Hands on LaBrea.


Here on LaBrea, south of Beverly, there is a distinctive used furniture store with very colorful items placed in front. Any car or pedestrian passing by can clearly see these items which are intended to lure people into the business.

However, many tourists and some non-tourists with cameras, have been harassed by the owner who is very annoyed that the public sidewalk affords a good photo of his store. He has chased people away and tried to stop others from shooting his wares.

Is there any public law on the books which prohibits non-commercial private photography on a sidewalk? This is not an invasion of privacy, this store displays their goods openly. This is not paparazzi, there are no humans involved.

What is going on with our freedoms in Los Angeles? We allow cars to run through red lights at 60 MPH but we think that public sidewalks are somehow sacrosanct and off limits?

4 thoughts on “Hands on LaBrea.

  1. Sorry about the first post.

    Federal and state laws recognize candid photography from public spaces as protected, as long as it is not used for commercial purposes (i.e., later resold).

    This is not a blanket right, as there are several exceptions to even this principle.


  2. A friend and I got in trouble at Pinkberry in K-Town recently for photographing our yorgut.

    To be fair, we were inside the shop and there is a sign (that we did not see) prohibiting photographs but we were still a little surprised by being disallowed to photograph something we had already bought. The “photo bouncer” was pretty stern about the whole situation.

    I like your blog by the way.


  3. Nope, you’re allowed whatever the hell you want if you’re on public property, such as the sidewalk, of anyone or anything. Private property owners, and those asshole costumed characters in front of the Chinese Theatre, think otherwise, but thats the First Amendment for you.

    If you step onto their property, however, you need to follow their rules.

    I’m now tempted to go there and snag some shots, especially of the guy telling me to stop taking pictures.


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