Here’s his set entitled FOR MY PRINTING
This week’s Flickr group: KINKY SEXY COUPLES (warning! HARDCORE)
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Ok, so you’re out in the city wandering around with your precious and expensive camera, snapping away, when you are suddenly confronted by a cop or security guard who tells you you’re breaking the law taking photos of a building, person, object, or whatever. He then demands either your memory card or camera. He’s big. With a deep, authoritarian voice. His hand is out, waiting impatiently for you to meekly hand it over.
Can he do that? In a very short word: no.
Anyone who photographs in public should acquaint herself with the law. In the US photography is normally protected by the first amendment. The government cannot just willy nilly prohibit you from taking photos. The Powers that Be must have a compelling reason to prevent you from taking photos.
As a general rule you may take a photo of anything you can see from a public space and that includes people. It is perfectly legal to photograph anyone who is in public, whether he is a celebrity or not and includes police officers. Your subject can certainly express her annoyance with you (she has first amendment rights, too), but she cannot call the law and have the cops confiscate you photos. Paparazzi make a decent living, after all, annoying the shit out of celebrities. Of course, the news media never asks permission before taking a photo of some poor soul unlucky enough to be caught up in a disaster of one kind or another. Despite the clarity of the law, amateur and professional photographers still get hassled on a regular basis. And see this… And this…
Lately some misguided security guards have been trying to prevent photographers from taking pictures of buildings. The same rule applies. Anything I can see from a public space is fair game. Just because a building, or statue, mural or anything else in public is copyrighted does not make it illegal to take its photo (the fair use doctrine allows republication of copyrighted works, or parts thereof in certain limited circumstances)
Even if you have violated the law it does not follow that someone – whether a cop or private guard – may confiscate you card or camera. There’s this thing called the fourth amendment and while it may not mean much anymore if your name is Mohammed, it still applies in most of the country. Your property cannot be searched or siezed without a warrant or the existence of exigent circumstances.
If you have had any problems with harassment, you should get a copy of the Photographer’s Bill of Rightsand carry it around with you. It is an excellent and concise statement of the law and might even give a thick skulled cop pause before he violates your rights.
Two caveats: the above is only about your right to take a photograph; it does not speak to your right to publish it or how you may use it. By way of example, I have the right to photograph a celebrity, but I do not have the right to put his photo on a million hats and peddle them to the public. I may not use a photo of a celebrity, or anyone else, in a commercial manner (Lady Gaga loves my tacos…).
Second, what may be legal may not be wise. I never photograph a small child without asking her parent’s permission. I don’t want a confrontation with some angry mother convinced I’m some kind of pedophile. In fact, as a general rule, I ask permission from anyone I’ m shooting up close. Most folks, particularly participants in public events, are happy to photographed.
Finally, here’s a rather intimidating woman dressed in an outfit she probably wouldn’t wear in public…
Enjoy Paul’s scrumptious set Emma!
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Britney Spears is a lovely young woman and a passable songstress. What is most amazing about her, however, is how freely she allows Flickr members to take her photo. And, let me tell you, many of those photos are just super professional looking. Search Britney Spears on Flickr and you get just over twenty thousand hits.
Of course the vast majority of the photos of Spears on Flickr are posted in violation of someone’s copyright. I wonder how many take down notices Flickr gets for Britney photos. Of course, I’m sure a lot of copyright holders don’t mind the publicity and don’t complain. Protected by the the safe harbor provisions of copyright law exempting it from liability for copyright violations on photos posted by members, Flickr has no real incentive to remove an offending photo till a copyright holder complains and demands the image be taken down.
What percentage, I wonder, of photos of celebrities on Flickr violate copyright law? Lady Gaga is a tag on over fifty thousand photos. The handful of photos I looked at contain many that appear to have been taken at a concert. Those photos are unlawful, too, assuming photography was forbidden at the venue (if not the shots are legal unless used for some commercial purpose). Of course, in this day of smart phones with mega pixel still and video cameras, trying to stop photography at a concert is like trying to stop the crowd from singing along.
Below is a creative commons photo from Flickr of Lady Gaga in concert in London. Can I legally post it here? I think so. The photographer owns the copyright. He’s licensed it to me. If he violated his ticket license I don’t believe I have any vicarious liability (I didn’t buy a ticket, after all). If you think I’m wrong, let me know (I don’t of course know English law).
