Public Law 106-206

5/26/2000: Signed by President; Became Public Law No: 106-206 [114 Stat. 314; cod. 16 USC 460l-6d].

H.R.154

One Hundred Sixth Congress
of the
United States of America
AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,

the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand

An Act

To allow the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a fee system for commercial filming activities on Federal land, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. COMMERCIAL FILMING.

(a) COMMERCIAL FILMING FEE—The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (hereafter individually referred to as the “Secretary” with respect to lands under their respective jurisdiction) shall require a permit and shall establish a reasonable fee for commercial filming activities or similar projects on Federal lands administered by the Secretary. Such fee shall provide a fair return to the United States and shall be based upon the following criteria:

(1) The number of days the filming activity or similar project takes place on Federal land under the Secretary’s jurisdiction.

(2) The size of the film crew present on Federal land under the Secretary’s jurisdiction.

(3) The amount and type of equipment present.

The Secretary may include other factors in determining an appropriate fee as the Secretary deems necessary.

(b) RECOVERY OF COSTS—The Secretary shall also collect any costs incurred as a result of filming activities or similar project, including but not limited to administrative and personnel costs. All costs recovered shall be in addition to the fee assessed in subsection (a).

(c) STILL PHOTOGRAPHY—

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall not require a permit nor assess a fee for still photography on lands administered by the Secretary if such photography takes place where members of the public are generally allowed. The Secretary may require a permit, fee, or both, if such photography takes place at other locations where members of the public are generally not allowed, or where additional administrative costs are likely.

(2) The Secretary shall require and shall establish a reasonable fee for still photography that uses models or props which are not a part of the site’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities.

(d) PROTECTION OF RESOURCES—The Secretary shall not permit any filming, still photography or other related activity if the Secretary determines—

(1) there is a likelihood of resource damage;

(2) there would be an unreasonable disruption of the public’s use and enjoyment of the site; or

(3) that the activity poses health or safety risks to the public.

(e) USE OF PROCEEDS—

(1) All fees collected under this Act shall be available for expenditure by the Secretary, without further appropriation, in accordance with the formula and purposes established for the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (Public Law 104-134). All fees collected shall remain available until expended.

(2) All costs recovered under this Act shall be available for expenditure by the Secretary, without further appropriation, at the site where collected. All costs recovered shall remain available until expended.

(f) PROCESSING OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS—The Secretary shall establish a process to ensure that permit applicants for commercial filming, still photography, or other activity are responded to in a timely manner.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.


43 CFR Part 5

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 43—Public Lands: Interior]
[Subtitle A—Office of the Secretary of the Interior]
[Part 5—Commercial Filming and Similar Projects and Still Photography on Certain Areas Under Department Jurisdiction]
[Subpart A—Areas Administered by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]

(78 FR 52087, 22 August 2013; effective 23 September 2013)

§ 5.2 When do I need a permit for commercial filming or still photography?

(a) All commercial filming requires a permit.

(b) Still photography does not require a permit unless:

(1) It uses a model, set, or prop as defined in § 5.12; or

(2) The agency determines a permit is necessary because:

(i) It takes place at a location where or when members of the public are not allowed; or

(ii) The agency would incur costs for providing on-site management and oversight to protect agency resources or minimize visitor use conflicts.

(c) Visitors do not require a permit for filming or still photography activities unless the filming is commercial filming as defined in § 5.12 or the still photography activity involves one of the criteria listed in § 5.2 (b).

§ 5.12 How are terms defined in this subpart?

The following definitions apply to this subpart:

 . . .

Commercial filming means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, television broadcast, or documentary, or other similar projects. Commercial filming activities may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props.

 . . .

Model means a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of a product or service. Models include, but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, articles of clothing, and food and beverage products, placed on agency lands so that they may be filmed or photographed to promote the sale or use of a product or service. For the purposes of this part, portrait subjects such as wedding parties and high school graduates are not considered models, if the image will not be used to promote or sell a product or service.

 . . .

Sets and props means items constructed or placed on agency lands to facilitate commercial filming or still photography including, but not limited to, backdrops, generators, microphones, stages, lighting banks, camera tracks, vehicles specifically designed to accommodate camera or recording equipment, rope and pulley systems, and rigging for climbers and structures. Sets and props also include trained animals and inanimate objects, such as camping equipment, campfires, wagons, and so forth, when used to stage a specific scene. The use of a camera on a tripod, without the use of any other equipment, is not considered a prop.

 . . .

Still photography means the capturing of a still image on film or in a digital format.

Last updated September 2013


[obsolete] 36 CFR 5.5

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 36, Parks, Forests, and Public Property]
[Chapter I, National Park Service, Department of the Interior]
[Part 5, Commercial and Private Operations]

(31 FR 16660, 29 December 1966; effective 28 January 1967; superseded 23 September 2013)

Sec. 5.5 Commercial photography.

(a) Motion pictures, television. Before any motion picture may be filmed or any television production or sound track may be made, which involves the use of professional casts, settings, or crews, by any person other than bona fide newsreel or news television personnel, written permission must first be obtained from the Superintendent, in accordance with the provisions of the special regulations contained in part 5, subtitle A, title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(b) Still photography. The taking of photographs of any vehicle, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising without a written permit from the Superintendent is prohibited.

