Why do some shopping malls have notices claiming that photography is banned?

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RJDG14 Regular Member • Posts: 177
Why do some shopping malls have notices claiming that photography is banned?
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I was in the British town of Reading earlier today and noticed that both its main two shopping malls had discreet photography prohibition notices by their entrances, in both cases featuring a pictogram of a crossed through camera. Other than the fact that shopping malls are technically private property, I don't really see any rational for banning photography inside such a place when it's perfectly fine to take photos on an outdoor shopping street in the UK, and photography bans are generally these days associated only with security checkpoints, cinemas and specific museums (and were historically more common in a wider range of museums and venues).

In the case of the larger of the two shopping malls, I later saw a discreet outdoor prohibition sign claiming the same thing, but by that point I had already taken numerous supposedly "prohibited" photos on the grounds with my DSLR:

The canal by The Oracle shopping centre in Reading, UK, taken earlier today on one of my DSLRs. There are some discreet outdoor prohibition pictograms at the external entrances to this area, one of which appears to claim "no photography". There is nothing here that would be dodgy to photograph.

There were a number of cases I've read about from the 2000s where various British shopping malls claimed that photography was banned on the grounds of "security", but even then, I believe passengers can take photos of British airport terminal lounges (just not the security checkpoints) so I don't really get what the catch is. Allowing photography inside a mall is very unlikely to increase shoplifting rates either. I don't think using security as a rationale for prohibiting photography in a retail (or walkway, in the case of a mall) environment really makes much sense. I believe a handful of British shopping malls have also used "architectural copyright" as a ground for restricting photography even though this is baseless under UK law since Britain has among the world's most liberal freedom of panorama laws.

I would generally interpret "no photography" signs at entrances to places like shopping malls these days to generally mean "professional photographers require permission from the management" as opposed to an outright ban on photography, especially given that most people nowadays walk around with a camera in their pocket.

An even stranger prohibition until a few years ago at a shopping mall close to where I live (which did not have a photography prohibition notice) was "no hoodies".

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