Tony Tallent writes:
This morning I received a call from the FBI. I’m not making this up. It was a follow-up from the photo-taking-spree I conducted during Computers in Libraries in DC. I explained (again) why one would want to take photos of signs and buildings and such to use in presentations and on blogs. I explained about “Creative Commons” that I had just presented at the conference earlier that morning with Helene Blowers and that I’d posted the images on flickr in a set called “Free Use Photos.” When the interviewer asked me what this flickr thing was and how was it spelled, I resisted the urge to say “well, it’s sort of like The Google.” This “interview” went on for about 10+ minutes. How does one answer questions like “how many pictures did you take of that building?” Which one is “that building?” “Why would you take a picture of a water outlet?” Well, it was interesting and perhaps useful to someone who wants to portray the idea of “letting go of resources.” I have a better question(s): Why did I have to have this conversation in the first place, and does this gentleman have to call every tourist in D.C. who snaps a shot of their reflection in a window or a fire hydrant or an interesting doorway?
Given the recent encounter Tony Tallent had with law enforcement in DC at CIL (now the FBI is involved) over the photographs he was taking of buildings and signs, I thought it might be a good time to share this post from Photojojo: Photography and the Law Know Your Rights.
A great overview of what you can and can’t take photos of and what your rights are if you are stopped by law enforcement.
You might also want to print and place a copy of The Photographer’s Rightin your camera bag.
Check! Printed! I take a lot of pictures myself and had never encountered this– I shot at least 2000 in Australia (including government buildings, etc) with no worry. maybe next year at CIL there should be a Free Use Photos Flash Mob.