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Richmond shelves filming on private property bylaw

City council has shelved a proposed bylaw requiring commercial camera operators to seek permission from city hall before filming on private or public property.

On Monday city council was set to approve the bylaw, dubbed "problematic" by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. But at its 7 p.m. meeting, council removed the bylaw from the agenda.

"It was brought to our attention that there was some unintended consequences of the bylaw," said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

After The Richmond Review contacted the B.C. Civil Liberties Association last week, the watchdog group sent a letter to the city outlining its concerns. Policy director Micheal Vonn was expecting to discuss the matter with city officials this week.

The bylaw would require commercial camera operators to pay the city $200 for a permit before filming anywhere in Richmond, including private residences. The bylaw makes no exemptions for those turning marginal profits, such as bloggers or YouTube video creators.

Even videographers or photographers filming on public property for personal use—streets, soccer fields, community centres—would be required to get a permit to do so, at a cost of $50.

Brodie said once the bylaw is reviewed, it will come back to council for approval "in due course."

Last week city council endorsed the bylaw at a committee meeting in a 7-0 vote.

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