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first1234
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


c_d_s wrote:
Maybe the guy should have read the rules posted on that site:


Yes the rules were read and followed:

property adjacent to the railroad. Instead, stay in public access areas, such as STATIONS, sidewalks or parking lots. All participants agree

The rules clearly state to stay in stations where you are safe from trains but not from the Amtrak Police.

Most Railroads because of their unique needs in the golden age of rail were granted the legal authority to have their own police forces. This is because the crimes committed against them often crossed many jurisdictions and it was a nightmare getting them solved. Made sense when it was put into place. Might not any longer.

Jan 03 09 01:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Roger Barnstead wrote:
better add to this that if they want photos they will take them right under the nose of LE using things that don't even look like cameras.

you are so right. no terrorist is going to be there with a monopod or tripod and a 'big' camera taking photos. The photos they need for their deeds are not the same kind of photos honest photographers are taking.

I have a V.I.O. POV-1 video camera. I could carry that thing just about anywhere in penn station and they would never know I had it with me if I didn't want them to. This isn't the smallest camera and recorder made but is small enough to be easily hidden in your clothing.

Banning people from using cameras does nothing to enhance security. Allowing honest people to be around for any purpose does everything to enhance security. People that are committing crimes want secrecy. They don't want to be seen. Think where you would rather be, out on a street by yourself or in the middle of 100 people all with cell phones or handguns.

Humans have gathered in groups for protection since there were humans. I'd feel much more confident in the security of Penn Station with 100 people on the platforms at all times rather then 100 cameras.

Jan 03 09 01:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Joe Lisa wrote:
I know the feeling, my wife and I were out for our anniversary and driving across a bridge with a public walkway we saw some beautiful light's, so we stopped and walked out on the bridge and the next thing we knew we were surrounded by 6 cops and getting frisked and held till they completed a check on both of us, I didn't know the lights were a refinery, and then another time in VA at a state park I was taking some shots of the wifes cousin, again stopped and checked and told I needed a permit to shoot on the state lands.... so where can you take a dam picture anymore.....????

It's not a crime to take a photo of a refinery or other industrial site. You can read about people being harassed for this all the time. Can the cops ask you what you are doing, sure they can. You don't have to tell them.

Some parks require permits if what you are doing looks like a commercial shoot and they sometimes extend it to weddings. This kind of photography can interfere with the enjoyment of the park by others and the permit is designed to prevent you from doing that.

This is true in National Parks as well. If you have a lot of equipment you might get hassled by some well meaning ranger. But as long as you aren't doing something commercial or interfering with others enjoyment it's allowed. They also tend to use the term commercial a bit loosely. If it's one photographer and one model with no lighting you aren't going to need a permit. If it's a cameraman, a mua, an assistant, a model, some lights and a camera on a tripod you probably are going to need a permit.

Same thing in NYC. You don't need a permit for photography as long as it's not commercial and you are following the photography rules. Not blocking sidewalks with equipment, ect. NYC tried to make everyone using a camera in the city get a permit. When they figured out that tourists come to NYC and want to take photos they figured out it was a bad idea. There is currently a case of someone that was taken into custody by the NYPD for taking photos of a city landmark. They were harassed and held for hours before they were released with no charges. I believe it's due for some comments in Feb. The NYCLU is handling the case.

I wasn't there so I don't know what you were doing or how much equipment you had.

Jan 03 09 01:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Fiat Lux Photography wrote:
Yes.  Technically what he did is against the rules.  Im saying rules and not laws.  He, however, was wronged if the story verbatim is true.  He cannot take pictures of the trains since 9/11.  The trains and platforms are private property, as are buildings.  He should have been told to cease and desist, be told that he is on private property and is not allowed to take pictures where he is standing and cannot take pictures of the property (including the trains).  And if he refused, then, he can be arrested.

This is the crucial part.  He must have been told he was trespassing, then refuse to leave, in order to be legally arrested.  This holds true for all private property.

