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 Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming? 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:15 am
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Post Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
I film most of the time in public places. I realize the laws greatly vary from place to place. Yes, the police have pulled up a few times and were curious as to what exactly I was doing. I have always been hospitable to them and they in turn have been very friendly. Whenever I do go out I place 3 magnetic placards on my van, one on the 2 front side doors and one in the rear. It says, "Notice of Filming" along with the name of my company. This, I believe, makes you look "unsuspect" and identifies you openly to the public and police. As well, I carry business cards which I will present to the officers in a friendly manner. They have never asked me for ID or a business card, but I offer them a card to show them I am harmless.

One point I would like to make is to KNOW THE LAW in your area for photography-filming. Take some time and do the research. This knowledge will be invalueable to you, should you be filming in public or private properties.

As well, peoples permissions to have them on cam.....but that's a whole different topic.

Yeppers....when the police pull up my heart still races a bit lol....but my being cool with them ends up in a friendship in the end, and gives us timelapsers a great name. :)


Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:09 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:16 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
DENNIS JACIW wrote:
...One point I would like to make is to KNOW THE LAW in your area for photography-filming. Take some time and do the research. This knowledge will be invalueable to you, should you be filming in public or private properties...


+100

I shoot cars for a living in some very dodgy places and although I never have any issues with Police I have had lots of trouble with 'Security' who often have no knowledge of the law and then try to push (ignorant) people around. Know the law, even by-laws in your area. It will make your life much easier.

I had an 'incident' with a security crew several months ago where they where being fairly heavy handed with their demands whilst I was on a public road and totally free to do as I pleased. One of them commented that obviously I knew the law (they where acting like they had Police powers, asking for ID, License (for what, photography?), which they don't) and they backed off. It made me wonder how they would have continued if I didn't know the law. But this is fairly typical in my experience.

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Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:15 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:30 am
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
@johnjovic ..... do you have any info about the situation in Australia if you video/iphone record police if they are questioning you?
Are you allowed to record interactions - especially if you are involved after you alert all concerned that the encounter is being recorded?
I understand that soon Australian police will be trialling personal 'lapel-cameras' to record THEIR interactions ...how about us!


Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:51 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:56 am
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Location: Sydney - Australia
Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
These guys have all the info you need for filming in Australia: http://www.artslaw.com.au/

By law you need permission from the local council to film in any public place. In practice you can generally get away without it if you are not causing a nuisance. The other thing to be aware of is that, technically, if you film icons such as the sydney opera house and harbour bridge you can't use the footage commercially without their permission. I don't know how this actually works in practice but stock sites such as istockphoto won't accept footage like this unless you have evidence of permission.

As has already been said being polite and considerate of others is the key. I have been moved on a few times by the police and by security but it was never a problem. I just apologised and packed up my gear :-) On other occasions I've been allowed to continue once I've explained what I'm doing. Most people are very curious about timelapse rigs, especially when I'm out with a stage zero and PT head! Lost count of how many times I've explained what it is to passers by :-)


Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:04 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:16 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
matt b wrote:
@johnjovic ..... do you have any info about the situation in Australia if you video/iphone record police if they are questioning you?
Are you allowed to record interactions - especially if you are involved after you alert all concerned that the encounter is being recorded?
I understand that soon Australian police will be trialling personal 'lapel-cameras' to record THEIR interactions ...how about us!


No I don't, it's not someting I've considered doing but I've never had any trouble with Police, just security people.

The Police prefer not to be photographed or filmed (for their own safety and anonymity) however it's not illegal to photograph or film, not sure about sound. Out of courtesy I have never filmed or photgraphed Police without asking first.

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Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:29 am
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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:16 pm
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Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
eggmedia wrote:
...By law you need permission from the local council to film in any public place. In practice you can generally get away without it if you are not causing a nuisance. ..


I think you may be misinterpreting whatever you've read. If that where true, and it isn't, then you would never be allowed to shoot anywhere, such as city streets, on your footpath etc. etc.

