PHOTOGRAPHY

Hungary bans photos taken without seeking consent

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 5:31am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 March, 2014, 5:48am

Those planning a weekend break in Budapest take note.

For now on anyone taking photographs in Hungary is technically breaking the law if someone wanders into shot, under a new civil code that outlaws taking pictures without the permission of everyone in the photograph.

According to the justice ministry, people taking pictures should look out for those "who are not waving, or who are trying to hide or running out of shot".

Officials say expanding the law on consent to include the taking of photographs, in addition to their publication, merely codifies existing court practice.

However, Hungary's photographers call the law vague and obstructive, saying it has left the country of Joseph Pulitzer and photography legend Robert Capa out of step with Europe.

Marton Magocsi, senior photo editor at news website Origo, said "having to ask for permission beforehand is quite unrealistic in any reportage situation".

Meanwhile, some judges who have overseen hundreds of such cases are privately saying they have no idea how to rule on cases under the new code.

"This [regulation] is a nonsense and in my opinion impossible," lawyer Eszter Bognar said.

 

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