Monday, March 15, 2010

The Consumerist: photographer banned for being "creepy"

The Consumerist has an interesting post up about an amateur photographer who was banned from a coffee shop for taking photos of people standing outside from across the street. The comments section have been especially thought-provoking; the general points that have been made are:

  1. People can take photos in a public space of anyone also in that public space; people do not have a realistic expectation of privacy in public spaces.
  2. What is the line between "freedom of speech" and "harassment"?
  3. The specific circumstances of this individual case -- photographer was creepy, only taking photos of women -- affect how OK people seem to be with it. That is, had he been less creepy, maybe it would have been OK. Similar arguments were made about suspected pedophiles taking photos of children in public, which may be a little histrionic, but makes the point effectively.

Here's the link to the original story, and here's a link to an outline of a photographer's rights.

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