Sorry what I did wasn't against the rules. Amtrak has to make all such rules public or how would someone know they were violating them. While ignorance of the law isn't an excuse not knowing something you can't possibly know is. I can't find any rules anywhere and have filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Amtrak to produce such rules if they do exist. When they answer my FOIA request I will post it on my website.

Yes you are correct, one must be informed they are trespassing. In my case I've covered this in a previous post. I also had to refuse to leave which I was never give the option of doing. They did say, didn't you see the no trespassing signs, I asked what signs since I looked for but had not seen any signs.

At this point the cops could have shown me a sign and asked me to leave.

Jan 03 09 01:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ Garcia
Posts: 1,416
Escondido, California, US


I've been on both sides of this, as being a photographer told not to shoot certain things, while at the same time working security for a government agency, having to deal with people shooting certain things. I can see both sides to the story, a law abiding citizen as we are may want to take photos of certain areas. Especially the goverment buildings i was working at (dont want to state specifically names, but take my word for it) were historical buildings themselves, as such were subjects of photographers(even i went and took pictures myself).

Generally, all we ever did was any photographers we saw we just kindly asked them for their information, for the record, just in case, and let them continue on their way. Security checkpoints of course were not permitted at all to be photographed. We didnt have much issues with this from photographers, but mainly from film and media crews doing news reports, sometimes we would have to tell them they needed to point there camera in some other direction to do their news report. Why did we do this, because it was a risk to our own lives, as someone who has a layout of security checkpoints is liable to be able to plan better and be more efficient in the case of an attack.

Now, the misunderstanding that people think "terrorists would never go with a big lens camera to scope the place out" is dead wrong. During our Anti Terror training, we were shown the actual scouting videos and photographs of terror cells of locations they were looking to hit. They did it just by posing as a tourist. So as much as people say "terrorist wouldnt do that" is dead wrong. What better way to not be noticed if your doing what a normal person would do? What better way then to be out in the open.

Through my work there, people who try to hide or be sneaky about things (as people often tried to do) were the ones that brought attention to themselves. Security personnel notice those types of things. Hence the easiest way to not be noticed, it sometimes to just do things out in the open, because the biggest misconception people have is "if he were doing something he wasn't supposed to be, he wouldnt just do it out in the open". That's how peoples minds work. We notice people being sneaky more then being out in the open and blending in.
Jan 03 09 02:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Vinyl
Posts: 1,168
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


peter leverett wrote:
at all underground stations in melbourne there are signs everywhere that bans having a camera out taking photos...

But you can also apply for a permit which can allow you shoot at all Connex stations.

http://www.4020.net/words/photorights.php

Jan 03 09 02:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Neil vN
Posts: 211
Wayne, New Jersey, US


Fernando Pacheco wrote:
DONT' TALK TO POLICE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc


save yourselves the agony and watch this video. PLEASE.

Holy macaroni.  That is sobering and sc ary.

Jan 03 09 02:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Carl Evans wrote:
I've done photography with Amtrak/for Amtrak all over the country. On the east coast, I have been questioned by authorities once. It was near Princeton, NJ. The officer was very cool. I've been in Amtrak police helicopters between Baltimore and NYC. I've been in other helicopters (non-Amtrak where we were photographing the train) and I placed a call to their dispatch and everything was kosher. Their concern is public safety and terrorism. It's a post 9/11 time. If a suspicion is gone unchecked and it goes bad, who is to blame? Amtrak is a public transportation division with their own police force...for a reason. They're doing their job in protecting the public that travels with them. Again, from San Francisco, Portland, Seattle to Baltimore, NYC, Providence, and everywhere in between; I've shot all over their rail line and stations and have had not one issue.

What did this guy do wrong? Where was his couth? I've done jobs without permits or permission in tons of places. I've been caught. I've gotten out of it all. Why? Cause I'm nice and tactful. You are not "entitled" cause you have a camera and "belong" there. Be nice! Help make it easier for us that work!

