Do Not Take This Photograph!

Well I decided take pictures of various company logos throughout Silicon Valley.  My brother-in-law thought it was cool that I was going to the valley etc.  So I figured I would get some pictures.  Obviously the Ebay sign at their headquarters is high on the list.

I took a picture of the small sign on the sidewalk but I decided I wanted a picture of the big one in front of the main door.   I noticed that the prpoerty was not posted.  Only a notice that you are being watched.  I walk down the drive and take the picture.  First security guy asked me what I was doing and if I was an employee. Anyway I told him. Argued a bit about what was public etc. I told him that I could have just taken the pic from the road and there's nothing they could have done about that. Anyway, he told me that he had to call his supervisor since the cameras also watch him!!!!

Two black SUVs come over and I talk to the supervisor after the first dude does. He first asks me if I work for a news organization etc. I said no, that was was just out here repairing test equipment and wanted to take pics. I offered to delete the picture, he wanted to know what kind of camera, I showed him (cheapie digital). Finally he asked what I took a pic of. I said the sign. He goes, oh that's OK. And that was the end of it. BTW, I guess I am not EBAY material. The first guy said he stopped me since I did not look like an employee.

Obviously,  since it was private property they could ask me to leave.  However my mere presence does not constitute a crime.  The property was not posted, it was in the "public area" of a business where they would have no reasonable expectation of privacy (see jury duty does pay).  Also the external elements of the building and grounds are fair game for photography.  The Ebay sign, while modeled after their trademarked logo, is an architectural detail.  And thus also fair game.  Seems the supervisor knew that.

Photographer's Rights

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5 Responses to Do Not Take This Photograph!

  1. Valerae says:

    Thanks for posting this. People have gotten all freaked out of taking pictures of public buildings since 9/11. Just because a security guard tells you no doesn't mean you don't have the right.

  2. mariser says:

    The first guy said he stopped me since I did not look like an employee.how can you not look like an employee? you are a computer geek, the place should be crawling with your peers.btw, thanks for not getting arrested.

  3. lauowolf says:

    and thanks for getting the picture, in the face of harassment and all.really like it.

  4. Lord Kalvan says:

    Valerae and Lauowolf,Its sad that photography is being associated with terroism. And rent-a-cops getting the big heads. I have quit using my favorite camera due to the current paranoia. Photo SniperAnother interesting thing is unfortunately race and ethnicity. The low level security guard who pleaded with me to stay and told me he was being watched was Hispanic. The supervisors were Gringo West Coast. The employees walking out of the main building were Hindi. I, not looking like an Ebay employee, was of course southern redneck.

  5. crankypants says:

    you should sell framed prints of this on eBay.

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