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Thread: Can private businesses "confiscated" personal belongings?

  1. #1
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    Can private businesses "confiscated" personal belongings?

    I know many times, certain venues do not allow photography with a flash, as it may interfere with the video recording. I have heard announcements stating that "If any flash photography is discovered, your camera will be confiscated."

    Wouldn't that be a crime? Or are they allowed to steal your belonging? I can see them simply kicking someone out who violated this policy, but to take their items?

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    I think you would have the option of surrendering the item, or leaving the venue.

    I don't think they could just take it.

    As a side note.
    In the vast majority of venues you are better off without the flash anyway.
    The object you are trying to photograph is most likely out of the range of the flash.
    If you disable the flash, and rely on the stage lights your picture will turn out better.

    This was the advice given to me by a friend who takes photos at concerts professionally.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Let us climb into Mr. Peabody's "Way-Back Machine" and visit the grammer lessons of a certain era. "Can" private business confiscate personal property? As in "are they physically capable of doing so"? The answer is probably "Yes".

    Then, it all depends on what you mean by "confiscate". To 1) take away from you and convert to their own use, or merely to 2) stop you from using it and cause any images you created to be destroyed before you leave the venue?

    #1 - Probably physically "Yes" but they will pay dearly in a lawsuit filed against them.

    #2) Undoubtedly "Yes". And if you refuse to destroy the images they can sue you for quite a bit of money, as you stole something of value from them and refused/still refusing to compensate them for their stolen property.

    In many cases once you violate the contract you have entered into by purchasing a ticket or otherwise entering into the exhibition you lose your "right" (a contract provision) to get a refund as you leave the venue, as well as set yourself up for a possible trespassing charge.

    Now - could we address why anyone would use a flash when they know that the rules say no flash? Does anyone see that as being fundamentally different than someone going into your home and putting their feet up on the furniture after you asked you not to? And would you defend anyone who put their feet up on your furniture after being asked not to?

    stay safe.

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    Many events are also trying to protect their intellectual property rights. Your ticket in such cases constitutes a contract. If you accept an agreement that allows them to confiscate your camera, then they would just be following the terms that you agreed to when you entered into the contract by buying the ticket with the terms printed on the back.

    That being said, it would be an unjust enrichment for them to keep the camera if you are willing to work with them to make sure that you have no copyrighted information on the camera before they return it.

    My advice would be to live up to the contract you agreed to when you bought the ticket. If you make an honest mistake and get your camera confiscated, work with them to get it back, sans any copyrighted material.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    4th Amendment protects you. Trespass vi et armis may cover them... by claiming damage. Flash (from cameras) over time, may fade artwork. The confiscation crap is a bluff unless you accept it. Doubtful they'd want to get into a fistfight over it. 'Had that happen in school (long ago) upon occasion... Teachers (public employees) attempting to sieze property for whatever reason. They can only accomplish that if you acquiece to it. Sure they can trespass you along with whatever the offending item(s) are... (providing such items are not otherwise illegal by statute) but nothing else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Now - could we address why anyone would use a flash when they know that the rules say no flash? Does anyone see that as being fundamentally different than someone going into your home and putting their feet up on the furniture after you asked you not to? And would you defend anyone who put their feet up on your furniture after being asked not to?

    stay safe.
    No, but I certainly wouldn't be within my right to confiscate their shoes. I'd ask them to stop, or leave.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonora Rebel View Post
    4th Amendment protects you.
    Incorrect, kind sir.

    The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America places restrictions on what the federal government may do. It does not address the rights of private property owners, nor the contract created between a property owner and the user of that property.

    You don't have to like it, but you do need to understand it.

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    Regular Member Lokster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    Incorrect, kind sir.

    The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America places restrictions on what the federal government may do. It does not address the rights of private property owners, nor the contract created between a property owner and the user of that property.

    You don't have to like it, but you do need to understand it.
    +1 I wish more on the side of liberty would understand it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokster View Post
    +1 I wish more on the side of liberty would understand it!
    Yes. That we, as individuals, are not bound by the restrictions placed on the government by the Constitution is actually a form of Liberty.

    On edit: I notice you are somewhat new to the site. Welcome! Watch out for the Lokster traps--and folks from Maine with melted butter and Lokster forks.
    Last edited by eye95; 01-06-2011 at 10:44 PM.

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    Regular Member Lokster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Yes. That we, as individuals, are not bound by the restrictions placed on the government by the Constitution is actually a form of Liberty.

    On edit: I notice you are somewhat new to the site. Welcome! Watch out for the Lokster traps--and folks from Maine with melted butter and Lokster forks.
    Hey, thanks for the welcome eye95. I'm lucky to have found this site, it's a wealth of information.

    Lokster is a nickname I have for my dog, Loki; but I will be sure to keep my eyes pealed for the above mentioned. I suspect those folks will be deterred from trying anything funny since I'll be OC'n a lot of the time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Let us climb into Mr. Peabody's "Way-Back Machine" and visit the grammer lessons of a certain era. "Can" private business confiscate personal property? As in "are they physically capable of doing so"? The answer is probably "Yes".
    Lol, I'd like to see them try.

    In many cases once you violate the contract you have entered into by purchasing a ticket or otherwise entering into the exhibition you lose your "right" (a contract provision) to get a refund as you leave the venue, as well as set yourself up for a possible trespassing charge.
    I can see them refusing a refund, but if I chose to leave voluntarily when confronted, a tresspassing charge would stick about as well as water does to wind.[/QUOTE]
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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