The only thing uncouth or wrong I did was refuse to delete my images by saying, "absolutely no. I will not delete them." They then threatened to take me before a judge for not deleting my photos. I said fine if a judge tells me to delete my photos I won't have a problem deleting them.

I also have to take exception to your statement that "you are not "entitled" cause you have a camera and "belong" there" Amtrak as a public entity is required to publish all it's rules so we know what the rules are. They have no rules regarding this. When you are standing in a public place you are most definitely "belong" there are are "entitled" to use your camera as you see fit. If this wasn't the case there would be no photography allowed in public.

Now just where did the Amtrak Police protect me from injury? They didn't. They caused injury. This is where they stepped over the line and became criminals. Yes a police office while preforming his duties can be a criminal.

Jan 03 09 02:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Wet Ltd wrote:

Actually they are not.  Amtrak is the operating arm of the National Passenger Railroad Corporation.  A public stock traded company created by government act in 1972.  It has 109 million shares of preferred stock issued and 9.3 million shares of common stock according to their 2007 annual report.  They receive government operating loans and operating subsidies from the local, state and federal levels not unlike airlines operating essential air service, or the small community air service program.

I suggest you try to buy a share of Amtrak. I'm sure you'll find it impossible and there isn't a reason anyone would want to own a share.

Yes, Amtrak is a private company and the places they own including the trains are private property. However much of their property is publicly accessible. Amtrak even has a policy to allow first amendment activites, such as protests, on their property. They have to allow this because of how the stations are used, the stations become a limited public venue. Because of this they are required to permit stuff in the station that is permitted on a public sidewalk as long as it doesn't interfere with the transportation of people or the other operation of the station.

My actions didn't get in the way of anyone coming or going. I didn't stop any train, I didn't go on any tracks. I was mearly standing in a place were I was allowed to be standing and taking a photograph. When someone tried to take it from me I refused.

The station is open to the public for a reason.

Jan 03 09 02:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Duane P Kerzic wrote:
These rules do nothing to prohibit photography of trains or of standing in a public place that happens to belong to a railroad. If you still believe they do please post the actual sections. My review of the documents found nothing.

While the property I was on is private, It belongs to the National Railroad Passenger Corp. ("Amtrak") a corporation that is wholely owned by the goverment of the US. I was in a publicly open portion of the station. If it wasn't a public place I would not have been there.

Daune,{edit, you beat me to too it above}.  They like every other form of transportation have to abide by the rules of security developed by the Department of Homeland Security, and administered by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA).  Many of the exact specifics of what is considered allow or non-allowed activities in a transportation facility is protected from direct exposure to the public by 49 CFR 1520.5(b)(8) as security sensitive information. 

It's sad that Amtrak marketing department, in their zeal to promote rail transportation has led the unsuspecting public into an amazing catch22.  It however is not the only form of transportation that has had to deal with all these changes that came as a result of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7.  I feel for your personal case but know you will probably not be the last to get caught in the web of post 9-11 rules.

Jan 03 09 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Wow. There are so many misconceptions on this thread. It's really hard to believe some of you guys call yourselves photographers.

It's obvious many of you don't get out of your studio to do actual street photography.

First of all, there are many people claiming that new laws have prohibited people from photographing trains in the wake of 9/11.

Really? Show me those laws because I've been covering these issues for almost two years now on my blog and I have yet to come across those laws.

I am a journalist by the way, and I am the guy who wrote the story about this incident on my blog.

http://carlosmiller.com/2008/12/27/amtr … /#comments

And for all you righteous photographers who proclaim that you would have sought permission before photographing the trains, I'm very proud of you.

But some of us would rather avoid the pandering because why should we ask permission to do something that is perfectly legal?

