Friday, July 27, 2007

fight the power

New rules currently under consideration for Film Permits (Chapter 9, Title 43 of the City Rules of New York) could possibly have an negative impact on independent filmmakers and photographers and their ability to engage in creative work in New York City.

The rules would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location (taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks) 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.

Permits would have to be obtained for specific dates and times and exact locations, and the minimum $1 million insurance would be out of reach for many individuals.

In the media, city spokespeople are saying this will not affect the millions of tourists that take pictures and video in New York, but as written, the rules could potentially make hobbyists (like myself) and tourists, as well as artists and commercial practitioners, criminals for taking pictures of New York attractions.

(If you don't know why this issue is important to me, you might want to click here)

Spontaneous documentation of the urban environment is the heart of my photographic work, and with the already strict enforcement of similar rules at malls and shopping centers, I could potentially end up with a severely limited subject range.

Please sign the petition linked here, and help defend New Yorkers' (and my) First Amendment rights.

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