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07-07-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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Speaking of restricting photography . . .

I have an interesting situation going on. I am teaching photography and photoshop to some kids at an arts daycamp at an arts center run by a non-profit arts foundation. The physical property is owned by the county, is a national historic landmark, and is leased by the foundation for the arts center. While walking around with the kids, taking pictures of this and that, I was told by a facilities person (hired by the foundation) that we could not take pictures of any of the building or structions on the property and it's private.

On the website for the center/foundation, it is stated that the deed to the property is held by the county (a government) and the foundation leases it. So, wouldn't this make the property itself public? I understand not taking pictures inside the buildings as artists have their work displayed and that would be problematic. But my stance on this is that the foundation is out of their jurisdiction restricting photography of the grounds itself. It is for the deed-holder (the county) to make that call, and as they are a government they need due cause to do so.

Then again just today, some random visitors were told they could not take pictures of the grounds. Any thoughts?

07-07-2010, 05:31 PM   #2
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Read the lease?
07-07-2010, 07:07 PM   #3
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I would call the county and ask them. Also, at least you know they haven't just singled you out-they seem to be telling everybody no pictures.
07-07-2010, 07:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Read the lease?
+1 to that. And ask the County.

But, hold on!

No photos at a national historic landmark? Are they nuts? Landmarks are, by definition, not private.

Is this about protecting postcard sales? Really, really odd.

07-07-2010, 07:23 PM   #5
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It's the people leasing the facility telling everyone no photography. Not the governmental body that owns it. So I'm curious as to who has the say. I'm fairly certain the lease would fall under that whole transparency of information thing. I work for a neighboring county and anyone can go on the internet and find my pay. By name specifically. So I'm guessing this would have to be available too. But I think it's not the lessee's jurisdiction to say you can't photograph grounds that don't belong to them.
07-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
+1 to that. And ask the County.

But, hold on!

No photos at a national historic landmark? Are they nuts? Landmarks are, by definition, not private.

Is this about protecting postcard sales? Really, really odd.
There are no postcard sales. No tours. Nothing. Not sure who's interests are protected. But they don't own it. I'm not sure how they could restrict the sales of images of stuff they don't own. Weird weird weird. And it's a wide open facility. I have gobs of images (now contraband) of the place on my flickr.

Last edited by mel; 07-08-2010 at 02:49 PM.
07-07-2010, 07:40 PM   #7
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I'm from St. Augustine-the oldest city. nearly everything there is on Nat. Register of Historic Places or a historic landmark and you can shoot all the pictures you want. Something is way out of whack with them not allowing pictures.
07-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #8
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I'm not a lawyer but was involved in some discussions with lawyers about the rights of a tenant. The foundation probably does have the right to restrict photography on the grounds unless the property is always open to the public. Now, if you are standing off the property (public sidewalk, etc) and take pics of the property, no problem.

Have you tried contacting someone in charge? It could be that someone said something to someone and it has trickled down as a "no photography" rule that doesn't exist. I know the local art center doesn't allow photography inside, except when the summer classes are going and the kids are allowed if the weather is bad.

07-07-2010, 08:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
No photos at a national historic landmark? Are they nuts? Landmarks are, by definition, not private.
Actually the majority of NHL sites are private and privately-owned and have the normal rights, privileges, and obligations. What is confusing is that many NHLs are also open to the public as historical sites, parks, or museums.
07-08-2010, 05:43 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote
It's the people leasing the facility telling everyone no photography. Not the governmental body that owns it. So I'm curious as to who has the say. I'm fairly certain the lease would fall under that whole transparency of information thing. I work for a neighboring county and anyone can go on the internet and find my pay. By name specifically. So I'm guessing this would have to be available too. But I think it's not the lessee's jurisdiction to say you can't photograph grounds that don't belong to them.
In general, when a private entity leases public property, they can restrict access.
07-08-2010, 08:18 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
In general, when a private entity leases public property, they can restrict access.
I agree with you on this. However, I find it odd that they agreed to an arts camp to be taught there. What did they think would happen? Plus its odd that a Foundation for the Arts would act like this. Maybe their grant funding and donations need to be audited and reviewed.
07-08-2010, 09:06 AM   #12
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This is an excellent example of bureaucratic stupidity, run a day camp to teach kids photography at an arts foundation that doesn't allow them to take pictures. What's next? Swimming lessons where nobody is allowed in the water?
07-08-2010, 10:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
This is an excellent example of bureaucratic stupidity, run a day camp to teach kids photography at an arts foundation that doesn't allow them to take pictures. What's next? Swimming lessons where nobody is allowed in the water?
Quick, drain the pool. We are teaching kids how to swim.....
It does seem rather more than odd that you can't take photographs at a photography camp.
07-08-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WJW Quote
I'm not a lawyer but was involved in some discussions with lawyers about the rights of a tenant. The foundation probably does have the right to restrict photography on the grounds unless the property is always open to the public. Now, if you are standing off the property (public sidewalk, etc) and take pics of the property, no problem.

Have you tried contacting someone in charge? It could be that someone said something to someone and it has trickled down as a "no photography" rule that doesn't exist. I know the local art center doesn't allow photography inside, except when the summer classes are going and the kids are allowed if the weather is bad.
The place is wide open to the public all the time. There are no gates or fences restricting access to the public grounds ever. Certain parts are fenced off but okay fine. The main campus (it's a former prison) is wide open. The buildings are locked at certain times. But Those In Charge are saying no pictures of the outsides of the buildings in the wide open parts that are always accessible to anyone any time.

I am tempted to find myself some big ol fat lens, put it on a monopod, and stand just on the shoulder of the street and fire away in plain view of Those In Charge just show that I can and they can't do a thing about it.
07-08-2010, 10:41 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mel Quote

I am tempted to find myself some big ol fat lens, put it on a monopod, and stand just on the shoulder of the street and fire away in plain view of Those In Charge just show that I can and they can't do a thing about it.
I'll start putting together a bail fund for you......
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