Filming the school Nativity play

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tom hardwick
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Thought about filming your child's school play? Well I saw this page on the BBC.co.uk site. I assume you've seen this all in the
press previously...only in Britain could filming be construed as
perversion...sounds a bit Talibanistic, wot?!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/education/newsid_1071000/1071701.stm

tom.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

Ther was a discussion on this a few months ago.
It's getting a bit daft - I don't have kids, but I hope that I wouldn't be so paranoid as to accept behaviour like this.

tom hardwick
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My goodness there's some perverted minds about in local government. Dirty,
dirty filthy perverts. Having just been to the web address I picked up our
local paper and my God - it's a paedophile's delight. There's photos galore
of little kiddies who've won dancing scholarships (posed in teeny ballerina
outfits). There were 3 girl brownies offering bob-a-job (disgusting!) and
there was a picture of loads of near naked (!) children doing a sponsored
swim at the local baths! My perverted mind was in turmoil. Why go to all
the bother of filming the little kiddies on stage when your local paper
prints out so many paedophile-worthy pictures for you?

tom

harlequin
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A different angle on this.

When i was a lot younger my parents looked after foster kids.(lots of them over a period of 25 years)

Many of these kids were as far from parents/guardians as possible , being wards of court.

If someone had taken pictures/videos without checking for permission at school plays etc then these kids could have ended up being found by parents.

These kids never appeared in photographs on public display with their classmates (many others also didn't due to their parents having different objections).

I see no problem taking pictures of your own children but why should people assume that they have a right to take pictures of others.

Gary MacKenzie

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Keitht
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quote:Originally posted by sepulcre:

Many of these kids were wards of court.

If someone had taken pictures/videos without checking for permission at school plays etc then these kids could have ended up being found by parents.

I see no problem taking pictures of your own children but why should people assume that they have a right to take pictures of others.

I understand what Sepulcre is saying but is he really suggesting that parents should only be able to take close ups of their own kids in a nativity play. That would tend to destroy the continuity!!. I believe we are talking about videos for personal use here rather than broadcast so this blanket ban really is total overkill.

------------------
Regards

Keith

Regards Keith

red
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My wife was asked to stop filming the two daughters and I splashing about in the local pool. She protested and was asked to leave by the manager!

The film she was stopped from recording would have been treasured family memories in years to come.

Red.

harlequin
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quote:Originally posted by Keitht:
I understand what Sepulcre is saying but is he really suggesting that parents should only be able to take close ups of their own kids in a nativity play. That would tend to destroy the continuity!!. I believe we are talking about videos for personal use here rather than broadcast so this blanket ban really is total overkill.

I agree that for most people it is overkill.

BUT

I also have first hand experience of people for whom the accidental showing on for example ' you've been framed ' ( should a child fall off the stage , trousers fall down etc ) could cause problems that are greater than the good gained from shooting the nativity play.

the only way this could be made easier is to have anyone recording the show sign an agreement that the tape was only to be used for personal viewing with a large penalty for breaking the agreement.

or

the school make a tape and sell it to the parents

Gary MacKenzie

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harlequin
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quote:Originally posted by red:
My wife was asked to stop filming the two daughters and I splashing about in the local pool. She protested and was asked to leave by the manager!

The film she was stopped from recording would have been treasured family memories in years to come.

Red.

Did she ask permission to shoot before she started ?

Our local councils rules are that shooting anywhere on council property requires a permit from them.

Gary MacKenzie

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red
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No she didn't have a permit.

Do you really think she should need one?

Red.

Ned Cordery
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Welcome to the world of litigation and contingency law. Here in the USA litigation is a way of life and with the admission of contingency law practice in the UK look for lots of litigation. Just watch the ads on afternoon TV. The plan is that most insurance companies will weigh the cost of litigation versus an out of court settlement and if settlement is cheaper that is the way they go regardless of the merits of the case. The lawyers usually win out taking between one third and half the award, they also expect you, the claimant to take out insurance so they, the lawyers, cannot lose out. Now put yourself in the shoes of a councillor, claims against the council and rocketing insurance costs make for bad publicity, the council is usually seen as the monster and the 'little' person the victim.

I known it is all madness but blame the lawyers for this one. Check your insurance cover, are you protected from someone claiming your were filming their child without permission for reasons not known?

Ned Cordery
Goslands Studio

harlequin
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quote:Originally posted by red:
No she didn't have a permit.

Do you really think she should need one?

Red.

