December 27, 2008

Legal Rights of Photographers in the USA

Here's a good guideline for taking photos in public.

PicApp now representing paparazzi imagery from Pacific Coast News

Picapp, a service of the Israel based technology company PicScout offering bloggers an ad-supported solution to use celebrity, sports, and news, images free of charge, has announced that it has added paparazzi content from Pacific Coast News(PCN). PCN is one of the more prominent sources for entertainment news and pictures. “We at Pacific Coast News are witnessing a substantial change in the photo industry, with a growing demand for the content by bloggers” Said Paul Harris PCN CEO “I believe that PicApp’s innovative and most scalable application will be able to meet the blogger requirements and therefore provide us with a new distribution channel.”

Picapp currently offers images for free use by publishers who are willing to embed the image with ads that Picapp uses to compensate contributors for the content. The company currently represents content from Getty Images, Corbis, Newscom, Image Source, Splash News, and many others. “Our team is pleased to have Pacific Coast News join the platform and add their content to a growing list of content partners” said Eyal Gura, PicApp CEO. “One of the major requests we receive from the blogging community is to increase supply of entertainment images and the PCN content answer this specific need.

December 22, 2008

Paul Andrew Hawthorne, 41

Paul Andrew Hawthorne, 41, of Jersey City, N.J., passed away on Dec. 20, 2008, after a courageous struggle with Primary Amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder.

He is survived by his wife of seven years, Amy Lambo Hawthorne; and his parents, William J. Hawthorne and Sandra Shroades Hawthorne of Chester, W.Va. He is also survived by two sons, Maxwell James Hawthorne, age 4, and Lucas Alexander Hawthorne, 7 months.

Paul was a beloved brother to Lori Hawthorne Pietrandrea and Luigi Pietrandrea of Hopewell, Pa.; William J. Hawthorne II and Darla Hawthorne of Ambridge, Pa.; Philip Bradley Hawthorne and Robin Hawthorne of Fleetville, Pa.; and Anne Hawthorne Miller and Jason Miller of Industry, Pa. Paul was a loving uncle to 10 nieces and nephews: Alyssa Pietrandrea, Anthony Pietrandrea, Noah Hawthorne, Emma Hawthorne, Jacob Miller, Jordan Miller, Kyle Miller, Ann Therese Lambo, Paul Lambo and Joey Mancz.

Paul and his twin brother, Philip, were born on Aug. 11, 1967, in Rochester, Pa.

During his youth, Paul played many sports. He was a member of the Little League champion Industry Yankees and lettered in high school baseball. He was a 1985 graduate of Western Beaver High School and a 1988 graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Paul proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1993. During his military service Paul served as a still photographer with the prestigious Combat Camera Group Atlantic, photographing NATO forces during Operation Deny Flight over Bosnia. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Paul served as a photographers' mate, supervising a team of six photographers aboard the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy.

After the Navy, Paul continued his work as a photojournalist working as a staff photographer for the Norristown Times Herald in Norristown, Pa., photo chief for the New Castle News in New Castle, Pa., international news photo editor for the Associated Press in New York City, staff photographer for Wireimage in New York City and a staff photographer for Getty Images in New York City. Paul's recent freelance work included regular photo assignments for the New York Times, New York Post and various corporate and media clients in the greater New York area.

In addition to his passion for photography, Paul was an avid golfer, a black belt in Kyokushin karate, a lover of hiking, mountain biking and the outdoors, and terrific cook of delicious, spicy food. He was most proud of his family, particularly his two young sons.

We'll all miss you my dear friend.

Our condolences to the entire Hawthorne family.

December 12, 2008

Nobody Wants To See Ashlee's Baby

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz had a baby boy, Bronx Mowgli, last month, and the world is on pins and needles waiting for pictures of the little angel. Actually, no, not really. Page Six reports:

"ASHLEE Simpson and Pete Wentz are trying to drum up some cash by selling photos of their baby, Bronx Mowgli - but so far, no takers. A celebrity weekly insider told Page Six, "Pete and Ashlee have approached every single celebrity magazine with offers to sell their first photos, but nobody wants them. Covers of them tend not to sell well." A rep for Simpson denied it."

December 3, 2008

Rihanna and Brown face law suit by paparazzi photographer

A paparazzi photographer has filed $1 million dollar law suit against 'R&B' singers Rihanna and Chris Brown after their bodyguards allegedly assaulted him.

