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  1. #1
    Senior Member swmdrayfan's Avatar
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    First Experience With Security

    Yesterday the wife and I went to view the opening of a new wing at one of the local hospitals. Of course, I took the camera with me, and after firing off five shots, a security guard pulled me aside and asked if I had permission. It was my first time experiencing this, and of course I told him no, that I didn't know permission had to be recieved. He was quite nice about it, and informed me that due to 'security and privacy issues' I had to contact the hospital beforehand to recieve permission. No problem, I told him, and put the camera back in the bag. Anyone else have any recent dealings of a similar nature, and how did it go?

  2. #2
    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    I've come close. I was with a group of twenty people and we were exploring part of the old Dofasco Complex in Hamilton when security walked in on us and promptly asked us to leave (we weren't even supposed to be on the property in the first place).

    If they saw your camera they had you delete the photos. They never saw mine.



    Also yesterday at the Royal Ontario Museum security asked a kid with a disposable to turn it over to him and that he couldn't give it back.
    Alex Luyckx | Photography
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    About a month ago, I was driving an older highway along a waterfront, and came across a building that I mistakenly took for an old train station. Pulling off on the shoulder, I got out and snapped off a few shots, and noticed a local security guard observing me semi-casually. I also noticed an access road that would provide a better angle. There were power lines along the hwy, and it was impossible to frame a shot that didn't include them.

    I drove down to the access road to see if the guard minded if I snapped off a few down there. He very politely informed me that since 9/11, all photograpghy on the property was highly restricted. He was very amiable, and informed me that the building had in fact been an office of the local natural gas company in the late 1800's, and that the company still used it for equipment storage. When I asked if he minded me taking the photos from the highway, he smiled and replied, "I have no say in that. You weren't on our property."

    - Joe U.

  4. #4
    Firefighter Tyson L. Sparks's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Yestarday while taking a few photos of the San Toy Ghost town, the man that leases the property stoped me. All around the San Toy area there are "no treaspassing" signs. He advised me since I had a camera straped to my neck that it was ok for me to be there but they don't like people just wondering around the town and old mines. I was in a real back woods part of Perry county Ohio, there where signs on every tree and pole in sight. Not a very inviting place at all.

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  5. #5
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Hospitals are VERY tight...

    Quote Originally Posted by swmdrayfan
    Anyone else have any recent dealings of a similar nature, and how did it go?...
    What you describe doesn't suprise me a bit. Hospitals now are extremely cautious allowing photographers to take pictures.

    It's basically a privacy issue, as the main reason they control things so tightly is so that no patients are in any of the photos. If something got published, it could easily lead to all kinds of legal entanglements.

    It's not that they won't allow photograhy. I've taken shots at a local hospital several times, and their PR department couldn't have been nicer or more cooperative. In fact, they've even said I can do a fashion shoot that I have planned there.

    BTW, that's not as weird as it sounds, as this facility is super modern-looking with amazing light, and the shoot would not have any kind of medical theme to it...

    It's just that I always need to ask ahead of time, and a security guard is with me the whole time I shoot to make sure no patients get in any of the shots...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  6. #6
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by swmdrayfan
    No problem, I told him, and put the camera back in the bag.
    This is the right way to handle the situation. The whole world is worried about liability these days and hospitals are no exceptions to that of course. If you do want to shoot, find out who to talk to and like Steve says they could be very easy to work with. Could happen anywhere but I haven't had something like that come up for awhile.

  7. #7
    Member Glycerin19's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    In hospitals at least, I think part of it has to do with Doctors and malpractice suits. I'll be having my 3rd baby in July and this will be the first one I can't have any pictures of the birth. I had my daughter in Nov 05 and it wasn't an issue then and it's the same hospital. They also no longer allow video taping, even the u/s was off limits for video.
    --Sarah

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Axle
    I've come close. I was with a group of twenty people and we were exploring part of the old Dofasco Complex in Hamilton when security walked in on us and promptly asked us to leave (we weren't even supposed to be on the property in the first place).

    If they saw your camera they had you delete the photos. They never saw mine.



    Also yesterday at the Royal Ontario Museum security asked a kid with a disposable to turn it over to him and that he couldn't give it back.
    Legally in Canada, Axel, they cannot force you delete your photos and they certainly can't force you to hand over a camera or anything else without a warrant. And by the way, since a friend of mine worked in security, even he indicated that they cannot even touch someone without facing the possibility of an assault charge.

