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  1. #1
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    Default Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Texas

    I'm not sure if this is the correct section, but this is the closest I could think of. Some of the details have been changed but it shouldn't affect the underlying legal issue.

    The issue is not about whether or not a private business is allowed to prevent you from filming in their public areas. The issue is about whether or not they can single an individual out for not filming, even though others are allowed to do so.

    I dance, and sometimes I will film one of the other dancers. (To the extent that it matters, the other dancer is a minor, but I have written permission from her parents to do this -- specifically to prevent the studio from attacking me that way -- and we've known each other for years, and in fact they encourage it, because the videos go to them; the videos document her progress in dancing.) The dance studio (private business) however is discouraging me from doing this. The studio is open to the public, and sometimes members from the public (i.e. random people we don't know) will come in and film the dancer, because she's a high-level dancer doing cool high-level things. None of them have any sort of permission from the parents, written or otherwise, but it's in the public areas of the business. The studio has no issues with others (other students, random people, etc.) filming the dancer, even though she notices it and it makes her somewhat uncomfortable (and then she's not as focused on training). However, they are having issues with me filming her. There is no written or posted video policy at the studio.

    There's a backstory as to why the studio is doing this, although this gets away from the legal issue at hand -- she's a good dancer and improving much faster than the others, including the "in" group of dancers at the studio (who are friends with the owner). There's no other dance studio in town, and they know this, so they're looking to hamper her progress as much as they can; these videos help her assess how she's doing when she herself sees them. What is unclear is whether or not the studio is allowed to target a specific individual for not filming, when others are allowed to do so and there is no official policy on filming.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Yes, they can. As long as it is not being restricted because of your race, religion, national origin, or other characteristic protected by law, they can prohibit you from filming her even if they've allowed Paramount Pictures in to film her.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting Elador
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    What is unclear is whether or not the studio is allowed to target a specific individual for not filming, when others are allowed to do so and there is no official policy on filming.
    It's not unclear any more.

    The business owner CAN single you out and prohibit just you from filming. Nothing illegal about it.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting Elador
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    There's a backstory as to why the studio is doing this, although this gets away from the legal issue at hand
    No, it doesn’t get away from the legal issue at hand. The reason WHY the studio is doing this is everything. The business is allowed to prohibit one person from filming but allow another to do so so long as the reason for treating the two photographers differently is not a reason the law prohibits. If you are thinking that the law requires that all customers be treated the same then that idea is mistaken. A business does not have to do that. There is no law that says if one customer is allowed to do something all customers must be allowed to do it. All that matters is the reason why the customers are being treated differently. Chances are the business is not doing anything illegal in prohibiting you from filming but as you have decided not to share what that reason is for prohibiting you I cannot make any conclusions on the matter.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    No, it doesn’t get away from the legal issue at hand. The reason WHY the studio is doing this is everything. The business is allowed to prohibit one person from filming but allow another to do so so long as the reason for treating the two photographers differently is not a reason the law prohibits. If you are thinking that the law requires that all customers be treated the same then that idea is mistaken. A business does not have to do that. There is no law that says if one customer is allowed to do something all customers must be allowed to do it. All that matters is the reason why the customers are being treated differently. Chances are the business is not doing anything illegal in prohibiting you from filming but as you have decided not to share what that reason is for prohibiting you I cannot make any conclusions on the matter.
    I agree with all of this but cannot help feeling that the studio is being stupid about it if its not disrupting the class. If she gets good enough to make it in the business, even in a modest way, that is good publicity for the studio. Doing things to slow down her progress in order to please the "in clique" is stupid.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I agree with all of this but cannot help feeling that the studio is being stupid about it if its not disrupting the class. If she gets good enough to make it in the business, even in a modest way, that is good publicity for the studio. Doing things to slow down her progress in order to please the "in clique" is stupid.
    If the reason for doing this is to please the in crowd that are friends with the owner because the in crowd is being shown up as not as good then it is legal for the owner to prohibit the filming, of course, as no law prohibits the business from doing that. Whether it is stupid for the business to do it is debatable. If the result is loss of business or grief from the in-crowd that the owner relies upon, is it really stupid to prevent the cause of that loss of business or grief on the rather remote chance that this dancer gains some level of fame? After all, there are tons of talented singers, musicians, dancers, actors, and comics out there but very few of them achieve much fame in their own community, let alone elsewhere. So it is worth putting up with the grief from the in crowd for that remote chance she’ll get famous some day? That’s debatable.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    If you are thinking that the law requires that all customers be treated the same then that idea is mistaken. A business does not have to do that. There is no law that says if one customer is allowed to do something all customers must be allowed to do it.
    So does that mean that a restaurant can for example say a customer can't come in to eat unless they're wearing a tux, while other customers are in regular t-shirts and jeans? Or everyone gets free refills on drinks except for one customer? Or a movie theater telling one customer "you're not allowed to sit in the seats" but everybody else is? These are some examples off the top of my head where a business singles out a particular customer for different treatment.

