On Wednesday evening I attended a panel discussion organised by the Brighton and Hove Camera club entitled "Hey! Get that camera out of here! Photojournalism, propaganda, privacy and public interest: a panel discussion". The panel were: Kevin Meredith, Gail Ward, Jonathan Friend, John Pervolaris, Alison Locke and Graham Sergeant.

The discussion started with an introduction to the evening, and to Landmine Action, the charity which the proceeds from the evening went to. Then followed a 5 minute introduction by each of the panel members. There were some print-outs at the back of the room of various recent stories, firstly of a series of comments to the article Has our increasingly paranoid society declared war on the humble 'weekend snapper'? and also Man fined for taking photograph which proved a good starting point to get the discussion off and running. The discussion covered street photography, whether to get a model release form signed (some of the panel did, some didn't), how to handle people stopping you when you've got your camera - suggestions included not being confrontational, turning it around and asking why they're stopping you, showing them the UK photographers rights pdf and taking them through it etc

One of the members of the panel, Jonathan Friend, is a solicitor so he had some great facts about the law - about copyright, ownership and when it is/is not legal to take photographs etc. For instance, Trafalgar Square is private property and so photographic restrictions are legal. There are also some laws about the right to stop on a pavement - you can walk, but you can't stop. Kevin mentioned the image search engine tineye which when you upload an image, will search the web for that image and let you know where this image has been used - which sounds rather handy.

All in all a good and enjoyable evening and I left feeling a bit more informed than when I'd arrived.