Last updated September 2013


National Park Service 1990 Letter

[The following letter was issued by the Office of the Secretary of the Interior in April 1990.]

Commercial Still Photography

It is the policy of the National Park Service to permit and encourage photography within the National Park system to the fullest extent possible consistent with the protection of resources and the enjoyment of visitors.

As a general rule, permits are not required for either commercial or non-commercial photographers.  This is true whether or not the photographer uses tripods, flashbulbs, strobe lights, or interchangeable lenses.

Permits can be required when the photography involves product or service advertisement or the use of models, sets, or props, or when such photography could result in damage to the resources or significant disruption of normal visitor uses.  Permits shall be required for photographers granted access to areas normally closed to the visiting public except that oral approval can be given for such access to a photographer engaged in bona fide news-gathering activities.

Photographers should not need a permit to go anywhere that members of the public are generally allowed to go without a permit.  Nor should a permit be needed for photographers to do anything that members of the public are generally allowed to do without a permit.

If a photography permit is deemed appropriate in any particular situation, NPS personnel should impose only those restrictions necessary to accomplish the needed resource protection, visitor use, or legal limitation.  For advertising photography, it is appropriate to impose a permit condition that prohibits implied or stated National Park Service endorsement of the advertised product or service.

Care should be taken that conditions be reasonable.  Liability insurance requirements and other limitations should not be unduly burdensome.


BLM and Forest Service 1994 Letter

[The following letter was sent to editors of various newspapers and magazines in August of 1994 by Mike Dombeck, Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Jack Ward Thomas, Chief of the US Forest Service.]

Dear Editor:

A wire service news article appearing in Western newspapers gives the false impression that Federal agencies are requiring permits and charging fees to photographers who take scenic and landmark photographs on public lands. The impression is wrong.

The news article implied that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service (FS) and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) subject this activity to rigorous control and payment of fees. The conclusion in the article was erroneous and this letter will clarify the correct policy. Most professional and amateur photographers are allowed to take still photographs on public lands without a special use permit or the payment of any fees. Tourists and recreational photographers also are not required to obtain any permits for taking pictures on the public lands.

A permit for still photography is only required in rare and unusual circumstances. These include:

When these exceptions do occur, the agencies may require payment of a use fee to recover administrative costs. We emphasize that this policy allows most photography to occur without permits or fees. We do request that commercial photographers contact the local FS or BLM office to advise the agencies of their activity. We appreciate it when captions identify the public land and its location in published photographs.

It is the responsibility of the agencies, as mandated by law and regulation, to administer all activities by private entities, including commercial photographic enterprises, in a fair and equitable manner. Fees for the use of the public’s land and resources will be assessed when special circumstances occur. The BLM, in consultation with the FS, is currently in the process of revising regulation that cover filming activities on the public lands. The intent of these proposed regulations will be to eliminate the confusion regarding types of commercial filming activities. It is anticipated that the policies for still photography will not change.

The FS and the BLM support and encourage photographers to make maximum use of the scenic beauty of the Nation’s public lands.


Forest Service Manual Section 2725.5

[US Forest Service]
[Forest Service Manual]
[Title 2700—Special Uses Management]
[2725.5—Arts]

(Amendment No. 2700-2011-3, effective August 4, 2011)

2725.51—Still Photography

This designation includes commercial activities for capturing still images on film or in a digital format.

This designation does not include the taking of photographic images by the general public for personal use. This designation of use also does not include commercial filming, which is covered in FSM 2725.52.

Direction on fee administration is found at FSH 2709.11, chapter 30, and direction on permit administration is found at FSH 2709.11, chapter 40.

2725.52—Commercial Filming

This designation does not include still photography (FSM 2725.51).

This designation includes locations used by the motion picture and television media involving large film crews, actors, and sets. The designation also includes anticipated news-related uses, such as coverage of sports events, entertainment specials, or documentaries. Coordinate the permitting of these uses with the Office of Communication, Washington Office. See FSM 1650 for further direction.

Direction on fee administration is found at FSH 2709.11, chapter 30, and direction on permit administration is found in FSH 2709.11, chapter 40.

Last updated September 2013


Forest Service Handbook 2709.11, Section 45.5

[US Forest Service]
[Forest Service Handbook]
[2709.11—Special Uses Handbook]
[Chapter 40—Special Uses Administration]
[Section 45.5—Arts]

(Amendment No.: 2709.11-2012-1, effective December 13, 2012)

2. Definitions

c. Commercial Filming. Use of motion picture, videotaping, sound-recording, or any other type of moving image or audio recording equipment on NFS lands that involves the advertisement of a product or service, the creation of a product for sale, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props, but not including activities associated with broadcasting breaking news. For purposes of this definition, creation of a product for sale includes a film, videotape, television broadcast, or documentary of historic events, wildlife, natural events, features, subjects or participants in a sporting or recreation event, and so forth, when created for the purpose of generating income.

d. Model. An individual who poses for the commercial filming or still photography of a product or service for the purpose of promoting its sale or use. A model may also include inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, off-highway vehicles, articles of clothing, food and beverage products, and so forth, placed on NFS lands so that they may be filmed, photographed, or recorded to promote their sale or use.

e. Sets and Props. Items constructed or placed on NFS lands to accommodate commercial filming or still photography, such as backdrops, generators, microphones, stages, lighting banks, camera tracks, vehicles specifically designed to accommodate camera or recording equipment, rope and pulley systems, rigging for climbers, and structures. Sets and props also include trained animals and inanimate objects, such as camping equipment, campfires, wagons, and so forth, when used to stage a specific scene. A set or prop does not include any of the preceding items when they are used to report breaking news, nor does a prop include a hand-held camera or a camera mounted on a tripod.

