Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I've only started hearing about commercial establishments that ban photography recently. Apparently Starbucks does so (Instapundit mentions this and Lessig suggests the obvious counter-attack, and a long discussion can be found here) but I noticed Macy's forbids photographs too. Oddly enough I went into Macy's several weeks back to try on dresses for the Black and White Ball. I had my friend Brian take about 20 leisurely digital photos of me with different dresses on (so my boyfriend could check out the dresses without coming all the way into San Francisco -- I fully intended to buy a dress from Macy's if I chose one from Macy's, but I didn't, I bought a dress from a boutique). On my next visit to a Macy's I then noticed the "no photography" sign at the street entrance. Since it was two different Macy's they might have different policies. I wonder how long this policy has been there, and how cheap digital photography affects it one way or another?

After a bit of search, Comments on Lessig's blog point to many, many other commercial spaces banning photography:

  • Fry's Electronics
  • Lenox Square in Atlanta and other unnamed malls
  • a camera store(!)
  • Toys R Us
  • McDonalds
  • Harrod's
  • "any mom & pop fish or vegetable market in San Francisco's Chinatown"
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Apple retail stores
  • Giant Foods Grocery
  • In N Out burger
In addition there were some governmental locations mentioned (NY subway, a state government building, many museums). And, no surprise, strip clubs ban photography. But Starbucks is the one that has bloggers up in arms! There's a downloadable "Photographer's Rights" flyer that relates to this issue.

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