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Photographers' Rights Protest Makes For Good Theatre

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at 09:29AM
20050109-DSC_3889 Damon D'Amato [Flickr]

A security guard tries to block a photo at U.S. Bank tower.

The right of a photographer to take photos from public property is a topic that we've discussed several times before. Despite a clear lack of law to back them up, security companies that represent Downtown's office towers are quite insistent in their stance that it is illegal to take pictures of Downtown's landmark structures.

On Sunday, an group of photographers got together to make a stand about their rights to take pictures. The results are sad, but make for some great comedy.

There are several great write-ups of the event, but Bryan Villarin's includes some amazing transcribed conversation:

SG2: “Hello. You guys are aware that this is private property, right?” points finger at the building

David: “This is private property?” points finger down to the sidewalk

SG2: “This is private property.” points finger to the building

David: “This is private property?” points finger down to the sidewalk

SG2: “This is private property.” points finger to the building

David: “Doesn’t matter.”

SG2: “Okay. You’re not supposed to take pictures. You’re violating a code. Did he ask you guys if this is a public property?”

Shawn: “No, it doesn’t matter, we’re on public property.”

SG2: “Yes, you are on public property, but you are taking pictures of our building.”

According to the law, the photographers are in the right: taking photos from public property is perfectly legal. There's no distinction about whether the subject material is on property that's public or private.

Be sure to also check out this writeup at photography rights blog discarted and the original flickr posting from Friday.

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