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  1. #1

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    "Ag-Gag"--criminalizing photography?

    Apparently, several states are considering, at the behest of large commercial farm interests, new laws to criminalize photography of animal processing facilities. This would apply not just to livestock but facilities like puppy mills. Regardless of how one feels about the operation of CAFOs, this would seem on the face of it a serious racheting up of possible penalties against photographers, and it is not hard to imagine the principle being applied to other industries or private interests if this were allowed to stand unchallenged.

  2. #2
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    On the other hand,why do some photographers think because they own a camera they have the divine right to take pictures without permission on private property ?, if the animals are being mistreated in any way on the farms it's up to government agency s to prosecute the owners, not the general public to photograph it.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 05-09-2011 at 11:26 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  3. #3
    kwall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    On the other hand,why do some photographers think because they own a camera they have the divine right to take pictures without permission on private property ?, if the animals are being mistreated in any way on the farms it's up to government agency s to prosecute the owners, not the general public to photograph it.
    If I can see something with my eyes, what is the difference exactly if I take a photograph of it? At least here in the United States, if something is visible from public property, there is no presumption of privacy. Apropos your final point, how shall "government agencies" discover mistreatment unless they are first informed it is occurring and have demonstrable proof thereof? Or do you favor arbitrary random searches and inspections of private property by "government agencies."

  4. #4
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Regardless of proposed or future laws, owners of private property have the right to set their own policies. If they want to allow certain things or disallow them, that is their right. Current law already upholds this.

    Further, as long as a person is standing on public property, his own property, property to which he has been invited or property which he is freely allowed to visit he is allowed to photograph anything he can see from a normal vantage point. Current law already upholds this.

    If a person can see it from the road or other place he is legally allowed to be, he can take a picture. If a person jumps a fence in order to take a picture, his ass is grass.

    If a farm owner wants to mistreat animals he'd better do it in a place where nobody can see. He should either build big barns or put up very high fences to encircle the entire property. If somebody can see it from the roadside it will eventually be photographed but if somebody has to trespass in order to take a photo the farm owner can have the photographer sent to jail.

    As I see it, that about covers it. We already have enough laws on the subject.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

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

  5. #5
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post

    As I see it, that about covers it. We already have enough laws on the subject.
    Never stopped em before...

  6. #6
    Markster's Avatar
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    Never underestimate the power of photographs. Images are visceral (and in this case literally).

    It's quite easy for a radical activist group with no morals to spread lies to get a plant shut down because they don't like what it does. All they need to is publish inflamatory photos. The photos could be 100% legit but totally wrong in depiction, and simply because there's blood or because it shows animals in a slaughterhouse, the public will cry in outrage (and ignorance).


    So basically a few photos, legit or not, can topple a company through malicious lies and/or inflamatory photos, even if the company is doing nothing wrong.

    I can understand why we might need such laws, even if I don't know the specifics.

    There's too much ignorance in animal activism these days. Some groups have a nice grounding, but some border on cult zealousness.
    -Markster

    Canon AE-1P 35mm | 50mm/f1.8 FDn | 28mm/2.8 FD | 70-200mm/f4-5 FD | 35-70mm/F2.8-3.5 Sigma FD

  7. #7

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    If they take away the right to photograph Farm Animals from the street, what will they tell us we can't photograph next?
    "Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
    "Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"

    Me

  8. #8
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I just saw the documentary Food Inc. In the movie, it shows how big ag and seed companies use lawyers to intimidate farmers. Monsanto use it's army of investigators and lawyers to keep farmers from saving seeds. It's a must see for anyone who eats.

  9. #9
    Markster's Avatar
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    The film maker in me would say "And who made that documentary, and what agenda were they pushing?"

    Whether or not there's a few bad eggs, looking at the link in the original post, this is to prevent eco-terrorist type groups from infiltrating, disrupting, and attempting to harm damage or destroy otherwise acceptible companies.

    It is a growing fad these days.

    Heck, somebody somewhere even paid off the writers on the TV show "Bones" to harp on chicken farms so bad I wanted to vomit (not at the content, but at how blatantly PREACHY and obviously misleading and clearly transparent the attempt was -- pathetic, bones writers, pathetic!). There's no doubt some advocacy group sponsored that episode.

    It's getting bad. These wannabe-activist folks don't realize that the human being evolved as an omnivore, not as an herbivore. They don't seem to realize that without humankind's need for food there would be no cows in North America at all, for them to fret and fawn over. Without the ability to package and process food (like, say, meat?) society as they enjoy it wouldn't exist. We'd be back to hunting and gathering (gasp! I mean.. just "gathering" -- can't harm animals in nature, now can we?)


    I'm not saying I'm for unethical treatment of animals or anything. I'm trying to present the other side of the coin. Do I think it's perfect? No. Do I think it's as portrayed in such villifying documentaries? No.

    You can't really judge it without taking into consideration in regards to this history of the trade. You have to look at how we used to do it 100 years ago and follow the progress of the trade as it got better and better, AND the impacts this has had on our entire society. Often times you'll find some inflamatory "thought inspiring" production that only focuses on a narrow slit of the here and now.
    -Markster

    Canon AE-1P 35mm | 50mm/f1.8 FDn | 28mm/2.8 FD | 70-200mm/f4-5 FD | 35-70mm/F2.8-3.5 Sigma FD

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwall View Post
    At least here in the United States, if something is visible from public property, there is no presumption of privacy.
    It's the same in the UK. Anything may be photographed from a public place.

    I think we in the UK and you in the US already have enough laws to cover this without needing any new laws as it relates to someone taking a picture whilst on private property.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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