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  1. #1
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    Cool fake press pass legalities

    is possessing a fake press pass illegal?

    if it has the name of a real newspaper/agency?

    if the name on the pass isn't yours?

    if you use the pass to gain entry to an event?

    my friend works for the AP, and i scanned his press pass (with his permission). i took out all identifying info, put in a fake name, and printed it up nicely. then i glued on a passport photo from walgreens, laminated it, and attached a neck lanyard. i even "aged" it a little so it looks like i've had it for a while.

    all in all, it looks awesome...reeeally awesome!

    i've used it a couple of times when photographing in situations where people have harrassed me in the past. you know the "you know you're not allowed to be photographing here" crowd....the results have been great so far. one lady came up to me, all ready to get sanctimonious, looked closely at the pass for 5 seconds, and said "oh i wasn't sure if you were with the press". i just gave a weary smile. didn't even have to (verbally) lie!

    combined with a vest, and the right attitude, i think this pass could definitely get me into some cool shooting situations.

    i'm considering making another with my real name, since my biggest concern is the legality of using a false name. any help??

    thanks,

    wiley snap

    p.s. unrelated, but i thought amusing....when i searched for "fake pass" in this forum, before writing this post, here was the result:

    Your Search for fake pass returned no records.

    However, we did find 0 matches for: cake pans

    p.p.s. not to be ungrateful, but i'm not looking for any moral guidance on whether or not i SHOULD do this. Please limit responses to the legal issues.

  2. #2
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    You can't really ask people to limit their responses on an open forum. So be prepared. And be nice.

    There's not really any such thing as a legal press pass. There are news organizations that issue documents to their members. And events issue press passes to whomever they choose. But there's no legal press pass. At least not in the US. On the other hand, any kind of fake ID could get you in trouble. Representing yourself as someone other than who you are will tend to piss people off - especially law enforcement.

    Why not just make the effort to get yourself a legit credential? Then you've got nothing to worry about. What kind of events are you trying to photograph, anyway. Speaking from experience - and here it comes - I've been pretty annoyed when non-credentialed photographers have gotten in the way of me taking pictures at an event I've take the time and effort to get a photo pass for. Piss off another photographer and you may have some real trouble.
    Last edited by Photo-John; 03-23-2007 at 11:30 AM.
    Photo-John


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  3. #3
    Sports photo junkie jorgemonkey's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    IMHO, legal - probably

    using a fake ID at an event - I doubt it

    If you ever want to get into photojournalism or sports photography where you need a pass, and word has gotten around that you've used fake press passes before, then they may not want to give you one.
    Nikon Samurai #21


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  4. #4
    Newest Nikon Samurai zrfraser's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Would you drive on a fake drivers license? You are falsely identifying yourself, and I'm sure if the AP got word of this, you and your friend woiuld get in trouble for it. Plus, there are people on this forum who shoot for AP, and I'm sure they wouldn't like knowing one of their brothern is possibly taking food out of their mouths.

    My 2 cents

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  5. #5
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: fake press pass legalities

    I think what you are doing is pretty unethical and I am certain that if you were caught, you'd recieve some kind of admonishment, be it juduical or hurtful to any kind of career as a a photographer.
    I think you and your friend are doing the AP a great disservice and could very well disscredit the AP.
    Furethermore, if I were your friend's boss and I found this out, I would fire him.
    Brian

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  6. #6
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Basically, in the U.S., you can use any name you want as long as you are not trying to "defraud". The situation you describe, under this description, makes it illegal as you are defrauding the events you are trying to get in to, since you are misrepresenting your association with AP.
    If you want a press pass, as mentioned above, just make one up yourself as a "Freelance Photographer" working for your own photography business. This is not illegal and widely used and accepted, according to my photography course, NYIP. My wife has one that they issued her for the Professional Course. I can request one if I want, but I have one with the company that I am associated with here in Texas.
    The main thing I see here is that you are doing something both illegal and unethical. Please reconsider your actions.
    Just my understanding of the situation.
    Ken
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  7. #7
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Why not email info@ap.org and ask them if it's illegal?

    In these post-9/11 days I don't think anyone would take a fake ID with a false name lightly.
    Given possible sense-of-humour-failure among security personnel, it's on a par with "america's dumbest" on TV

    I'm surprised if it's not illegal.
    There are levels of misdemeanour there
    1) using a false name
    2) mis-representation as a representative of Associated Press
    3) fraudulent entry to events

    Even if you use your own name (so it matches other photo ID) I suspect that Associated Press might be interested in your use of their name.
    Also a little interested in the photographer who let you copy it.