The photographer Luis Santana alleged that the bodyguards of the stars knocked him down and stole his camera outside a nightclub while he was trying to take the pictures of the rumoured couple, the ‘Contactmusic’ reported.

Reacting to the incident, Rihanna's publicist,

Jonathan Hay has called the lawsuit a "really unfortunate event" adding that the matter has been completely blown out of proportion.

Santana claims to have been working outside the Vintage Ultra Lounge in St. Petersburg when he clicked a picture of the pair through their limousine window. He says the stars' employees then assaulted him and took his equipment.

Santana's attorney, Paul Kimsey, claims that the stolen photographs were worth a fortune as they contained the proof of Rihana and Brown's romance.

Santana is demanding a compensation for the photographs and the stolen camera, as well as his own personal injuries and distress.

The 20-year-old singer Rihanna and the young hip-hop sensation Brown have been seen together for almost a year but neither of them have confirmed reports of being a couple.

Brad Pitt On Paparazzi: ‘I Hate These People’

Brad Pitt has some strong words for the paparazzi.

In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, Pitt said: "Let me be very blunt: I hate them. I hate these people. I don't understand ... that they do that for a living."

Pitt said there should be laws against celebrity photographers who "climb over your walls wearing camouflage and calling out your kids' names as you're trying to take them to school."

Watch the video HERE.

November 26, 2008


Rapper KANYE WEST is convinced he'll succeed in passing a law to protect celebrities from the paparazzi - because he comes from a long line of civil rights activists.

The outspoken hitmaker demanded legislation against photographers intruding on high-profile stars after a recent brush with a snapper led to his arrest in England earlier this month (14Nov08). West was released without charge in the incident.

But he has no doubt he'll triumph in outlawing snappers' efforts to take pictures without permission, because fighting for change is in his blood.

He says, "I'm going to make a change and I think it's my responsibility. My mom got arrested for being in sit-ins at age six. My grandfather drove the first car in the marches leading out of Oklahoma. My father was an activist. So I think they're messing with the wrong celebrity right now."

And the Stronger hitmaker vows to continue to verbally attack photographers and fans on the hunt for a picture of the star - because they make him feel like a "museum animal".
He adds, "The thing about the paparazzi is the law hasn't caught up to the technology of the internet. So it's like all of these people going out and buying cameras trying to catch pictures of celebrities - not even professional photographers - and they're exploiting (us) and it's causing a by-any-means-necessary type of behaviour... where people are jumping fences and completely violating you.

"The problem I have with the paparazzi is if they're right in front of you and you're like, 'Can you please not take a picture of me?'... they just keep on taking it and talking to me like I'm stupid.
"If you're within arm's reach, I'm going to grab the camera. That just happens, and you don't expect that to happen with a celebrity because you think they're like a museum animal."

West's recent arrest in Newcastle, England, was the second such incident in as many months. The star was also arrested in September (08) after a clash with a paparazzo in Los Angeles International Airport. He was charged with felony vandalism, but it was later dropped by the L.A. County District Attorney's office.

November 19, 2008

$5 - Lexar 4GB Professional 133x CompactFlash Card (B&H Photo Video)

B&H Photo Video has the Lexar CF4GB-133-381 4GB Professional 133x CompactFlash Card for $5 after $40 mail-in rebate (expires 12/15/08), which is an 89% savings from the $45 regular price. Shipping is additional.

November 18, 2008

Los Angeles Puts Paparazzi on the Defensive

Photographs of celebrities taking their children to school or going to a doctor's office would be prohibited under a proposal introduced today by a Los Angeles city councilman in an effort to crack down on the paparazzi.

The motion to restrict photography and visual recordings around public and private schools and hospital and medical facilities is Councilman Dennis Zine's latest effort to combat aggressive photographers.

The proposal is intended to address "locations where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy," according to Zine.

"Taking advantage of the fact that high-profile individuals must do things like send their children to school, visit hospitals and go to medical facilities, unscrupulous paparazzi frequently stake out these locations in order to capture the perfect photograph," Zine wrote.

Zine is proposing that commercial photography be banned within 20 feet of schools, hospitals and medical facilities. Exemptions would be made if the photography is requested or permitted by the school or hospital, if the subjects consent to being photographed or recorded, or if the photography is a duty of a law enforcement or government agent.

A motion to review how the paparazzi are handled at Los Angeles International Airport will be considered tomorrow by the city council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee. That motion was made after rapper Kanye West was arrested at LAX for allegedly breaking a photographer's equipment.