    All a security guard can legally do is ask you to leave the property and/or phone the police.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  9. #9
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    I am with Steve and Steve, as a hospital patient, etc, you have the right to a higher level of privacy, so cameras in a hospital a usually a no go.
    Look up the term HIPPA, you'll understand more.
    Brian
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  10. #10
    WARNING Takes Random Pictures MonkeyWrench's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    I am seeing more and more of these.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Experience With Security-img_3147.jpg  

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    That is not legal. If you belong to any professional photographers association, they should be fighting that in court. I don't know as much about case law in the U.S. but in Canada, signs such as that one are totally meaningless, unless they comply with the law.
    Some photographer should sue for illegal search and seizure. I know, I would.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    In America ( and I claim no specific knowledge of Ohio's laws) it works something like this:

    If they search you, and happen to find these items, they will be seized and a fine levied. Generally speaking, payment of the fine constitutes return of the items. Either way, they will claim that the search was legal because the regulations were posted.

    Now you have two choices: pay the fine, or claim that the search was unreasonable. The term "reasonable" is going to be the disputed phrase. Claiming an unreasonable search will involve hiring legal representation and paying court fees. In essence, you're paying a couple of grand to roll the dice in a crap shoot.

    However it comes out, the ruling is likely to apply only to your specific case (extenuating circumstances, and such), so the next person that gets searched will be subject to the same procedure.

    In many situations like this, what is or is not legal becomes a question of who has the deepest pockets.

    Again, these are generizations, and there are always exceptions. Once in awhile, the system even works the way it's supposed to. But it gives you a good idea of why these signs are around.

    - Joe U.

  13. #13
    Moderator Didache's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    In the UK (and I don't imagine it is much different elsewhere) it is perfectly legal to ban photography in private spaces (eg concert venues, privately owned land or buildings, etc), or in spaces deemed by the Home Secretary to be security sensitive (eg airports). However, if guards catch you they do not have the right to seize anything, but can either evict you or call the police. It is, however, perfectly legal to photograph a private building FROM a public space.

    Mike

  14. #14
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Didache
    In the UK (and I don't imagine it is much different elsewhere) it is perfectly legal to ban photography in private spaces (eg concert venues, privately owned land or buildings, etc), or in spaces deemed by the Home Secretary to be security sensitive (eg airports). However, if guards catch you they do not have the right to seize anything, but can either evict you or call the police. It is, however, perfectly legal to photograph a private building FROM a public space.

    Mike
    Just to add to your definition - "private" space is much more widespread than you would think. It includes :

    - shopping malls
    - public parks
    - public transport
    - car parks
    - restaurants

    In fact anywhere where the owner/manager has put up a "rules" board. Banning photography is quite within their rights. Even if photography is allowed, commercial use of the photographs needs permission from the owners. One exception is when you are doing photos inside a group (example: grandma photographing the granchild's birthday celebration in the restaurant).

    "Public" space is out in the street. Generally you can photograph what you like as long as you don't make a nuisance of yourself, and you don't publish (including Internet). If you publish and singularise an identifiable person then you may be sued for slander, damages, etc. It's easier if you're a professional news photographer because you have a duty to inform the public.

    However "Private" space is like hallowed ground. You cannot photograph (and publish) a picture of someone on private ground even if you're standing on public ground.

    The rules vary from country to country so what I've said is the general idea. As you can see - it's pretty difficult. If ever I run into trouble then I immediately stop - after all, it's only a hobby for me.

    Charles

  15. #15
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    If you haven't already visited Bert Krages website, you should. He is an atorney, and a photographer. He has a downloadable flyer explaining your rights when stopped for photography. He also has a book out called Legal Handbook for Photographers

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

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  16. #16
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    It comes down to useage...

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    Just to add to your definition - "private" space is much more widespread than you would think. It includes :

    - shopping malls
    - public parks
    - public transport
    - car parks
    - restaurants
    In the US, any area that is generally open or accessible to the public is considered public in the sense that you are allowed to take photos. This would include most of what you have listed above.

    Doesn't matter if they make up their own "no photography" rules or not...

    Now, this simply means that you can snap the shutter for your own private use. Commercial, or even editorial publishing use may be another matter...

    BTW, I agree with those that have commented that many times security uses intimidation and hopefully (for them) your ignorance of the law to confiscate cameras or delete images, which of course they have no right to do.
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

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  17. #17
    Analog Photographer, Digital World Axle's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Full set of Photography Laws that apply in Canada visit: http://ambientlight.ca/laws.shtml

    But just for fun I'll highlight a few paragraphs from the document...

