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Ban on filming or requiring a permit is struck down, in federal lands


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The ban only involved commercial filming/video that was intended to generate income from sources including but not limited to, in a movie theater, television or YouTube. Personal recording for family use, news media etc did not require a permit. 

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The ban was completely illogical. First it only applied to film and video. Still photographers only needed a permit if they brought a bunch of commercial lighting, models and assistants into the park. And that could be disruptive. That might require the park to provide a LEO ranger or two.

Some guy walking around with his gopro and posting the videos to youtube needed a permit. At what point does a youtube video become commercial? Undefined in the regs. That guy would not be disruptive and costs the parks nothing. An may be posting the videos on YT for his family and friends.

From what I've heard the park management knew this would not get by the courts and dropped complaints against anyone who threatened to take it to court. Somehow this got by that filter.

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16 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

From what I've heard the park management knew this would not get by the courts and dropped complaints against anyone who threatened to take it to court.

Do you mind sharing where you heard that information? I have read of that case before as it has been in process since 2918. I have mixed feelings on the issue of commercial use permits, but understand that the parks are looking for much needed revenue, which is probably how that all began. 

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The case stems from an incident in late 2018 when national park police criminally cited an independent filmmaker, Gordon Price. Price had filmed a portion of his independent feature film entitled Crawford Road, which involved a desolate stretch of road in York County, Virginia, long the subject of rumors of hauntings and unsolved murders. A portion of the filming for the feature took place on the Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park. After Crawford Road premiered, park police visited Price and issued him a criminal citation for failing to obtain a permit.

 

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I had never heard of it but I subscribe to the the Volokh Conspiracy blog and it just popped up there this morning. The blog is a by a group of libertarian law professors and they cover a lot of interesting issues, not especially political tho. They often cover constitutional law issues and are just entertaining writers even for a non-lawyer like me.

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Very interesting. This makes it plain that the nps was running an extortion operation. They demand money but if you lawyer up they want to drop the charges--because they knew that they would lose in court. Of course at this point you have suffered lawyer and court costs, plus your time in fighting them. They do you an injury but want to say "forget it".

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11 hours ago, agesilaus said:

They do you an injury but want to say "forget it".

Reading between the lines it sounds like the Magistrate is not buying the NPS position.  if the Mag agrees and issues an order finding a constitutional violation the next step might be to sue the government for the constitutional violation, damages (if any exist) and attorneys fees.  That's a maybe.

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If you look on their page about permits for photography they have already inserted a paragraph making skill photography and videography newly equivalent. Permit only required if it uses a lot of gear and people.

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