Councils have by-laws about that kind of thing (when they say 'film' they usually refer to cine/video and/or pro setups wth tripods, lights, trucks etc.) and each councils by-laws may vary. There is no federal law that says you need any permission from anyone to shoot in public places. Of course the way the images are used is an altogether different matter.

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Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:36 am
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Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
This is where I got my info from. These guys advise everyone from single shooters to big movie productions. Worth a look: http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/i ... n-release/

I'm aware that there isn't a federal law, but there are council by-laws which amounts to the same thing. Perhaps they are more flexible in Melbourne but in several Sydney council areas they are very hot on this. Bondi Beach is a good example. If the Rangers see anyone with equipment that looks more complex than what a tourist would have they will want to know what you are doing. A camera on a tripod will most likely not attract any attention but if you have a stage zero dolly set up that's a different story. Interestingly taking still photos is exempted under NSW law. Maybe time lapse would come under this, after all it is taking stills, just a lot of them :D

John Jovic wrote:
eggmedia wrote:
...By law you need permission from the local council to film in any public place. In practice you can generally get away without it if you are not causing a nuisance. ..


I think you may be misinterpreting whatever you've read. If that where true, and it isn't, then you would never be allowed to shoot anywhere, such as city streets, on your footpath etc. etc.

Councils have by-laws about that kind of thing (when they say 'film' they usually refer to cine/video and/or pro setups wth tripods, lights, trucks etc.) and each councils by-laws may vary. There is no federal law that says you need any permission from anyone to shoot in public places. Of course the way the images are used is an altogether different matter.


Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:35 am
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Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:25 pm
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
Interesting. In my case I'm a hobbyist. I'll probably get footage in National Parks mostly, however being in Sydney naturally there are lots of good city, harbour and coastline opportunities.

It would be annoying to be pestered by a ranger half-way through a 2 hour sequence :roll:


Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:36 am
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Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
eggmedia wrote:
Worth a look: http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/i ... n-release/
Interestingly taking still photos is exempted under NSW law. Maybe time lapse would come under this, after all it is taking stills, just a lot of them :D


Thanks for the link - here is the list of exemptions - I do like your notion that technically and legally you are actually shooting sequences of stills!
(Would it hold up in court??? :? ) ... and the list is qualified by "activities that may not need approval" :(

If all else fails, just bring along a couple of friends dressed in wedding outfits and place them just out of frame for a couple of hours. :)


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Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:09 pm
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:30 am
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Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
After police bashed a participant at the recent Mardi Gras parade here in Sydney and bystanders recorded the incident, a senior police officer told the media that police CANNOT stop you from filming their activities in a public place.

http://media.smh.com.au/news/national-news/filming-in-public-what-are-your-rights-4086145.html

So don't let the NSW police tell you that you can't 'film' in a public area - tell them politely that it is perfectly LEGAL!
(Don't let them wind you up, so they can entrap you - stay calm - and carry on.)


Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:04 pm
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Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:07 am
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Post Re: Police....have they visited-bothered you while filming?
matt b wrote:
After police bashed a participant at the recent Mardi Gras parade here in Sydney and bystanders recorded the incident, a senior police officer told the media that police CANNOT stop you from filming their activities in a public place.

http://media.smh.com.au/news/national-news/filming-in-public-what-are-your-rights-4086145.html

So don't let the NSW police tell you that you can't 'film' in a public area - tell them politely that it is perfectly LEGAL!
(Don't let them wind you up, so they can entrap you - stay calm - and carry on.)



I didn't see te full story there but pretty sure the guy wouldn't of been a little smartarse punk.... probably deserved what he got.. but anyway off topic :)

Was good to hear that though.... i was told whilst filming the cronulla riots years back that i cant film by police, luckily i ignored them.. next day they are calling me wanting my footage to help there case.. go figure hey!

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Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:23 am
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