And Now A Word About An Adamantly Incorrect Commenter

You might have checked out my post earlier this week on LA Metblogs cumbersomely titled “89 Snaps Of People I Passed While Biking This Morning On The Strand Between Hermosa Beach And The Ballona Creek Bridge.”

If not, in a nutshell, I had my sunglasses digicam on while biking from Hermosa Beach back to work this last Wednesday morning, and when I later reviewed the video I decided to capture stills of the frames featuring people I encountered along the way and ended up with 89 of them, which I then ran through some basic Photoshop filtration to give them an illustrative look.¬† Liking the results and feeling¬† it made for an interesting slice of SoCal life I tossed ’em all up on Flickr and linked to them from the aforementioned Metblogs post made that evening.

Then came this arrogantly assuming comment yesterday morning from someone who apparently thinks they know everything¬† and to prove it used the pseudonym “Privacy rights violated:”

Apparently you are unaware of the rights of individuals to control the use of their image in publicity. You legally are violating their rights to privacy. Just because people appear in public, does NOT mean you have the right to publish their images online for the world to see, and associate this with a blog. You have a right to take a photo for yourself, but not the right to make them public. An exception is when they are PUBLIC FIGURES and most all of these people are not. You need signed releases!

It was chuckle-worthy both in the person’s intense disregard for the true applicability of a person’s expectation of privacy in public places, and his or her blatant lack of awareness of my rights as a photographer and — for want of a better word — artist. Not to mention my 19 years’ experience in various journalistic endeavors.

I especially enjoyed the person’s apparent Freudian slip of “You legally are violating their rights…” Because that’s, in effect, absolutely correct. I am well within my rights not only to take photos of anyone and everyone on that bikeway, but also to publish them to Flickr and LA Metblogs.

And while it amazes me that there are people like “Privacy rights violated” who are so ignorant and adamantly demonstrative of it, at its core such a dimwitted display is an appreciated opportunity to explore and enforce the truth.