Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beware of Dog .... copyrights

Found this story while surfing this morning. Good for a laugh. Beware the French Quarter for more than pick pockets!

My office is a few blocks from the French Quarter and I either drive through the Quarter or right along side it when I go to work. On weekends I sometimes go to my office early in the morning and stop in the French Quarter on the way just to walk around and take a few shots. The lighting is usually nice in the morning and the place isn't congested with tourists.

Last Sturday morning I was wandering around the flea market area where vendors were setting up their stands. I had a couple of shots left on a roll, so to finish off the roll I took a couple of snaps of a puppy that a guy had left tied to police barricade on the street. The guy came over and aggressively asked if I had taken a picture of his dog. I asked him, "What if I did?" The guy went postal, ranting about owning the copyright to any pictures of his dog, and started giving me a rash of sh*t. I calmly stood my ground and told him that in a public place such as on a public street it's okay to take pictures of just about anything. Apparently he thought I was a tourist because he noticed the Yankees cap I was wearing and made some disparaging remarks about me being from New York. I didn't say anything. Sometimes street performers, shoe shine guys and other Quarter characters try to hustle tourists to give them money if they take their pictures, so I thought maybe this guy just wanted money. But he kept it up and was becoming more and nore aggressive. I was still just standing there changing my film. When he said I was lucky that he didn't break my camera I suggested that we call a policeman over and that he would settle it. Then the guy backed off and sulked away.

Fast forward to this morning. On my way to the office I stopped in the Quarter and walked around a little with my camera. I was walking on a narrow sidewalk when a guy came out of a little convenience store just as I was passing by. We almost bumped into each, we both said "excuse me", and stood there face to face. It was the same guy from last Staurday. I saw him look up at the NY logo on my Yankees cap and he recognized me from last Saturday. He asked "Are you really from New York?" I said "No, I from here."

Without acknowledging anything that had happened before he said, "You ought to come to the Barkus parade this afternoon... I'm getting married." The Krewe of Barkus is a Mardi Gras dog parade. Before the parade starts at Congo Square there is dog costume contest and it's like a festival, with food and drinks and such. My wife and I try to go every year. It is very funny and we usually meet a lot of nice people there.

Anyway, I told the guy that I try to go to Barkus every year. He said "Yea, but I only get married every five or ten years... and my dog is going to be my best man."

Just to be sure it was the same guy I asked "Are you the same guy who gave me all that sh*t last week about taking a picture of your dog?" He laughed and said yes, he was... then he added that he had looked up the law and that I was right, that I could take pictures of his dog on a public street.

So I assured him I would be there at Barkus and would take pictures of his wedding and we left as good buddies. Crazy, huh?

Thanks Dennis!

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