I'm taking a photography class.
In this class, SURPRISE! We take pictures of stuff!
While I've before had some moments that made me want to sit in a little chibi pile, whimpering and complaining about how I just farged up what I thought would be such a great image, few things have frustrated me more than people who believe that the recording of the light reflected off some object of theirs is a crime and not an art form.
I can agree with the fact that there are some things that one should not go around taking pictures of without permission. For example, I'm sure some people would really hate it if I just happened to post pictures of their underwear drawer on the Internet.
Additionally, I can see why they would not want every visitor to snap a flash photo of the original Mona Lisa. There's a reason art galleries are dark; light, even though it's quite necessary for the viewing of the artwork, has a sinister habit of decaying it at a fierce rate. The same kind of thing goes with a play, where the actors do not really like being blinded by camera flashes. So yeah, flash is right out sometimes, even though it's considered a quite normal feature to any modern camera. Heck, I've seen the Eiffel tower's image at night being copyrighted. Do I believe in it? Nyuuuuuuuuuuway. If you truly wanted to keep your copyrighted lighting design from being infringed upon, go look for a big switch and flip it to "OFF". Voila! No infringement possible! (By the way, it would be funny as hell if someone happened to find prior art on this design. Perhaps some initial model made by a lighting contractor or architect before the construction began? Anyone?)
WARNING: What follows hurts my brain to think about. A WELL-FED MISSILE IS A HAPPY MISSILE!
In recent news, some people have gotten in a lot of trouble for taking photographs of things. In one case, it was the entrance to a highway tunnel somewhere. In another, particularly mine, it was a bus. Apparently, you are permitted as an average citizen to pay the normal fare and ride it wherever the heck it's going, but you cannot ever allow the rays of light it reflects to be focused through a lens, especially not a 50mm f/1.4 Minolta MC Rokkor one set at f/11, and especially not to allow that light to get between the separated cloth shutter planes of a Minolta SRT101 camera, and FOR THE LOVE OF ERIS, not to strike a frame on a piece of Kodak T-Max 400ASA black and white negative film. No, that's never allowed, ever, not without the bus's operator wishing to call the police until allowed to confiscate and destroy said roll of film, especially if it contained a week's homework. Not to say that ever happened to anyone *whistles*.
I can see grounds in arresting someone for damaging some public facility, or standing there with a freaking HUGE strobe and taking flash exposures of the cars driving past and blinding everyone driving said vehicles, but for merely taking a photograph? Come on! Look, I've got a picture of (insert bit of public infrastructure here)! I, therefore, am a member of a terrorist cell planning to blow it up! Woo, look at me! ... DIE.
This request for death goes double for retail stores where they are under the belief that all customers, upon entering, give up the right to record any details of their prices, product offerings, or store layout by any form including photography. I'll give them that it takes a lot of design work to set up a successful store layout, and other stores should not suddenly turn around and copy each other's layouts. However, for Joe Average Consumer, taking a picture inside the store is usually a quick way to get hauled off for cheerful harassment by the store security team. I'm sorry, what the hell?
Don't give me this "Intellectual Property" crap, you make your prices and layout and such fully visible to the customer. I'm sure that a lot of stores also have policies like this in place just as a C.Y.A. measure, to ensure that no customer just happens to have photographs of that 30 foot high overhead mega-warehouse-store shelving structure that was beginning to lean over right before it smashed old Miss Hubblebottom.
There are some other implementations of stupid policies like this which simply boggle my mind. For example, see the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens' site, in particular, this page regarding photo permits. Yes, that does indeed seem to suggest that you need to pay $75 to take a picture anywhere it's permitted there. Perhaps I'll get together a group of students from my photography class, we'll split the admission/permit cost, take a bunch of photos (of course, as a completely NON-COMMERCIAL project), and slap them up on the Web somewhere -- no, I don't think the architects who designed Vizcaya applied for some magical neverending copyright on their design, did they?
So yeah, while I've run into my fair share of idiots trying zealously to prevent images of certain things from ever being captured, I do believe they're all just full of silver halide. Thank you, and be sure there's film in the camera and the lens cap is off before pressing that big shiny button.
UPDATE: I realize someone's going to have something they want to say about this. If you're that person, go here and post an intelligent opinion. Come on, I double-neko-dare you.