New York City, having already banned dancing (don’t ask), now wants to ban videography in the streets without a permit and $1 million in liability insurance. Some I talked to suspected anti-terrorism paranoia. I suspect the lucrative deals the city feasts on for big-budget, commercial projects — and an utter disregard for everyone else.

That is, if any rational explanation can explain these criteria:

  • Two people + one camera + 30 minutes.
  • Five people + one tripod + 10 minutes.

According to the proposed legislation, those would add up to one required permit and liability insurance.

Obviously, this is absurd. Fortunately, if you are in New York, it hasn’t happened yet — meaning it’s time to hit the phones, locals. For everyone else, you can just marvel at how annoying our city government can be. (Is yours worse? Let us know in comments. Do you live in a paradise for independent videographers? Tell us about that, too, and we’ll start checking airfares.)

For more:
City Proposes Limits on Public Photography, Filming

Dedicated site, with a call to action + petition (sign the petition, then take the time to make personal contact with city legislators for maximum effectiveness)
Picture New York Without Pictures of New York

Videographers should be very scared. But if the Flickr community gets mobilized, NYC government should be scareder. (Heck, outsider tourists, maybe you should write in, too!)

  • bliss

    I know you said it, "don't ask", but I must! Please tell more about banned dancing, or post a link, please?

  • It's called the "cabaret laws." It makes it illegal to dance in most spaces in the city. There are, of course, some licensed clubs, but they're actually a tiny minority in comparison to the whole nightlife scene.


    And the state Supreme Court upheld the laws after a lawsuit this year. We're still waiting for a mayor to come in and get rid of the thing.

  • Hahaha… excellent trackback spam. We just got a link from a Google-baiting ad site — for TRAVEL.

    Yes, indeed. Travel to New York. Enjoy our fabulous sites. Get arrested if you try to take any home movies. 😉

    looks like this law is going to be changed.