Enthusiasts taking photographs in New York City could be hit by plans to expand rules that force photographers and film-makers to request a permit.
The regulations ? seemingly not limited to professionals or to commercial shoots – will affect still photography or film-making, involving ?an interaction among two or more people at a single site for 30 or more minutes?.
The cut-off time is reduced to just 10 minutes if there is a crew of five or more people using a tripod.
A draft proposal of the controversial rules has been drawn up by the New York Mayor?s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting.
Opponents fear the crackdown represents a violation of the right to take photographs in public places and will hit ?casual photographers? as well as professionals engaged in fashion or wedding shoots.
Christopher Dunn, a lawyer for The New York Civil Liberties Union, believes the rules will give authorities license to stop virtually anyone – leading to potential harassment of amateurs.
Dunn said: ?We see absolutely no reason why a family visiting Ground Zero or standing in line outside the Empire State Building for half an hour should be required to obtain a permit from New York City to snap casual photographs or to use a camcorder.?
To qualify for a permit ? which is issued free of charge – photographers must also provide proof that they have at least $1m of insurance cover.
The New York Mayor?s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting states that it is ?merely codifying existing procedures?.
The mayor’s office claims it may revise its rules following feedback on the plans, which it will accept from interested parties until tomorrow (3 August).
Click below to see the proposed rules:
Picture credit: David Clark