Under the heading of “Didn’t Expect that Court Decision”, according to an article on Yahoo!, a judge in New York ruled that it was okay for an artist to take pictures of his neighbors through their windows without their permission and sell those photos as works of art. Evidently, this guy took photos of his neighbors in the building across the street doing mundane things like cleaning and eating. Supposedly, none of the people are recognizable in the photos. But understandably, they were extremely upset when this artist put up large prints for sale at the Julie Saul Gallery.
When one couple found out that even their children had been photographed, they sued the artist and asked that he be barred from selling or displaying the images. Surprisingly, the judge ruled in the artist’s favor and dismissed the case. Here’s the kicker, those prints this artist made reportedly sold briskly starting at $7,500.
While I’m all for an artist’s expression, I would never take pictures like this without getting permission from the subjects. It does seem pretty creepy to me. But this kind of story does tend to cloud the issue of privacy and photographers’ rights. Taking pictures of people in a public place is one thing, but pointing the camera into someone else’s window without their consent? I’d be very interested in hearing what others think of this decision.