Last updated September 2013


[obsolete] Forest Service Manual Section 2725

[US Forest Service]
[Forest Service Manual]
[Title 2700—Special Uses Management]
[2725.5—Arts]

(Amendment No. 2700-92-14, effective October 6, 1992)
(Superseded; most recent is Amendment No. 2700-2011-3, effective August 4, 2011)

2725.51—Commercial Still Photography.

This category of use does not include motion picture, video, or television photography, which is covered in a separate section.

Photographers, professional and amateur alike, are permitted to take still photographs on National Forest System lands without a Special Use Permit, except as follows:

  1. Special Use Permits are required when unusual photographic activities are proposed that may adversely impact National Forest System lands or disrupt Forest Service activities.
  2. Special Use Permits are required for photographers taking pictures of Forest users with the intent of resale to the users.
  3. Special Use Permits are required for photography that features a commercial product for sale when National Forest System lands are used for background.
  4. When a still photographer contacts a local Forest Service office, Forest Service personnel should recommend that the photographer identify the National Forest and place name of site in photo descriptions.

2725.52—Motion Picture and Television Location.

This designation includes locations for the motion picture and television media on National Forest System lands. The commercial filming use goes beyond photography in that it routinely involves large film crews, actors, and sets. The designation also includes anticipated news-related uses, such as coverage of sports events, entertainment specials, or documentaries. Coordinate applications for these uses with the Office of Communication, Washington Office. See FSM 1650 for further direction.


California Code of Regulations Title 14

[California Code of Regulations]
[Title 14, Natural Resources]
[Division 3, Department of Parks and Recreation]
[Chapter 1. General]

§ 4316. Commercial Filming.

Except when authorized by the Department, no person shall photograph, videotape or film for commercial (profit and sale) purposes in any unit, or portion thereof, owned operated or administered by the Department without a permit from the California Film Commission, pursuant to Government Code section 14998.8 et seq.

(New section filed 6-5-91; operative 7-5-91 [Register 91, No. 35]).

Rulemaking History

[California Regulatory Notice Register 90, No 22-Z, pp. 826–28]
(Description of proposed regulation’s effect)

“The effect of this proposal is to set into regulation administrative procedures covering commercial photography in state parks and those [procedures?] established by the California Film Commission which allow filming that does not impact visitor safety or access, damage resources, or adversely affect park operations.”

[Rulemaking file, 1990, Part C, Initial Statement of Reasons. No substantive changes were noted in Part H, Final Statement of Reasons.]
(Justification for proposed regulation, submitted to the California Office of Administrative Law in 1990)

“Past experience has repeatedly shown that filming crews, unless closely monitored and controlled, frequently destroy or damage park cultural and natural resources while filming, unnecessarily disrupt the park experience of other park users, or disturb surrounding communities. The Department needs to protect park visitors and resources from these dangers and ensure that the access of general park visitors is not denied by unauthorized commercial photographers.”

[Chapter 6. Provisions Limited to Specific Units]

§ 4600. Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument.

(b) Handling Objects.

No person other than officers or employees of the Department in the course of duty shall touch, handle, or move any object or exhibit.

(d) Photographs and Cameras.

No photography is to interfere with scheduled tours, and the time limits allotted them. No photographer is to leave the tour route, use any kind of artificial light, tripod, or set any equipment down on any surface without permission from the Department.

(Amendment filed 1-28-86; effective thirtieth day thereafter [Register 86, No. 5]).

(Change without regulatory effect repealing section and renumbering former sections 4600.1–4600.3 and 4600.6 to new subsections (a)–(d), respectively, with amendments thereto, filed 6-18-96 pursuant to § 100, Title 1, California Code of Regulations [Register 96, No. 25]).

§ 4613. California State Railroad Museum.

The California State Railroad Museum, for the purposes of this section, includes the Museum of Railroad History Building, the Big Four Building, the Central Pacific Passenger Station, Central Pacific Freight Depot, and the train equipment operated by the Museum.

(b) Photography.

No person shall use photographic equipment or techniques when informed by staff or posted notice that their use is prohibited.

(c) Artifacts and Exhibits.

Except as authorized by the Department, no person shall touch, handle or move any artifact, museum object or exhibit.

(New section filed 6-5-91; operative 7-5-91 [Register 91, No. 35]).

(Change without regulatory effect repealing first sentence and second paragraph, and renumbering former sections 4613.1–4613.5 to new subsections (a)–(e), respectively, with amendments, filed 6-18-96 pursuant to § 100, Title 1, California Code of Regulations [Register 96, No. 25]).


