Photography law while not photographing

141 posts in this topic

On 18/07/2020, 13:59:26, DoubleDTown said:

Given Germany's privacy obsession, I can believe this.  But I am curious to know the law.  Do you have a Gesetz section for it?

 

I googled something and found cases where courts had ruled they were problematic.  As an example

https://www.ra-kotz.de/kameraattrappen.htm

 

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In addition to the useful link snowingagain just posted, I also came across some links recently owing to the issues we have been having with our nightmare of a neighbour installing cameras and filming us and our property. They were:

 

https://deutschesmietrecht.de/mietvertrag/modernisierung/477-haus-videoueberwachung.html

https://www.test.de/FAQ-Private-Videoueberwachung-Das-ist-erlaubt-und-das-nicht-5045901-0

https://www.biallo.de/recht-steuern/news/private-videoueberwachung-was-erlaubt-ist-und-was-nicht/

https://www.bussgeldkatalog.org/videoueberwachung-datenschutz/

 

 

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Great links you two. Thanks for digging into it. We'll see how it all goes on Tuesday.

Have a great rest of the weekend. Stay well and stay safe.

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Very interesting but it does make you wonder after watching how common video is now (aka protests in the US) that this hasn't become more of an issue! I mean it¡s pretty much impossible to stop people tskong pictures or videos these days.

 

edit: I have to assume drones are illegal although you'd have a hard time figuring out who owns it. BTW the US has some really weird rules regarding drones as well

 

edit 2: quick google broight this beauty up

 

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Drone insurance is required for all drone operations in Germany.

 

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Drone insurance is required for all drone operations in Germany.

 

This is referring to 3rd-party insurance.  Costs me only about 15 Euros per year (but thats because I'm a member of DAeC).

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10 hours ago, Rushrush said:

aka protests in the US

Public gatherings are specifically excluded, attending them means automatic consent for photo/video.

 

Drones are legal but not at mass gatherings.

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I've been reading this thread over and over on the weekend while waiting for my account to activate, it resonates with me because I've fought battles here where I'm essentially being accused of wrongdoing on someone's say so with no actual evidence. 

 

With all due respect I think that LunaCH's original comment about dummy cameras has zero similarity with this situation as in that case the cameras were put there permensntly and aimed with intent, while in your case the camera was put there incedentally and aimed at the ground,  anyone who felt scared was free to call the police or go to a different drinking hole. And then there is the part we're we all know that the "my custoners were scared" is absolute nonsense. Germans will call the police because they don't agree with getting thrown out of a bar, if they were so afraid you'd have had the police at your door non stop. 

 

The facts are that your camera was not pointed at anyone and they have nothing to back up their claim that it was. It was not placed there with the intent of making it look like it was pointed at anyone. You stored the camera away in your own home and even took the time to aim it down. 

 

I'm pretty sure that the burdon of proof is with them, if they have no proof then they have no case, if they have proof then it would likely be a picture of the camera inside your home, which I am sure would it's self be a privacy breach. 

 

I try to look at it this way: what is to stop them from accusing anyone of this? Regardless of facts? 

 

The fact the police were called out but didn't report any wrongdoing should go for you too, if they can remember coming round then even better. 

 

I really dislike this kind of posturing that Germans are prone to doing, I think Rechtsschutz insurance needs to be looked at to stop people using at as a tool to threaten people with as they see fit, for instance some evidence of their claim should be required before anything can start. 

 

I've always ignored all correspondence that makes false claims on the unofficial advice of a lawyer who is a family friend, then I corresponded with the courts directly when they contacted me, you get the chance to have a say before things go further. I've never actually stepped inside a courtroom and I've never lost. 

 

My argument if I was you is that the camera was not aimed anything but the floor. Second that if they are so bothered by privacy, and since the camera is inside your property, what are they doing looking into your house to see it? Lastly I would demand to know what actual evidence there is against you. 

 

I would suggest getting a consultation from a lawyer, I would also speak to your own Rechtsschutz insurance again and make it clear in factual (not emotional terms) that you have done nothing wrong.  If they turn you down again I would ask them to send you their reasons in writing. Make it very clear the camera was never directed at anything but the sky or the floor. 

 

I hope you get somewhere, the more victories normal people get over these "old money" upper middle class, property owning, power hungry Deutsch-bags, the better. 

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Hi,

this reminds me to one situation (I have created a post asking for it) then a couple of crazy guys came aggressively to me because I was "videotaping" them while making a video call on the park...anyways.

The "cease and desist" is basically something that any individual can do, nothing to do with the law or the government, as far as I understand. Of course, I am not a lawyer so take this with a pinch of salt. I can go to my lawyer and ask him to send a letter of Cease and desist to you asking to stop Xyz and ask for some money to cover the costs of said letter.

