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Interesting Court Ruling re: Street Photography

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Jazzer, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    "...trumps the family’s right to privacy in their home, which has floor-to-ceiling windows."

    Those who live in glass houses... shouldn't throw lawsuits. ;)
     
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    If I'm Mr. Foster I'm hanging outside the judges quarters and taking all the pics I can and creating an online artistic portfolio. It's not like he could get arrested, he has case law he can cite in his defense. :evilsmile:
     
  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I'm not sure they'd get very far. When you decide to live in a house with floor to ceiling windows, I don't see how you can expect people not to see you, and yes, be able to photograph you from the street.

    Mind you, it's not a subject I'd find very worthwhile. But it's hard for me to find fault with the ruling.
     
  5. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    My apartment in Kiev has floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall windows. Basically the whole exterior wall of my apartment is made of glass. However, it's located on the 16th floor and yes, I expect that nobody will photograph me or my family through those windows from across the street. If somebody tries, I will sue them. If I can't have a reasonable expectation of privacy inside my own home, it's outrageous.
     
  6. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    As the only non-chinese person in my town I get my picture taken all the time. I don't know the privacy laws here with regards to windows but realistically, I have none.

    Can't sat I agree with the ruling though. what about a window in the bathroom. What about a public toilet stall?
     
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I only deal with intellectual property law in my work, so I'm wandering far afield here, but IMO this case is pretty much a slam dunk in this country, and the lawyer who took on the family's case is a good example of why lawyers are held in such low esteem here.

    Because the law is pretty clear: if a person standing in a public place or on their own property can see you through your window, you simply do not have an expectation of privacy in this country. End of story.

    As to Colin's examples, that's why bathroom windows are usually made of frosted glass, and toilet stalls usually have solid partitions. So in those cases you do have an expectation of privacy. And yes, I've had the "pleasure" of using a few public squat toilets in China, Colin, so I know things are very different there.

    But the law works both ways. I'm sure we all have heard of cases where a cop wanders through a gate into someone's backyard to investigate a disturbance, and while back there sees some pot plants through a window. The subsequent arrest is then thrown out of court because the pot grower did have an expectation of privacy there, and the arrest was based on an illegal search. The cop needed to get a search warrant first.

    On the other hand, if a cop is wandering down the street and sees a crime being committed, there's no search warrant needed, because the crime was visible from the street. The same applies to this family's expectation of privacy.

    The law has to contend with more than just our personal squeamishness, it also is concerned with precedence. And it may now be more obvious to this family why, if they wish to prevent other people from taking their picture, a glass house may not be the first residence of choice.

    Now, I think this guy is a creep, and were this "artist" to park himself outside my house with a telephoto lens, I'd pick up a baseball bat and go out and "explain" my discomfort to him and his equipment. And then I'd get to go to court and suffer the consequences.

    But it would be worth it. :)
     
  8. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    [exhales heavily]

    Post #37 deleted and not actually sent.
     
  9. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    This all makes sense for plain sight and I shouldn't have said I disagree with the ruling, but it's the lack of flexibility of the law that rankles. I don't really care if someone see's me naked in my home through a window but taking a photo and then showing it has a different feel and should perhaps be viewed differently in law.
     
  10. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I should point out that I have absolutely no issues with anyone on this forum, my frustration is with the situation described in this thread.

    Peace y'all! Ommmmmmm…. :cool:
     
  11. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Agreed. And yet another example of how sometimes the correct legal answer is not necessarily the correct moral answer.


    Also agreed. It would be interesting to see if some other, perhaps more sympathetic, judge might not try to find some way of interpreting the precedent to reach a different result. We obviously don't have all of the facts, but it may be that the judge was in fact very sympathetic, but his/her hands were essentially tied.
     
  12. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I agree it's kind of creepy, but as we know from the paparazzi and celebrities, anything out in the open is fair game. But I do wish the judge could have taken a view which would have required a release form from the "models".
     
  13. macro

    macro TalkEmount Regular

    152
    Feb 3, 2012
    New Zealand
    Danny Young
    That is the exact reason why you have a monopod handy with a real heavy head mounted on it.

    You see they guy, you go outside onto public property with your real heavy monopd and a camera over your shoulder. You walk right next to him and accidentally turn and smash his groin with the monopod and heavy head............. opps sorry !!

    All the best and the lesson here is, a monopod has a lot of other uses and legal. Accidents do happen. :)

    Danny.