Marin County Codes

[Marin County Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services Code]
[Title 10, Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services]
[Chapter 10.03, Visitor Conduct]

10.03.150 Commercial Activities.

No person shall do any of the following within parks:

  1. Sell, hawk or otherwise peddle any goods, merchandise or services;
  2. Station or place any stand, cart or vehicle for display of goods, merchandise or services;
  3. Distribute, circulate or post any handbill, pamphlet or other advertisement regarding sale of goods, merchandise or services;
  4. Conduct any commercial filming or photography or activity related to commercial filming or photography except by written permission from the department;
  5. Conduct any activity of a commercial nature except by written permission from the department.

(Ord. 3418 § 2 (part), 2004)

[Marin County Code]
[Appendix A, Marin County Open Space Code]
[Chapter 100.02, Land Use Regulations—Visitor Conduct]

100.02.160 Commercial Activities.

No person shall do any of the following on district lands:

  1. Sell, hawk, or otherwise peddle any goods, merchandise or services;
  2. Station or place any stand, cart or vehicle for display of goods, merchandise or services;
  3. Distribute, circulate or post any handbill, pamphlet or other advertisement regarding sale of goods, merchandise or services;
  4. Conduct any commercial photography or activity related to commercial photography except by written permission from the district;
  5. Conduct any activity of a commercial nature except by written permission from the district.

San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 57

[San Francisco Administrative Code]
[Chapter 57, Film and Video Arts Commission]

Sec. 57.1. Definitions.

  1. (a) “City” means the City and County of San Francisco.
  2. (b) “Commission” means the Film Commission of the City and County of San Francisco.
  3. (c) “Film” means feature motion pictures, video tapes, television programs, commercials, still photography, documentaries, travelogues, music videos and other visual art forms; provided however, that “film” shall not mean films or video tapes for private-family use or films by any news service or similar entity engaged in on-the-spot broadcasting of news events.
  4. (d) “Film company” means any individual, corporation, firm, partnership, or other organization however organized engaged in film production.
  5. (e) “Film production” means the activity of making a film for commercial or noncommercial property where that activity (1) requires the use of City employees or equipment or (2) interferes with the ordinary use, safety and enjoyment of public right-of-ways or other property under the jurisdiction of the City.

(Added by Ord. 464-88, App. 10/12/88; amended by Ord. 425-89, App. 11/21/89; Ord. 331-00, File No. 001967, App. 12/28/2000; Ord. 70-06, File No. 060065, App. 4/20/2006)

[The Executive Director, appointed by the Commission, supervises the Commission’s staff, coordinates the efforts of City departments in connection with film production, coordinates any and all permits required by the City for film production, and is the sole City representative authorized to negotiate use agreements with film companies.]

Sec. 57.6. Requirements for Film Companies.

  1. (a) Use Agreements. All film companies seeking to engage in film production shall enter into use agreements with the Executive Director.
  2. (b) Insurance and Indemnification. As a condition of engaging in film productions, concurrently with entering into a use contract with the City for the utilization of City property or employees, film companies shall file with the Executive Director documentation of insurance and indemnification holding the City and County harmless from any liability. The amounts of such insurance and indemnification, and the suitability of the insuring entity, shall be determined by the City’s Risk Manager in coordination with the Executive Director and other City departments.

(Added by Ord. 464-88, App. 10/12/88; amended by Ord. 425-89, App. 11/21/89; Ord. 358-91, App. 10/2/91; Ord. 331-00, File No. 001967, App. 12/28/2000)

Sec. 57.7. Exceptions.

Sections 57.5 and 57.6 of this Chapter shall not apply to film production occurring in the buildings or on the grounds of the San Francisco War Memorial Performing Arts Center, the Fine Arts Museums, the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Convention Facilities, the San Francisco Port Commission, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Commission, or where inconsistent with State law, the Charter or contractual agreements.

(Formerly Sec. 57.11; added by Ord. 464-88, App. 10/12/88; amended by Ord. 425-89, App. 11/21/89; Ord. 358-91, App. 10/2/91; amended and renumbered by Ord. 331-00, File No. 001967, App. 12/28/2000; Ord. 70-06, File No. 060065, App. 4/20/2006)


San Francisco Park Code Article 7

[San Francisco Park Code]
[Article 7, Permits]

Sec. 7.12. Commercial Photography, Filming, Recording.

No person shall engage in commercial photography, filming or recording in any park without first having obtained a permit. The procedure for obtaining such permits shall be established by the Recreation and Park Department and shall be kept on file with the Secretary of the Recreation and Park Commission and made available to the public upon request.

(Added by Ord. 603-81, App. 12/18/81)

Sec. 7.17. Permits—Failure to Obtain.

It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct or sponsor any activity which requires a permit without first having obtained the appropriate permit and, when requested to do so by a Recreation and Park Department employee, a member of the Park Patrol, or by a police officer, displaying such permit. Furthermore, it shall be unlawful to participate in such an activity with knowledge that it is being conducted without a permit when a permit is required pursuant to this Code.

(Added by Ord. 603-81, App. 12/18/ 81)


San Francisco Port Code Articles 1 and 6

[San Francisco Port Code]
[Article 1, Definitions]

Sec. 1.1. “Park” Defined.