The attitude on this site over this incident by so-called "photographers" is completely different than I've found on other photography sites.  Disappointing, really.
Jan 03 09 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
c_d_s
Posts: 7,771
Lubbock, Texas, US


c_d_s wrote:
Maybe the guy should have read the rules posted on that site:

Duane P Kerzic wrote:
Yes the rules were read and followed:

"property adjacent to the railroad. Instead, stay in public access areas, such as STATIONS, sidewalks or parking lots. All participants agree"

The rules clearly state to stay in stations where you are safe from trains but not from the Amtrak Police.

Beware of selective quoting of rules:

"Photographers are reminded that railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and that trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Some stations served by Amtrak trains require advance permission for photography. Always obey all local rules and laws."

Jan 03 09 04:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Beware of selecting quoting of rules:

"Photographers are reminded that railroad tracks, trestles, yards and equipment are private property and that trespassers are subject to arrest and fines. Some stations served by Amtrak trains require advance permission for photography. Always obey all local rules and laws."

Where does it say "platforms"?

Jan 03 09 04:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Carlos Miller wrote:

Where does it say "platforms"?

Carlos, Thank you so much for your article and the accompanying photo, which I had not seen up to this point. It chances my point of view.  I thought that he had been located up in the big lobby area of the of Penn Station.  I had focused on the fact that the building and it's large amount of people make it a potential terrorist target.  But that to the photo in your blog I now know differently.  He was clearing in the security sensitive area, intended for ticketed passengers only and the fact that Amtrak let him off as light as they did is the Santa Claus  acted of the year.

Jan 03 09 04:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Carlos Miller wrote:

Where does it say "platforms"?

Sorry...forgot to add this from the Amtrak website...this is way crazy

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”) permits First Amendment Activity on property owned or controlled by Amtrak (“Amtrak Property”) to the extent that those activities are not incompatible with Amtrak’s mission to safely operate a national passenger rail system, and to do so with optimum service to the public, as well as with the best economy of operation possible. Because of safety reasons, First Amendment activities are not permitted on board Amtrak trains, nor on train platforms.

Jan 03 09 05:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Wet Ltd wrote:
Sorry...forgot to add this from the Amtrak website...this is way crazy

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”) permits First Amendment Activity on property owned or controlled by Amtrak (“Amtrak Property”) to the extent that those activities are not incompatible with Amtrak’s mission to safely operate a national passenger rail system, and to do so with optimum service to the public, as well as with the best economy of operation possible. Because of safety reasons, First Amendment activities are not permitted on board Amtrak trains, nor on train platforms.

Yes, really crazy because photography is not once mentioned in its "definitions" of "First Amendment activities" which you'll find further down on that same page and I've cut and pasted below:


Definitions.   

1. “First Amendment Activity” is defined as the non-commercial dissemination of
literature or information, by engaging in individual or group conversations or by
displaying placards, signs, or symbols concerning religious, political or other
views, to the extent that such activities are protected by the First Amendment of
the United States Constitution.  First Amendment Activities shall include
solicitation and acceptance of donations or contributions while disseminating
information, subject to Paragraph 2 of this section, and the solicitation and
acceptance of signatures.

2. “First Amendment Activity” does not include begging, panhandling, or the use of
language or dissemination or display of materials that is or are obscene,
indecent, depict graphically sexual or violent matters, or appear to contain
statements that are libelous or defamatory, or are likely to incite violence or
public disorder.

Jan 03 09 05:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Jan 03 09 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Carlos Miller wrote:
Definitions.   

1. “First Amendment Activity” is defined as the non-commercial dissemination of
literature or information, by engaging in individual or group conversations or by
displaying placards, signs, or symbols concerning religious, political or other
views, to the extent that such activities are protected by the First Amendment of
the United States Constitution.  First Amendment Activities shall include
solicitation and acceptance of donations or contributions while disseminating
information, subject to Paragraph 2 of this section, and the solicitation and
acceptance of signatures.

