I have had many run ins with "officials" who have said I cannot shoot, even non-commercially. Ill be recording an episode for my youtube channel about one such run-in I had recently in the Phoenix Airport, which in and of itself was insane.
I really, really cannot stand it when, as a responsible photographer, I am told I cannot take pictures when I am in my legal right to do so, and I try to make it a point to publish far and wide any time I hear about other such instances.
Some of this policing of photography is legal, and other times, it falls into some gray area and because no-one has the resources to challenge it in court, it stands. A legal example, would be the time I tried to take a picture at a mall and was told by security that I could either stop my photography or leave and if I didn't leave I was trespassing. That is a key distinction. Taking pictures in public isn't generally a crime per se, however, the property owners can ask you to leave at any time, and trespassing is a crime. Thats how they get around it.
Some local governments, as seems to be the case in Laguna beach, are able to enforce fines and penalties, if they own the property
. At least that is what it sounds like. Im not sure it would hold up in court, so until someone makes that challenge, Laguna Beach's anti-photographer policies stand for now.
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