Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NYC Calling all cars: Photography still legal

/Calling all cars: Photography still legal/
Source: National Press Photographers Association

New York City area photographers achieved a victory of sorts in March against
Metropolitan Transportation Authority police officers when the New York Civil
Liberties Union threatened a lawsuit against MTA if their officers continued to
try to stop photography on the subways, Long Island Railroad, and Metro North
trains. The threatened suit brought about a written concession from MTA's
general counsel that there is "no ban on photography," but not until after
several photographers were harassed and threatened with arrest.

Over the past couple of months there has been an increase in the number of
complaints from photographers, both press and civilian, alleging that police -
mostly MTA officers - were threatening to arrest them for taking pictures in
public places, telling photographers that "photography is illegal."

The NYCLU wrote to MTA following the string of complaints, to which MTA
responded by requesting that "any photo activities get their 'prior
approval.' "
NPPA Region 2 associate director Todd Maisel, who is also vice president of the
New York Press Photographers Association and a staff photographer at the New
York Daily News, responded to MTA officials by saying that he "would never seek
their approval to take photographs in a public place."

... Catherine Rinaldi, general counsel and deputy executive director for MTA,
conceded in a March letter to photographers that there is "no ban on
in the Long Island Railroad or the Metro North Transit system." The concession
came after NYCLU attorneys wrote to MTA demanding that they explain why MTA
officers were threatening photographers with arrest for taking pictures in
public areas of the transit system.

Source: National Press Photographers Association


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SPJ PressNotes for Wednesday, 4-5-06
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