New Legislation 'To Protect Farmer IP' Would Make It A Felony To Photograph Farms

from the oh-come-on dept

An awful lot of you sent in this story about a proposed law in Florida that could put people in jail for taking a photograph of a farm without permission. Seriously. Not surprisingly, the "excuse" for this is that it is "needed to protect the property rights of farmers and the "intellectual property" involving farm operations." I'm not kidding. The bill was introduced by Florida State Senator Jim Norman from Tampa. It's apparently targeted at animal rights activists, who have been known to photograph questionable conditions of animals on farms. In other words, it has nothing to do with "protecting intellectual property." It's to avoid criticism for treating animals poorly. And, of course, if animal activists are trespassing to get these photos, there are already laws against that. But this is what you get in this kind of society, where people seem to project the idea that anything can be redefined as "property" and locked up -- people use "intellectual property" as an excuse for simply ridiculous legislative proposals such as this one. Even if such a law passes, it won't take long for it to be declared unconstitutional, but it could waste Florida taxpayer money to fight this in court.

Filed Under: farms, florida, intellectual property, photographs


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  1. icon
    fogbugzd (profile), 28 Feb 2011 @ 10:54am

    Take downs

    The law would give legal cover to those who send DCMA take down notices when the pictures show up on line. On the other hand there isn't much need for legal cover because there aren't effective legal penalties against bogus DCMA notices.

    The only real deterrent to questionable take down notices is the Streisand effect they tend to create. Let's see the Florida legislature try to craft a law against the Streisand effect. I should probably quit now and stop giving them ideas.

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