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12-10-2007, 10:07 AM   #46
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Yeah, I figure that they can make the rules, however I was talking with a client of mine about this who is a lawyer (works for the state) and he was thinking that the train station woiuld likely be considered public vs. private. But he of course denied any legal veracity to his opinion. It could go either way.

As for the key cover, this one was on the inside of the doors of the train (not a subway train) in the vestibule. It was next to the buttons that they use to open the doors. I just liked it.

Thanks for the info!


12-10-2007, 01:07 PM   #47

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I have not jumped in here on purpose, but now is a good time to review other implications of "What the cops can do or not". The following list (not in date order) is a short series of threads where I have gotten out my soap box about photographers rights in several flavors.

If you are bored some cold fall evening (northern hemisphere people) or warm spring evening (southern hemisphere people) - take a gander. There are some good resources to be found and some of the discussions are lively. My suggestion is to print out the sheet from the following site and carry it around with you.
Bert P. Krages Attorney at Law Photographer's Rights Page

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

Last edited by PDL; 12-10-2007 at 04:27 PM. Reason: had to find the site - put the L in PDL
12-10-2007, 03:45 PM   #48
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PDL... thanks for posting those links. They were spirited to say the least. One little gem that applies to the issue of NYC and shooting on the subway was the following link to a USA Today story...

Misinformation about your photography rights continues to spread -

About halfway down they make the following statement "You can also shoot in subways and at airports. Check your local laws about the subway, but in New York, Washington, and San Francisco it's perfectly legal." Of course, we all know that USA Today is sometimes wrong, but in this case I tend to think they just might know what they are talking about...

Ohhhh, and besides the wallet card, everyone here needs to pony up the bucks to buy Bert P. Krages book, "Legal Handbook for Photographers."

Last edited by MRRiley; 12-10-2007 at 05:50 PM.
12-10-2007, 04:43 PM   #49
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Right with the NYC subway - at one point MTA tried to ban it - then someone threated to sue them so they loosened up. They reserve the right to investigate any suspucious persons who may be taking photos.

The senario with the bridges - while shooting on them may be legal - some authority posted signs that say "No Photography". The police who do not make these signs or post them must enforce the law that says pedestirans and motorists must obey all signs on the bridge while they are on it. Thus they get the ability to stop/threat to fine for people taking pictures under the guise of failure to obey by signs/instructions on the bridge in general and not for the specific action. Someone would need to sue whomever has authority to post the signs over the legality of them. I imagine this would take some time. Thats the way I understand it.

And airports are ok - I think the airport security people (acronym escapes me) even allow extra luggage/carryon for "camera equipment". Though some airlines do not.

That handbook from Bert Krages is pretty great. Thanks for the link Mike and others.

12-11-2007, 01:51 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnM Quote
Man you know how badly I wanted to quote Michael Moore when I wrote this? Honestly I blame President Bush primarily for the way things are. He's not the only reason, but I think he is one of the biggest.

Anyhow, another discussion for another time.
Wow. Could not disagree more. But...another time and place.
12-11-2007, 09:19 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
(snip) I work for a company that makes subway cars. (snip) It is NOT legal to take a picture from within a station, yard or tunnel as they are owned by the MTA and the MTA has said they don't want pictures taken. (snip)

Interesting. There were few such photo restrictions when I left the USA almost three years ago and it's hard to guage how commonplace they are now based solely on stories from the internet. Regardless, the idea of not photographing public transportation systems, public or private, is certainly not widespread here. With the availability of easily hidden compact cameras and so many millions using these systems, banning photography would not really stop anyone from taking photos for malicious purposes anyway. As such, there hasn't been any real efforts to do so and I've never been approached, questioned, or hindered during my photography activities. The same with photography elsewhere (other than transportations systems). That includes professional situations where permits are only needed if others are hindered, construction is involved, or police presence is required. Use of private property is roughly similar to the USA. Few hassles otherwise.

12-12-2007, 06:05 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by stewart_photo Quote
Interesting. There were few such photo restrictions when I left the USA almost three years ago
Things haven't changed much. From the MTA rules of conduct:

Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

MTA NYC Transit - Rules of Conduct
12-12-2007, 07:15 AM   #53
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Be very careful folks

QuoteOriginally posted by Dave Lee Quote
Things haven't changed much. From the MTA rules of conduct:

Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

MTA NYC Transit - Rules of Conduct
While the above is true it is also true that the MTA reserves the right to restrict photography of any part of the system where the public is not allowed. This means that if you make a shot down a subway tunnel (where you are not allowed for obvious reasons) that photograph is also not allowed. In any event the local constabulary generally take a dim view of taking non obvious photos (Auntie in front of the sign that says "Shuttle this way" are almost always allowed) but incoming trains, and etc can get you hasseled. And of course any yard is off limits unless you get permission.