Zine's motion was forwarded to the Public Safety Committee.

November 17, 2008

Buzz Foto Paparazzi Agency Sets a New Standard

Buzz Foto, LLC,, a leading paparazzi agency, announces that it will meet corporate growth plans through a new direction in hiring objectives. A recent statement from cofounder Brad Elterman shares that the company will focus recruitment efforts to attract the best experienced photojournalists. "We started the agency in 2006 with a talented, yet untrained, pool of photographers: we handed them a camera and showed them the ropes. With the economy as it is and the market becoming even more competitive, editors are now demanding iconic paparazzi imagery that goes beyond just a mundane photograph of Lindsay Lohan strolling down the street. They want provocative photographs that stand out."

To meet the challenge, Buzz Foto recently initiated an international call for talent. The newest addition to the roster is British freelance photojournalist Jason Mitchell. Los Angeles-based Mitchell, a fifteen-year veteran of the paparazzi circuit, has worked for numerous United Kingdom daily and monthly publications.

Henry Flores, Buzz Foto cofounder, said, "Jason just gets it. He has a trained eye, knows how to work a story, and has a deep appreciation for the craft of creating paparazzi-style images that attract the editors' eye. His Fleet Street training is a perfect complement to the Buzz Foto reputation -- courtesy and consideration that stand apart in an industry labeled for its ill tactics and misdeeds."

Says Mitchell, "Buzz Foto is an enthusiastic team with a great work ethic and talent that goes beyond the celebrity snapshot. The company's creative concept 'Paparazzi As An Art Form' is novel. It's a pleasure to work with an organization where my photographs are regarded as art and not just commercial productions."

Buzz Foto was founded by Elterman and Flores in 2006 and is staffed by a global team of photographers. The agency consistently delivers iconic imagery that appears in such outlets as People, US Magazine, NY Post, the New York Daily News, In Touch and Life & Style.
About Buzz Foto, LLC

Buzz Foto, LLC is an international paparazzi photo agency based in Los Angeles that emphasizes "Paparazzi As An Art Form." Buzz Foto iconic images of celebrities regularly grace the pages of People, US Magazine, NY Post, New York Daily News and numerous other magazines in 30 countries. Recognized not only for creating photographs with signature iconic quality, the Buzz Foto staff is regarded among the most courteous in the industry, thereby making them a 'go to' resource for media and reference. Buzz Foto has appeared on ABC World News, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, BBC World News and Extra!

November 14, 2008

Kanye Arrested Again For Assaulting Paparazzi

Rapper Kanye West was arrested after a fracas outside a nightclub but released without charge, British media reported Friday.

The Press Association news agency and others reported that that the 31-year-old rapper was detained early Friday after an incident involving a photographer outside the Tup Tup Palace bar in Newcastle, northern England.

Police said only that a 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of assault after an incident at a nightclub. They said he was later released without charge. British police do not usually identify suspects who have not been charged.

The Tup Tup Palace said West visited the club after his gig in Newcastle Thursday but could not confirm the arrest.

A spokeswoman for West did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

West was arrested last month at Los Angeles International Airport after he was filmed struggling with a paparazzo. He was not charged.

November 12, 2008

Brad Garrett Scuffles With Paparazzi

Actor Brad Garrett has had another run-in withi paparazzi -- this time, outside Dan Tana's restaurant in West Hollywood.

The incident occurred about 9 p.m. Tuesday near the eatery at 9071 Santa Monica Blvd., according to a deputy at the sheriff's West Hollywood Station.

Celebrity news Web site reported that Garrett was leaving the restaurant when he got into an argument with photographers. Garrett allegedly "smacked a camera and challenged the photogs to a fight."

Video posted by TMZ showed the 6-foot-8-inch actor walking around the side of the building, followed by photographers, including one who apparently called him a "tall faggot."

According to Wikipedia, Garrett had an Aug. 13, 2007, run-in with photographers, after one of whom called him a racist for earlier comments he had made about blacks in Malibu. In that case, Garrett struck a TMZ photographer's camera, but the photographer said he was hit in the face, and that it was another photographer who called him racist.

November 11, 2008

Brad Pitt Roughed Up by Security Guard

Brad Pitt was grabbed, pushed and spun around by a plainclothes security guard at the premiere of his new movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in L.A. on Monday.

Pitt arrived at the Bruin Theatre in Westwood about a half hour before the film was scheduled to end, as he was supposed to talk to the audience and answer their questions about the film.

