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  1. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    What is illegal is not necessarily immoral. What is legal is not aways moral either. The world exists in shades if gray. The art of life is nuanced interpretation of morality. Don't be so quick to judge and call the cops when seeing pics of naked folk.
    There is the maxim that "The law is separate from morality." Something that first year law students learn.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  2. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by mesantacruz View Post
    OP said kid was running around, not looking like he was forced to do something... must have been a newbie at the photolab, who already thinks people who shoot film are strange, so when he sees the naked kid he freaks....

    If the op, took a whole roll of the naked kid, somethings weird, if the op took a photo, where the kid looked like he was in distress, again weird... family photos, and naked kid running around, funny.

    to be blatant, as i get older more friends are having kids, and many of them are from el paso, tx (90-100 degree weather in the summer)... so amongst photos of food being grilled, family,etc... there's a naked kid here and there... no one thinks it's weird, because it's in CONTEXT.

    so op was singled out for a reason he is unaware of or omitted... or the photolab people at that specific place are 'sheep' to put it nicely.
    Put well. I agree.

  3. #73
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    I did some research. Most U.S. states/jurisdictions have laws which require the reporting of images of children under the age of eighteen who appear to a reasonable person to be engaged in an act of sexual conduct.

    In every case, the phrase "reasonable person," "reasonable suspicion" or "reasonable belief" is used.

    In every case except one the phrase "engaged in an act of sexual conduct" or "sex act" is used. In the one case that didn't say "sexual act/conduct" the phrase "child pornography" is used.

    In most places "pornography" is usually defined as images created primarily out of "prurient interest." That, we can say means "sexual act" or "sexual display."

    I don't think any reasonable person could infer that a kid who "shoots the moon" at a camera is engaged in a sexual display, a sex act or is acting out of prurient interest, especially when taken in context of all the other photos in the roll of film. Further, since the OP has been a regular customer of that lab for several years and has never had a questionable incident, I can't imagine how one photo could be construed as being out of context.

    I think that the photo lab was not justified in reporting the photo.

    Since others have said that this lab has let other photographs which were much more graphic than this pass unscrutinized, I would say that this shows that they are guilty of arbitrary behavior.

    As I said before, if I was a shopkeeper who accused a person of shoplifting and called the police without good reason, I would be civilly liable. I can't say that the photo lab in this case is similarly liable but I would certainly be looking for legal advice, right now.
    Randy S.

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  4. #74

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    Thanks for doing that leg-work, Randy... I was curious too.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Zero tolerance laws/regulations trivialize the very actions they seek to remedy. Consider the boy suspended from school for bringing a GI Joe figurine to a school with a zero tolerance regulation against guns.
    GI Joe!? That's going a bit far when you can be suspended for brandishing triangular pastry.

    Anyway, it's worth noting that the OP is in Australia and we have very strict laws here (whether you're aware of them or not in your local jurisdiction or whether you believe they're necessary is irrelevant) that require people to report the suspicion or appearance of abuse. I haven't seen the image, can't say whether the lab overreacted but even if they totally did, the problem here is the police officer's reaction. Having decided that no crime had been committed and told you as much, the failure to return the image is an improper confiscation of goods. The police aren't allowed to just take shit off you because someone else had a moral panic, and you know that.

    On behalf of all of us who use labs occasionally, I implore you to send a formal letter of complaint to the police headquarters in your state (it's a pretty easy process). Lay out, in completely unemotional language, that you had your private property confiscated and destroyed without due process and in the absence of any crime. The actions of the lab are irrelevant* here, so don't complain about them because it'll just make you look bad. As part of the complaint, I think you need to specify what your desired outcome is: I would request (if I were you) that formal procedures be put in place if they are not already and their following enforced regarding the treatment of people in your situation. You shouldn't have had to have heard from the police at all and you certainly shouldn't have lost your property. Likewise I would not push for disciplinary action against the officer as they were probably acting from ignorance and asking for punishment will just put the police examining your complaint on the defensive. You want to push against the process and the system, not the individuals unless the individual did something clearly criminal.

