Street photographers, know your rights!
There is a worrying amount of news about photographers being stopped illegally for taking pictures, being unlawfully searched and detained and harassed. I thought it might be helpful for us to build a resource for the laws in different countries.
Recently I have been seeing people who have details about the law in their bags, as it seems that in some countries the public perception of photographers has shifted somewhat. There are a lot of reports coming from various parts of the world of photographers being accosted by the law (or overblown security guards). I have even had it in the UK, being told that I would be arrested if I continued to take photos in a shopping mall, as it is private property.
Obviously there are some things that you cannot take pictures of (like the secret military installation I tried to get pictures of in Kazakhstan). But walking down the street and in the general public should not be a cause for harassment.
What I have decided to do is compile a list for you for different countries on the laws and your rights.
This is not even close to a complete list but it is a work in progress. Feel free to add your country or any information that you have in the comments section.
If you have a link that is pertinent I shall add it to the piece as it progresses. This is intended not just to be a reference resource for residents but visitors of the countries too.
The list is coming on well and thanks to you guys I have been able to add more info. Please keep the info coming and keep the pace up. We need to get people motivated. Don’t let people tell you that you cannot shoot when in fact you can.
Japan http://tonymcnicol.com/2009/01/26/photography-in-japan-what-are-your-rights/ I am looking for more detailed info for Japan if someone has it.
New Zealand http://www.police.govt.nz/faq/items/23297
Singapore (some details in this forum piece) http://www.reddotphoto.com.sg/forums/showthread.php/370-Legal-Issues-on-Photography-in-Public-and-Private-Places-in-Singapore
The United Kingdom www.the-aop.org/download/14106 (direct PDF download of bust card) It seems that photographernotaterrorist.org has been shut down.
Here is some more info from the Met in the UK http://www.met.police.uk/about/photography.htm
The USA http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf Need more info about state laws and federal laws.
- Here are some rules for New York http://everydayaperture.com/law/
I would really like to have all of your help and input of this so that we can build a complete resource for as many countries as possible. The more we know the more we can protect ourselves and keep on shooting without harassment.