NaCl(sorry I gave the wrong impression about everything not being allowed, that is what I was told by a Yard Master)H2O

01-02-2008, 04:33 PM   #54
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I have a question regarding photographing in public buildings in Manitoba, Canada. I was taking some photos of the interesting architecture found in the Winnipeg Centennial Public Library today for my own portfolio when I was contacted by one of the administrators of the building. I was told that they do not allow photography within the building without permission from the director of the library, as "Some people do not appreciate being photographed." I accepted this at the time, though I attempted to explain that at the very worst people would appear only as inconsequentially subjects in my photos, but they did not relent and directed me to the administrative offices.

I found my way to the administrative offices and spoke with the director of the library. He expressed concern that people would not appreciate having their photos taken. I noted that I was there primarily to photograph the architecture, and he offered to let me take photos before and after closing time. Though I was very grateful for the offer, given the times the library is open this is not a viable option given my current class and work schedule. When lightly pressed to give a definitive answer about whether or not I could shoot during regular business hours, he took my contact information and said he would speak with some others and call me when they reached a decision. The discussion was very friendly the entire time and I'm hoping to hear a positive answer in a few days.

I am wondering about the legalities involved in this particular situation, however. As I understand it, while in a public area in a publicly owned building people have no expectation of privacy, and so should a person not like being in a photo (despite being unidentifiable), I am still have the legal right to take that photo. I would understand this situation to be similar to if I were on a publicly owned sidewalk and a sidewalk taking pictures of a populated area and a city worker comes up to me and says I cannot photograph there as people may be uncomfortable. From my understanding the permission of an administrator of a public place is not required to photograph there - it is not private property, and so long as I am not causing a disturbance I do not think it should be a problem. Is there a significant difference between this situation and the one I described above in the public library? Please help me shed some light on this situation - I'm at this library most every day and would love to be able to photograph within it.
01-02-2008, 08:30 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
Agreed fully.

01-03-2008, 03:23 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnM Quote
All-in-all an amusing- if somewhat disturbing- encounter. I wonder when or IF we will ever move past our current climate of fear and distrust in the US.
There is a Italian guy called Machiavelli who wrote a book in the year 1513, called Il Principe (The Prins).
You might want to read it and analyse the current US political situation from the perspective of the book.

There is very little new in the history of mankind I'm afraid.

- Bert
01-03-2008, 01:06 PM   #57
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Interesting post. I've been harassed by people, private citizens, before but never by actual law enforcement. Take a look at this
01-04-2008, 07:23 PM   #58
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Just thought I'd weigh in with my 2c worth (which at the current exchange rate is about 1.9c American). The laws in Australia seem to be fairly similar to those in the US/Canada - basically free rein on public land (with some exceptions for if the photos are.... whatever the visual equivalent of defamation is, I think).

But I remember during the APEC Summit in Sydney last year, paranoia was taken to new levels. One morning, I was in North Sydney and the Harbour Bridge was under a light fog. Not being anywhere near a decent vantagepoint, I had to make do with the view on the Milsons Point train platform. I was using the K10D at the time, and was quickly approached by a State Rail Official who informed me (if you can believe this) that it was NOT ALLOWED to take photos of the Harbour Bridge during APEC. Uh.... right. Huge bridge, visible from just about anywhere for kilometres, blanket prohibition. Moron. Anyway, I put my camera away (and was not told to delete the photos)

What really annoyed me though, was that this rent-a-cop tried to provide the most MORONIC and unlikely reason for me to stop taking photos (like, yeah... we're going to tell all tourists visiting Sydney for a week that they can't take a photo of a bridge), when all he had to do was inform me that as the platform was owned by State Rail (ie. Private property), they had the right to insist I not take any photos FROM the platform.

Anyway, thankfully (for now) there is a strong enough body of photographers around that everytime somebody mentions banning photography in public places, enough people shout out about it.

Oh, and AMEN to all those people who also agree that a DSLR is the LEAST DISCREET means of taking a photo, and that it's 3megapixel mobile phones and 8megapixel point-and-shoots that any "normal" Evildoer would use for nefarious purposes.
01-06-2008, 06:21 PM   #59
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Quick note: I was walking to the train a couple of weeks ago with my camera around my neck again and I walked by the conductor who questioned my motives last time. He yelled out to me with a grin on his face, "Hey! You can take as many pictures as you like!" So he and I were telling the story to another conductor standing there who had not been involved, all while kind of laughing and making light of the whole thing.

Everything is all hunky-dorey now! I did not take any pics that night, but I think I will try and use this to my advantage for the future... I am planning out some interesting shots as I type!

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