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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Panic Petition

A UK photographer has started a petition as a consequence of becoming frustrated at the increasing harrasment of photographers in public places. I understand the sentiment, but disagree with the action - the petition implies new government legislation, but elsewhere the petitioner admits "there is no bill in the offing." It's scare tactics as far as I am concerned.

The example documented was a case of two photographers who decided to take pictures of children playing rugby in a public park. I think they were a little naive to assume that taking pictures of children they do not know will not provoke a reaction, regardless of legality.

If I wanted to take pictures of children playing in a park I would find the parents and ask permission as a matter of courtesy and I am sure the majority of photographers would do the same - not because the law requires it, but simply because we live in paranoid times.

Compared with other countries, the law is quite favourable to UK photographers, it is one of the reasons our paparazzi are so invasive.

A summary of relevant UK law pertaining to photography is available online.

Keep a printed copy in your photo-bag if you expect harassment of a similar kind. Understand your rights and responsibilties.

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