Sunday, March 19, 2006

Big Brother Is Watching XXII

While watching a "making of the video" kind of show on Green Day's video Boulevard of Broken Dreams on Fuse, a couple of friends and I discussed the legality of director Samuel Bayer's use of footage of people walking down the street shot from a moving vehicle without the people's knowledge. Jamey wondered whether he needed to get their permission to use their images, and I speculated that he hadn't because it was shot in a public space.

Turns out it's not that cut and dried. In fact, in an email transmitted over Dave Farber's IP list, I learned about a recent court case involving a photographer who took pictures of people walking through Times Square. A New York State Supreme Court judge ruled that the work's artistic merit overweighed a subject's right to privacy, even though the photographer made money off the work.

Despite this entry's headline, which could imply that I think such photograhy is intrusive, I think this is a great finding -- especially because I'm a big fan of street photography.

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