Can i video record in public? what is a public/private place?

I was recording on my camera as I walked into the student rec center at my university and stopped recording after I was in the lobby because I had got what I needed. (I vlog on Youtube). I scanned my ID card and proceeded through the turnstiles. A student employee then stopped me and asked me to delete any photos or videos I had taken in the building because it is against their policy. I had never heard of this or specifically agreed to this policy at any time because all students are automatically members. Anyways, I tried to stand my ground and argue that, if anything is private, it would only be the area past the turnpikes and that the lobby area before them (where anyone without an access card could enter from outside) is public, and so there is no expectation of privacy. They claimed it was private. There's a bit more to the story but these are the main details. Thinking about it afterwords, they have security cameras recording the lobby. I was wondering if that had any effect on this.So my questions are, out what what I said, who is right and wrong? What is considered a public space and what is considered a private space? Can their own policies define what is and isn't public (which I later looked up online)? And then, do they have any type of authority to limit general video recording (non commercial), public or private, whether defined by them or the law? Thank you so much for your advice!


Asked about 6 years ago in Eugene, Oregon
Categories: Entertainment & Media Law  First Amendment  Privacy Law  General Legal Questions  Civil Rights Law

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Antonio Gimbernat

Answer by Antonio Gimbernat

Not VerifiedHawaii lawyer

A College or University or High School Campus could be Private Property whereby you would need to respect their Policy. Also, many Celebrities attend Colleges/Universities & consider unwanted Photography of themselfs to be Harassment. Furthermore, Law Enforcement does not allow Photography of Officers in General as this may endanger their Saftey. Photography in Public is your Constitutional Right to Freedom of Press, but you should use discretion as not to get yourself into any unwanted altercations. I would recommend, if you must..., Video Taping a Celebrity or Accident Scene from a Good 100 Ft Away. 

Posted about 6 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Antonio Gimbernat, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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