You can safely put the letter in the bin and forget about it.
It is basically this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abmahnung

It is quite common on torrent downloading, there are law firms that only do that...I have a couple of friends that received those letters and they just put it into the bin.

Good luck!

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3 hours ago, DaringD said:

My argument if I was you is that the camera was not aimed anything but the floor. Second that if they are so bothered by privacy, and since the camera is inside your property, what are they doing looking into your house to see it? Lastly I would demand to know what actual evidence there is against you. 

That's not how German courts operate, this is not Canada. It will be 10 potential witnesses (restaurant customers) versus you and your wife. What happened in reality, doesn't matter, you lose.

 

I lived in the old town neighborhood, so the distances between houses are pretty small, i.e. I could see my neighbors in the opposite house. These were Germans celebrating Freikörperkultur and not being bothered to shutter their windows. I didn't care, we are all born naked, but as a DSLR camera owner I have been very careful if I wanted to film anything out of my window. I did not take the camera out of my window for more than 15 seconds, and when I did I made sure the  neighbor would not think I was filming their apartment.

 

I also filmed a lot outside, but again I made sure the camera was not deliberately pointed at people. So far (after 5+ years) no complaints, only Instagram likes.

 

Try to understand another side: there are a lot of cases in Germany when someone films women "under der Rock". These assholes gives us photographers bad reputation, but what can we do? Be polite and considerate to people, that helps a lot in Germany.

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It will be 10 potential witnesses (restaurant customers) versus you and your wife. What happened in reality, doesn't matter, you lose.

you don't know if the 10 customers will want to go to court to go do this nonsense, maybe they are reasonable people like most of us...also the police officers that went and checked that the camera was not pointing to the customers + not taking any picture.

Besides that the court can order, if they want to waste time and money, to check all your memory cards to check if there are/or were any picture of the costumers, and they will say: no pictures found

Also if the case is: customers are not visiting because of the camera, the judge will want to see some ex costumers saying that...

 

anyways I am just guessing, like the rest of us :)

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46 minutes ago, travelerworker said:

Besides that the court can order, if they want to waste time and money, to check all your memory cards to check if there are/or were any picture of the costumers, and they will say: no pictures found

For that you need search warrant, and you're right there is not enough evidence to order it.

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Hey Yourkeau, 

 

I get your point, but hear me out. 

 

5 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Try to understand another side: there are a lot of cases in Germany when someone films women "under der Rock". These assholes gives us photographers bad reputation, but what can we do? Be polite and considerate to people, that helps a lot in Germany.

 

I don't think this is helpful, this is simply a type of crime that can be committed with a camera, everyone knows that's not what is going on here, even if the camera was pointed at these people it is from an angle above, we don't need to mention this kind of thing here. 

 

As for witnesses, well to notice this camera, as I have already said, they seem to have been paying a lot of attention to something in someone's private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, so that could be raised as a point. 

 

Also im assuming the distance is great enough that they couldn't really see which way it was pointing, so again, they would have had to really make N effort to look in to see if it was a camera and which way it was pointing. They don't know if that's a living room, bedroom, so they are essentially peeping toms.

 

If these people were scared or upset enough that someone had filmed them illegally, to leave and never come back then why on earth didn't they call the police to make sure this monster was brought to justice? 

 

Apart from the fact it's all codswallop and they don't exist, if these points were raised then I'm pretty sure it would raise enough doubt on its own, witnesses who are willing to go to court would have been willing to call the police themselves. 

 

All of this combined with the visit he had from the police who advised him it was fine, so you can honestly say you were following the advice of the police, the same police who made no report of wrongdoing which they would have if he was doing sonething wrong. 

 

The chances are if this goes to court they will want evidence that the camera was pointed down there, or pictures were taken, this is different to installing a dummy camera, it's reasonable to assume that a camera left on a tripod is not permenant, it's reasonable to assume a photographer might leave his camera set up on a tripod in his house for ease. 

 

Even if he was made aware it was making patrons nervous, but explained its not on or pointing at them, then he has done all he should reasonably be expected to do, in his house he can place his stuff anywhere he likes. It's for the landlord to ease their patrons' minds by telling them if they have a problem with it, and if they suspect he's lying then...  Police. 

 

It strikes me that thd only person having their privacy invaded is Ludwig13

 

Also im not from Canada, I'm from the UK, I thought it was obvious from my lack of hockey and Tim Horton's references. 

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16 hours ago, DaringD said:

I try to look at it this way: what is to stop them from accusing anyone of this?

Nothing. Though they are risking then being charged with making a false accusation. ;)

16 hours ago, DaringD said:

I'm pretty sure that the burdon of proof is with them

This is nearly always the case.;)

16 hours ago, DaringD said:

if they have proof then it would likely be a picture of the camera inside your home, which I am sure would it's self be a privacy breach.

