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England: Continuing Erosion of Photography Rights

Posted by Matt on June 13th, 2009 filed in Photographers Rights

The British Journal of Photography (BJP) have another worrying article on the continuing erosion of the rights of photographers in Britain to take photos in public spaces. British police now have the right to stop photographers and seize their equipment should they be taking photographs of ‘sensitive’ buildings or areas. There’s only one problem… no-one knows the official list of where these sensitive buildings are other than the Police.

All is not lost though. The BJP in an attempt to redress the balance for their members has requested a list of these restricted areas from the government. Of course the government has just said “we can’t tell you – that’s sensitive information”. So how are photographers supposed to know where they can and cannot take photos without the risk of their camera being confiscated? You can just see the exchange: “I’m sorry, sir. You can’t take a photo here. We’ll need to take your camera.” “I can’t take a photo here. Why?” “I can’t tell you that, it’s a secret”. Sigh.

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