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He was from Syria, a bright, energetic young man running his own small business buying and selling knives. I first met him shortly after 911 when I did a small legal matter for him. We went to the courthouse one morning and I felt absurdly protective, ready to scold any redneck who tried to hassle Mo (short, of course, for Mohammed). Nothing happened and we finished his court appearance quickly.
We became casual friends and talked several times over the next handful of years. Mo was an interesting mix of Western and Middle Eastern values. I loved talking to him; in the stultifying uniformity of east Tennessee its a treat to talk fairly freely with some from a different culture. The only subject we were guarded about with each other was Israel. I suspect his attitude was much harsher than he’d admit to me. For some odd reason, I also pulled my punches on the subject. Whatever my own concerns with Israeli policies, it seemed improper to voice them to someone who might be anti-semitic or worse and who was a citizen of a nation which had been at war with the Jewish state on at least three occasions.
He came in one day and told me the FBI wanted to talk with him. The news set off alarms in my ACLU loving brain. While he did have some “tax issues” with his business, I doubted the FBI would be interested. Of course I feared for him. Probably because I wanted a fairly large fee he elected to use some lawyer who was a friend of a friend and wouldn’t charge him a fee.
I never heard from Mo again. Its been several years since our last contact. I hope he is just pissed at me for wanting a hefty chunk of his money to deal with the FBI. I hope he’s out there somewhere making good money selling fancy knives here or in Syria and cussin’ me as a greedy lawyer. That’s what I hope. I don’t want to consider the alternative…
I still think about Mo often. He once gave me a gift for my wife, an elegant little wooden box; he had brought it back from one of his trips to visit his family in Damascus. She found his gift delightful and still it sits on one of the end tables in our living room. When he brought the box by my office we talked about Damascus and his mother, a traditional Syrian woman, who was not pleased her son remained in America and had not yet married a proper Syrian girl.
He’s been particularly on my mind since the uprisings in the Middle East. Is he one of the Syrian protesters? A prisoner (or worse)? Of course the romantic liberal in me wants to imagine him on the ramparts, a brave young man determined to end the tyranny in his homeland.
Mostly I just hope, wherever he is, he’s alright…
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I wonder how many people around the world are sitting at their computers right now studiously composing blog posts?
Hmm. Let’s say out of the six plus billion souls on our little blue planet one person in a thousand regularly keeps a blog…. And one in ten of those are writing now… No, make that one in twenty…
Uh, where’s my iPhone calculator…
300,000! I can almost hear all those keys clacking around the globe…
Some of those posts are good, some (probably most) bad. Some are significant and make the world a better place, some (probably most) are utterly pointless and add not one whit to planetary betterment. I wonder where I’d rank this morning in terms of “blog post significance”?
Gosh, there’s actually a free iPhone app for that! Hmm, clunker interface, but…
Surely I can raise that…
The Egyptian revolution may prove to be much ado about nothing, or may profoundly alter the world as we know it, lifting tens of millions out of poverty, ignorance and superstition. Which outcome arrives depends entirely on the struggle between modernity and fundamentalist Islam for the “hearts and minds” of the Egyptian people. While modernity prevailed long ago in western Europe in a similar war with fundamentalist Christianity (not without some setbacks and considerable bloodshed), it is by no means certain western values, however attractive to young and well educated Egyptians, will surmount over thirteen centuries of inward looking, harsh religious dogma.
Yes! Yes! That raised my BPSR (blog post significance rank) all the way up to 9,071th!! I am of course a master of historical analysis as every regular reader of this blog knows.
Oh, wait, I misread the screen — turns out BPSR actually stands for Bloviation, Pomposity, and Stupidity Rating….
Flickr group: LIFE IN EGYPT
Modern girls are nice. But they can be pushy – and mouthy – and too aggressive. Overly educated. Too into their careers. To wiling to dump you if you don’t support their aspirations. How selfish! What a bummer…
Now, back in the day, women knew their place. Those fair ladies were demure, submissive, ever willing to please and gladly be your happy cook, uncomplaining domestic, patient nanny and well, you know, willing sex partner.
Trialsanderrors has found, and posted to Flickr, scores and scores of vintage photographs of the girls (and boys) of yesteryear.