No , but i always ask permission of anyone in control before shooting , usually in writing.

the last time it went wrong ( 10 days ago ) some students 'forgot' to ask permission from police and council , shot a spoof version of reservoir dogs (water pistols etc)..... 6 students in police custody for 3 hours to teach them a lesson.

it takes about a week to get clearance from council .... 10 secs phone call to police by myself could have cleared it before it went wrong.

i'm not saying it's right .... just that most councils have regulations.... if you don't ask/check you don't find out ..... and ignorance doesn't hold up in court.

note this weekends newspapers ... jonathan king has now got at least 6 others involved in court cases .... all people who are supposed to be squeeky clean and probably have kids of their own .....

if they could spot the problem people .... there wouldn't be problems .... they are just playing safe.

would you be happy if a man was shooting a video when your kids were in the pool ?

Gary MacKenzie

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red
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I wouldn't object if anyone was shooting video of their kids in the pool in the park or at the funfair. It happens on holiday, at theme parks, all fun family occasions.

If a stranger was blatantly taking shots of my children then sure I'd move in but I've never seen that.

I think it takes away a certain freedom when everyone is presumed guilty until proven innocent.

As regards overseas I've been abroad 2 or 3 times every year for the past 14 yrs. I have never been asked to stop filming by anyone, anywhere and that includes 5 of the United States.

It seems the minority have spoiled it for the majority yet again.

Mad_mardy
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The swimming pool incident i think is a tricky one because you are actually filming within an establishment who have a certain responsibility,to themselves and the people inside
Not sure how this stands against the school as i would go mad if i could not video my daughters school play

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John H
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Doesn't all this just show how paranoid society is becoming.Two of our local councils stopped video recording because it might jepardise their "PERFORMING" rights licence.I asked what PRS had to do with recording and that there was no liability on the part of the council just as there would be no liability if someone parked a car on a council car park with an illegal tyre.In the end they could not answer my questions.It was just a case of council lawyers saying "If in doubt say no"

tom hardwick
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That's why I'm of the opinion that you should shoot first and ask questions later. Get the shot in the can, then worry about all those skitz officials in their uniforms and peaked caps. Often it's those that dither about getting written permission to use their tripods in Covent Garden who miss out on the footage.

tom.

robo
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Sorry Tom but I can't agree on that one. I've watched this thread from the start and I've pulled out of filming my local pre school christmas concert until I'm 100% sure how I stand with local officials and Social Services etc. My daughter went to this pre school for three years and while she was there I filmed the christmas concert for them, now she has moved on to 'big school' I feel I'm on shifting sand so far as rules and regs apply. I've too much paying work on my hard drive to even contemplate the idea of loosing it just for the sake of not making sure where I stand, and no, I don't feel that's being paranoid.

harlequin
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quote:Originally posted by tom hardwick:
That's why I'm of the opinion that you should shoot first and ask questions later. Get the shot in the can, then worry about all those skitz officials in their uniforms and peaked caps. Often it's those that dither about getting written permission to use their tripods in Covent Garden who miss out on the footage.

tom.

It is this attitude that has caused many councils to enforce the 'no filming' rule.

I have no problems as long as i phone / fill in forms .... it's only when someone doesn't give enough notice / forgets to tell me that we have problems.

with that attitude any of your customers / any one else can copy your tapes and then ask permission afterwards .... same disregard to rules as you advocate.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/england/newsid_1686000/1686303.stm shows that in foreign countries you can end up in jail for the same thing you advocate , taking pictures without permission.

Gary MacKenzie

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tom hardwick
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I'm certainly not advocating you disregard any rules or that you break copyright. Whjere did I say that? Nor am I saying that they're right and you're wrong. All I'm saying is if you can look, so can you shoot. If you can hear, so can you record. Some of the very best stills and movies have been shot "without permission", and had it have been applied for would've received a resounding Neit!

Go on - be brave, for the bravest bring home the bacon.

tom.

Ned Cordery
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Come on, Tom, make your mind up. Not breaking rules or copyright!!! "If you can see you can shoot, if you can hear you can record!" Suggest you record the next Madonna concert with your minidisk in your pocket and mic as part of your wave! Take your camera to the next Man U game and record it. Then incorporate the Madonna songs in your music video and the Man U shots in your thriller of the North. I suppose if you are an amateur you can plead ignorance but that just doesn't work for a professional shoot. Yes, I know about miniDV cameras and their "amateur" status, don't you think most authorities are on to that now? So you have lots of tapes of once in a lifetime, without permission shots, what do you do with them?

