Friday, June 29, 2007

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Public Photography

© Helen Levitt
What in the hell are they thinking? From the New York Times:
Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, said the rules were not intended to apply to families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers.

Nevertheless, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the proposed rules, as strictly interpreted, could have that effect. The group also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police.
New York City cops being selective and discriminatory? That would never happen. I suggest sending a strongly worded message to Katherine Oliver, the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, telling her you think this is an asinine idea.
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