The Police told us to film our neighbour should he (try to) do anything else and call them at the same time. I said they could then (the neighbours) accuse us of a breach of their privacy. The Police told us that in this case since we have already had them out on numerous occasions, the neighbour has several ongoing charges/cases against him, is on a warning with them and has a medical danger warning in progress against him, filming him would be legitimate and justified evidence gathering, - material which we can send to the Police and which we may need for the insurance in case of further criminal damage to our property. 

There are occasions when taking pictures / videos of someone is wholly justified.

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It looks like blackmail. I'd go to the police and file a complaint against these MFs. 

1000 €. Why not 1 million then? 

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lunaCH, 

 

Multiple photographs from different "witnesses" of a DSLR camera atop a tripod that is inside someone's house and not pointed at you would not be legitimate and justified evidence gathering, it would be an invasion of privacy on a grand scale. 

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42 minutes ago, DaringD said:

Multiple photographs from different "witnesses" of a DSLR camera atop a tripod that is inside someone's house and not pointed at you would not be legitimate and justified evidence gathering,

 

I never said that in the case of these people (who may have tried to build against the OP) it would be. ;)

 

2 hours ago, lunaCH said:

There are occasions when taking pictures / videos of someone is wholly justified.

 

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It just seems there are a lot of people throwing information into the mix that is irrelevant. 

 

I get that your case also involved a camera (dummy) but your case and OPs case are totally different, and since he asked for help in his situation I just don't see how bringing up things that are not applicable to this is helpful. 

 

If you agree that this isn't an occasion where taking pictures/video is justified then there's absolutely no need to bring it up, it's muddying the waters.

 

The only way that would be relevant is if OP is lying and there are pictures of his camera pointing directly at the patrons with the lens cap off. 

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1 hour ago, DaringD said:

If you agree that this isn't an occasion where taking pictures/video is justified then there's absolutely no need to bring it up, it's muddying the waters.

 

I get that your case also involved a camera (dummy)

Several cameras. One dummy. One working/recording camera. A further camera that apparently didn't work/didn't record anything.  :rolleyes: No idea if our neighbour has more cameras hidden and recording anywhere around the property. I assume the one working/recording camera which happened to be the one that the Police did not confiscate has been set up again somewhere as is recording us and/or the public highway. :angry:

 

I brought our case up because we have been in a situation similar to those who made the complaint and I made this clear in my first post on this thread. ;)

 

Here was what I said in that post: 

Our neighbour installed several security cameras (dummy, working and not working) dotted around our building, without any notice, permission, warning signs or anything. We informed the mayor and the Police in writing several times. One camera was pointing directly at our front door and recording our movements so the neighbour could work out whether we were in or not, presumably in preparation to try to break in again and/or cause further criminal damage. 

We felt violated, threatened, intimated and it caused us immense stress and anxiety, so sorry but I can understand the other side's point of view here, I really can. 

 

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It is the landlord's attorney asking for the money. The insurance was both Rechtschutz and Haftpflicht. The denial was because I willfully violated the law and they will not cover my uh, disobedience to protocol. Thanks for the reply. I'll post the updates and resolve as it happens. 

 

It is incredible how off track this tread has gone. You are being "sued" by your landlord - for the moment this is a civil and not a legal matter which involves the courts or the police. There is only one thing you can do - get a lawyer to advise how you should precede and respond to your landlord's attorney Mahnung.

 

Ian

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

We felt violated, threatened, intimated and it caused us immense stress and anxiety, so sorry but I can understand the other side's point of view here, I really can. 

 

I understand that and it's very humanistic of you, but the situation that the 'other side' find themselves in is nothing like your situation, nothing.

 

Your situation involves intent, many cameras and menace, this involves one man and someone being nosey and then not liking what they think they saw, "think they saw" being the important phrase here.

 

If your situation was a gang of armed men knocking on your door, then this situation is someone thinking they saw a guy walking past their house with a gun, but then finding out it was just a cordless drill, feeling annoyed and then doubling down as though it was a gun anyway.

 

very    different    situations.

 

So with all due respect, it doesn't matter how upset it made you, the only similarity between your case and this is that they both involve a camera but from that point on you cannot compare the two.

 

I'm very sorry this happened to you and I hope you get/got it sorted out, but nothing you are saying is helpful, we are not trying to empathise with the 'other side' or get any kind of insight as to how they feel.  We are operating on the assumption that OP was telling the truth, in which case this whole letter and it's assertion that this caused them to lose money is absolute BS anyway. Even if it's not and some patrons did see the camera and think it was pointing at them, the fact is it wasn't, everything was lawful and that is all there is to it. Other people's feelings are not our concern or problem, we are trying to help OP solve his problem.

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