When used in this code, the word “park” shall mean and include those certain grounds, public access areas, promenades, plazas, roadways, avenues, squares, recreation facilities, and other property identified in Appendix A attached hereto, any other areas that are or become publicly-dedicated public access areas and such other areas of land or water that are designated to be subject to this code by a resolution of the San Francisco Port Commission and which are under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Port Commission. Any park abutting the waters of San Francisco Bay shall not be deemed to include the waters of San Francisco Bay except that the term “park” shall also include those areas of waters within the Port Commission’s jurisdiction that are specifically designated by the Port Commission by resolution to be subject to this code. The Port Commission shall keep on file a graphic representation of such “Parks” which shall be updated as needed to represent the “Parks” subject to this Port Code.

(Added by Ord. 92-00, File No. 000634, App. 5/19/2000)

[Article 6, Permits]

Sec. 6.11. Commercial Photography, Filming, Recording.

No person shall engage in commercial photography, filming or recording in any park without first having obtained a permit from the Executive Director. Permits for such commercial activities shall be issued by the Executive Director pursuant to the Port’s permit authority set forth [in] Charter Section B3.581.

(Added by Ord. 92-00, File No. 000634, App. 5/19/2000)

[San Francisco Port Code]

Appendix A Port Parks

[* Under long-term lease to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.]


San Francisco Police Code Article 34

[San Francisco Police Code]
[Article 34 Regulations for Photographers—Permit and License Provisions]

Sec. 3400. Definitions.

As used in Sections 3400 through 3408 the following words shall have the following respective meanings:

(a) “Photographer” shall mean every person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of taking photographs of human beings in a public place or any place open to the public for any purpose, except as an established photographic studio upon an agreement or understanding that money or other lawful consideration will be paid for the said taking.

(b) “Solicitor” shall mean every person acting as servant, agent or employee of a photographer, as defined herein, who solicits the taking or actually takes photographs of human beings in a public place or any place open to the public for any purpose, except as an established photographic studio, upon an agreement or understanding that money or other lawful consideration will be paid for the said taking.

The aforesaid definitions shall not include a “Street Photographer” as defined in this Article, nor photographers employed by newspapers or other similar publications while engaged in the scope of their employment.

(Added by Ord. 555-81, App. 11/12/81)

Sec. 3401. Permit Required.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to engage in or carry on, or to maintain or conduct, or cause to be engaged in, carried on, maintained or conducted, the business of photographer in public places or to act as a solicitor without having first secured a permit to do so from the Chief of Police and a license therefor from the Tax Collector.

(Added by Ord. 555-81, App. 11/12/81)

Sec. 3410. Street Photographer.

Definition. As used in Sections 3410 to 3417, inclusive, of this Article, “Street Photographer” shall mean every person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of photography and carrying on said business or any portion thereof in any public street, alley, park or other public place in the City and County of San Francisco, and who in the course of such business issues or causes to be issued a coupon or other means of identification to any person who is the subject of the photograph, which means of identification upon presentation to a designated address entitles the holder thereof, upon the payment of a fee or charge, to receive a copy of the photograph so taken.

(Added by Ord. 555-81, App. 11/12/81)

Sec. 3416. Issuance of “Street Photographer” Badge.

The Tax Collector shall, upon receipt of the permit provided for in Section 3413 of this Article and the payment of the license fee, issue to the permittee a serially numbered metallic badge having imprinted thereon the words “Street Photographer” and the year for which the license was issued. Said badge shall be worn on the person for whom it was issued, in a conspicuous place for the public to see, at all times when said person is engaged in taking photographs as provided in this section. A badge fee shall be charged to cover the costs of the badge.

(Added by Ord. 555-81, App. 11/12/81)

Sec. 3420. Photographic Solicitors.

Definition. As used in Sections 3420 to 3427, inclusive, “Photographic Solicitor” shall mean every person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of photography and who solicits said business or any portion thereof in any public street, alley, park or other public place in the City and County of San Francisco, and who, upon payment of a fee or charge in the course of such said business as is conducted in any public street, alley, park or other public place, issues or causes to be issued a coupon or other means of identification which, upon presentation at a designated address entitles the holder to be photographed and to have a copy of such photograph transmitted in accordance with his directions.

(Added by Ord. 555-81, App. 11/12/81)

Sec. 3426. Badge.

The Tax Collector shall, upon the receipt of the permit provided for in Section 3423 of this Article and the payment of the required license fee, issue to the permittee a serially numbered metallic badge having imprinted thereon the words “Photographic Solicitor” and the year for which the license was issued. Said badge shall be worn on the person for whom it was issued, in a conspicuous place for the public to see at all times when said person is engaged in soliciting photographic business as provided in Sections 3420 to 3427. A badge fee shall be charged to cover the costs of the badge.

(Added by Ord. 555-81, App. 11/12/81)


San Mateo County Code Section 3.68.080

[San Mateo County Code]
[Title 3 Public Safety, Morals and Welfare]
[Chapter 3.68 County Park and Recreation Area Rules]
[Section 3.68.080 General protective regulations]

(w) Commercial Filming. No person shall operate a still, motion picture, video or other camera for commercial purposes in any County Park or Recreation area, or on the San Francisco Fish and Game Refuge, except pursuant to a written permit from the Director or the General Manager and Chief Engineer, or their representative, for the areas under their respective jurisdictions authorizing such activity. This section shall not apply to the commercial operation of cameras as part of the bonafide reporting of news.

