Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
These are the possible scenarios:

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.


Like.

Pretty much the same here, and most other places.