Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tell Them to Put Bags Over Their Heads

Paul Huebl on filming news stories without a permit:

Politicians learned decades ago that they could tax and regulate certain filmmakers. The problem is that too many bureaucrats and cops don’t know or understand the law.

The First Amendment absolutely protects anyone involved with news or opinion publishing and broadcasting. That of course includes those publishing and posting various forms of media on the web. They cannot regulate home video projects not intended for profit either.

The permit laws can only apply to commercial projects such as entertainment films or commercials.

If you’re gathering news video or B-roll and some officious jerk demands to see your film permit you can tell him it’s at the very top of the Bill of Rights. If he still has questions tell him to visit his local library to read a copy. Of course you should tell him your gathering news material but you need not tell him anything about the news story your working on.

They may even try to bully you to obtain a permit and liability insurance but there is no truth to that unless of course you’re not doing news. Stand tough and be sure to shoot video of any official jerks that you can use in court should a bogus arrest is attempted or made.

The rub here is you cannot gather news with the interruption by ignorant public officials. The ACLU is more than happy to represent you especially if you have proof of the suppression of your rights on video.

Never ever yield to demands that you delete video or surrender media cards or tape. If you gather video of a crime the cops and prosecutors have a right to use legal process to obtain a copy your video.

Nobody has the right to force you to turn off your newsgathering camera. If they don’t want to be seen they can either avoid you or put a bags over their heads.

Read the rest here.


  1. you would definately end up in jail doing any of this. theres dozens of bogus laws they can charge you with.. interfering with a police investigation, disobeying a public officer, trespassing, public disturbance, etc etc..

    just dont film and do whatever the police tell you to tell, answer all their questions, dont give them a hard time and most likely youll be on your way with a ticket at the most...

    1. What a good little Nazi you will make!

      They are public servants, and filming them is protected by the constitution, and the SCOTUS upheld it yesterday. If they arrest you they will lose their jobs and you will win in court.

      Assholes like you make me sick. STFUMFr.

    2. The best solution to the problem of the police is the following:

      Point 1: All police officers, and any other officer that is legally permitted to use force against others, is by law considered to be guilty of any crime they are accused of, until proven innocent. This places the burden of proving innocence on the officer.

      Point 2: Police officers must *always* wear cameras on their person and have them in their cruisers. Any officer accused of committing any crime must produce the video evidence of her entire shift, conclusively showing that from start to finish she never did what she is being accused of. If the video is missing or incomplete, it is straight to jail.

      Point 3: Punishments for officers are mandatory 10 x the maximal statutory penalty.

      Technology has advanced to the point that we can finally answer "who watches the watchers?". The answer is simple, we all do. Every second they are on shift their every movement is recorded and available for public perusal. If the current group of officers do not like being filmed in this way; LEAVE and get a new job. If the current officers do not like being held to a standard of "do not break the law ever"; LEAVE and get a new job.

      I would say that our system is rather broken when people are scared to talk to and record police. When police routinely run red lights, park in illegal zones, and more or less do whatever they please. If an officer running a red light (routine in nearly all cities) resulted in 10x the statutory maximal penalty he would never drive again and would spend time in jail. That is a fitting penalty for one empowered to use force against others if they do not follow our volumes of laws, yet cannot be bothered to follow those same laws themselves.