The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting is considering new rules that would require any two or more people who plan to shoot for more than 30 minutes in a public location to obtain a permit and $1 million in insurance.
The rules would cover any public place in the city of New York, including sidewalks. A spokesperson from the mayors office said the rules are not intended to apply to families and tourists, but who is to say who is a family and who is a tourist?
From the New York Times:
“These rules will apply to a huge range of casual photography and filming, including tourists taking snapshots and people making short videos for YouTube,” said Christopher Dunn, the group’s [New York Civil Liberties Union ] associate legal director.
Mr. Dunn suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules. In a letter sent to the film office this week, Mr. Dunn said the proposed rules would potentially apply to tourists in places like Times Square, Rockefeller Center or ground zero, “where people routinely congregate for more than half an hour and photograph or film.”
Under the rules, the people would not have to be actually filming, just holding a camera and talking to each other.