Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pay to shoot?

Wildlife photographers say it's the end of beautiful pictures of beautiful places. National park officials say it had to be done.

Under a law passed in 2000, the Department of the Interior has to charge location fees for filming on public land. The bill, say park officials, was designed as an impact fee. Photographers now pay $200 a year plus fees for park services or assistance they need. Interim fees to comply to the law would charge them $150 a day for filming in national parks. Filmmakers say the agency is lumping together small independent filmmakers and big commercial production companies, and it's not fair.

The permanent fee structure will be released to the public in a couple of months; the interim fee goes into effect May 15, with a 30-day comment period. For a photographer's take on this new law, check out www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2006/04/fees.html

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