of strangers’ activities on Flickr, Facebook, and other sites like blogs (some of which may have commercial elements) to very wide unmonitored viewership, by a seemingly endless body of people with video and still photographic equipment constantly in hand, might reasonably be seen as threatening the non-photographers’ quiet enjoyment of public spaces. Why should you be constantly subjected to the risk of some foible of yours, just because it happened in public, going viral within hours on Facebook, Vimeo, or You Tube?
A few people having their public activities photographed by a relatively few folks wandering around with film cameras around their necks (like HBC or Garry Winogrand) and then showing up in limited print media, seems somehow much less intrusive than being randomly and constantly exposed to a hoard of iPhone toting, internet connected, indiscriminate daily life pot shooters.
One seems a mere limited inconvenience the other at least a potential invasion of privacy. I think as a free society, we probably ought to err on the side of fewer restrictions on the right to pursue non-invasive activities in public spaces, but then again, given my strong interest in photography, I’m hardly unbiased; and surely one might debate endlessly the definition of “non-invasive”.
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