Ned Cordery
Goslands Studio.

robo
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"All I'm saying is if you can look, so can you shoot."

Nice one Tom, who do you work for, the Sun or the News of the World?

mdoragh
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You DO need to be very careful with filming without permission..... BUT if permission has not arrived... what then. Wait and miss the shot and get a letter in three weeks saying that you could have recorded it OK, or Take the shot whilst you wait so you don't miss it, and then be prepared to delete it afterwards....

I filmed some kids in a project in Guatelmala last year. There were some Americans filming the kids, so I did too. As my brother and his wife worked for the team, they were told I had to stop filming even though the other visitors could carry on. I also had to promise that I would erase ALL footage of the kids in the centre. That was a tough one, but I chose to respect it. I can tell you that it was the most heart moving footage that I took on the whole trip, and it was painful to have to delete it.... but I did before I left the country. If i hadn't it could have comprimised my Brother's position there.

What was hardest to stomach was that a load of other visitors, whizzed through with their cameras rolling and where allowed to carry on. Basically, they had no control over them, but they did over me.....

SO would I shoot that sort of opertunisitic footage again..... without hesistation..... would I subsequently delete any controversial footage if demanded of me..... grudgingly YES. It is important that we don't just make up our own rules.... and that we respect what those in authority tell us, even if it doesn't make sense to us directly. It is idiots who won't respect minor rules, which end up making ruling bodies force blanket bans.

Please people, work with the beaurocrats.... if they think that we are a lawless bunch then they will be forced to enforce steeper bans on us, then we all lose out!

A little common sense and some good 'ol curtesy, and we will all win.

Mike

[This message has been edited by mdoragh (edited 02 December 2001).]

Andy Martin
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What a very sad world we are living in. I've got two young daughters who I have filmed several times at our local swimming baths (with very willing permission)and at numerous school events. Are we seriously going to let the odd screwball or pervert deprive us all of some normal treasured family memories?

Richard Choroszewski
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Just finished filming the kids nativity play today.

Never occurred to me to have any concerns about it other than how to make an hour long performance interesting for my family and the other parents/teachers that might ask for a copy of the finished movie.

Having read the above thread, I am sorry (and angry too) to see that there are a lot of people out there being infected with Political Correctness. To those people I say take it to the max., stop filming, stay indoors, play along with our 'masters', be a good boy/girl and for good measure stop breathing and stop living. Then you won't have the potential to hurt anyone.

Alternatively 'get a life', and fight the guilt that an incredibly tiny minority of sick people, including our 'masters' (many of whom have a fetish about controlling others) would foist on us.

PS no offence, I'll get off my soapbox now. I wonder how long I'd have lasted in Taliban land?

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tom hardwick
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Great thread guys!
I agree Geof. I did a local infants' school Nativity play last night - one
of three plays this week. I used 2 Mini DV cams and two mics spaced apart
feeding a Mini Disk recorder. The headmistress agreed with me that it was a
good idea to film it while we were still able to. I assumed that she meant
the do-gooders were about to stop such paedophilia and agreed with her that
councils would stop us filming in the park next. No, no she said - stop us
putting on a Christian Nativity play. It'll soon be seen to be very non pc
to favour one religious sect above any other. She looked at me as if to say
this was nearly upon us.

Be that as it may, I filmed the brave little kids as they faced the bright
lights and said their lines. Afterwards I asked the head if she'd ask them
how they felt now it was all over. She gathered a few shepherds, kings and
angels on stage and I filmed their excited reactions to her good questions.
Priceless.

Oh, and I broke the law. At one stage the sound track to the play included a short piece from Floyd's Dark Side. That got sucked into my microphones before I could switch them off.

tom.

Richard Choroszewski
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What a coincidence Tom, our play had Floyd as well and this track was 'We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control...', sub plots within sub plots !

I suppose for home use I don't have a problem, but where do I stand with performing rights etc., if another parent or teacher or the scholl (did this guy get an ejucation?) ask for a copy (for personal use of course)?

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DAVE M
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In LEGAL terms,
The school breaks the law by composing a show tape. They break the law by performing using the music.

You break the Law by recording it. You also break the law by making copies (for profit or not)

I doubt if any company would prosecute, but it is their right. A parent would be given more leeway than a prof. company doing the same thing.

Richard Choroszewski
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Thanks Dave for that clarification. It's a great let out for me, cos now I can just hand over the finished edit to the school and let them copy for others. I really didn't fancy having the hassle of dealing with other parents requests for copies.

