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article imageStrippers upset after blog publishes semi-nude rooftop photos

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 26, 2010 in World
Toronto - A group of strippers and waitresses who took breaks on the roof of Toronto’s Zanzibar Tavern say their privacy was invaded when pictures of them wearing very little clothing were taken and published in a popular blog.
Brian Cameron, a Ryerson University librarian, took photos of the women, who often took breaks while wearing their work outfits, from his office window in August and September.
The photos were used with a story which ran on the news blog, Torontoist.
Allen Cooper, who owns the club, said many of the women do not want their occupation known, and were upset because the images show their faces.
CBC News reported that Cameron said in an e-mail that he was not paid for the photos and "was stunned and embarrassed" over the article.
The event has led to debate over privacy when people are photographed in public places.
Gil Zvulony, a privacy and copyright lawyer, said that people have no privacy rights while in public in most of the country.
In Quebec, photographers need the subject's consent, unless the photos are used for news or in the public interest.
Zvulony said the issue is how secluded the rooftop is from onlookers.
"If you're outside in the middle of downtown Toronto, I don't see how you can have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” the CBC quoted him as saying.
Cooper said there is a wall separating the roof and the university. He has put up signs to let employees know they can be seen from the roof, and plans to buy robes the women can wear during their breaks.
Torontoist removed all but one of the photographs from the site on Thursday.
An editor’s note on the site said that sex was not the focus of the photos or the accompanying story.
“We featured the photographs, instead, because they were compelling and unexpected—even beautiful—portraits, ones that complemented our story about Zanzibar's history and what would come of what management called the "rooftop patio" once more neighbours moved in,” the note stated.
It explained that they did not think the women would have considered the roof to be private, and that “Out of respect for those women and their privacy, then—privacy that they deserve, and that we did not for a moment intend to violate, but that we are very sorry if we have—we have removed all but one of Cameron's photos from the article above.”
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