Wednesday June 20, 2012

Photographing the Herald: answers revealed!

Miami Herald no protography private property zone

Last week I had a run-in with Herald security guards in which I was told that photography of the Herald building from the sidewalk is not allowed. Well, Bill over at Random Pixels called up the Herald and got some answers. It turns out that the Herald does indeed own the sidewalk and the street in front of their building. I’ve marked in blue their private property in the picture above. They do, in fact, have the right to not allow protography, to ask anyone to leave, or do anything else you could do to someone standing in your driveway. (Well, technically they sold the building last year and are now just leasing it temporarily, but that’s not really relevant to the issue.)

As far as I’m concerned, that settles the matter. It’s their property and they can do whatever they want, including not allowing photography. Do I think this is a dumb rule? Yes, I do; there are dumb rules all over the place, so has it ever been. Do I think the Herald should post “No Photography” signs or “Private Property” signs? No, I think that’d be ugly and even dumber. Do I regret being a jerk to the security guards at the Herald? No. I was a jerk to the guy who was a jerk to me first. He very clearly said that photography was “not allowed” and didn’t say shit about the sidewalk and street being private property. I was perfectly polite to the second security guard, who came closer to explaining the situation correctly but still only made vague reference to “the Herald’s area” (although he knew it also included the street). I do think the security guards could be better informed about why they’re enforcing the rules, but I also understand the point that they’ve got a lot of other things to worry about, and I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I’m cool with the Herald again, and I wish them well in their move to Doral or wherever, where presumably they won’t have to worry so much about pesky people with iPhones photographing their building.

Previously: Photography of the Miami Herald building is “not allowed”? / Update/Correction.

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