The latest in attempting to curb photographers from interrupting everyday life in various locations has taken another turn this month! In mid-November Positano, a beautiful small town in Italy, will institute a photography and video tax. They have asked that all commercial photographers get a 1000 Euro (roughly $1161) permit to photograph in the town. Commercial Videographers are asked to get a 2000 Euro (roughly $2322) permit. It was also said that Wedding Permits will be given out as long as your get your request in at least 10 days in advance.
In the recent past, Laguna Beach required a permit for any type of photography in their city, but has since changed that to just Commercial Photography, to help stem the interruption of residents daily lives and tourists being put out due to large photography or video productions. I can understand these types of “taxes” on commercial type shoots that are large and have a lot of people working in a large area that would disrupt other people in the vicinity. The difference in Positano’s case is that this isn’t the only reason that was given for the Tax.
The reason that the Mayor of the town gave for the rather high tariff for commercial photography and videography is that they wanted to limit the number of brands that are being tied to the town in addition to limiting the disruption caused to pedestrians. The Mayor believes that this permit cost is extremely low and should cost up to 50,000 or 100,000 Euros. That, in my opinion is going a little far.
In one blog post on II Giornale there is mention of a 500 Euro fine for anyone that is caught violating the law. Which I believe kind of makes the whole permit useless as it costs half as much as a photography permit to just pay the fine. Even better for the video productions, as it is only a quarter of the cost of the permit!
Well that is some talk about how it is going to be implemented and how it is a little different from what we have seen before. How will this effect you? Depends on the type of photography you are doing! If you are doing a wedding shoot, that is obvious! Make sure you get a permit before the 10 day timeframe. For magazines, and what not, I believe they are going to skip the permit requirement. For commercial purposes, I guess for making commercials or advertising and what not, you will be required to have a permit before taking the images. If you are just out having a good time and would like to take a photo, I am sure that is going to be alright with them! What about model shoots though? I guess this depends, since they would be similar to a wedding shoot, I am guessing you will have to get a permit, but don’t quote me on that!
This is another example of taxes, tariffs or permits that are being required for artistic licensing. So, Photography Taxes, what do you all think about this? Is this a slippery slope? Is it a good thing for the areas? Should there be more like this or is this just crazy talk?! Let us know in the comments below!