The fact that a War on Photography blog actually exists – to fight against the erosion of the right to photograph in public spaces – is a bit of a sad sign of the times. Let’s hope it’s a temporary thing, eh? Meanwhile, here’s a few resources which should help you get the most out of your lovely camera. (If you know of any more, please add them into the comments).
- The Photographer’s Right. A downloadable flyer to use if challenged. Written by a lawyer and lays out your rights in the US.
- Street Photographers’ Rights. Australian rights.
- Photographer’s Guide to Privacy. Including 9 ways to avoid invasion of privacy suits.
- Using a Photograph for Commercial Purposes. Copyright and publicity.
- UK Photographers Rights. PDF written by a lawyer.
- PhotoSecrets, The Law for Photographers. Comprehensive online e-book.
- 10 Common Misconceptions of the Law for Photographers. Interesting.
- The Wildlife Photographer’s Code of Conduct. UK based, but some sensible information in general.
- Digital Rights Ireland. Photographer’s rights in Ireland.
- Culturally Sensitive Photography. Taking photos when traveling. Tip: ask permission.
As the flyer states, there are not very many legal restrictions on what can be photographed when in public view. Most attempts at restricting photography are done by lower-level security and law enforcement officials acting way beyond their authority. Note that neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography. Similarly, some businesses have a history of abusing the rights of photographers under the guise of protecting their trade secrets. These claims are almost always meritless because entities are required to keep trade secrets from public view if they want to protect them.