Resort Town To Charge Commercial Photographers!

Petach

Hall of Famer
Oct 22, 2011
UK, Essex
Peter Tachauer
On the Amalfi coast of Italy, the town of Positano is to impose a Euro 1000 photo tax for using its image for commercial purposes! Anyone taking photographs for advertising or commercial purposes will need to apply for a license.

Well, good luck with policing that one!

Will this mean that anyone with a "professional looking" camera will be questioned by "Photo Police"?

Imagine London, Paris or Rome doing the same? Or even Chorleton-Cum-Hardy, or Nedging-With-Norton
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
I have to say, having been a few times - most recently last year - I don't actually rate Positano... It is a huge tourist trap with little to really redeem it. Capri has more charm, Amalfi itself is prettier, Sorrento has better restaurants... I could go on. I have said more than once that the best view of Positano is from the Sorrento ferry as one leaves...
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
This sort of situation is normally avoided by "Freedom of Panorama" provisions. In most (sensible) countries you can take photographs and video footage of buildings and sometimes sculptures and other art works which are on permanent display in a public space without infringing any copyright that may otherwise apply. I just reminded myself of the rules and it seems that in Italy, however, photographic reproduction of public places is still prohibited in accordance with old Italian copyright laws and that's presumably why the authorities in Positano have had this brilliant idea to make some money from their town without doing anything except keeping it nicely painted. Good luck making it stick!

-R
 
I totally got the initial reaction of "Hell no."

But then I reread this and it is only for Professional work. I kind of get the idea of if you are gonna make a profit, we want a bit of the action. Totally think it is a lame idea, but I get it from the side of Positano, especially knowing Italy's tough photography laws.
 

Petach

Hall of Famer
Oct 22, 2011
UK, Essex
Peter Tachauer
I totally got the initial reaction of "Hell no."

But then I reread this and it is only for Professional work. I kind of get the idea of if you are gonna make a profit, we want a bit of the action. Totally think it is a lame idea, but I get it from the side of Positano, especially knowing Italy's tough photography laws.
I suppose it all depends on what they mean by commercial. When I go anywhere I try to shoot as if I might possibly make a sale. (I sell my work on line) Just me, my camera and maybe a tripod....taking in the sunrise, sunset, beach, landscape, city lights etc. Is that what they mean by commercial?

Or by commercial do they mean cars or models of pretty girls etc photographed against a stunning Italian backdrop with lights, assistants and roads closed off to the public?
 

Richard

Top Veteran
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
... Or by commercial do they mean cars or models of pretty girls etc photographed against a stunning Italian backdrop with lights, assistants and roads closed off to the public?
I can't help feeling it would make more sense for the town to charge a fee based upon closing roads, police attendance etc

-R
 

lenshacker

Veteran
Nov 21, 2014
I guess they don't get the term "Free advertising" and "Any publicity is good publicity". Would be interesting if they had to pay for all the ads to be run instead of getting it for free.

So- all photographers quit publishing photos of the area, tourism drops, income to the locals drops.

Weigh that against the income to be made from photographers paying more to the town than they are likely to get for their photos.
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
The implementation is the proof in the pudding. Professional Photographer using an iPhone? Tourist taking a "bucket list" tour but using the best possible ILC s/he can buy? Visual enforcement will be...fascinating (cue Spock voiceover).
 

Tilman Paulin

Top Veteran
Nov 15, 2011
Vancouver B.C.
Tilman
I guess they don't get the term "Free advertising" and "Any publicity is good publicity".
That's exactly what this is in fact. I remember another one of these tourist towns doing a similar publicity stunt not that long ago...

When the "controversy" (free advertising) dies down in a few weeks, they'll release another public statement "that they decided to drop the fees again" and get another small round of free publicity.

As a result some people will remember it "as the town that's so pretty they wanted to charge for just looking at it" and add it to their bucket list or something... Mission accomplished.
 
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demiro

Serious Compacts For Life
Dec 15, 2011
I agree that enforcement is near impossible, but I can see a need for this kind of law.

Some photographers are incredibly annoying, more so in public places of interest. Guys set up for hours with big tripods taking seemingly thousands of shots of the same scene. Too many of those and the average tourist can't even get a quick snapshot for the travel album.

So maybe the law gives the police a tool to address "nuisance" photographers, as described above, or anyone who is clearly doing a commercial shoot (model; lighting). Maybe it adds a bit of revenue to the local pot, but more importantly keeps things from getting out of hand and ruining a spot that everyone should be able to enjoy.
 
I agree that enforcement is near impossible, but I can see a need for this kind of law.

Some photographers are incredibly annoying, more so in public places of interest. Guys set up for hours with big tripods taking seemingly thousands of shots of the same scene. Too many of those and the average tourist can't even get a quick snapshot for the travel album.

So maybe the law gives the police a tool to address "nuisance" photographers, as described above, or anyone who is clearly doing a commercial shoot (model; lighting). Maybe it adds a bit of revenue to the local pot, but more importantly keeps things from getting out of hand and ruining a spot that everyone should be able to enjoy.

A very valid point. As photographers, we need to be cautious of not being in the way.

But I think we can all agree that this town is going to far.
 

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