gill moore photography

The fight to protect everyone’s right to take photographs continues ….

One of my most popular posts has been regarding photographer’s rights in the UK : “Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps.” This topic is moving so fast I think it is worthy of a follow-up post. The Pro-Imaging website now has a separate page dealing with good and bad photography competions. This now makes it incredibly easy to check on which photo competions are just rights-grabs lurking behind the banner of a prize. Pro-Imaging are having good success with raising awareness and making information freely available, often getting some organizations to actually change their Terms and Conditions to something more palatable.

Sadly it is not all good news. The farce that was the “Olympic Torch Relay” took place in London at the start of the month. Inevitably the event was crashed by protestors wanting to focus attention on China and the situation in Tibet. We then saw a heavily guarded Olympic flame; a symbol of peace and unity, being protected by a massive security operation involving 2,000 members of the Metropolitan Police Force bolstered by Chinese security officers.
Regular members of the public and press photographers tried to record the event in pictures and reported some of the most heavy-handed policing seen in the UK for many a year. Quite brutal incidents of physical assaults, some on horseback, sent out quite a sobering picture of how easily rights can be waved aside when the time demands.
This comes on the back of a number of highly reported incidents involving community support officers and the police both seemingly unaware of UK law and challenging people’s legal right to photograph in public places. Austin Mitchell MP for Grimbsy has taken up the baton and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons condemning police action against lawful photography in public spaces and has urged the Home Office to agree a “photography code” to be drawn up and used by police officers and UK citizens as a guide to what is and isn’t possible for street photography. Click here for a link to the EDM wording in full. The link also lists every MP who has signed the petition, if your local MP hasn’t, then find your local MP and send them an email here.
If you want to show your support for this cause then you can sign a petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
For some links to some of the recent problems affecting members of the public trying to take photographs in public places, then Amateur Photographer has some good links.
And on the EPUK site they have a list of incidents affecting press photographers. Another one here @
UPDATE : Further discussion on BBC Radio 4 blog on the current confusion regarding the law and photography, also on the Manchester Flickr group regarding contacting their MP’s.

UPDATE : Sept 08. Click here for a link to an excellent online video made by the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) UK regarding the erosion of civil liberties and media freedoms in Britain.
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1 Response to “The fight to protect everyone’s right to take photographs continues ….”

  1. 1 Gordon Harrison

    Thanks Gill for highlighting our campaign at Pro-Imaging, we really appreciate getting mentions like this to spread the word. The up-to-date bad competitions list you mention in your blog is at –

    We hope everybody will let us know about good competitions too, that’s important so that people can enter those and starve the rights grabbers! Send any links to good and bad contests to

    Thanks again Gill.

    Gordon C Harrison

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