I was accused of shoplifting for taking pics at a craft fair
So, this just happened. I went to a local corn festival with my wife, two children, and mother-in-law. It has corn, carnival rides, shows, and crafts area for vendors to setup and sell their wares. The even was free, open to the public, and had no signs posted that prohibited photography. So, I was happily snapping away casual photos all over the place with my point-and-shoot, not even my DSLR. When we were finishing up the craft area, I thought it would be nice to do a panoramic shot. I was standing in the middle of the walking path, between all of the stalls and was figuring out where to start the shot and all of a sudden, this lady walks up and shouts "no photography! You can't take a picture here!" I calmly stared her down and informed her that I was at a public event and there was no posting that prohibited photography. Furthermore, I would do as I pleased. I think if I didn't have about three feet and a hundred pounds on her, she would have tried to snatch my camera. Since it was a nice day and I didn't much care, I didn't take the picture. But, the live view LCD was still active and she got in my personal space, pointed at the camera and screamed at me that "this is SHOPLIFTING!" at which point other people started looking over at the scene she was making. I told her to step away from me and again told her that I knew my rights and that taking a photo in a public space, at a public event, where there was no posted prohibition against photography was completely legal and she didn't understand what she was talking about. So then the says, "why don't we just go talk to the police about it!" Much to her surprise, I said "Yes, I would like that, let's go talk to the police about it."
So, after walking a bit, with her ranting nonsense about photographing her stuff being a form of shoplifting - I found a sheriff, manning the beer tent. I politely asked the officer, "is it illegal to take photographs at this event, because I did not see any posting prohibiting it?" to which he responded, "no, you can take any photos you want." The lady was not satisfied with this and stepped into the sheriff's personal space (bad move, in my opinion) and she demanded that I was shoplifting because I was taking photos of her designs, which I could copy and then replicate and sell. I actually laughed, and said "that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard... I was taking picture of my wife and kids!" At this time, my wife and kids actually caught up while she started to say "your wife wasn't anywhere near you when you were taking pic..." but she stopped short. You see, I am Caucasian, but my wife is South Asian and my kids are mixed. She had just assumed my wife and kids would have been white too. At that moment, she realized in fact, my wife and kids were right there, as I was taking their picture.
Taking the initiative to rub it in a little, I told her, "even if I wasn't taking pictures of my family, I could sit there and snap photos all day, and that she should understand the law." Still undeterred, she then asked the sheriff, "if I tell someone to stop taking photos of my stuff, they have to do it, right?" I already knew the answer and had a shit-eating grin. The sheriff responded, there is no law prohibiting anyone from taking a photo at a public event, even if you ask them to stop. It is the polite thing to do, though." SO, I added, "that is exactly what I did - I stopped taking pictures when the lady demanded me to stop."
Unwilling to admit defeat, the lady made on last ditch effort to get a jab at me by saying, "you don't have to be such a jerk about it and make me waste my time coming over here and not attend to my shop!" to which I responded "I! Did not MAKE! YOU! do ANYTHING! YOU! came over here on your own, because you falsely accused me of shoplifting IN FRONT OF MY FAMILY!"
At this point, the sheriff kind of rolled his eyes and said, "I think everything has been resolved, you all have a pleasant rest of your day." I thanked him, gave the lady a nice "fuck you" kind of smile, and left with my family.
In any case, if you have something you are afraid other people will somehow copy and duplicate, don't bring it to a public, free, family event where hundreds of people will be snapping pictures. And for goodness sake, don't claim other people are shoplifting - especially when one of them may actually know their rights.
TL&DR - craft lady accused me of shoplifting because I was taking photos of my family in front of her booth. She thought I was stealing her stupid, crappy patterns or something. The police told her she was wrong.