So to be strictly legal should I now wipe the audio from the copyright track? Seems a bit extreme.

Or even if I wipe did I break the law during the recording so that wiping will not exonerate me?

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DAVE M
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i'm no lawyer but I do have a bit of prof. theatrical experience.

Most school plays are made up, but if you decide to do (for instance) "Oliver!" then you will need to pay a fee to the copyright holder. French's Theatre Bookshop in London are a good point to start for scripts and conditions of performance. If the author was alive 75 years ago, then someone still has the right to prevent you performing the play.
Great Ormond Street still makes a lot of money out of the rights to Peter Pan, and the Garrick made a mint by doing a deal with Disney over Winnie the Pooh.
You will not automatically have the right to record it, but few people would prevent a school making a video for Granny. (but they could do)

If you make up your own show, then you should get permission to use all the (non original) music in a theatrical performance. This would not permit you to video / audio record the event - you'd need another licence.

One requires the Performing Rights people, the other, Mechanical Copyright people.

I doubt that any parent recording a school play would have trouble, but it's open to debate. If you made a living at this, you stand a greater chance of being "caught".

The view "I'm sure that no-one will mind" is fine, until you get caught - just think of the plane spotters in Greece.

I do a few telecines for people and put on copyright free wallpaper music. I recomend the client buys a Woolies / Heartbeat type compilation album if they want more period music, but I won't put it on. I recomend that they play it at the same time as the video.
I don't intend to get "done" for the sake of £50

The other way to protect yourself is to have the client sign a waiver that says that they have obtained all permissions and that they release you from all legal responsibility.
Dunno if it would work though.

Mick jenner
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I have just completed a nativity for a school that for the first time used a modern scripted play which had copyright attachments
All schools are aware of the rules of useing copyright material and in this case they have to pay 55p per tape sold

Andy Martin
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Well guys, I'm about to do the unforgivable! Next week I'll be recording not one but two separate nativity plays (my two daughters are in different 'productions'). As a final nail in my PC coffin, I'll be doing this in my local Catholic primary school!!

God knows where the world of over protection and political correctness will lead us in the next 10 or so years. I suspect, however, that within 50 years we will all be immersed in some sort of liberal revival of the 1960's - having travelled full circle (I hope so anyway)!

In the meantime, the guy who was caught at his local primary school with a video camera was me! It may make the BBC News or odd tabloid newspaper!

[This message has been edited by Andy Martin (edited 15 December 2001).]

Richard Choroszewski
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I think that there are 2 (main) classes of DV'er being discussed here.

1. Is the pro who makes a living (from Nativity Plays?!)
2. A parent who is intersted in filming his kids and gets asked by other parents/schoolteachers for a copy.

Obviously the advice given in earlier responses depends on what category or what shade between. Fortunately DV'ing is a hobby for me so I don't have a guilty concience about catching a snippet of commercial music or other copyright material.

And if (even as an amateur) I am actually breaking the law, well I'm not going to lose sleep over it. For people in category 1 it is a different matter

For people somewhere in the middle, well that is where the real debate lies.

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Peter Stedman
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I haven't read all the replies in this thread but I know what you are on about.

My professional hat is a magician working both adult and childrens's events. Last Saturday I was engaged for an event where the children were presenting their Nativity play. You would have thought it was the Spice Girls appearing with amount of dads wielding both video and still cameras.

When presenting my own act there was also quite a lot who continued to record especially when their little one was assisting with the magic. Now I know that in my trade, many children's entertainers FORBID any video recording of their act. However I take the view that if these recordings are shown around, it is good cheap advertising for me. (If I am good of course!)

It goes without saying that almost all of the video recorded at these events will be very poor due to being handheld, on telephoto whilst the cameraman tries to balance on a chair etc. Any comments on the above?

Paul W. H
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Hi all

I can see the day coming when the government are going to insist to the manufacturers of "recording media" that they put a "Government Health/Wealth Warning" on the side of blank media because Jo Public would just not think of the applied inplications of filming his children enjoying themselves in a public place.

I find all this very sad and wonder about the future, will I have to take out a special insurance policy to cover myself and my wife in case we video someone or something we should not have done.

Surely the answer is to get rid of all the perverts once and for all so normal people (99.99999% of us) can enjoy our lives with our families.

There are obviously two sets of rules here, one for us and one for the establishment, they can install camera's here there and everywhere and film 24/7 and no one minds. Our children can be filmed enjoying themselves in the local swimming baths by security cameras, but I can't film my children doing them same thing ?

What a kranky planet we live on !!

