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Friday, August 15, 2008

In Security

posted by on August 15 at 10:32 AM


Who is this man? Who took this picture? And just how much is that Botox in the window? The complete hilarious story is here.

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Life is hilarious.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 15, 2008 10:43 AM

He should watermark that picture.

Posted by Ziggity | August 15, 2008 10:45 AM

What is with all this banning of taking pictures in public spaces? I know there is a sign at Nordstrom (?) that bans pictures, and I was accosted by a manager of a QFC for using my cell phone cam to take pictures of products. (I have a bad memory and when I see an interesting product I might want to buy, I take a picture of it then look it up on line later to see what else that company sells of what other people think of the product).

With all the security cams in place now put out by the government and private businesses to prevent us from speeding or loitering, I guess they want a monopoly on who takes pictures of what. Please god, someone get arrested and send this up to the Supreme Court!

Posted by elswinger | August 15, 2008 10:46 AM

Infuriating people by legally taking pictures is really gratifying.

and @3, Nordstrom is not a public place

Posted by Non | August 15, 2008 10:47 AM

I want to take pictures and DARE the $8.00 an hour security guard to "arrest" me. I would LOVE to have a jury trial on that "crime".

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | August 15, 2008 10:50 AM

It's just his way of reminding himself that someone thinks he's special. That someone may be him, but still. He doesn't have anything to do, so he goes on little power trips. If it were a black thug instead of a white photographer with his girlfriend, he wouldn't have done or said anything. He would have called an actual cop.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 15, 2008 10:54 AM

That whole post was offensive and shortist.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | August 15, 2008 10:56 AM

I recognize that uniform... I worked for that security company for a few months as a concierge for a fancy-pants condo building in Belltown. My badge wasn't as cool, but I do remember the clip-on ties and the itchy grey pants...

Posted by Angela | August 15, 2008 11:06 AM

Am I the only one thinking that this whole thing--the sign, the security guard, the fracas--might've been orchestrated by Greg Lundgren/PDL?

Posted by David Schmader | August 15, 2008 11:14 AM

That clown needs to shorten up his tie.

Posted by w7ngman | August 15, 2008 11:14 AM

That's Baby Jack! (at least that was our nickname for him)

Posted by CK | August 15, 2008 11:17 AM


Yes, this almost sounds like a too good to be true parody of this type of situation.

For the record, the basics of photo rights in the U.S.: If you're on public property you can take a photo of anything and anyone you want. The only restriction is that the property owner or person depicted may have legal right to sue you if you use the photo for commercial purposes. If you're on private property the owner can kick you out or have you arrested for trespassing.

Posted by boxofbirds | August 15, 2008 11:25 AM

Everyone should have this in their pocket when out photographing. I've been harassed many times by rent-a-guards like this and I leave them with a copy of this - and keep my pictures on my camera.

One of the photo mags just recently had a great article on this type of thing too.

Posted by dkl | August 15, 2008 11:29 AM

Don't get angry at the security guard, who doesn't know anything and is just afraid of losing his shitty job. Get angry at his supervisor and the company that hired them.

And print off a copy of The Legal Rights of Photographers and carry it with you.
(Google for a different one if you're not in the US).

QFC and Nordstrom (inside) are not public places. The sidewalk is. You can take a picture of anything you can see, including buildings and people, even kids. The only thing you should ever say to the private guard is "call the police, they will explain my rights to you".

Posted by Fnarf | August 15, 2008 11:32 AM

Key to my conspiracy theory @ 9: The fact that that dude looks like he's wearing community-theater-style stage makeup...

Posted by David Schmader | August 15, 2008 11:32 AM

I agree with David Schmader. It's too perfect. And they object to a picture of an advertisement? How does that even make sense?

Posted by elenchos | August 15, 2008 11:44 AM

Oh, to be so privileged that nobody shows up at your job, takes photos, and posts it all over the internet to mock your appearance and limited career opportunities. Whatever the company's policies, the security guard does not deserve this treatment.


Posted by La Mareada | August 15, 2008 11:45 AM

Fnarf, I read in the comments at FLICKR that sidewalks are not totally public property, thus the reason businesses must salt and shovel them to avoid legal liability if someone falls. I wonder which is which

Posted by Non | August 15, 2008 11:53 AM

it's been a while since i've seen a good internet sidewalk debate...

Posted by infrequent | August 15, 2008 12:11 PM

Sidewalks in some places are paid for by the property owners but not everywhere and they most definitely are considered public. You can't be banned from a sidewalk or not allowed to take pictures. Has nobody ever seen paparazzi?

Posted by Sam | August 15, 2008 12:45 PM


Sidewalks are public space, use being regulated by SDOT. The fact that the maintainence or installation may have been paid for by the adjacent property owner is not relevant in this case. There are variations of this all over the City - some sidewalks were paid for by the SDOT and others were charged back to property owners.

The only exceptions to this rule would be 'campus' environments, and then it gets a bit complicated based on the nature of the space and type of public access. The area down along Northlake Way just south of the PCC may be such an area (private fee parking on the street) but I'm not sure.

Posted by Steve Leonard | August 15, 2008 12:50 PM

The photographer was lucky - the guard was about 1 second from unleashing his judo skills.

Posted by CaptainJack | August 15, 2008 12:52 PM

There has to be something else going on in that building besides Getty Images though. I went to Ageless (shop behind him) one afternoon and they were shoo-ing everyone out. The whole building was being evacuated because they'd had a bomb threat. It was pretty weird.

Posted by Olav Martin | August 15, 2008 12:57 PM

Good one, Steve @21. Yes, sidewalks are public spaces.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | August 15, 2008 1:06 PM

@18, @21: sidewalks are the property of the city. Your property line starts there. In most places the property owner has to maintain the parking strip, but it's absolutely public.

Note also that photographing in a private space is still legal. The property owner can establish a rule against it, and if you violate that rule he can ask you to leave, and if you refuse to leave, you are trespassing, which is against the law, but at no point are the photographs themselves illegal. Your film or chip can never be confiscated. There are good real-world examples on that link.

The idea that this guy can order you to "come over here" when you're standing on a sidewalk is flat-out ridiculous.

Posted by Fnarf | August 15, 2008 1:07 PM

Not city property, Fnarf. It's an easement with public right of way.

Posted by elenchos | August 15, 2008 1:49 PM

@25 -

In the typical case you are very correct. If this photo was taken from N 34th then there is no question about the right of way and sidewalk.

However, portions of Northlake Way are not necessarily public property. Based on the DPD website, the City does not maintain a right of way on the section of Northlake near Evanston. So that portion of the street & sidewalk down there is likely all private property. The Burke Gilman runs through the Adobe HQ via an easement granted to the City, not along a right of way.

I'm not entirely sure what the law in WA is with respect to restricting photography in the situation that exists down there.

But I agree with you that the guy's behavior sounds a bit ridiculous, and on all the other points regarding limits on photography in general.

Posted by Steve Leonard | August 15, 2008 1:56 PM

#4 Sorry I wasn't more clear. According to Nordstrom you can't take pictures of a Nordstrom (even outside). They have chased news crews away.

Posted by elswinger | August 15, 2008 3:08 PM

@28, Nordstrom has zero say in whether people photograph the outside of their building. If they tried to chase me away I would demand a cop.

Posted by Fnarf | August 15, 2008 3:42 PM

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