(Prior code § 3387; Ord. 415, 06/25/34; Ord. 976, 01/15/52; Ord. 1287, 05/06/58; Ord. 2394, 09/21/76; Ord. 2807, 10/26/82; Ord. 3252, 07/31/90; Ord. 3796, 11/4/97; Ord. 3863, 12/1/98)

Last updated June 2012


Santa Clara County Code Division B14

[Santa Clara County Code]
[Title B, Regulations]
[Division B14, Parks and Recreation]
[Chapter V, Special Use of Parks]
[Article 1, Generally]

Sec. B14-11.1. Glossary

(e) Commercial Still Photography: Black and white or color still photography which is performed under contract for profit or may be sold for profit at a later date.

[Article 4, Commercial/Concession Permits]

Sec. B14-54.4. Commercial Photography.

County park areas are not available for commercial filmmaking or photography without a use permit obtained from the Director.

(Ord. No. NS-702.89, § 2, 12-18-01)

Last updated June 2012


Regulations for Use of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Lands

[Adopted by Ordinance No. 93-1, July 28, 1993]
[Revised and Adopted by Ordinance No. 96-1, February 28, 1996]
[Revised and Adopted by Ordinance No. 03-01, June 6, 2003]
[Revised and Adopted by Ordinance No. 03-02, August 13, 2003]
[Revised and Adopted by Ordinance No. 04-01, August 25 2004]
[Chapter VI, Preserve Uses—Commercial/Revenue]

Section 603. Commercial Filming.

603.1 General. No person shall conduct a filming operation involving the use of film equipment, lighting, props, or other similar materials, except for a single still, motion picture, video, digital or other camera, for commercial purposes on District Lands except pursuant to a permit authorizing such activity. This section shall not apply to the commercial operation of cameras as part of the bona fide reporting of news. Violation of this sub-section is punishable as a misdemeanor.

Last updated June 2012


Palo Alto Municipal Code

[City of Palo Alto Municipal Code]
[Title 2, Administrative Code]
[Chapter 2.08, Officers and Departments]

2.08.050 Rules and regulations.

(b) The city manager may prescribe and enforce regulations for entry into or use by members of the public of any city real property, building, structure, or other facility. Such regulations may restrict or prohibit the times and duration of entry into or use by members of the public of specified city facilities. Such regulations may restrict or prohibit the entry into or use by members of the public of motor vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, or other conveyances on specified city facilities. Such regulations may restrict or prohibit the personal conduct of any member of the public within specified city facilities. Any such regulations shall be prescribed and enforced for the purpose of providing maximum access to and use of city facilities by members of the public consistent with the public health, safety, comfort, and convenience of all other public users of the city facilities.

Any regulation prescribed by the city manager for public entry into or use of any city real property, building, structure or other facility shall become effective on the fifteenth day following notice sent to the city council; provided, however, that any regulation may be terminated or modified at any time by resolution or ordinance. It shall be unlawful for any person to disobey or fail to observe any such regulation of which such person has actual notice, however given, or constructive notice through appropriate signs or notices posted on affected city real property, building, structure, or other facility.

Any regulation prescribed by the city manager for public entry into or use of any city real property, building, structure or other facility shall be filed with the city clerk and shall be available for inspection in accordance with state law.

(Ord. 4439 § 2, 1997: Ord. 4274 § 1 (part), 1995)

[Title 22, Parks]
[Chapter 22.04 Parks and Recreations Building Use and Regulations]

22.04.030 Compliance required.

No person shall enter, be or remain in any city park or open space lands except in compliance with this code and the regulations promulgated by the city manager.

Any regulation promulgated by the city manager shall be filed with the city clerk and with the director and shall become effective on the fifteenth day following notice sent to the council, provided, however, that any regulation may be terminated or modified at any time by council resolution or ordinance.

22.04.160 Commercial activities and solicitation.

(a) Except as otherwise provided, no person shall engage in commercial activities, including advertising or solicitation for commercial purposes in parks and open space lands

(b) Commercial activities associated with and supportive of city programs or city-sponsored activities for which a permit has been issued by the director shall be permitted in parks and open space lands.

(c) Commercial activities, commercial solicitation, and solicitation for donations shall comply with all applicable laws, including those requirements for permits issued under Title 4 of the Palo Alto Municipal Code.

(Ord. 4435 § 70, 1997: Ord. 4368 § 2 (part), 1996)

[Park and Open Space Regulations]

R1-21A. Commercial Photography and Filming

No person shall operate a still, motion picture, video, or other camera for commercial purposes on City lands except pursuant to a permit authorizing such activity or except for those activities associated with and supportive of City programs or City-sponsored events. This section shall not apply to the commercial operation of cameras as part of the bona fide reporting of news. (Adopted 6/28/04)

