Proposed Legislation Would Make Photographing Farms Illegal

The War on Photography continues!

Since 9/11, banning photographers and photography has been running full steam ahead. In some cases the courts have rejected these bans as unconstitutional while some appear to remain intact.

Now legislation has been proposed in several states, and passed one house, that would make it a felony to photograph Agribusiness, farms, and livestock operations without permission from the land owner.

The motivation behind this is to shutdown animal activist groups who gain access and secretly tape and/or photograph animal abuses. Of course it is impossible to catch these folks in many cases so instead the law would make everybody an activist and a criminal when doing photography or video of agribusiness without permission, and, from anywhere: public property or private.

Catch one shoplifter in the store, then it’s fair to assume that everyone in the store is a shoplifter.’

I have enjoyed many road trips across the U.S. and have photographed many farms, especially in the Midwest where there are many bright red barns and silos. Some of these images have appeared in calendars and magazines. Sometimes I got a property release and most of the time I did not. But if these laws make it on the books, doing what I have done for many years would make me a felon!

In my opinion, this is just another example of growing censorship and the power of special interests to push through legislation protecting their legal and on occasion, illegal activities.

You can read the whole story here on PDN.