1. The person was shooting from public property. The person has done nothing illegal. The person owns the photos. Any attempt by anyone, including the police, to confiscate them is coercion. If the the photos are taken by anyone, including the police, it is theft.
2. The person was shooting from private property that is considered a public space (e.g. a shopping mall or a private alleyway), and that has no signs prohibiting photography. The person has done nothing illegal, because even though the property is private, it is treated by the law as a public space. The person owns the photos. Any attempt by anyone, including the police, to confiscate them is coercion. If the photos are taken by anyone, including the police, it is theft.
3. The person was shooting from private property that is not considered a public space (e.g. the lobby of a high rise or somebody's back yard), with no signs prohibiting photography. The person was then asked by the building owner not to shoot, and complied. The person has done nothing illegal, because according to the law, it can be assumed that photography is allowed on private property unless signs or people clearly prohibit it. The person owns the photos. Any attempt by anyone, including the police, to confiscate them is coercion. If the photos are taken by anyone, including the police, it is theft.
4. The person was shooting from private property that is not considered a public space (e.g. the lobby of a high rise or somebody's back yard), with no signs prohibiting photography. The person was then asked by the building owner not to shoot, and did not comply. The person may be issued a trespassing ticket by the police for breaking stated rules on private property (a misdemeanor offense, and a non-arrestable one in this circumstance, barring lipping off to the officer). The person owns the photos. Any attempt to confiscate them by the property owner is coercion. If the photos are taken by the property owner, it is theft. The police may confiscate the pictures for use as evidence in court, but the photos remain the property of the shooter, and the police may not destroy them, damage them, or give them to the property owner.
5. The person was shooting from private property, and there were "no photography; private property" signs, or the like. Same as above, beginning with, "The person may be issued..."
In every case, the person owns the photos, even if the way he or she got them involved breaking the law. Under no circumstances may photos (i.e. the shooter's property in all cases) be permanently taken from the shooter, damaged, destroyed, or given away. And there is only one case in which anyone may confiscate the photos even temporarily; the police may take them as evidence of a crime. That's it!
People need to learn their highest government-granted liberties, or have them taken away by both private parties and other government bodies. It's their choice which they want. Let's just hope they remember that their choice affects everybody in the society, not just them. The fellow allowing that to happen was at best a display of ignorance, and at worst a display of selfishness – saving one's own hide out of momentary fear, while sacrificing the greater good. Every time something like that happens, one more piece of sand washes off the mountain that represents the fundamental liberties granted to the members of a society.
While your story is infuriating, and ones like it are all too common, I think a little research before declaring the security guard's and police officer's word as fact would have been prudent. Education on the laws, rather than the spreading of rumors, is the way to combat that sort of thing.
The way I see it, the idea of fundamental liberties was intellectually devised to protect us from our own human nature. I still maintain that any fundamental liberty we do have is granted by the federal government (which is supposedly of the people, but I don't think we will be there until every last person in the society acts like a responsible citizen), in order to protect the people from future governments, and from their fellow citizens. In the real world, not in a philosophical utopia, we don't have liberty simply because we are human. We have liberty because some guys got together some years ago and wrote a set of rules that sez we have liberty. Maybe I'm pessimistic, but that's what I think. I don't believe that humankind is instinctively "free," and I don't believe in anything supernatural which might grant us something that nature does not. We have liberties because some people decided it would be a good idea for those in a society to have liberties; that's it. They were right in some ways, and wrong in others. But they certainly were against the mainstream at the time. If it was so fundamentally human, how could anything else have ever been practiced? The idea of fundamental liberties shits in the face of instinctive human behavior – vicious, savage, selfish animals that we are by nature – like any other animal. To me, that the idea of fundamental liberty goes against this is what makes it so great. It pushes us to a level beyond animalism. It is man-made evolution of the species, intellectually devised and physically implemented.
So, by this outlook, those people whole stole the guy's photos were just being instinctively human. But the philosophical foundation of our system of government says that people should rise beyond their instinct in very specific ways – ways that do not support the actions of the thieves.
Anyhow, lest we digress too much, we can continue this via PM if you want, or in the Soap Box Forum. I don't want to get into it on top of this thread.
That is why (the question another poster asked previously) photographers will be willing to get arrested (falsely) and risk spending a night or day in jail while the police go through their motions, and then spend a lot of time and effort suing them. I don't question anybody who doesn't want to take that risk and bother, but I salute and thank those who do.
I agree with 2F/2F in post No. 42. The situation is identical (if not very similar in the UK).
The problem with the idea of "granted" liberty is that the agency that "gave" them is more than likely going to either take them away, or hold them for ransom. The only way to ensure the greatest freedom for folks is to recognize pre-existing natural rights (commonly referred to as "negative", as they don't require that other folks be stolen from or otherwise oppressed) and require any existing government to operate within strict guidelines in order to avoid treading on them.
Unfortunately, any time you allow a group of people to gather and maintain power, they'll do everything possible to grow it, and you'll also attract the absolute worst power-hungry rascals to those positions... folks clever enough to erode and evade their own legal limits at every opportunity. It takes a special sort of bastard.
Ergh. Politics. Many blood-sucking creatures. I think I'll go back to reading about cameras now and stop jacking threads.
The condition of the woman is known as hysteria, and is a very well known one, since millennia. And it generally is the result of lack of sex, in this case, lack of sex with a (former mate) photographer. Hence the hate and will to pick a fight with any photographer. You don't need being polite in this case.
Unless Canada is different from any other place on the world, in Canada just like in any other place every building is copyrighted (you cannot copy, in the sense "make a copy", an identical building, without the consent of the architect), and every building is photographable from the public road.
It is important to educate photographers about this. In stock photography fora there's a lot of bullstuff going around saying that the Eiffel tower at night is copyrighted, the Sidney Opera House is copyrighted so cannot be taken pictures of, etc. It's all just plain nonsense.
The case of the Eiffel tower is particularly ridiculous. Those guys actually try to ask money for use of pictures taken at night. They have a web site for this, so that you can pay even, and you can ask questions. I asked twice to produce any norm which allows them to charge, stating that I did take pictures of the Eiffel tower at night, I did sell them, and I will go on selling them. I had no answer both times.
I also referred this in another forum, and told people to do like me, and see if they receive an answer, but it seems that nobody did it. They are the same people who say that the Eiffel tower is not photographable because it is "copyrighted". People seem to need bullstuff to live.