[personal profile] annulla


I've never written a post like this before, but the issue is too important to ignore. If you are a New Yorker, ever plan to visit New York or just care about freedom of speech and expression, this is a plea for your help.

A controversial new city proposal would require formal permits for a wide range of casual photography and would affect visitors and residents alike.
"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."
-- New York Times, June 29, 2007

It seems absurd, doesn't it, that a city like this would crack down on people taking photos in public places, but the threat of that happening is very real -- and implemention of the rules imminent -- unless we make our voices heard.

Following a request from the NYCLU, New York City has agreed to reopen the period for members of the public to submit comments about this proposal. The City will accept comments until Friday August 3.

Comments should be sent as soon as possible to the following person:
Julianne Cho
Assistant Commissioner
Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting
1697 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10019

An ad hoc coalition of working artists, filmmakers, and photographers have joined together to fight the proposed rules. Calling themselves Picture New York, they have launched a blog and an online petition which will be closed on Friday, August 3.

If you believe, as I do, that we should remain free to take photos and shoot videos on the streets of New York City, please let officials know before it is too late. They will stop accepting comments in only two days.

If you live outside the city, or even outside the U.S., you might hesitate to contact the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.

You may think that it wouldn't be appropriate for you to get involved in what seems like a local fight, but the city needs to hear from as many people as possible, no matter where they live. Please help us keep New York accessible and open to all photographers.


Picture New York blog
Picture New York petition
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)
Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting
Text of Proposed rule (Amendment to Title 43) [pdf]
NY Times: Artists Organize to Fight Camera Permit Proposal
NY Times: City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Many Kinds of Public Photography
Sewll Chan: A Shout Out to the M.O.F.T.B.
Olde English: Free NYC Rap video

Date: 2007-08-01 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mojosmom.livejournal.com
I just read that story! How bizarre! What are they thinking? I've signed the petition. Thank you for posting the link.

Date: 2007-08-01 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annulla.livejournal.com
I don't know what they were thinking, but Keith Olbermann has named the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting the "Worst Persons in the World":

But our winner, Julianne Cho, Associate Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting for New York City.

She's written an email indicating the city's pushing for new rules that would require any group of two or more people who want to film, videotape or take still pictures in a public place in New York for 30 minutes or more have to get a city permit and have to get a million dollars in liability insurance.

If it is a group of 5 people and a tripod, the time frame drops to ten minutes.

And even though the new regulations don't mention any exemptions, the city claims this would not affect amateurs or tourists.

Of course it won't.

There's still a Constitution of the United States, Miss Cho, and these rules are so obviously in violation oof so much of it, Alberto Gonzales wouldn't try to sneak them past anybody.

Julianne Cho and the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting for the City of New York - today's Worst Persons in the World!


Date: 2007-08-01 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amberlee17.livejournal.com
OMG, That's just ... crazy!

Thanks for alerting us.

Date: 2007-08-01 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reggiesgirl2.livejournal.com
I can't sign the petition since I have no zip code but I sent a strongly worded comment to Miss Cho. Hope it helps!

Date: 2007-08-01 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kitsunecharmed.livejournal.com
Signed the petition. Will try later for a coherent email-comment.

I can't imagine they really believe this is enforceable, particularly if they piss everyone in NY off - everyone with a camera will be out in force, disobeying. It must be some attempt to cover their asses liability-wise?

I'd ask a smart NY lawyer... I'm sure I know one... I just haven't seen her for awhile...

Date: 2007-08-04 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fancyhorse.livejournal.com
I see they've withdrawn the proposed regulations and are "back to the drawing board" for now. Hooray!

Date: 2007-10-11 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helpgina.livejournal.com
Wow, it is unbelievable, they would even consider doing that, I love taking photos and looking at other peoples photos, all photos are unique and it wouldn't be the same if you couldn't take your own picture of something.

October 2008


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