Quote Originally Posted by BrianL View Post
Did you get permission from the manager of the Flatiron Building? Here in Toronto you can not photograph the one here for any reason without getting permission as it is used in so many movies. Not even for private, nonommercial purposes. I was in the grill one day when someone was taking photos and the manager walked out and politely asked the person to delete the files or turn over the film and he;d process it an send the photos taken that were not of the building plus pay for a replacement roll. The person told the manager to buzz off and within a few minutes an officer approached and suggested the person take the offer or accompany him to the local station. The person handed over the roll and his address and received what looked like a $10 bill. I asked the manager about the incident and he told me the building was copyrighted as an image and taking a photo of it without permission was an criminal offence. I then asked it they would give permission and his response was if for noncommerical use, no problem but othewise there was a fee for a shooting permit. Up here many places seem to have similar requirements including public parks.
I don't doubt your report of what happened, but the behaviour of the manager and the policeman seems completely out of line and unsupported by copyright law or other law. Building plans are copyright, not the buildings themselves.

Can you point to or help us find any credible reference to any law allowing them to extort film from photographers?

You can start here: http://ambientlight.ca/laws/overview...-i-photograph/