A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

Started Mar 10, 2011 | Discussions
stevielee Senior Member • Posts: 1,138
A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

Another day, another proposed attempt at restricting what can and cannot be photographed/videographed for "security" reasons.

Seems that the simple act of photographing and/or video recording any farm in the state of Florida (without express written permission of the farm's owner) could soon land an offending photographer/videographer in the slammer -- charged with a full blown first degree felony.

Apparently, the proposed law is an attempt to hinder radical animal rights groups like PETA from documenting, or secretly recording the treatment of farm animals as part of their anti-cruelty, anti-meat consumption campaigns.

Excerpted from an article in the Florida Tribune:

"Media law experts say the ban would violate freedoms protected in the U. S. Constitution. But Wilton Simpson, a farmer who lives in Norman's district, said the bill is needed to protect the property rights of farmers and the "intellectual property" involving farm operations.

Simpson, president of Simpson Farms near Dade City, said the law would prevent people from posing as farm workers so that they can secretly film agricultural operations."

"Simpson said he doesn't think that "innocent" roadside photography would be prosecuted even if the bill is passed as introduced. "

http://fltrib.com/photographing-cows-or-other-farm-scenery-could-land-you-jail-under-senate-bill

Below is Florida Bill SB 1246 as currently written and Introduced:

A bill to be entitled:

An act relating to farms; prohibiting a person from
entering onto a farm or photographing or video
recording a farm without the owner’s written consent;
providing a definition; providing penalties; providing
an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

(2) A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise
produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at
or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture
operations are being conducted without the written consent of
the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits
a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.
(3) As used in this section, the term “farm” includes any
tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural
production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the
storage of a commodity.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

Excerpted from: http://frankiethelawdog.com/

"There is nothing in the plain language of the bill, however, that requires a person have any intent whatsoever, much less an intent to violate the farm owner’s property rights or “intellectual property” involving farm operations. The bill, as it was introduced, would very clearly outlaw my act of snapping a few pictures of farm animals even if my only intent in doing so was to give expression to a vision of the vanishing Florida pasture land."

If you are a photographer/videographer who resides in the state of Florida - PLEASE contact Jim Norman, or your regional state representative and tell them that you strongly oppose the proposed SB 1246 legislation -- as it is a fundamental violation of the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights, of the US constitution.

Senator Jim Norman can be contacted at (813) 265-6260 or (850) 487-5068. His e-mail address is norman.jim.web@flsenate.gov.

NottsPhoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,163
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

Welcome to the new Soviet Socialist Republic of Florida!

That is so stupidly ludicrous and useless that it beggars belief. Even here in the UK that would not see the light of day...

Anyone contemplating committing a terrorist act on a farm is not going to be that worried about being done for taking a picture... a) its the least of his worries.. and b)he can just get the picture off of google...

Really, I am dumfounded.

I especially love the bit about protecting the intellectual property of a farm.... w hat like how he drives his tractor?

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hkrautter Regular Member • Posts: 428
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

If people acutally saw how the animals they eat are treated, there would be a lot more vegetarians and vegans out there. That said, a lot of people don't want to see this. Does that answer your question? Probably not, but I thought I would throw that in.

CameraCarl Veteran Member • Posts: 5,452
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

Well, if the states of Ohio and Wisconsin can take away the collective bargaining rights of public employees shortly after giving huge tax breaks to multimillionaires, I can't see why Florida can't protect agribusiness from evil photographers. In this country the only people who have rights are the rich ones who can buy elections and politicians.

gdanmitchell
gdanmitchell Veteran Member • Posts: 7,730
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

To the extent that this stuff accurately describes proposed legislation...

It seems that it is reasonable and legal to restrict photography done within the boundaries of private property. As much as that might not make us very happy in one sense, in others the general principle that a property owner can control what happens on or within his/her property is one that we might otherwise agree with. For example, if someone comes into your home, do you think that you should have any right to control whether or not they produce and distribute photographs of the interior of your private home without your permission.

However... if property owners have a right to control what goes on within the boundaries of their property, why would there even need to be a law like this? It seems irrelevant unless it is otherwise legal to photograph within the boundaries of private property without permission.

However #2... restricting photography of farms, specifically, is probably not going to fly. It is legal to photograph essentially anything that is visible from public places such as roads and so forth. (There are restrictions on what you can do with those photographs, but rarely restrictions on your ability to make them.)

Dan

stevielee wrote:

Another day, another proposed attempt at restricting what can and cannot be photographed/videographed for "security" reasons.

Seems that the simple act of photographing and/or video recording any farm in the state of Florida (without express written permission of the farm's owner) could soon land an offending photographer/videographer in the slammer -- charged with a full blown first degree felony.

Apparently, the proposed law is an attempt to hinder radical animal rights groups like PETA from documenting, or secretly recording the treatment of farm animals as part of their anti-cruelty, anti-meat consumption campaigns.

Excerpted from an article in the Florida Tribune:

"Media law experts say the ban would violate freedoms protected in the U. S. Constitution. But Wilton Simpson, a farmer who lives in Norman's district, said the bill is needed to protect the property rights of farmers and the "intellectual property" involving farm operations.

