John has written before about cities cracking down on public photography since 9/11, but New York is about to make it official. Soon you’ll need a license and insurance to take pictures and record video in the city. The city promises that non-professionals and tourists will not be harmed, but refuse to specify that in the law.

New York Times – June 29, 29007:

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

the New York Civil Liberties Union… also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police.

“These rules will apply to a huge range of casual photography and filming, including tourists taking snapshots and people making short videos for YouTube,” said Christopher Dunn, the group’s associate legal director.

Mr. Dunn suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules.



  1. Ben Waymark says:

    About bloody time they did something. I’ve got it on good authority that TERRORISTS LOVING LIBERALS often use cameras for their ‘propaganda’ films. Could you imagine what would if people like Michael Moore were allowed to film randomly anywhere in America? If we let LIBERALS run around with cameras filming everything soon we will have a the North Koreans nuking all the stores that sell iPhones and Saddam’s ghost sitting in a hot tub in the Whitehouse smoking a hooka pipe while Al-Queda fly airplanes into nuclear power plants.

    Oh course, having gone back and read the article, I must confess that it does make some sense to have professional photographers using public property to have some sort of insurance, but I’d a thought that anyone conducting any business/work or whatever in public would need it anyway….

  2. Ben Waymark says:

    Why is it no matter how many times I proof read my posts I always end up leaving a word out…. is there anyway we can edit our posts on here?

  3. Jerk-Face says:

    19. “Rider Banned Over Birth-Control Advice”

    Makes sense to me. We have a right to free speech. But no one has a duty to actually listen. And if you won’t shut up despite being asked to shut up, an arrest is a good thing.

  4. Jerk-Face says:

    22. “is there anyway we can edit our posts on here?”

    Yep, immediately before clicking “Say It” you have plenty of time to read and edit your posts.

  5. bwaymark says:

    24: Ah… thanks Jerk-Face…. but I was kinda thinking after you press ‘Say It’….. some some strange reason (I blame the fairies) I never seem to notice the omitted words until after I press that magic button….

  6. bobbo says:

    25—When you edit, look for those words you left out, but more importantly,

    look for those paragraphs you leave in.

  7. mark says:

    I can now officially say “Fuck New York City” I wont be visiting your dictatorship now Mr. Bloomberg. Good luck with your presidential aspirations, asshole. More cities to follw I fear.

  8. bwaymark says:

    26: Good advice Bobbo….. I may well make that my moto in life…. thanks!

  9. steve B says:

    It is obvious Bloomberg has requested ideas from his underlings how to increase revenues for the city since his toll idea for automobiles entering the city 59th street and below failed. It appears Bloomberg is desperate with such a stupid idea as to require photography licenses and force fines on tourists and amateur photographers. If he wants to charge professional photographers and professional movie makers a fee plus insurance to take up a space where citizens and businesses are inconvenienced for an hour or more I can see that but to include private citizens and tourists I think that is illogical, impractical and outrageous! Steve B ( NYC)

  10. Stevie says:

    License on photographies? Why do they need that? What is wrong if I will film some cool stuff in New York and put in youtube? This ban on video stuff looks like a really crazy and strange thing. But I personally think that they will not be able to look after all people who will be taing photographies in New York. It is a nonsense. So keep taking nice photos in N.Y and be calm!