Bust Card

Photographer and attorney Bert Krages has written a clear overview of the legal issues that could arise on, say, a field trip. He offers it as a pdf, as does the American Civil Liberties Union provide their own broader version: the Bust Card. Read ’em and don’t weep: other nations are not so friendly to shooters of film & platers with pixels (see the last url, below). Here are excerpts from Krages’s pages:

“The general rule in the United States is that anyone may take photographs of whatever they want when they are in a public place or places where they have permission to take photographs. Absent a specific legal prohibition such as a statute or ordinance, you are legally entitled to take photographs. Examples of places that are traditionally considered public are streets, sidewalks, and public parks. Property owners may legally prohibit photography on their premises but have no right to prohibit others from photographing their property from other locations.

“Taking a photograph is not a terrorist act nor can a business legitimately assert that taking a photograph of a subject in public view infringes on its trade secrets. On occasion, law enforcement officers may object to photography but most understand that people have the right to take photographs and do not interfere with photographers. They do have the right to keep you away from areas where you may impede their activities or endanger safety. However, they do not have the legal right to prohibit you from taking photographs from other locations.

 “Basically, anyone can be photographed without their consent except when they have secluded themselves in places where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as dressing rooms, restrooms, medical facilities, and inside their homes.

“Absent a court order, private parties have no right to confiscate your film. Taking your film directly or indirectly by threatening to use force or call a law enforcement agency can constitute criminal offenses such as theft and coercion. You are under no obligation to explain the purpose of your photography nor do you have to disclose your identity except in states that require it upon request by a law enforcement officer.”

BTW, in the instance of the afore-imagined field trip, it’s a good idea to carry one’s student ID; Chicago has truancy officers.

http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

bust card

http://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/racialjustice/rp_bustcard_eng_20090929.pdf

http://action.aclu.org/site/DocServer/kyr_spanish.pdf?docID=186&cr=1

http://photographernotaterrorist.org/

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