California to Fine for Recording in Portrait Mode

This is how you rotate your mobile phone.
This is how you rotate your mobile phone.

Sacramento, CA After an embittered battle that largely split down party lines, the California State legislature has voted to fine mobile phone users who take photographs in portrait mode as much as $47.00 per infraction. The bill, introduced by Democrat Assemblyman Bill Quirk representing California’s 20th district, would require that all mobile phone pictures and videos be captured using landscape or wide mode.

The law, which is not without its critics, is slated to effect January 1st, 2016. The Bill’s co-sponsor had this to say about the law.

“We’ve heard the complaints of our constituents and we decided to take action on this,” said Assemblyman Quirk in a published press release. “The Internet is clogged with hard to understand portrait-mode photographs and especially videos. We’re hoping that this new law will stop the garish madness and get people to properly rotate their phones before snapping a photo or video.”

Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, demonstrates how to look "90s schick" with a Motorola StarTak.
Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, demonstrates how to look “90s slick” with a Motorola StarTak.

According to provisions, local police will be responsible for enforcing the new law. The first infraction will cost violators $30.00 ($47.00 for iPhone users). The second run-in will cost them $98.00. The third? The phone will be confiscated and replaced with a circa 1990s Motorola StarTak Flip Phone popularized in the TV show The X Files.

Local reaction was decidedly confused.

“What is landscape mode,” said a confused Fun Park Assistant Manager Amanda Fischer outside her Grass Valley workplace. “I mean, do they mean rotating the phone? I’m so confused. I mean, if they meant us to do that, and look like a dork by the way, why do they make it so it it’s up and down[portrait mode] to make calls and update Facebook? I don’t get it, but I don’t want a ticket.”

Others had a more pragmatic attitude portrait filming.

“What does it matter,” said an annoyed John Boyd of Penn Valley. “Most of the videos are shot as if the person has Parkinson’s Disease or Tourette’s. I mean, I want people to turn their damn phone, but most of the content will still be un-watchable.”

According to local law enforcement, they are concerned that the new law will burden them with unnecessary police action and will further strain relationships with citizens. However they do plan on enforcing the new law starting in January. There will be a public outreach campaign starting in November of 2015 to remind people to rotate their phones or face the new fines.


Randall 'fink' Finkelstein
Randall 'fink' Finkelstein
Fink is a man of many words, and many web links. He likes to argue and seldom loses. Mostly because he’s well informed. And somewhat gassy.

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