Yet another tale of persecuted photographers

Spotted on boingboing:

I was taking a photo of the market and a security guard came up and tried to take my camera away and delete the picture!” Apparently, this guy had invented a new Spitalfields policy prohibiting photography (some of the stalls have had this policy for a long time, including — hilariously — a stall that sells photos of Banksy graffiti) and was planning on enforcing it by taking away people’s property — without a warrant or badge, without any kind of posted signage.

Here in London, you get photographed upwards of 300 times a day, by every junior sneak, pecksniff, and petty CCTV operator who can afford a cheap little camera. The cameras often fail to help catch criminals, and they certainly don’t deter desperate muggers and junkies and stupid drunken kids. All the law seems to require by way of consumer protection is a sign saying, “You’re being filmed.”

You can be photographed again and again, but heaven help you if you take a picture back. Your person isn’t deserving of any serious privacy protection, but buildings, t-shirts, shop-windows, and market stalls are all entitled to unlimited protection from having their precious photons stolen.

Read the full post here

For an overview of photographers’ rights in the UK check out this document (.pdf download)!
And for more worrisome tales of photographers being targetted (by the cops principally) take a peek at One Eye on the Road.

About fotdmike

Occasional photographer; occasional writer/blogger; occasional activist; occasional computer-geek. Bit of a fool really.
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3 Responses to Yet another tale of persecuted photographers

  1. forkboy1965 says:

    While the security guard was certainly ham-handed, I’m not certain this should arise to the same level of concern that has been made evident through other postings and links.

    Ultimately this is probably more about a rent-a-cop letting power go to his head.

    But I could be wrong.

  2. fotdmike says:

    Maybe not, but its indicative of a mindset that’s becoming increasingly prevalent and that needs to be exposed before it becomes too entrenched in the mass psyche.

  3. forkboy1965 says:

    Possibly, but I have had other experiences that were quite similar, but weren’t over my taking pictures. Sometimes people are just idiots because they are idiots. Small minds get over-excited when they are given power and this may be the case for our friend the security guard.

    It is incidents like these that worry me. As a photographer Patrick was well aware of the problems photographers have been having with the police. His assumption is that this particular incident at the store is related, but he doesn’t really know that with any certainty. It is just as likely (more so in my opinion) that it was just the security guard being a prick.

    It’s not unlike incidents that occur in minority communities. They are often well aware that they are treated differently by the police so they begin to assume that anything that happens to them (of a negative fashion) at the hands of the police is racially motivated.

    In other words, if you’re expecting and/or looking for injustice you will find it whether it is real or not.

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