I seldom encounter much in the way of verbal discussion attached to Flickr photos, because the kind of Flickr photos I usually look at are things like pictures of footbridges, concerning which there is really not a lot to be said, given how many such snaps abound on Flickr. But this snap (catchily entitled “DSC07222.JPG”) is different because it is a photo of a rather violent political demo in France. This was taken by an accredited photographer, who had his card examined by the Police but who was then permitted to keep his snap. But, says one of the commenters:
i got all the photos and videos i took yesterday on my camphone deleted by a policeman who told me he would arrest if he ever saw me doing again. I don’t know if he had the right to erase the photos, i should see about that.
If all French bloggers, podcasters, vodcasters, and even those snapping a picture with their mobile phone camera and sending it to a relative, could be put on trial or fined for publishing footage from the frontlines. How bizarre, troubling, surreal. …
Indeed. This is a huge issue. I was in Parliament Square not long ago and observed some hairy anti-war person being shoved into a Police van. The entire scene was surrounded by other demonstrators holding video cameras. They were subjecting to the Police themselves to surveillance, guarding the guardians you might say. I do not ever want that to be illegal in Britain, but in France, it would appear that it already is.
Expect a thriving market in fake “accredited photographer” cards. And expect things in France to get even more interesting, when, as they soon will, digital cameras become so small that it will be impossible for the Police or anybody else to spot them being used. In fact, expect things everywhere to get more interesting.