Some photographers knew he'd be there, and as he entered the lobby, they followed him in and attempted to take photos.

Seeing the commotion, the plainclothes security guard went after Pitt in lieu of shooing away the photographers. Oddly, the guard appeared to be clutching a brochure for a karate studio in his teeth as he manhandled the actor.

Pitt looked bewildered and shaken, but he was able to pull free and go up a stairway to escape.

The stairway only led up to bathrooms.

Pitt had to wait a bit while the lobby was cleared before he was able to walk back down without any problems.

UPDATE: In a statement, an Executive Protection Specialist tells Entertainment Tonight that he was attempting to get Pitt away from the aggressive photographers:

"We were told by Mr. Pitt's people that he was being followed by numerous paparazzi that ran a minimum of two red lights to keep up with Mr. Pitt. When Mr. Pitt arrived at the theater approximately seven paparazzi bum-rushed the front door of the theater and began to rush inside. It's security's sole priority to protect the talent and I removed Mr. Pitt immediately from what could have been a potentially dangerous situation.""We were told by Mr. Pitt's people that he was being followed by numerous paparazzi that ran a minimum of two red lights to keep up with Mr. Pitt. When Mr. Pitt arrived at the theater approximately seven paparazzi bum-rushed the front door of the theater and began to rush inside. It's security's sole priority to protect the talent and I removed Mr. Pitt immediately from what could have been a potentially dangerous situation."

November 10, 2008


Actress SIENNA MILLER has been awarded USD22,300 (GBP35,000) in damages from two British tabloid newspapers over claims they breached her privacy.

The Alfie star filed lawsuits against The Sun and the News Of The World over pictures and articles which appeared in the publications over the summer (08).

She became a target for the paparazzi in June and July (08) after it was revealed she had embarked on a relationship with married oil heir and actor Balthazar Getty - just weeks after splitting from Welsh actor Rhys Ifans.

And a lawyer for News Group Newspapers, which own the publications, has acknowledged that the tabloids "shouldn't have published such information or such photographs".

In a letter to Miller, News Group's lawyer Tom Crone wrote, "On the specific facts and circumstances of this case you had a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of the information and the photographs that we published. We also accept that we should not have published such information or photographs."

Miller's lawyer Mark Thompson stated that the terms of the out-of-court settlement had been approved by London's High Court.

Thompson added the actress is still seeking various damages against paparazzi photograph agency Big Pictures (UK) Limited - which Miller accuses of waging a "campaign of harassment" against her.

The hearing is expected to start early next year (09).

November 4, 2008



Keanu Reeves not liable for paparazzo injuries

Actor Keanu Reeves was cleared on Monday of any liability for injuries a paparazzo claimed he suffered when he was struck by the actor's car.

A Los Angeles jury deliberated for about an hour in the civil lawsuit brought by photographer Alison Silva against the "Matrix" star before clearing Reeves.

Silva claimed he was knocked to the ground and injured his wrist in March 2007 when he was trying to take pictures of Reeves leaving a house in his Porsche in the affluent Ranchos Palos Verdes area of Los Angeles.

Silva was seeking damages of about $640,800 for medical bills and past and future lost earnings.

Reeves, 44, testified last week that he did not knock the photographer down to avoid having his picture taken, saying the man stumbled and fell while walking backward from the car.

The civil trial followed a series of clashes in Los Angeles this past year between paparazzi and celebrities including rap star Kanye West, "300" star Gerard Butler and actors Matthew McConaughey and Pierce Brosnan.

Tensions have run so high that some Los Angeles city officials have considered new laws including a "personal safety zone" between celebrities and paparazzi.

Silva said he was taking pictures of Reeves after the actor visited his sister, who had an eating disorder.

Silva's lawyer had told the jury that his client was a timid rather than an aggressive photographer that night.

But Reeves' lawyer said Silva risked his own safety needlessly to try to get a picture.

"He was looking forward to making a lot of money that night from an image he thought he could sell," lawyer Alfred Gerisch told the jury last week. "He threw caution to the wind, he threw out common sense."

Spears Mocks Paps With Bumbling Videos

Britney Spears is returning fire on the paparazzi by mocking them on her website, the BBC reports.

The singer plans to post a "paparazzie award" every week along with a video of a bumbling photog.

The first clip shows a pap falling over, camera in hand, over the caption: "This photographer eats some dirt while trying to get a shot of Britney."

