Jul. 30, 2007 (Newstex) -- The Bloomberg administration is quietly pushing new regulations that would ban certain kinds of photography in New York City without a permit and $1 million in insurance. The new rules, which were proposed by the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a public place for more than 30 minutes to get a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance.
The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment. The permits would be free.
City officials said they would decide after next Friday whether to adopt the rules as they are, amend them or draft new rules and reopen the public review process. [NYT]Ironically, Bloomberg is just fine with unlicensed cameras when they are trained on citizens in the name of security. Critics speculate that the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater, and Television wants to create a monopoly for the big commercial filmmakers who generate revenue for the city.
The rules apply to still photographers as well.
The New York Civil Liberties Union has pledged to sue the city if these unconstitutional restrictions become law. Picture New York is a newly-formed advocacy group fighting the proposed restrictions. You can sign their e-petition here. For more check out Eye Openers blog at www.imaginginfo.com/interactive/