  1. Applications shall be submitted not less than ten (10) working days before the proposed use.
  2. No sound amplification equipment, which will disturb the peace, may be used in connection with any photo shoot, except when used by City employees or safety officers for purposes of crowd control.
  3. No permit shall be granted for any event between the hours of 8:00 pm and 9:00 am without the prior approval of the Director.
  4. No permit shall be granted when the closure would result in hampering prompt access to an area or location by emergency vehicles.
  5. Wherever appropriate, the City will require the applicant to erect barricades according to City specifications for public safety. The person or persons making the application shall be responsible for placing and dismantling all barricades. All barricades shall be removed within one-half (1/2) hour of the ending time of the event. Barricades shall also be immediately removed upon request of any authorized officer or employee of the City. In some situations, the Permittee may be required by the City to provide traffic control and a qualified flag person if City streets or parking lots are involved.
Rulemaking History

[Minutes of Palo Alto Parks & Recreation Commission Regular Meeting May 25, 2004]
[Agenda Item 5, Modifications/Changes to Park Regulations]

“The photography regulations were discussed and it was clarified that permits would be expected for significant projects such as filming a commercial (currently not allowable), and are not intended to limit individual nature photography or photography involved with weddings or other events at city facilities.”

Last updated June 2012


Santa Barbara County Code Chapter 14C

[Santa Barbara County Code]
[Chapter 14C, Film Permit Office]

Sec. 14C-2. Definitions.

(c) “Filming activity” means the staging, shooting, filming, videotaping, photographing, or other similar process conducted for the making of still photographs, motion pictures, television programs, commercials, or nontheatrical film productions.

(g) “News purposes” means a filming activity conducted for the purposes of reporting on persons, events, or scenes which are in the news for newspapers, television news, and other news media. “News purposes” shall not include advertising or publicity filming.

Sec. 14C-5. Permit required.

It shall be unlawful to conduct filming activity as defined in section 14C-2(c) within the unincorporated areas or upon property controlled or owned by the County of Santa Barbara unless a film permit for such activity has been obtained in advance from the film permit officer. The permit must be in the possession of the permittee at all times while on location in the County of Santa Barbara. A film permit does not constitute or grant permission to use or occupy private property, a private road easement, or private road. A permittee shall obtain the private property owner’s, or homeowners association’s, written permission when filming is within property owned in common by a group of owners to use the property prior to use of said property. In the event that no such written permission can be obtained, the film permit officer may accept other forms of verification that said permission has been granted.

(Ord. No. 4193, § 1)

Sec. 14C-6. Permit exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any of the following activities when lawfully conducted, and are not detrimental to the peace and enjoyment of the area affected:

(a) Filming activities conducted for news purposes as defined in section 14C-2(g) of this chapter;

(b) Filming activities conducted at studios as defined in section 14C-2(k);

(c) Filming activities conducted for use in a criminal investigation or civil or criminal court proceeding;

(d) Filming activities conducted solely for private or family use;

(e) Filming of the proceeding of a court, tribunal or governing board when the filming is done with the written permission of said court, tribunal or board;

(f) Filming activity consistent with federal, state and local law and of no detriment to the peace, enjoyment, and safety of the area affected and does not interfere with the safe and reasonable operation and use of public and private property, roads, emergency vehicles, maintenance equipment and personnel, and does not employ firearms, replica firearms, amplified sound sources, nighttime lighting, explosives, open flames or pyrotechnical effects, and provided that activity is in compliance with subsections (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this section;

(1) Prior to any filming activity falling within this exemption, the person or entity conducting the filming shall file with the film permit officer a signed, written declaration which shall outline the intended activity; intended time, place, and duration; the person(s) and equipment to be involved; and a statement that filming will comply with the parameters of this exemption provision.

(2) The film permit officer shall review the declaration provided under subsection (f)(1) of this section and may, based upon that review or information subsequently made take action to enforce provisions of this chapter, should it be determined that this exemption is not being complied with or is not applicable to a particular filming activity;

(g) Filming by the county for public benefit as determined by the film permit officer;

(h) Filming activities by students for the purpose of fulfilling classwork assignments; filming activities conducted by recognized public or private schools; filming activities by individuals or entities solely intended for noncommercial purposes and not intended for the generation of financial profit;

(i) Filming performed by a business entity conducted at the place of business to promote sales events, announcements or other lawful activities and consistent with subsection (f) of this section.

(Ord. No. 4193, § 1)

Sec. 14C-13. Insurance required.

The applicant for a film permit shall procure and maintain for the duration of the film activity general liability, automobile liability, and property damage insurance in the amount of one million dollars minimum. The County of Santa Barbara risk manager or film permit officer may increase the required liability insurance coverage as necessary. Said insurance certificate shall name the County of Santa Barbara, its officers, agents, and employees, as additional insured, and shall be received by the film permit officer, prior to issuance of the film permit.

(Ord. No. 4193, § 1)

Last updated June 2012


City of Santa Barbara Municipal Code

[Title 5, Business Taxes and Permits]
[Chapter 5.04, Business Taxes]

5.04.060 Compliance Required by Businesses.

There are imposed upon the businesses specified and unspecified in this chapter taxes in the amounts prescribed, and it is unlawful for any person to transact and carry on any business in the City without first complying with any and all applicable provisions of this chapter, and each day such business is carried on without such compliance shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter. (Ord. 2930 § 4(a), 1963.)

[Title 5, Business Taxes and Permits]
[Chapter 5.15, Motion Picture and Television Production]

5.15.010 Definition and Exemption.

For the purposes of this chapter, the activity “motion picture and television production” includes cinematography, videotaping and other similar processes. Motion picture and television production of current news activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 4026, 1979.)

