Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/05/04

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Subject: [Leica] Press "Freedom"
From: Yods1 <>
Date: Mon, 4 May 1998 03:52:47 EDT

Allow me to offer my very simple equation on why the Quebec ruling is harmful
to the press and to the public:
1. If the courts open the door to frivolous lawsuits such as this, do not be
so naive as to think this will be an isolated incident or that it will affect
only photography. Anybody hoping to make a buck will push this ridiculous
interperetation of privacy to the nth degree and the publications' resources
will be going to lawyers instead of journalists. Not to mention the damping
effect it will have on editors when they're faced with an important but
litigious subject. 

2.	The court has apparantly decided to extend its jurisdiction into
determining what constitutes a news photograph. Their limited understading of
the media is astounding. At what point is an individual no longer the
"subject" of a photograph, for example? What percentage of the frame? And big
must the news be to be news? What's not news to a big paper is big news to a
small weekly. If it were a sunny day and someone was sitting out in the sun
after a month of El Nino, seems to me that might constitute news. But I
couldn't find that caveat in the ruling, so what the heck, better just stick
to shooting the things they declared safe in the ruling.

I don't remember the photographer's name, but in one of our S. California
Photo Nights a Reuters photographer told about her coverage of the civil war
in Liberia, and how when she was threatened or blocked from doing her job,
clusters of Liberians would come to her rescue, telling the troublemakers that
freedom of the press is very important. 
	Those who hope to build a democracy from ashes know where to begin. 

On another note, I understand there is no tangible answer, but could someone
explain to me the most basic intereperetation of "bokeh?" What the heck is it?