2. “First Amendment Activity” does not include begging, panhandling, or the use of
language or dissemination or display of materials that is or are obscene,
indecent, depict graphically sexual or violent matters, or appear to contain
statements that are libelous or defamatory, or are likely to incite violence or
public disorder.

can't play the card both ways...if you claim what your doing is protected by your first amendment rights, then don't cry when someone has a clear policy about where it is considered "safe" to exercise those rights.

Jan 03 09 05:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Matthew Naglich
Posts: 26
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


The impact of 9/11 mania has hit legitimate photography really hard.

I live in Fort Lauderdale, hardly a big city by any standards. Shortly after I moved here I was just being a tourist with a camera, not doing a shoot, and taking pictures of downtown to send to my family up north. I guess my telephoto lens stood out. Two federal agents who saw me on security camersa inside a building a block away came up to me and told me to get lost or get arrested.

Obviously when you're confronted by officers or even security guards, that's not the best time to turn into an expert on constitutional law because they're going to win.

I guess I don't even have a question on this thread, but I just wish the rules were a little more clear cut. Every time a lawyers writes an article on photographers rights, another lawyer rights an equally plausible one defending actions like the ones in the Amtrack incidient.

I long for the good old pre 9/11 days when people weren't on paranoid alert 24x7.
Jan 03 09 05:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Carlos Miller wrote:

Where does it say "platforms"?

Platforms are in the stations.

Find the rules where it says I have to have advance permission to photograph in Penn Station NY. Trust me I looked for them long and hard before I went there, I suggest you do the same. I also had tickets for trains which stop in Penn Station and arrived at Penn Station by train.

People that run public places like Penn Station NY, which while private property are limited public venues because of how they function have to make the rules available to the public. Which doesn't mean there cannot be some controls on what freedoms are allowed in the place. However, they generally cannot include a total ban on speech, photography is a kind of protected speech, and Amtrak even has a policy regarding some First Amendment
Activities on it's property, http://www.amtrak.com/pdf/First_Amendment012406.pdf but no rules about photography.

They cannot have an arbitrary policy that is made up on the fly and changed from time to time. If there is a policy in Penn Station, it is clearly arbitrary, as I cannot seem to get anyone to state it the same way more than once and to give it to me in writing as required by 49 CRF 701. When Amtrak makes a rule that effects the public on it's property they are required to publish such rule in the public domain. There is no rule published, I have sent a FOIA request to Amtrak to produce such a rule and will let you all know what happens when they respond.

Now I'll drop the bomb shell. I was contacted by someone, because of my web site, that had the exact same thing happen to him in the past year, he has requested that I not use his name on the web. He does not want to be seen as a victim, neither do I, I want to be seen as standing up for my rights. His trespassing charge was dismissed and the Assistant District Attorney said to him, I have done lots of research and can't find anything to prevent photography in Penn Station.

He sued Amtrak for harassment and false arrest. He settled out of court for $8,000. Not a huge sum of money but something for being treated badly. The facts of our cases are almost identical. He was not injured by the police.

In the near future I plan on retaining the same lawyer he used.

Jan 03 09 05:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Wet Ltd wrote:
can't play the card both ways...if you claim what your doing is protected by your first amendment rights, then don't cry when someone has a clear policy about where it is considered "safe" to exercise those rights.

You are incorrect. If Amtrak is going to have a clear policy of not permitting "First Amendment Activities", then it must also define "First Amendment Activities" because otherwise, it would too broad and vague.

This would mean they could crack down on people wearing a religious cross around their neck or a turban on their head, or even a pro-Obama t-shirt.

For this reason, Amtrak's lawyers were sure to offer a clear definition on what they meant. In this case, it obviously pertains to protests and the handing out of literature.

Not photography.

Jan 03 09 05:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Borderline Photography wrote:
The impact of 9/11 mania has hit legitimate photography really hard.

I long for the good old pre 9/11 days when people weren't on paranoid alert 24x7.

You and me both, it has changed what and where we can shoot and has had a mind numbing effect in my other life.