    You vs. The Government / You vs. Another Private Citizen

    There are two different kinds of legal situations: There are laws, regulations, statutes, and bylaws, which dictate things that you are not allowed to do. The government (being municipal, provincial, or federal) will enforce these laws, and punish you with fines, jail time, or community service. Essentially, the Government will punish you on behalf of society. The other legal situation is between you and a private citizen or company, and called Common Law. Damages and restitution are awarded usually as financial compensation, on behalf of the victim.

    Case Law

    Canadian Common Law has lots of different sub-categories, like Tort Law and Contract Law, but essentially, any private citizen or company can sue any other private citizen or company for almost any reason. Unfortunately, that makes it very difficult to draw up a list of the applicable common laws. Judges will look back to similar cases from the past, and use them as a guide in the ruling.

    If you break the law and there is a private citizen or company as a victim, you will be prosecuted by the government on behalf of society, and the private citizen or company may also sue you for the damages on their behalf.

    You are guaranteed the right to take photographs

    You are guaranteed the right to express yourself through photography, and you have the freedom to publish the photos you take. So, unless you are relieved of your rights (by being arrested), the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees your right to take photographs of anything. That's right, you can take photos of anything, and it is not against the law.
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 2.b):
    freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 7.:
    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

    However, the Charter only dictates the government's role (ie. the police can't stop you from taking photos, just because they feel like it). The charter doesn't relieve you of breaking other laws, nor case law (you vs. another private citizen).
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 32.:
    This Charter applies:
    a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and
    b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

    Criminal Activities

    Read the Criminal Code of Canada. Don't do things that are against the law, like Breaking & Entering, Fraud, Mischief, Cruelty to Animals, etc. You should be aware of what is against Criminal Law.

    Security of Information Act

    The Security of Information Act is to protect Canada. Basically, do not do anything, or possess any photos that could be considered national secrets, interfere with a large number of Canadian's lives, impair or threaten the Canadian Forces, national security or intelligence.
    Security of Information Act:
    An Act respecting the security of information.

    Avoid taking a photograph of any of the following, specifically in relation to national secrets, unless you have permission (preferably written) from a ranking official:

    * Arsenals
    * Armed forces establishments or stations
    * Factories
    * Dockyards
    * Mines
    * Minefields
    * Camps
    * Ships
    * Aircraft
    * Telegraph, Telephone, Wireless or signal stations or offices
    * Places used for the purpose of building, repairing, making or storing any munitions of war or any sketches, plans, models or documents, mining or refining metals, or oil in time of war
    * Any non-government military contributor
    * Any place where leaked information or damage to it would be useful to a foreign power

    Now, this is not to say you can't take a photo of the things listed above, consider an Air Show, or parade, for example. However, when the RCMP approaches you after you take a photo of a nondescript building, this may be what they're interested in. Note, however, that this is treason-level, and for anyone to be prosecuted for this, it requires the Attorney General's direct consent.
    Security of Information Act, 24.:
    No prosecution shall be commenced for an offence against this Act without the consent of the Attorney General.

    Realistically, the government will have to prove that you possessed the photo, with intent to (or proof that you did) communicate it to foreign country or fail to comply with all directions in the disposal of the photo at the direction of a lawful authority. So, if the RCMP asks you to delete a photo with regards to this act, do it. This is the only time that you are required to delete a photo upon request.
    Security of Information Act, 22.:
    Every person commits an offence who, for the purpose of committing an offence under subsection 16(1) or (2), 17(1), 19(1) or 20(1), does anything that is specifically directed towards or specifically done in preparation of the commission of the offence, including:
    (a) entering Canada at the direction of or for the benefit of a foreign entity, a terrorist group or a foreign economic entity;
    (b) obtaining, retaining or gaining access to any information;
    (c) knowingly communicating to a foreign entity, a terrorist group or a foreign economic entity the person's willingness to commit the offence;
    (d) at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a foreign entity, a terrorist group or a foreign economic entity, asking a person to commit the offence; and
    (e) possessing any device, apparatus or software useful for concealing the content of information or for surreptitiously communicating, obtaining or retaining information.
    Alex Luyckx | Photography
    Capturing Beauty in Everything

  18. #18
    WARNING Takes Random Pictures MonkeyWrench's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    When I went to the mall to take pictures of the cars that were on display, there was no objection. However, when my son tried to video his friends at the same mall security advised him he could not do this. The issue was more of a copy right of the store fronts/advertising than privacy.? I am confused on this one? I was not the only one taking pictures, lots of points and shots going on.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Didache
    In the UK (and I don't imagine it is much different elsewhere) it is perfectly legal to ban photography in private spaces (eg concert venues, privately owned land or buildings, etc), or in spaces deemed by the Home Secretary to be security sensitive (eg airports). However, if guards catch you they do not have the right to seize anything, but can either evict you or call the police. It is, however, perfectly legal to photograph a private building FROM a public space.

