Friday, February 26, 2010

No Immediate Legal protection for your image captured in a public place?

Here is the promised follow up to the blog post on the legal ramifications coming out of a protest at an event in Kingston on February 12, 2010 as to the concerns of photo taking in a public place and their possible use or misuse in a defamatory way. Photos were taken of patrons and car license numbers that were parked outside the venue and it is not yet known if they have been used but as a precautionary measure legal advice was sought on the matter and here is basically the understanding arrived at after the consultation.

There is no law under our statute that can hinder anyone to capture photographs in a public place it is a very delicate area of the law, one does not have a right to ones image if it is taken in a public space without the subjects consent, the law offers no protection from having an image of a person or thing occupying that space. If the photo is used in any way to defame the subjected person(s) involved then under common law there is recourse.

At best a letter or warning of sorts from an attorney of the complainant can be sent to the photographers or the suspected individuals advising them that any use of the photos that were taken without the permission of the subjects would lead to action without any legal recourse to them. This is an option that can be reserved. In France for example members of the public have a right to their image so the photos basically could have been ordered destroyed and the relevant actions taken against the parties involved in capturing the shots.

Jamaican citizens however have the right to protection from defamation, in a common law scenario the court will have to afford protection from being viewed in a derogatory light, one is entitled to their reputation but one cannot protect a reputation that one does not have, the common law however does not allow for others to intrude in person’s privacy.

So the only option in the initial stage is a warning letter through an attorney advising them accordingly that one is aware of the photos captured without consent and the possible legal actions if said photos are used to defame any of the subjected parties.

So much for rights eh?

So as it turns out there is a major loop hole here in terms of personal safety still, what if years down the road these photos turn up then one would have to use legal recourse to stop any defamatory action. The law needs to offer more protection to citizens’ rights and privacy than just after the fact when my image or that of my property is captured and stored somewhere and can be drawn upon to be used without my knowledge or consent or where I can’t act even under suspicion that my image is stored somewhere to have it destroyed. This is a sad state of affairs though legally.

Peace and tolerance.


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Discussion on Reggae music and recent conference

Dr. Hume Johnson author, newspaper contributor and lecturer on Reggae music culture at the University of The West Indies appeared on Television Jamaica’s Smile Jamaica on February 23, 2010 to discuss the Reggae conference and presentations recently.

The discussion generalised on the actions being taken by certain European states such as Germany and Italy who have banned certain artists from Jamaica in particular because the perception of hate music specifically towards homosexuals. Reputation management and other forms of damage control were suggested by Dr. Hume Johnson said that good artists are getting blamed or suffering for the utterances of a few other artists. The recent Chris Brown beating saga with Rihanna was compared to and how he used damage control to restore his image and position the criticism that we ban music advocating gay hate but play an abusers music also hints were given to Whitney Houston’s return after her continued drug use and the use of marketing to repair her image in the public’s eye. There is a gap in public relations suggested Dr. Johnson she continued that there needs to be crisis management for reggae artists in general so good artists can get their material out.

Host Simon Crosskill criticised the Germans in particular saying that they were once haters themselves via Nazi camps suggesting that they are not in a position to judge others. The word xenophobia was used to describe a recent article hinting to Germany and Italy’s actions in cancelling shows. The perceptions that gays on the streets being abused in Jamaica on the strength of certain anti gay lyrics was rebuffed by them discounting the strength and power of the spoken word.

A snippet of a Jamaica Observer article published Sunday January 17 which spoke to the issue of banning artists in Europe written by one Charles Hamble from Germany was read by Simone Clarke Cooper following on the cancellation of an Italian reggae festival which has been moved to Spain: “ ....conditions in Jamaica have shown us the extent of the anti gay violence can be agitated by the hysterical and homophobic rantings of these crazy artists, the messages coming from the stage work people up into a frenzy to go beat up and kill gays a result it is a regular occurrence in Kingston and elsewhere in the Caribbean for men who are gay or perceived to be gay to be hounded through the streets subjected to” she ended by commenting that it was not real. Simon Crosskill called it rubbish.

