Man sentenced to 90 days for taking pictures

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Josh66, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    Actually, he was right -- it's a privately-owned public area. The distinction between public and private differs depending on the subject matter (speech, privacy, discrimination / equal access, etc.) But for these purposes the question is whether you're in a public space with no expectation of privacy or a private space with an expectation of privacy. The answer's pretty cut and dried -- you have no expectation of privacy in a Wal-Mart. Everyone can see you. You can see everyone. It's "in public." You have an expectation of privacy in your house, in a bathroom, etc. Not in a Wal-Mart.

    Now, does that mean you're free to take pictures? Yes and no. Is it illegal to take pictures in a Wal-Mart? Of course not. But Wal-Mart can restrict photo-taking -- just like it can require shoes. It's allowed to make rules. If you do it after being asked to stop (or in violation of a clearly-posted sign), then Wal-Mart could ask you to leave -- refusal to do so would be trespassing. But, absent such a rule, it's not illegal.

    That being said:
    A) There are photos that violate an expectation of privacy, even in public spaces (i.e. up a skirt or the like).

    B) That it isn't illegal...doesn't mean it isn't creepy in some cases.

    (However, I do want to say that we can take this "everyone's a child molestor" thing too far. There are evil people out there -- but a world where we raise our kids in cocoons out of a fear that every male may be a potential abuser...it's not really a great world. There are lots of good, innocent reasons to take pictures of kids -- they can be adorable (well, some of them...). It's unfortunate that we jump to the conclusion that any picture of a child is meant for sexual purposes. In some, rare cases it is -- but in the great majority of cases it's not.)


     
  2. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is not a public area. It is private property much like your house that allows the public in there is a difference. While you are shopping in wether it be a mall or, store you have the expectaion of privacy while doing so. When you are in a park, on a sidewalk or, on a roadway you have no expectation of privacy.
     
  3. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ^ Oh really? Go ahead, get naked and run around in a Wal-Mart, then try telling your arresting officer, "It's a private place, I have the same expectation of privacy as in my own home!"
     
  4. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    Three quick things:

    1. They videotape you to watch for shoplifters.
    2. You can't take your pants off.
    3. Anything you do in there is viewable by anyone.

    I think perhaps you have a personal, subjective expectation of privacy in a Wal-Mart -- but, if so, it's an unreasonable one. Sorry, man, it's a public place.

    In fact, if you allowed any and all people into your house, it, too, would be a public place for however long you allowed everyone to come in. By inviting the public to invade your privacy, you give up any expectation thereof. You'd have no right to complain that everyone saw your personal effects -- because you invited them in, and left the personal effects within their range of vision. Similarly, if you didn't forbid photography, you'd have no right to complain about it later if someone took pictures. Whatever you make public, you can't simultaneously expect to be private.

    In fact, there's a thorny issue of whether a person in their own backyard is in private or public. They're on their private land, sure. But if they're naked and right next to a public road, with no fence...can someone take a picture? It's a little unclear in some jurisdictions (because of other laws targetting paparazzi), but probably yes.

    There is a movement, of which this law seems to be a part, towards forbidding certain types of photography even in public places. But that's not because the places are "private" or because there's a reasonable expectation of privacy therein. Rather, it is because lawmakers have decided that some types of public photography have negative social effects and should be banned. The wisdom of that view is...debatable -- but it certainly doesn't mean that otherwise public spaces become private. (You still can't take your pants off. :lol:)
     
  5. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    And then wonder why the cops were taking you to jail and not him.

    About a year after getting out of jail for assault you would then be trying to figure out how the hell you would pay the settlement his attorney won against you in civil court.

    Happens just like that every day, somewhere in America as the result of kicking some's @ss.....before they let the cops do their thing.

    Sounds good in theory, but usually backfires big time.
     
  6. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Untrue but you keep believing that. The store has a right to videotape people in their store. They also have the option of banning you from entering the stores for no reason at all if they choose to and, have you arrested for tresspassing. In public areas you can not be randomly tossed from those areas it is totally different.
    And you do have an expectation of privacy not from the owners of the property but, from other people in the store.
     
  7. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When it comes to a right to privacy on private property, you in most cases only have the right to privacy that the property owner grants you. Exceptions are made in the law for things like restrooms/changing rooms. Your general right to privacy outside those areas is at the discretion of the property owner.
     
  8. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    No offense, man, but you're way off base -- I understand how you could believe that, but it's untrue as a matter of law. Expectation of privacy has a defined meaning in the law and...that meaning doesn't match your understanding. :er:

    I think your misunderstanding comes from confusing the idea of privately owned space and private space. Private space is space where you can expect not to be observed by the public -- where you can do things privately. Bathrooms, inside houses, etc.

    Privately-owned space could be anything from a house to a Wal-Mart to a privately-held park -- nothing about being privately-owned makes a space private in and of itself. If you're in a privately-owned park smoking weed, for example, and an officer walks by...can you claim that you're doing it in private, and that he therefore violated your Fourth Amendment rights by observing you without a warrant? Of course not. You may have been in a privately-owned space, but you have no reasonable expectation of privacy in a publicly-accessible park (regardless of who owns it).

    Sorry, man -- your idea of what the law is or should be...just doesn't match what the law actually is on this subject. ;)
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    From my, umm, personal dealings with law enforcement - TheOtherBob is correct.

    Just one example, you can get arrested for public intox on private property...

    (Long time ago...lol.)
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't forget, people, this is an international forum. Heatedly discussing law here is a total waste of time as the laws in Sweden are different from the USA and are different in Canada and are different in Africa. Laws also (for example in the USA) can also change from state to state and even township to township!

    If you want to quote law unequivocally, at least have the courtesy to:

    1. Be a lawyer with expertise in photographic laws or at least have a strong expertise in the area.

    2. State in what geographic location you are stating laws from.

    Without these 2 things, all we are, are a bunch of friends arguing semantics and opinions on what we perceive laws on the internet should be like. Very many people could be wrong just as easily as many people could be equally right in the same given scenario. :)
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I forget what it's called (there's a word for it...), but Texas is like that. The law is not uniform throughout the state. Each town may have it's own laws that are different than the neighboring town...

    ...It's kind of annoying.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I spent 2 years in Texas... they're quite special in how they work. They even have different income tax and item purchase tax laws from town to town... lol

    You guys from "The Republic" sure do things differently from just about anywhere else I have ever seen, and I say that with a chuckle. :D
     

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