    Mike
    You are correct. Put another way, you are with permission on the owner's property on condition that you do not take photos. If you take photos, the owner's permission to be on his property is revoked and you are tresspassing, which by the way is the only law you have violated and all that can be done is to evict you from the property.

    Ronnoco
    www.photoinf.com

    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: It comes down to useage...

    Quote Originally Posted by Asylum Steve
    In the US, any area that is generally open or accessible to the public is considered public in the sense that you are allowed to take photos. This would include most of what you have listed above.

    Doesn't matter if they make up their own "no photography" rules or not...

    Now, this simply means that you can snap the shutter for your own private use. Commercial, or even editorial publishing use may be another matter...

    BTW, I agree with those that have commented that many times security uses intimidation and hopefully (for them) your ignorance of the law to confiscate cameras or delete images, which of course they have no right to do.
    You are mostly correct but not in the area of use. The law is meant to protect the rights of journalists, so photography for journalistic purposes is allowed. Some more "neutral' forms of commercial use such as for state or provincial tourism probably would be allowed.

    You are absolutely correct about security. They cannot seize anything and by the way in the US, neither can the police without a warrant. They cannot touch you either because that can constitute assault in law.

    Ronnoco
    www.photoinf.com

    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyWrench
    When I went to the mall to take pictures of the cars that were on display, there was no objection. However, when my son tried to video his friends at the same mall security advised him he could not do this. The issue was more of a copy right of the store fronts/advertising than privacy.? I am confused on this one? I was not the only one taking pictures, lots of points and shots going on.
    There is a lot of confusion between copyright and trademark law relating to signs and commercial text and symbols for example, and between copyright and the design laws related to such things as store fronts etc.

    "Passing off" is the only way of violating trademark law as is written in the law. This means for example that if you put a dark drink in a bottle and use the same colours and symbols and "the real thing" etc. and then sell it, you are violating Coca Cola's trademarks. Taking a photo of a can or bottle of Coke or any other commercial product does NOT constitute violating their trademarks.

    Design laws prevent someone from copying the design of a storefront and perhaps very slightly changing the name to pass their store off as perhaps a major chain. It says in the design laws that taking photos of an architectural shape, or in this case a storefront does not constitute "copying" the design. So no law is broken.

    So there is really NO reason for forbidding taking photos in malls but the owner can still do so, although the only thing security can do if they catch you is to ask you to leave the mall.

    Ronnoco
    www.photoinf.com

    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    I am with Steve and Steve, as a hospital patient, etc, you have the right to a higher level of privacy, so cameras in a hospital a usually a no go.
    Look up the term HIPPA, you'll understand more.
    Brian
    You may prefer that to be the case, but in law that is not so. I have taken photos and video in hospitals without asking for permission and in front of staff.

    Ronnoco
    www.photoinf.com

    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

  23. #23
    GoldMember Lava Lamp's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    I went to a nationally televised amateur gymnastics competition about a month ago and the tickets said "no video cameras." I was turned back at the door by security saying that cameras were allowed, but mine. The lens was "too large" and deemed "professional." Last year, I had some trouble with PGA security at a practice round. Again, cameras allowed, but nothing "over six inches." A couple of years ago, I was shooed away from an office building in New York that I was photographing after visting on business. (Can't blame them, though...)

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: First Experience With Security

    Quote Originally Posted by Lava Lamp
    I went to a nationally televised amateur gymnastics competition about a month ago and the tickets said "no video cameras." I was turned back at the door by security saying that cameras were allowed, but mine. The lens was "too large" and deemed "professional." Last year, I had some trouble with PGA security at a practice round. Again, cameras allowed, but nothing "over six inches." A couple of years ago, I was shooed away from an office building in New York that I was photographing after visting on business. (Can't blame them, though...)
    The network probably paid the gymnastics association for the "rights" to televise the event.
    That is not to say that any association owns the rights to an event to sell. However they can use security to prevent any other professional from bringing a camera into the building, thereby ensuring that the network has exclusivity in videotaping the event for television and that is what the network has paid the association for.

    This does not legally prevent someone smuggling a camera into an event and using the video or shots for whatever purpose they want, commercial or otherwise. They could only be accused of trespassing if caught and they still own their shots and/or video.

    Ronnoco
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    Accepted photo standards in technique and composition are the tools used to judge photo quality.

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