    There have been quite a few cases (and therefore complaints) recently with police improperly bothering people photographing in public; in Australia, we have the explicit right to do so unless invading someone's privacy. As a result, there have been awareness campaigns within the police forces regarding the rights of photographers. Pushing back firmly and politely against the police failing to follow the law is what is required. Otherwise, we end up with rule by police instead of rule by law, which is pretty much where a few other western nations are headed. Thankfully, Australia is doing much better than others on that front, but please do your bit in pushing back, even if you take a week or two to gather yourself emotionally first.


    * it doesn't matter if the lab is full of prying nannies. The police should have just said "it's fine, give it back". You can't train all lab operators with a fine sense of subtlety and context so their job is only to report, NOT decide your guilt. It's the police's job to ignore their reports when appropriate.

  6. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
    ... the problem here is the police officer's reaction. Having decided that no crime had been committed and told you as much, the failure to return the image is an improper confiscation of goods. The police aren't allowed to just take shit off you because someone else had a moral panic, and you know that.
    I wonder if perhaps the police officer, by keeping the 'problem' image, was in effect saying, "No problem this time, but if we receive future calls about similar images of yours, it can be used to establish a pattern of 'improper behavior'".

  7. #77
    AgX
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    No need for keeping it though. Aside of acting very symbolic.

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    Almost everything in life is context.

    And some people aren't capable of discerning it.

    We are surrounded by stupidity, and must always adapt to the most unevolved the group.
    thanks for being the voice of reason !

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    I can't sell you a hot dog without taking a course on food safety and undergoing health inspections. I have to have licenses and pay fees for all of this.

    But, who trained the employees of that business in pornography detection?
    We have mandatory-reporting training in Australia and many professions must attend it and be appropriately certified, just like with food safety. I'd not be surprised if lab operators were included. It's not porn-detection, but fine-tuning one's suspicion of abuse in all forms. You may not see the need for it, but it is there.

    For example, I used to be an adjudicator for schools debating and as such was regularly in the same room with schoolkids so I had to do the training. Doctors, psychologists, anyone with assumed regular contact with children or authority-figure status as part of their profession, must do the training and be up-to-date.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    How were these employees informed that they were responsible for detecting and reporting pornography? Did some government official send them a letter? Did they get a visit from the police? Did they just read about it in the newspaper? Who told them to interpret photographs in order to report them?
    The mandatory-reporting training is generally an item in their contract of employment. And it's not "detecting pornography", it's "detecting mistreatment".

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    Who taught them the legal standards for judging photographs as pornography? Don't give me the, "I know it when I see it," argument. This is different. A man's liberty and property are at stake. It's not just a case of freedom of speech.
    No, it's pretty well-defined. The issue is not the image, the issue is what the image documents as occurring. Obviously people report things all the time that amount to nothing, and it is expected that those accepting the reports will filter accordingly. Most people making reports have only very partial information and it is expected that multiple reports will be gathered before any action occurs. Having the police confiscate the photo and the customer even notified of the report is highly unusual.

    Yes, it's very big-brother, which is a whole other political argument not to have here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    Which employees took a seminar in pornography detection? Are they lawyers? Are they criminal psychologists? Where are their degrees? Where are their certificates? Who paid the fees and secured the licenses? How can untrained, unlicensed and uneducated store employees be expected to know the law and act correctly? We're talking about the possibility of sending a man to jail, here!
    Not on the basis of a report, no. Reports are not charges, let alone convictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    I don't care if this happened in Adelaide or Albuquerque. If I owned a photo lab, I would instruct my employees to NOT report any photographs to the police unless it was absolutely, crystal clear that something illegal was taking place in the pictures.

    I don't think the business owner was right, in any sense of the word, to do what he did.
    You do that in Australia and you are opening yourself to criminal charges: "mandatory reporting" is exactly what it says on the tin. Again, the report is not a conviction, the report is merely information which in this case probably should've been ignored but was probably handled by the wrong police officers.

  10. #80

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    polyglot,

    Your message #80 pretty well explains things - and I hope it 'ties the ribbon' on this thread.

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