Jan 03 09 05:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Carlos Miller wrote:

You are incorrect. If Amtrak is going to have a clear policy of not permitting "First Amendment Activities", then it must also define "First Amendment Activities" because otherwise, it would too broad and vague.

After all, this would mean they could crack down on people wearing a religious cross around their neck or a turban on their head, or even a pro-Obama t-shirt.

For this reason, Amtrak's lawyers were sure to offer a clear definition on what they meant. In this case, it obviously pertains to protests and the handing out of literature.

Not photography.

Good luck with that in federal court.  I'll bring popcorn

Jan 03 09 05:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Wet Ltd wrote:

Good luck with that in federal court.  I'll bring popcorn

This won't even make it to federal court because it will be determined at the local level, as so many of these cases already have.

Jan 03 09 05:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Carlos Miller wrote:

This won't even make it to federal court because it will be determined at the local level, as so many of these cases already have.

Just a word of caution to others, while you may first encounter local officials in a case like this, don't be surprised if the TSA and DHS take further action after the fact.  It can take as much as a year for that action to occur based on experience in the aviation industry.

Jan 03 09 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Carlos Miller
Posts: 192
Miami, Florida, US


Wet Ltd wrote:

Just a word of caution to others, while you may first encounter local officials in a case like this, don't be surprised if the TSA and DHS take further action after the fact.  It can take as much as a year for that action to occur based on experience in the aviation industry.

Well if the TSA wants to put me on their "no-fly list" because I took some photos of trains or airplanes or whatever, then let them go for it.

Because that is a federal case I wouldn't mind subjecting myself to in order to restore some sanity to this country.

Jan 03 09 05:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Wet Ltd wrote:

Sorry...forgot to add this from the Amtrak website...this is way crazy

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”) permits First Amendment Activity on property owned or controlled by Amtrak (“Amtrak Property”) to the extent that those activities are not incompatible with Amtrak’s mission to safely operate a national passenger rail system, and to do so with optimum service to the public, as well as with the best economy of operation possible. Because of safety reasons, First Amendment activities are not permitted on board Amtrak trains, nor on train platforms.

I was a ticketed passenger. I was not conducting a First Amendment Activity that Amtrak deems is incompatible with it's mission. It would be incompatable with Amtrak's mission for 25 people protesting the war in Iraq to be on the platform. People could get knocked off the platform and onto the tracks. It would also be incompatable with their mission to have people doing the same on a train. People that are on the train and want to sleep would be bothered.

Amtrak does not regulate photography in this rule at all. We aren't having it both ways.

Jan 03 09 05:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LR Photo Designworks
Posts: 321
Sussex, New Jersey, US


Howard Garcia wrote:

What law?
Quote the particular law that says so.
Sho that particular article of law that says you're allowed to take pictures anywhere you want?

This explains the laws that would apply.
http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf

Jan 03 09 05:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


Carlos Miller wrote:

This won't even make it to federal court because it will be determined at the local level, as so many of these cases already have.

I have to thank Carlos. He's the first guy that contacted me about this because he's on top of his game when it comes to people being harassed for no reason.

While the trespassing will be dismissed in the Courts of the State of NY, Mid-Town Community Court, that jurisdiciton was fixed by the arresting officer when he wrote the summons, the law suit I'll file against Amtrak will be in the Federal Courts.

Violaton of ones civil rights is heard in the federal court system.

Jan 03 09 05:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Urban Stylz Photo
Posts: 2,669
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Rowen wrote:
What we need to do is find a really good artist, have him set up his easel and paints in Penn Station, and begin painting the same relative picture that this photographer was trying to photograph.

It would be interesting to see what the cops would say about an artist painting a picture as opposed to a photographer taking an image of the same *scene*. 

Just a thought.....

We can thank the fear mongering and scare tactics of the past 8 years for this kind of shit.  While it is true that any place could be victim of a terrorist attack, I think we've really gone over the edge on all this shit.  Personal opinion only.