PWH

Richard Choroszewski
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Moving off topic (but only slightly) what about all the 'cover versions' and rap sounds stealing sampled original music, do they ALL pay royalties? Cos if they don't how I'd love to see some of these people brought to justice - if only to help stop them from churning out, and making money from, their crap.

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peter grendon
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HI All bit late on this one,but I do these plays ,sports days etc,pretty much as a favour, IE the schools make a profit, I dont loose out on tape costs etc. I was advised some time back to get the head master to tell the parents that an event was being videod and get them to return a signed slip that they had no objections.I hope I am stating legal.it appears that all equipment used in the "prodution" is liable to be confiscated.that inc the PC Adobe etc..
ONE place I never video though is Middle east, Take out a video camera in Jeddah or Dubai and see the effect!!!Pete.

harlequin
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quote:Originally posted by Richard Choroszewski:
Moving off topic (but only slightly) what about all the 'cover versions' and rap sounds stealing sampled original music, do they ALL pay royalties? Cos if they don't how I'd love to see some of these people brought to justice - if only to help stop them from churning out, and making money from, their crap.

search for 'ice ice baby' using google and see how painful it can be for a pop star to rip of someone elses hookline ( queen and bowie's "under pressure" , without getting permission first.)
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:tyl87omcIS g:www.copyrightwebsite.com/audio/vanilla/vanilla.asp+vanilla+ice+copyright&hl=en --- original site isn't working for me today.

there are other cases that are as much fun to read about !
http://www.techtv.com/audiofile/features/story/0,23008,3346080,00.html

[This message has been edited by sepulcre (edited 01 January 2002).]

Gary MacKenzie

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SIFI
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I've only just noticed this thread and apologise for being a latecomer.

This really is a sad state of affairs that we have to think about perverts before we can film a school play.

Banning a video of a schoolplay because a paedophile may get his hands on it is the equivalent of banning cars because somebody may drink and drive.

We are living in a society whose rules are made for less than 0.1% of the poulation and to me that stinks.

I may be missing something here but I thought paedophiles liked to look at naked children. If so I can't think of any school plays that cater to this need and therefore the argument is largely irrellevant. If however they just like to look at children regardless of their state of dress then maybe we should just ban children from appearing on TV.

Just think of the fun all the perverts will have when watching CBBC every day. I don't think so.

This all stems from a bunch of Dudley Dogooders who have lost sight of the real world.

SIFI

Simon

Mick jenner
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Joined: Dec 8 2000

I can understand your your frustrations with these guide lines. I believe they were brought in orginaly over concerns about sports days . As somebody who spent a part of his working life educating children as to the dangers of strangers I think some of you need to understand the the lenghts these people go to to obtain photographs . The recent case of Paul whiting for example He is a parent!. I am certain none of you would like an inocent picture of your children paraded around the internet .Unfortunatly Sifi there are people who get some perverted
thrill from children in all states of dress,
the main criteria being pictures secretly obtained as oposed to those on tv .
Until there is a change in the law so that suspects as well as offenders can be kept out of reach of children, then all care needs to be taken.

Richard Choroszewski
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Mick
I don't doubt that everyone appreciates here that some people get sexually turned on by weird and potentially unhealthy and unsafe objects of desire. I'm not an expert but suspect that any object could become a fixation for someone out there.

But does this make it right to legislate to prevent us, the silent or moral majority, from inncocent enjoyment of such things?

What we are arguing about is that legislators might be taking things too far because they can find a sinister twist in any human's appreciation of another person/s object/s or activity/s.

So, yes there are evil people who will go to great lengths to achieve their aims but let's deal with the specific offence when it occurs instead of blanket bans and restrictions for the greater good.

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Mick jenner
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Richard,
I understand what you are saying the problem arises because when a child is at school, the school has the responsibily for their care and safety.
As a result of an activity or event organised by them a child then becomes subject of a perverts atention ultimatly resulting in photographs or video's being distributed. YOU as a parent is will want to know why this was allowed to happen.The local aurthorities will then be subjected to in depth investigations and some persons head will roll for not adviseing the schools of the dangers, and the parents will be sueing everybody for the stress and anguished caused. I know this sounds over the top but its how things are. That is why schools have had to resort to this sort of warning ,after I am sure a lot of legal advice. Its to my knowledge that in my area the advice was that parents are to be informed when their chidren are taking part in events that may be videoed or photographed and it was then up to the parent to allow their child to take part or not , thus useing your words, putting the ball back into the court of the silent majority .