Photographing Your Neighbors in Their Homes Is Legal, as Long as it’s Art

August 9, 2013 | Andy Cush

Arne Svenson, the NYC artist who recently came under fire for taking and exhibiting photographs of his neighbors in their homes, has won his legal battle in the Manhattan Supreme Court. Svensons photos were art, ruled Justice Eileen Rakower, and art is free speech protected under the first amendment.

“While it makes the [plaintiffs] cringe to think that their private lives and images of their small children can find their way into the public forum of an art exhibition,” Rakower wrote in her decision, “There is no redress under the current laws of the state of New York.”

What does that mean? Feel free to take as many peeping tom photos of your neighbors as you’d like, New Yorkers, as long as you’re willing to defend their aesthetic value.