-R

Well said, you make a valid point

Jan 03 09 05:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Duane P Kerzic
Posts: 20
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, US


LR Photo Designworks wrote:
This explains the laws that would apply.
http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf

I always have a couple of copies of that in my pocket when I'm in public taking photos, saves lots of problems for the most part. I gave the arresting officer, Amtrak Police Officer James Rusbarsky, badge 466, a copy of that along with a copy of the email from NJ Transit that says photography is allowed in all public areas of the NJ Transit System. Penn Station while it's operated by Amtrak is part of NJ Transit's system because many of NJT's trains begin and end there. I was on such a train to get to Penn Station, I was on the same platform that train discharged me on, it's how I got on the Platform. I had several NJT tickets in my pocket which I showed to the officers. All this is posted on my web site.

In order for NJ Transit to get to Penn Station they lease space on the tracks and the station from Amtrak. Amtrak owns the NE Corridor Line but NJT ownes most of the stations in NJ on that line. Yes this is confussing mumbo jumbo but that is what we are left with in this world.

I have commented on this on lots of sites over the past week.

Jan 03 09 05:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
LR Photo Designworks
Posts: 321
Sussex, New Jersey, US


isphotography wrote:
NJTtransit police were evidently arresting people who where taking pictures of trains from the publicly owned land near the train tracks. I heard they changed their procedures, so they will only arrest ya if your taking pictures from njt owned land

Hmmm,I better watch my surroundings a bit more. They could have grabbed me when I did this one.
http://modelmayhm-6.vo.llnwd.net/d1/photos/090103/17/49601534879a7.jpg

Jan 03 09 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mike Bernard Photo
Posts: 236
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US


And it is not going to get any better?

Its just going to get worst.
Jan 03 09 05:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Wet Ltd
Posts: 1,936
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Best of luck with your case Duane,  I admire your support of the "Out Of the Darkness Overnight" group.
Jan 03 09 05:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Le Beck Photography
Posts: 4,114
Los Angeles, California, US


Howard Garcia wrote:
I'm sorry, please point out where in this quotation does it clearly says that we are allowded to take pictures anywhere we want.

Ok, let me save you the trouble....it doesn't exist.
People take for granted (and love to throw this on our faces) that anything is allowed by law. "I'm an American" or "I'm a US CItized therefore I'm allowed by law..."

Now, on the other hand, there are such things as The Patriot Act that restricts the use of photography in certain areas in the name of National Security.
Sadly its enforcement is often abused and misquoted.
Ranting and posting bullshit on forums like these, while it makes us feel better by venting, does nothing to solve the problem.

It's probably going to take some cojones, a load of $$ and a battery of fearless lawyers and organizations like PPA and ASMP to do some type of Class Action Lawsuit and go to the Supreme Court to have said laws repealed (and I'm not even sure that can be done either).
But individually trying to take on the Big Dog...you will always loose.  Maybe after a long drawn court case you may.....maybe, possibly win but at what cost?

And for those who stand up, pounding your chest and saying "fuck yeah it's worth it" blah blah blah...hey, go ahead, knock yourself out.  Spend all your money and you do time in jail while your lawyer sorts it out.  Challenge the Big Dog.  Go fight "the Good Fight".
I thank you for it.
Oh what happened, oh, they said they're sorry and gave you your camera back?
But the law still stands.

Since WHEN have we had to ask if we're allowed by Law to exercise our fundamental rights??

When we have laws prescribing our activities we'll have surpassed NAZI Germany, or Stalinist Russia.
The scary thing is we seem to be heading that way, especially when people start asking if it's OK to exercise our freedom of speech in a manner that is traditional and of long acceptance as fundamental.

