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Speaking of 'photographer's rights'

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AxisOfBeagles, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502


    There have been numerous threads on the forum here about the 'rights' of a photographer, in a public place, to photograph whomever they please - given that it is a public place.

    Almost invariably though, the forum regulars distance themselves from paparazzi - who are generally held with the esteem one reserves for a cockroach.

    But the line between street photographer and paparazzo could get blurred if lawmakers in Malibu have their way. See the linked article; locals are upset over the paparazzi invading their beaches for shots of celeb surfers / beach goers.


    If such laws were enacted, seems to me that they could be used to hamper the work of other street photographers as well. I hate the paparazzi as much as the next guy, but I hate even more the ever-increasing glut of legislation in this land.

    For my money's worth - a few well timed right jabs to the proboscises of the offending paparazzi should be all the deterrent required ....

    Partial extract:

    Paparazzi caught in Malibu's surf and turf war

    The summer surf is up in Malibu, and that means competing cultures are colliding with more zest than usual: surfers who jealously guard their favorite beaches, locals who want Malibu to remain a West Coast Mayberry and younger celebrities who love to hate their attendant paparazzi.

    Case in point: Over the weekend, obscenities, fists and video equipment went flying in two incidents involving paparazzi, celebrities and surfers, capturing the attention of Internet junkies around the world.

    The paparazzi -- also fixtures in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Brentwood and West Hollywood -- say they are just doing their job and insist that some younger celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, whose surf outing first drew the crush of paparazzi to Malibu on Saturday, welcome the attention. But many Malibu locals resent seeing hordes of photographers, who frequently sell their shots and videos to websites such as tmz.com and X17online.com, stake out their favorite haunts. They say the aggressive shooters pose a safety hazard and are spoiling the sophisticated ambience that has drawn residents and millions of visitors to Malibu.

    Can Malibu -- which routinely endures wildfires, mudslides and cellphone dead zones -- survive the age of TMZ and X17?

    Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich is working with Kenneth W. Starr, former White House independent counsel and dean of Pepperdine Law School, to research the possibility of crafting a law to regulate paparazzi.

    "The city of Malibu will do all it legally can to protect and preserve the natural beauty and tranquillity of our town," she said in a statement Monday.

    More at link .... http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-malibu24-2008jun24,0,2161692.story?track=rss
  2. macrumors 68000


    I think that paparazzi are the lowest of the low, the scum of the photography world - but - so long as they are not directly disturbing anyone, they should be afforded the same rights as any other journalist.

    When they are pushing and shoving to get a shot, or breaking into celebrity homes, I think they should be punished to the full extent of the law. If they are on a public beach shooting celebrities and not causing a commotion, I say leave them be.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    I saw that movie, it made me cringe... Watching that big white lens fall into the surf brought chills up my back...

    Paparazzi are rather obnoxious, but in that specific circumstance they were doing nothing wrong. It was the surfers, who were 1) illegally drinking and 2) assaulting the paparazzi who were totally in the wrong.

    I hope that the paparazzi in question get fully reimbursed for their equipment and that the surfers are suitably punished.
  4. macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    There aren't too many photogs that break into celeb houses and riffle through their trash. Even as far as the paparazzi distinction goes, many aren't that disgusting save for the few that use their sleaze to get that $3000 shot.

    On a personal note, celebs deserve every bit of it. It's my own opinion, that highly paid celebs that cash in on bad movies and terrible music and live better than most of their fans should be harassed by sleazy photogs. If they don't like it, they can shop online, or buy their own private island to surf on. :rolleyes:
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Shouldn't all criminals be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?
  6. macrumors 68000


    The word is "prosecuted", actually.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    I was one of the photographers on a previous thread who was part of the National Photographers' Rights Day rally and one of the problems I'm seeing with all of this is that the general public sometimes can't or don't differentiate between paparazzi and a street photographer, or any photographer with a nice camera for that matter.

    During our rights rally at Hollywood and Highland, we had the unfortunate coincidence that it was also the red carpet premier of Kung Fu Panda at the Chinese Theater, so everyone walking by was asking us "which celebrities are you paparazzi expecting to show up?" which we would reply, "We're not paparazzi and we don't care about the celebrities, we're just here to shot everything else." They didn't understand that and went on assuming we were there for the celebs.

    Lately I don't get that type of reaction because I've been walking around shooting pics with my $24 Holga!
  8. macrumors 6502



    This is the very crux of the issue, isn't it? while you and I - and most others here - make a very real distinction between photojournalists, street photographers ... and paparazzi: the truth is that all of them are doing the same thing - taking pictures of others in public places and, in some sense, capitalizing on that.

    My concern with the article here is the intent of the mayor and council of Malibu - with the help of Ken Starr, no less - to pass some kind of law to restrict public photography. That seems to me a very slippery slope. How can they - or anyone - truly differentiate between a paparazzo versus a photojournalist? Or a street photog?

    I hope that all photographers' organizations rally and fight any such attempts to legislate against public photography.

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