Tampa Dreams of SunRail

Metro Orlando is very grateful to have SunRail! Because here in Tampa Bay, it’s hard to build a better transportation network without a meaningful passenger rail system.

In collaboration with the SunRail Riders group – which advocates for better service on the SunRail Commuter Rail system in Orlando – I’m going to talk about SunRail and the challenges that Tampa Bay faces being without a passenger rail system. This post highlights the 7-day-a-week congestion along I-275, challenges with keeping the TECOline Streetcar Line running, and the ongoing battle between transit advocates and supporters, and the rail haters.

I invite you to read the full post at sunrailriders.com and tell us what you think. I want to take a few moments to thank the SunRail Riders for giving me this opportunity, and for everything that they do to help make SunRail even better! I hope to be able to write other pieces for the SunRail Riders in the future.

NOTE: Corresponding media in the post (except this photo) is not mine. Credit goes to their respective authors.

The European Union Photography Law Debate

EU Photography Law Debate Banner 1

Tension and confusion are building within the European Union…and it has nothing to do with the economic crisis in Greece. The debacle that I am going to be talking about today, has to do with a proposed union-wide law that would essentially ban commercial photography of landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the London Eye in London, without first seeking approval from the respective copyright holder. However, there is much confusion and opposition against the proposed law due to concerns that private individuals, like myself, won’t be able to take personal photographs of these landmarks and upload them to social media for our friends and family members to view, without fearing repercussions from the E.U.

Now, I can understand the E.U. wanting to make some sort of unified law, as right now, different countries have different policies. Like in the U.K., there is what is called “Freedom of Panorama” by which photos can be taken of copyrighted works in public spaces for both private and profit-generating uses. However, in countries like France and Belgium, laws currently exist by which you can’t do so without first being granted permission from the copyright holder. So for example, if I were to ever post a photo I took back in 2009 of the famous Atomium complex in Brussels or the Eiffel Tower in Paris at night – here on my blog – I could get into trouble even though the photo would never be used for profit-generating purposes. After all, this is a non-profit blog.

So you can see why there is some discord between each country’s policies when it comes to taking photos of copyrighted works and why a unified law should be crafted. However, unless major clarification are made to where the ordinary citizen isn’t penalized for doing a leisurely task during a vacation, then I am by all means against the current proposal.

Until the law can be clarified, I am suspending the expansion of my European Transports section.