They're trying to outlaw independent photography & film in New York City!
& by "they" I mean Bloomberg -- over Memorial Day the Mayor's Office tried to sneak through some new provisions that would require a special permit & a million bucks worth of liability insurance for any photographic enterprise involving more than two people & more than half an hour. Tripods are only allowed for ten minutes, including set-up time.
According to ARTNET:
"In fact, the new set of proposed rules results from an earlier police action against a documentary filmmaker. In May 2005, Rakesh Sharma was detained and had his equipment confiscated after police saw him using a hand-held camera to scout locations for a documentary about New York City cab drivers. The NYPD claimed its action was justified because Sharma lacked a permit, though the filmmaker discovered that the city had no written guidelines for such permits at all. The resulting lawsuit, filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union, forced the city to clarify its regulations -- leading to the current draconian proposal."
This stuff is as bizarro-world fascist as the cabaret laws & would have an even more baleful effect. Large studio-backed enterprises already have permits & insurance, this directly targets independent photographers & filmmakers & could easily be used by the cops to shut down the filming of protests. Not to mention the filming of cops.
If you're a freelance photographer, filmmaker, performance artist, video-blogger, or general lover of New York street culture, go to www.pictureny.org & sign the petition. We only have until the end of the week to protest!