    I can understand if a business for example tells a customer to leave for being loud and obnoxious and interfering with other customers and such, but this is not that case.

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I agree with all of this but cannot help feeling that the studio is being stupid about it if its not disrupting the class. If she gets good enough to make it in the business, even in a modest way, that is good publicity for the studio. Doing things to slow down her progress in order to please the "in clique" is stupid.
    It's good publicity, but it's the wrong kind of good publicity, i.e. it's the "wrong" dancers getting the good publicity. After the star dancer graduated, the owner's best friend's daughter was the "heir apparent" to become the next star dancer at the studio. However, other dancers are progressing faster than she is.

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Whether it is stupid for the business to do it is debatable. If the result is loss of business or grief from the in-crowd that the owner relies upon, is it really stupid to prevent the cause of that loss of business or grief on the rather remote chance that this dancer gains some level of fame?
    The owner actually gets more revenue from the not-in-crowd. But the in-crowd are personal friends with the owner. So whether it is stupid for the business depends on the extent to which the owner is concerned about making money versus pleasing their personal friends whom they've known for years.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Whether it's good or bad publicity for them is their outlook. So is where they get their revenue from. None of that changes the fact that yes, they are allowed, legally to exclude you from filming her even if they allow others to do so.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting Elador
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    So does that mean that a restaurant can for example say a customer can't come in to eat unless they're wearing a tux, while other customers are in regular t-shirts and jeans? Or everyone gets free refills on drinks except for one customer? Or a movie theater telling one customer "you're not allowed to sit in the seats" but everybody else is? These are some examples off the top of my head where a business singles out a particular customer for different treatment.
    In each instance the answer to your question is yes unless the reason the business is treating that one customer differently is one that he law prohibits. For example if the business is requiring all Black customers to wear a tux but does not require that of customers of other races then the business is illegally discriminating on the basis of race. But if the business owner just requires a customer to wear a tux because the guy is an Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders fan and the owner is a Denver Broncos fan that is perfectly legal because no law prohibits a business from discriminating on the basis of the pro football team the customer supports. Again, there is no law that says all customers must get the same treatment or benefits. The business can favor some customers over others so long as the reason for the differing treatment is not one that the law prohibits. Some choices the business owner makes may be stupid or irrational, but it is his business and he can make decisions that are stupid and irrational if he wishes so long as those decisions do not violate the law.

    Quote Quoting Elador
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    I can understand if a business for example tells a customer to leave for being loud and obnoxious and interfering with other customers and such, but this is not that case.
    The business is not limited to those reasons for ejecting a customer. It can eject a customer for most any reason it wants. There is only a problem if the reason is one of the very few reasons, like race, religion, etc., that the law prohibits as a basis for treating customers differently.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can a Private Business Prevent You from Filming when Others Are Allowed to Do So

    Quote Quoting Elador
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    It's good publicity, but it's the wrong kind of good publicity, i.e. it's the "wrong" dancers getting the good publicity. After the star dancer graduated, the owner's best friend's daughter was the "heir apparent" to become the next star dancer at the studio. However, other dancers are progressing faster than she is.
    You're dead wrong here. Dance studios are accredited by the talent that they teach, not by teaching a certain person first. If the student you film moves on to Broadway and the friends daughter follows, it makes no difference then if they held one student back so the other could succeed first. There is something strange about YOU that the school doesn't like.

    And it's not the student that gets the publicity, its the school.

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