Lens of demarcation

A couple is taking a walk through the mall, and he decides he wants a picture of her in front of the tree-like structure at centre court. Out comes the camera, and down comes Security:

Just as we took the first photo, a security guard shouted at us to stop and came over to explain that we were not allowed to take photos.

But lots of people take photos every day in this mall, sometimes at this exact spot. WTF?

When the security guard was asked to explain this as we have seen hundreds of people taking photos ever since the centre had opened, he notified us that we could not take the photos using a ‘Big’ camera.

‘Big’? No camera you can buy in a mainstream shopping mall qualifies as ‘Big.’ But that’s the issue with their not-all-that-big Canon:

…the concern of people using ‘Big’ cameras was that the photos could be used for commercial purposes.

She has asked for a public clarification of the policy. And this being Britain, there’s one more request:

This incident happened at approx 11pm on the 1st floor. I would also like you to know that it is my intention to ask for the CCTV coverage of my visit to Westfield, so that it can support any further action that I may decide.

Because, of course, they had a camera on her the whole time. But those images could never fall into the “wrong” hands, could they?


  1. McGehee »

    12 December 2010 · 2:46 pm

    I don’t know about British law but if it were over here I would immediately think “prior restraint,” since there is no reason to believe the pictures will be used commercially.

    The correct recourse would be to post notices prohibiting photography for commercial purposes unless licensed by the property owner, and then take action in the event the prohibition is ignored. But that leaves mall security with nothing to do but stand around waiting for the zombie apocalypse (otherwise known in retail circles as Dec. 26).

  2. CGHill »

    18 December 2010 · 9:42 am

    The mall has now responded.

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