Clearly Simon Crosskill and Simone Clarke Cooper the show’s hosts shows their bias in this matter and how out of touch they are with reality in discounting the homophobic actions towards GLBT people or he may be ignorant as well as to the realities of these cases of beatings, attacks and murders over the years. The perception that many gays who are killed are killed by other gays themselves which may be true to a point but the real issues are usually brushed away in discussions like this which is not surprising. I would have thought JFLAG as almost powerless and ineffective as they may be would have been invited to this discussion. Of note the recent conference at the University of the West Indies on the Reggae and homophobia saw no formal representation from the GLBT community save and except for persons who attended in their private capacities to witness the conference discussions which were laced with bias as concerns were more about the music than lives or reaching some favourable compromise.
No surprise there either.

Dr. Johnson commented that there needs to be a change in perception that we (Jamaicans) disagree with homosexuality but respect the right to life. Here again this shows how out of touch persons from the intelligencia and the upper classes are far removed from the realities on the ground bearing in mind that a 17 year old male was attacked in Sav-la-mar in western Jamaica on Saturday February 20, 2010 and is presently homeless also a 23 year old male was attacked at his home in Kingston on February 22, 2010 when he attempted to get some clothes from his family after they warned him to keep a low profile seeing he has been threatened by thugs before. I will publish the details if and when permission from the respective clients has been granted to do so as I must respect their rights.

The recent Armadale inquiry report where seven girls died in a fire in May 2009 started by a tear gas canister thrown by a police officer into an overcrowded facility run by the government that was leaked to the media was juxtaposed to being more important and rightly so but gays somehow who are constantly abused and prescribed abuses in lyric are not important so once again gays get shafted but this time using genuine issues that also need attention.

How convenient?

When can we get a fair discussion without emotions clouding spirit of what needs to be achieved?

Peace and tolerance


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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The low wearing pants issue .....

The government these days feel it can just become judge juror and lawmaker for every god damn thing these days, Jamaica in my estimation does not have a lot of men wearing low cut pants anymore that style has died from last year 2009, most jeans nowadays are straight tight jeans in brands like Gucci that have very straight cut leg lengths and maybe wider waists for hip hugging.

The jeans itself just sits at the hip not below to show butt cheeks as said by many commentators and in fact the tight jeans being worn now if they were worn in let’s say three or four years ago a man would have been beaten or attacked for being gay. The notion of a man so well put together then he is considered gay or his sexuality comes into question.

This is a social issue I think and there shouldn’t be interference by the legislators on everything. This one should just play itself out but the police are already using the public decency act to arrest men coming from dancehall events especially who are well dressed. What about the events coming up like carnival where persons are scantily dressed in tights or butt showing attire, what about the dancehall outdoor events where live sex has occurred those haven’t been deemed out of place yet or we should wait until the administration decides to go there to lock up people.

Will lesbian sisters who dress masculine in low pants as well be arrested too?

Freedom of choice I thought was a right and why is it the lawmakers must just go around and make laws for everything to drown persons’ freedoms?

There are more serious crimes out there that need the police's attention than to be looking for ass showing men, the poor cops with their job descriptions always growing and no benefits to add to their remuneration.

There are some states in the US that have laws that speak to low wearing jeans with even specified measurements but as we have seen those pants are very low but Jamaicans don’t go so far to show in some instances full butt cheeks showing. The notion that men who wear these jeans that are so low are gay is nonsense and just shows the naivety involved in the legislators and some public commentators’ utterances.

We must watch these happenings for as simple as they are, they are our rights being slowly impinged upon I fear, this administration has been in overdrive to make laws at will, in two years of being in power the parliament has been in overtime reviewing laws some needed others I feel are totally unnecessarily so.

What you think?

Peace and tolerance

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