    I just wonder if they have a web search robot that picks up hits on their name (or they hire Google to do it) and this thread shows up.
    Now that would be interesting, seeing yourself as an AP news story


    combined with a vest, and the right attitude,
    You can probably get a legitimate pass.
    PAul

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    and post your sports pictures !

  8. #8
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Ask your local DA for a definitive answer.
    Keep Shooting!

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  9. #9
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Vests are for nerds!
    Photo-John


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  10. #10
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    I can tell you that in Michigan there are several charges that can be brought against you, particularly if you sell or use any of the pictures for gain. In my opinion would fall under Larceny by Trick and is a misdemeanor and even possibly felony if the value is enough. If you had to pay for a legitimate pass then you could fall under other charges as well.

    AND if security found out and alerted police, you could be thought to be a criminal checking on "targets" and have you camera confiscated as instuments used in a crime and you could be held in jail for up to 72 hours before being charged or released pending further investigations...

    And as has been mentioned, your friend could get fired or even charged as a co-conspiritor...That is not good.

    Bottom line......DON'T DO IT......

    Phil

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by ken1953
    Basically, in the U.S., you can use any name you want as long as you are not trying to "defraud". The situation you describe, under this description, makes it illegal as you are defrauding the events you are trying to get in to, since you are misrepresenting your association with AP.
    If you want a press pass, as mentioned above, just make one up yourself as a "Freelance Photographer" working for your own photography business. This is not illegal and widely used and accepted, according to my photography course, NYIP. My wife has one that they issued her for the Professional Course. I can request one if I want, but I have one with the company that I am associated with here in Texas.
    The main thing I see here is that you are doing something both illegal and unethical. Please reconsider your actions.
    Just my understanding of the situation.
    Ken
    It is probably borderline in legality, but I must add that you really cannot "defraud an event". The issuing of Press Passes may be convenient but I doubt that the legality of the process has been contested in Superior Court, either. Nevertheless the idea of issuing yourself a press pass as a Freelance Photographer with your own name is a good compromise solution.

    Ronnoco

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  12. #12
    Senior Member payn817's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Since this person would be using a false name to gain entry to a restricted event, couldn't it be considered trespassing? I mean, he/she would be in a place they aren't supposed to be. The easy way to get a press pass is to contact an organization, let them know what you've done, your intentions, and politely ask for a pass. If you're honest, you may get it. I have a season pass for the local baseball team, and that's how I got it.

  13. #13
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Vests are for nerds!
    Guilty as charged.

    I just have nowhere else to put the stuff ...
    6 CF cards, reading glasses, close-up (repairing stuff) glasses, notepad, pens, flash (in the back pocket), radio, disk image store, electrical tape, filters (or cases), race tickets, accreditation (if I have one), lens cleaning fluid, lens cloth (before I got spudz)

    Put all that in my pockets and my trousers fall down !
    PAul

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  14. #14
    Moderator Didache's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    I ALWAYS wear a vest when travelling, nerd or not

    They are useful and I have three of them, and very well travelled they are too (indeed, one was bought in Nepal). You can just see that one on my avatar. I wouldn't be without my Tilley hat either!

    Cheers in a nerdy fashion
    Mike

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by payn817
    Since this person would be using a false name to gain entry to a restricted event, couldn't it be considered trespassing? I mean, he/she would be in a place they aren't supposed to be. The easy way to get a press pass is to contact an organization, let them know what you've done, your intentions, and politely ask for a pass. If you're honest, you may get it. I have a season pass for the local baseball team, and that's how I got it.
    Since the press pass is fraudulent, tresspassing is the only charge possible and that is not usually made. The perpetrator is just escorted off the property.

    Ronnoco

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  16. #16
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    Put all that in my pockets and my trousers fall down !
    Lord knows Paul needs his trousers.
    Have a nice day.
    John S.