In the apochryful words of Edmund Burke:
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
What he actually said:
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

So write your congressman. Vote against those who would limit our liberty. Make sure candidates know you are against them if they're for oppressive laws like the Patriot Act.
Which brings up another saying by a Great Man:
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1775

There's a photo by Dorothea Lange:
http://www.davidlebeck.com/mmpics/Big%20People.jpg

Jan 03 09 06:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RGK Photography
Posts: 4,687
Wilton, Connecticut, US


What I find funny is that there are documentaries on most of these places: GCT, the GW, The Brooklyn Bridge, etc., which give detailed information on the construction and layout.
Jan 03 09 06:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pinup Express
Posts: 245
Astoria, New York, US


What amazes me are a lot of the misconceptions concerning photography on railroads and transit systems.

Photography on the New York subway is specifically permitted by statute (21 NYCRR 1050.9(c))  The only restrictions are that flash and tripods cannot be used. There are still some isolated incidents of photographers being hassled on the subway but the law is clear and the situation is much improved over previous years.

PATH has the most convoluted rules requiring permits and escorts. Unless you are a big movie mogul with lots of $$$ don't even bother. It is a catch 22 - a friend of mine jumped through their hoops to try to get permission only to be told at the end that the time he requested was unacceptable and they did not even give him the option of requesting an alternate date/time.

Grand Central Terminal welcomes photographers - it is clearly posted on their website.  If you want to use a tripod you need a permit but I heard it is not that hard to get permission.

Penn Station has been somewhat problematic. Three railroads use the station and they all seem to have different rules/policies. Adding to the confusion is the fact that Amtrak will only allow ticketed passengers to access its platforms. On the other hand you can buy a ticket on board an NJ Transit train or a Long Island Railroad train. If you are going to buy the ticket on board then presumably you can access their platforms without a ticket - otherwise how do you get on?... Both New Jersey Transit and the Long Island railroads have issued letters and memos stating photography of their trains is legal.

These rules/laws apply only to photography inside the stations. Regardless of any rule a railroad may have photography of a train FROM public property is perfectly legal. Yes - you can photograph PATH from a public street and it is legal in spite of their rules. There is no such thing as a post 9-11 photo ban. Never has been and hopefully never will be!
Jan 07 09 06:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pinup Express
Posts: 245
Astoria, New York, US


Howard Garcia wrote:

What law?
Quote the particular law that says so.
Sho that particular article of law that says you're allowed to take pictures anywhere you want?

21 NYCRR 1050.9c

Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this Part.

Jan 07 09 06:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pinup Express
Posts: 245
Astoria, New York, US


Wet Ltd wrote:

Just a word of caution to others, while you may first encounter local officials in a case like this, don't be surprised if the TSA and DHS take further action after the fact.  It can take as much as a year for that action to occur based on experience in the aviation industry.

It goes both ways. There are also several well publicized stories of photographers who have sued local authorities for being detained. The NYCLU settlement with the City of New York that resulted in the clarification of permit requirements on the streets was the result of a lawsuit. I believe the photographer who initiated that suit settled for $16k but the NYCLU took it a step further and got the city to write formal rules.

Here are some more:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/l … er08m.html

http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racia … 71206.html

http://www.aclu.org/police/gen/32837prs20071115.html

I know of some railfans who have sued Amtrak and settled for cash plus travel vouchers.

Photographers need to use the media, the ACLU and the courts to fight back. I used to take freedom for granted but the anti photography attitude of the Department of Homesick Insecurity turned me into a card carrying member of the ACLU!

Jan 07 09 07:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pinup Express
Posts: 245
Astoria, New York, US


Howard Garcia wrote:
Now, on the other hand, there are such things as The Patriot Act that restricts the use of photography in certain areas in the name of National Security.
Sadly its enforcement is often abused and misquoted.
Ranting and posting bullshit on forums like these, while it makes us feel better by venting, does nothing to solve the problem.

Have you read the Patriot Act? Please cite any prohibitions/restrictions on photography it specifically mentions.

Hint: It doesn't have any.

Jan 07 09 07:43 pm  Link  Quote 
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