5.15.020 Permit for Business of Taking Motion Pictures.

  1. Every person engaged in the business of motion picture or television production in the City of Santa Barbara shall have a valid permit for such activity. The permit fees and exemptions shall be established by resolution.
  2. If the applicant would not be required to have a business license except for the activity relating to the business of motion picture or television production, the permit shall serve in place of said business license and the permittee shall not be required to have a separate business license.

(Ord. 4026, 1979.)

[Title 15, Recreation, Beaches And Parks]
[Chapter: 15.16, Public Beaches and Parks]

15.16.010 Selling or Soliciting.

It shall be unlawful for any person to practice, carry on, conduct, or solicit for any occupation, business or profession in any City park, or on any City beach, or sell or offer for sale therein any service, merchandise, article, or anything whatsoever. This section shall not apply to any person acting pursuant to a contract with the City of Santa Barbara or except as otherwise provided in this Code.

(Ord. 4189, 1982; prior Code §32.39.)

[Title 17, Harbor]
[Chapter 17.13, Stearns Wharf]

17.13.030 Commercial Photography.

Commercial, still, motion or sound photography is permitted on Stearns Wharf after doing the following:

  1. Obtaining permission of the Waterfront Director; and,
  2. Obtaining the appropriate permits from the City of Santa Barbara; and,
  3. Paying appropriate fees as established by City Council resolution.

(Ord. 4757, 1992.)

[Chapter 17.28, Business Activity and Advertising in Harbor]

17.28.100 Commercial Photography in Harbor.

Still, motion or sound photography is permitted in the Harbor after doing the following:

  1. Obtaining permission of the Waterfront Director; and,
  2. Obtaining the appropriate permits from the City of Santa Barbara; and,
  3. Paying appropriate fees as established by City Council resolution.

(Ord. 4757, 1992.)

Last updated June 2012


City of Los Angeles Codes

[Los Angeles Administrative Code]
[Division 22, Departments, Bureaus and Agencies Under the Control of the Mayor and Council]
[Chapter 13, Department of Public Works]
[Article 8, Motion Picture Coordination]
(Title Amended by: Ord. No. 148,883, Eff. 11-13-76.)

Sec. 22.350. Permit Required to Use City Property for Commercial Filming Purposes.

No person, as defined in Section 11.01 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, shall use any property belonging to or under the control of the City of Los Angeles for the purpose of making any commercial motion picture, or still photograph, of, or including such property, without first having obtained a use permit to do so from the City Council, or whomever the Council by order, resolution or ordinance may delegate such authority. No such use permit shall be issued until the permit applicant has paid the application fee and the use and service charge required in connection therewith, and until the permit applicant has furnished proof of insurance with coverage as required by the Director of the Office of Administrative and Research Services in a form approved by the City Attorney.

Added by Ord. No. 144,744, Eff. 7-8-73. Amended by: In Entirety, Ord. No. 170,515, Eff. 6-18-95; Ord. No. 173,363, Eff. 7-29-00, Oper. 7-1-00.

[Los Angeles Municipal Code]
[Chapter VI, Public Works And Property]
[Article 3, Public Parks, Playgrounds, Beaches And Other Property]

Sec. 63.44. Regulations Affecting Park And Recreation Areas.

(Added by Ord. No. 153,027, Eff. 11/16/79.)

B. Within the limits of any park in the City of Los Angeles:

3. [Suspended until further action by Ord. No. 176,929, Eff. 10/1/05.] No person shall rent or offer for rent, or sell or offer for sale any commercial merchandise, or any article or thing of any kind or nature whatsoever; or practice, carry on, conduct or solicit any trade, occupation, business, or profession, except by contract with the Board, Department, Commission or their authorized representatives. Nothing in this subdivision, however, shall prohibit the sale or offering for sale of newspapers, periodicals, books, pamphlets and other forms of communication except that said sale of offering for sale is prohibited in museums, in those portions of a park to which access is restricted by the payment of an admission fee or in those facilities which are operated under contract with the Board, Department or Commission.

(Amended by Ord. No. 159,064, Eff. 7/16/84.)

Last updated June 2012


Orange County Codified Ordinances

[Codified Ordinances, County of Orange, California]
[Title 5, Business and Special Licenses, Regulations]
[Division 3, Specific Additional License Requirements and Business Regulations]
[Article 23, Permit Requirements for Commercial Motion Picture Productions, Television Productions and Still Photography]

Sec. 5-3-337. Film permit required.

Except as provided in section 5-3-338, a person shall not use any County property within the unincorporated areas of the County of Orange or property or facilities belonging to the County of Orange or the special districts under the jurisdiction of the Orange County Board of Supervisors for the purpose of motion picture production, television production or still photography without first applying for and receiving a film permit from the issuing agency.

(Ord. No. 3717, § 1, 6-14-88; Ord. No. 05-020, § 45, 11-22-05)

Sec. 5-3-338. Exemptions.

(c) This article does not apply to the filming or video taping of motion pictures or the taking of still photographs solely for private use.

(Ord. No. 3717, § 1, 6-14-88; Ord. No. 05-020, § 46, 11-22-05)

Last updated June 2012