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I have the right to take photographs

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"There are a number of moves promoting the requirement of 'ID' cards to allow photographers to operate in a public place. It is a fundamental right of a UK citizen to use a camera in a public place, indeed there is no right to privacy when in a public place. These moves have developed from paranoia and only promote suspicion towards genuine people following their hobby or profession."

We, the undersigned, petition the Prime Minister to Stop proposed restrictions regarding photography in public places.

Before anyone says anything, this is one of those photos that got highlighted so people could see it, not because of any value inherent in the image itself. :)
27th Feb 2007, 17:54  

Puddikat says:

Sorry I can't sign but I hope it works : )

27th Feb 2007, 17:56

hildegard says:

No, it won't work but it's always nice to have figues indicating that this government governs in spite of the people, not on behalf of the people.
Had no idea such witlessness was afoot. Who's leading this latest charge towards generalised paranoia, Mat?

27th Feb 2007, 17:58

goode says:

hear hear

27th Feb 2007, 17:58

Electric Sheep says:

I dunno. there's something appealing about having a "press" ID. :)

27th Feb 2007, 18:00

Spike says:

signed. i hate to be pessemistic about it.. but...

[edit] anyway. even if it does get 'passed'.. fuck em, im still going to do it, damn the man

27th Feb 2007, 18:01

mat says:

Hildegard - I agree, of course it won't work. Some tiny voice is better than no voice though (and to think I've already written to my MP this week as well).

I believe this has something to do with the Radley Lakes injunction, although I'm not entirely certain right now. Am googling.

It's not like I'd actually take a blind bit of notice of such a law anyway.

27th Feb 2007, 18:04

Spike says:

as my old man, and im sure many people say, laws are there to be bent.. if not broken..

27th Feb 2007, 18:05

goode says:

who would take any notice Mat?

27th Feb 2007, 18:05

mat says:

some more information here

Looks like the petition is a bit of an over-reaction, but I still think it's worth signing.

27th Feb 2007, 18:07

Alfie says:

I thought the same thing, signed it, but it seems to be a bit over-reactive.

27th Feb 2007, 18:10

mat says:

What did you read that made you think that (other than the thing above), 'cos I'm really coming up short on finding stuff about this..

27th Feb 2007, 18:12

Spike says:

Quote 'Sometimes photographers have been told to delete their photographs.'

I really want someone to come up to me in the street and aske me to 'delete' the photograph i just took.... i couldnt think of anything else to do but photograph them as they ask me.

[edit note]. the above is out of context, read full article to grasp

27th Feb 2007, 18:12

Alfie says:

I'll try and find it Mat - I checked it out after someone forwarded me the petition link a couple of weeks ago.

27th Feb 2007, 18:17

Alfie says:

here you go:

basically, there is no legislation nor preparation for legislation, just the inference that somehow if the introduction of these ID cards creates an 'Uber class' of photographer, then somehow the rights of the photographing public will be restricted.

27th Feb 2007, 18:20

hildegard says:

Agree that it's important to register opposition - the regularity with which disingenous govt ministers blink into the camera & sigh, "Foreign policy isn't something my constituents complain about." is sufficient reason to write to them every single time they do, or propose to do, something stupid.

The Radley Lakes episode ought to be a clarion call for the proper regulation of private investigators & the vigorous prosecution of people who breach the Bailiff's Code...

27th Feb 2007, 18:20

Sir Findo Gask says:

I've signed it anyway... Regardless of any proposed legislation or not..

It won't stop me going out with my camera.

27th Feb 2007, 19:31

Hotdog says:

Spike :
I really want someone to come up to me in the street and aske me to 'delete' the photograph i just took.... i couldnt think of anything else to do but photograph them as they ask me.

This happened to me in a Pub, they asked why i was taking the photos and they got a bit arsey about it.
so I took a photo of them, It really wound them up, nearly got into a fight.

27th Feb 2007, 19:35

Joe says:

It's this kind of reactionary bollocks (the proposed law not the petition) that makes me want to leave this fucking country. I mean, will this mean a change in the definition of the word "public"? because I can see no other way that this law could be enforced.
Next they'll be wanting to put trackers in our cars and charging us for road usage by the mile.....oh wait...