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  17. #17
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    thank you all for responding.

    i'm not trying to get into pro sporting events, or anywhere that might expose me to professional photographers. i see the point that if an event charges for admission, and i gain entry under the assumption that i am a pro, this might be "defrauding the event"...at least out of the ticket price. i don't intend to do this.

    i made a mistake in asking "if you use the pass to gain entry to an event?" i should have clarified that this wasn't the main reason for making the pass. a lot of the responses focused on this part of the post.

    the main reason i made the pass was to stop getting hassled. i love taking guerrilla pics in public places. most of america mistakenly thinks that they have a right to privacy, and a right to not be photographed, when they are out in public. this pass has already proved its usefulness.

    in addition to street photography, i like to photograph people in their work environment...especially industrial settings. an example, earlier this week, i used the pass to gain entry to a factory that makes aluminum siding. got some great pics of ordinary people working in a stark setting. could i have talked my way in there without the pass? doubtful, but who knows. with the pass, they were eager to let me in. i'm going to a huge auto body repair shop next.

    i am not planning on selling any of the photos i take using this method. they are purely for my personal enjoyment.

    as for the suggestions that i make a freelance pass....well, naa. AP is much more impressive.

    my friend who supplied the pass....we have both concluded that he is definitely going to hell as a result. he is coming to terms with this fact.

    ciddogs response is scary. land of the free, huh?

    i have no ambitions to become a pro. i am successful and fulfilled in another field.

    again thanks for everyone's input,
    wiley

  18. #18
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Why don't you just go to these places and if you have any doubts, just ask if you can take some photographs, rather than being deceptive buy using a fake AP pass.
    You'd be surprised what a little curiousity and some passion will get you.
    Anyway.....:idea:
    From what I know of you through this post, I would have some reservations about the credibility of your photography.
    Good Luck!
    Brian

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    From what I know of you through this post, I would have some reservations about the credibility of your photography.
    Good Luck!
    Brian
    As Brian kind of implied, unless you are really capable with a camera, you might be better off, putting your efforts into different challenges.

    Ronnoco

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  20. #20
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Quote Originally Posted by Didache
    I ALWAYS wear a vest when travelling, nerd or not
    I've got one

    But I feel like a dork when I wear it. There are times when it's very useful, I will admit
    Photo-John


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  21. #21
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    PJ wrote:
    There's not really any such thing as a legal press pass. There are news organizations that issue documents to their members. And events issue press passes to whomever they choose. But there's no legal press pass.


    Actually John there ARE legal press passes, and using one illegally in Indiana will land someone in the state pen for a few years! The Indiana State Police issue press passes and it's illegal if you show up at certain things without one or use one not issued to you specifically. These have to be renewed as well.

    As for the original poster, better hope the AP doesn't find out who your friend is, the AP takes this sort of thing VERY seriously and will prosecute. People who do this sort of thing give those of us who do things legally a bad name, and it's why press passes are getting tougher to come by, especially for some events.

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  22. #22
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Using a pass that is made off of someone elses credentials, I would think would be illegal. I know in my line of work, if they had any question on your ID and asked you for another form of ID to back it- you would be in trouble for sure.

    In my opinion, you are better off making your own ID. "Freelance", or "Free Press", or if you have your own website "Something.com Photographer" etc.- using your real name. It definitely would keep you from getting in as much trouble as getting caught with an ID you do not have rights to.
    Another suggestion and a friend (amatuer photographer) of mine got hooked up with his local paper taking photos of different events. They issued him an ID at his request which just states the newspapers name and the title photographer and his picture and name. He doesn't do work for them but once in awhile.
    :idea:

  23. #23
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Using a pass that is made off of someone elses credentials, I would think would be illegal. I know in my line of work, if they had any question on your ID and asked you for another form of ID to back it- you would be in trouble for sure.

    In my opinion, you are better off making your own ID. "Freelance", or "Free Press", or if you have your own website "Something.com Photographer" etc.- using your real name. It definitely would keep you from getting in as much trouble as getting caught with an ID you do not have rights to.
    Another suggestion and a friend (amatuer photographer) of mine got hooked up with his local paper taking photos of different events. They issued him an ID at his request which just states the newspapers name and the title photographer and his picture and name. He doesn't do work for them but once in awhile.
    :idea:

  24. #24
    Stop Or I'll Shoot Photography Lori11's Avatar
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    Re: fake press pass legalities

    Wait till you go in somewhere and someone like me doesnt let you in till I call and verify your "pass"....let us know how that woks out for you then we will all know the answer.
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  25. #25
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    fake press pass legalities

    AP can sue you if you use their name but not criminally illegal unless you used to defraud.
    Fraud or trespassing if you do not pay admission of event ( if free then no) because of ID use.

    Police may give you hard time if ID name does not match you regular id since some officers are not really aware of laws that they do not enforce in regular basis.

    Check since some states have press IDs

    If a real AP photographer or other reporter is aware that your id is not real he may ALSO use unconventional venues (like your id coping) to exact perceived justice

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