Simpson, president of Simpson Farms near Dade City, said the law would prevent people from posing as farm workers so that they can secretly film agricultural operations."

"Simpson said he doesn't think that "innocent" roadside photography would be prosecuted even if the bill is passed as introduced. "

http://fltrib.com/photographing-cows-or-other-farm-scenery-could-land-you-jail-under-senate-bill

Below is Florida Bill SB 1246 as currently written and Introduced:

A bill to be entitled:

An act relating to farms; prohibiting a person from
entering onto a farm or photographing or video
recording a farm without the owner’s written consent;
providing a definition; providing penalties; providing
an effective date.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

(2) A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise
produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at
or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture
operations are being conducted without the written consent of
the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits
a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.
(3) As used in this section, the term “farm” includes any
tract of land cultivated for the purpose of agricultural
production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals, or the
storage of a commodity.
Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

Excerpted from: http://frankiethelawdog.com/

"There is nothing in the plain language of the bill, however, that requires a person have any intent whatsoever, much less an intent to violate the farm owner’s property rights or “intellectual property” involving farm operations. The bill, as it was introduced, would very clearly outlaw my act of snapping a few pictures of farm animals even if my only intent in doing so was to give expression to a vision of the vanishing Florida pasture land."

If you are a photographer/videographer who resides in the state of Florida - PLEASE contact Jim Norman, or your regional state representative and tell them that you strongly oppose the proposed SB 1246 legislation -- as it is a fundamental violation of the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights, of the US constitution.

Senator Jim Norman can be contacted at (813) 265-6260 or (850) 487-5068. His e-mail address is norman.jim.web@flsenate.gov.

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 39,712
One of my favorite quotes is...

CameraCarl wrote:

Well, if the states of Ohio and Wisconsin can take away the collective bargaining rights of public employees shortly after giving huge tax breaks to multimillionaires, I can't see why Florida can't protect agribusiness from evil photographers. In this country the only people who have rights are the rich ones who can buy elections and politicians.

..."The world is not fair -- but the more of it you own, the more fair it gets."

craig mick Regular Member • Posts: 349
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

Do you suppose there is an underlying tone here that the farmers might be employing illegals? I was stopped by a farmer in Italy a couple of years ago while I was standing in a church parking lot. We were watching a nut harvest in an adjacent grove as I had never seen the type of machine they were using and was interested in it. I was photographing the machine and we were accosted by the head man who demanded that we stop taking pics of his operation. When we played the dumb tourist and asked about the machine and how it worked he cooled a little bit but asked us not to take any more. As we watched we noticed that most of the employees appeared to be (I know i am profiling) hispanic. It then dawned on us why he didn't want pictures.

txww Regular Member • Posts: 202
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

I guess that will put Google maps and Google earth out of business in Florida then.

Johanfoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,630
Don't worry

The way I read this, you are only not allowed to photograph a farm "where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner".

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Its RKM Veteran Member • Posts: 3,104
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

stevielee wrote:

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

(2) A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise
produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at
or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture
operations are being conducted without the written consent of
the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits
a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, Florida Statutes.

Fortunately, Google have deep pockets - they will need them to pay for hundreds of defence lawyers, given the number of aerial photographs that they have of "farm or other property".

Then there is NASA, the US military and the Russians, all photgraphing everything from orbiting satellites. Expect taxes in Florida to rise significantly just to pay for this being enforced.

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Its RKM

883robert New Member • Posts: 16
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

Imagine if such legislation had been proposed in Britain two hundred years ago:

'A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property'

Great artists such as Constable would never have been able to produce their paintings of idyllic English countryside.

stevielee wrote:

Another day, another proposed attempt at restricting what can and cannot be photographed/videographed for "security" reasons.

Seems that the simple act of photographing and/or video recording any farm in the state of Florida (without express written permission of the farm's owner) could soon land an offending photographer/videographer in the slammer -- charged with a full blown first degree felony.

Apparently, the proposed law is an attempt to hinder radical animal rights groups like PETA from documenting, or secretly recording the treatment of farm animals as part of their anti-cruelty, anti-meat consumption campaigns.

RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,245
secret video, animal treatment, sanitation

stevielee wrote:

If you are a photographer/videographer who resides in the state of Florida - PLEASE contact Jim Norman, or your regional state representative and tell them that you strongly oppose the proposed SB 1246 legislation -- as it is a fundamental violation of the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights, of the US constitution.

This bill has likely been lobbied by farmers so no one can record secret video of their operations that often end up on news shows exploiting bad practices! This is nothing to do with taking a picture of a nice farm scene and has everything to do with farmers wanting to have an iron curtain around them so they can be unsanitary and mistreat animals however they want!

Johanfoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,630
Re: A Felony to Photograph a Farm???

883robert wrote:

Imagine if such legislation had been proposed in Britain two hundred years ago:

'A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property'

Great artists such as Constable would never have been able to produce their paintings of idyllic English countryside.

That would have been truly amazing. To outlaw photo and video even before it's invented!

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