27th Feb 2007, 20:09

parabolichobo says:

signed 4 wot it's worf

27th Feb 2007, 20:12

Alfie says:

but Joe the point is that there is no proposed law surely?

27th Feb 2007, 20:23

Essitam says:

I was stopped by the police in a restaurant for taking a photo of them arresting somebody. they made me delete it there and then!

I blogged about it I think!!

27th Feb 2007, 21:01

mat says:

Alfie - there may not be actual legislation proposed specifically for this case, but there is a lot of this kind of thing about these days. If there's talk of restrictions on public photography in government, I'd rather they'd already heard that I'm against it before they start, rather than when it's too late.

27th Feb 2007, 22:33

Alfie says:

and we're back to the start of the conversation; i signed it for just that reason, but it's dangerous when something like this gets raised. if it's sent on to new people via email with a sensationalist all in caps banner, people aren't actually informed, and it's all too easy for something important as this is to be pacified or marginalised. The email someone sent me read "UK GOVERNMENT PLANS LEGISLATION BANNING PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHY" with a link to only the petition. You or I might then investigate it further, but many wouldn't.

27th Feb 2007, 22:51

Dhamaka says:

I'm glad you posted this and am fully behind it being a HL and the discussion.

28th Feb 2007, 00:48

Caine says:

This is really disturbing. Being in the U.S., I could easily imagine someone trying to actually implement such a law. Not that it would stop me taking photos.

28th Feb 2007, 02:11

Dhamaka says:

Agree about registering but what still scares me is that things in this country have got so bad that it's so believable that such a proposed law or ruling could come into place

28th Feb 2007, 08:43

seaneeboy says:

Good grief. I have signed and shall watch this with great interest...

28th Feb 2007, 10:33

Sir Findo Gask says:

As we are a photographic community would it not be good to promote this petition on the front page somehow or other.

That way it could be done in a clear accurate way. After all this legislation, rule, law whatever you want to call it will affect each and everyone of us on here who are UK based.. It is not about me running around with 2 pro DSLRs and a fist full of lenses this is also about the guy on the street who just uses his phone to get a shot..

28th Feb 2007, 10:49

bronxelf says:

Caine- photographers who take shots of the NYC subway system have taken to carrying *copies of the law* in their pockets to show to police officers that give them a hard time. I've thankfully never had it happen to me (and goodness knows I have taken a lot of shots in the GUE) but particularly post 2001, photographers have gotten much greater hassles here than they did previously.

28th Feb 2007, 11:01

seaneeboy says:

As it seems at the moment this is a lot of pre-emptive discussion.

If any more serious noises about this start happening then I would totally support Moblog in campaigning against this utterly rediculous proposition.

28th Feb 2007, 11:06

James says:

*Echoes Sean*

28th Feb 2007, 12:23

Caine says:

Bronxelf - I had no idea. Thanks for letting me know about this situation.

28th Feb 2007, 19:51

seaneeboy says:

Just had an emailed reply to this:
"Thank you for signing the petition on the Downing Street website calling for the Prime Minister to stop proposed restrictions on photography in public places.

This petition has already attracted over 60,000 signatures from people who obviously share your concern. Not surprisingly, the idea that the Government might be poised to restrict your ability to take photos has caused some puzzlement and even alarm.

We have therefore decided to respond to this petition before its closing date of August, in order to reassure people.

The Government appreciates that millions of people in this country enjoy photography. So we have checked carefully to see if any Government department was considering any proposal that might possibly lead to the sort of restrictions suggested by this petition. We have been assured this is not the case.

There may be cases where individual schools or other bodies believe it is necessary to have some restrictions on photography, for instance to protect children, but that would be a matter for local decisions.

In fact, Simon Taylor, who started the petition, has since made clear that he was not really referring to Government action or legislation. His main concern appears to be that photographic societies and other organisations may introduce voluntary ID cards for members to help them explain why they are taking photographs. Again, any such scheme would not involve the Government.

We hope this re-assures you and clears up the confusion."

29th Mar 2007, 15:29