CLICK HERE to see the latest video.

November 3, 2008

Ken Paves, Jessica Simpson’s Hairstylist, Injured by Paparazzi

Saturday night wasn’t so cool for singer Jessica Simpson, 28, and her best friend, hairstylist Ken Paves. Paves was injured by a paparazzo outside Madeo, a hotspot in Los Angeles, and had to be rushed to the hospital. As they got out of the club, Simpson was quickly accosted by the photographers and Paves tried to protect her. By accident, as witnesses say, one of the paparazzi hit Paves with the camera in his face.

As a source told people, "everyone was pushing each other to get a picture of Jessica." After the incident, they got into their car and rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center because Paves had his face full of blood. Apparently, no charges were filed against the careless paparazzo.

November 1, 2008

Obama gets miffed at paparazzi

Democrat Barack Obama got annoyed with the media Friday as he tried to walk down a Chicago street with his 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, who was dressed up in a shiny costume for Halloween.

A pool of national photographers, reporters and a video crew traveling with Obama quickly covered the spontaneous moment.

"All right guys, that's enough," said Obama, wearing a casual outfit and sunglasses in the early evening.

He and his daughter were walking right toward the media on a public street.

"You got a shot," he told the photographers. "Leave us alone. Come on, guys."

He told the media to get back on the bus, referring to the vehicle where the traveling press pool often waits for him.

Obama then crossed the street with Sasha. At least one video cameraman who was not part of Obama's traveling press corps followed him for a while. Obama grew visibly irritated.

He and his daughter then began jogging, and even running, to get away from the media.

They ended up out of sight at a friend's house, where they were headed all along.

October 30, 2008

Sienna Miller acts over paparazzi "harassment"

British actress Sienna Miller's life has been made intolerable because of a "campaign of harassment" by photographers, her lawyer told London's High Court on Thursday.

Miller, 26, star of movies such as "Alfie" and "Layer Cake," is taking legal action against photographic agency Big Pictures (UK) Limited and its founder, Darryn Lyons, claiming they are guilty of harassment and invasion of privacy.

At a preliminary hearing, her lawyer David Sherborne said the actress had been caused "substantial alarm, fear and enormous distress" by their conduct, the Press Association reported. The agency and Lyons are contesting the claims.

Miller's private life and particularly her romantic liaisons have been a staple fodder for the tabloid press, with barely a day going by without her picture appearing in newspaper show business gossip columns.

Sherborne said the actress had endured "a campaign of harassment" since the end of June which had continued "despite requests to desist." He told the court the "relentless pursuit" had reached such a level that it violated her human rights.

The court heard Miller, who did not attend the hearing, was chased while driving and there were "other forms of physical and verbal intimidation or abuse in their attempts to obtain photographs of her for commercial exploitation."

Other incidents included being confronted outside her house in the Maida Vale area of London in June, being chased to Heathrow airport on a number of occasions and pursued as she attempted to walk her dogs in the park with her mother.

She also claims harassment continued when she was abroad.

Judge Justice Eady said a trial should be heard on the first available date after January 12.

It is not the first time that Miller has publicly voiced her anger at media intrusion.

In February, she told a court how paparazzi photographers had chased her car across London after a night out as she tried to stop them finding out her new address.

She said the photographers had driven like "lunatics" during the "frenzied" chase.

The actress was giving evidence in defense of her ex-boyfriend's brother Otis Ferry, who was cleared of criminal damage by forcibly removing the keys from two photographers' cars.

October 28, 2008

Announcement from Digital Railroad

To view this email as a web page, go here.

October 28, 2008

To Our Valued Members, Customers and Partners,

We're sorry to inform you that Digital Railroad (DRR) has shut down.

On October 15th we reported that the company had reduced its staff and was aggressively pursuing additional financing and/or a strategic partner. Unfortunately, those efforts were unsuccessful. Therefore Digital Railroad has been forced to suspend all operations.

Digital Railroad has attracted a loyal set of members. Thank you for allowing us to serve the photographic community these past few years.

All questions pertaining to claims should be addressed to: Digital Railroad, Inc. c/o Diablo Management Group 1452 N. Vasco Road, #301 Livermore, CA 94551

Zac Efron's Paparazzi Hate

Zac Efron hates being followed by the paparazzi - because he has to plan his every move just to avoid them.

The High School Musical star is currently dating co-star Vanessa Hudgens.

And he is so fed up with the attention he receives from photographers, he often just stays at home.

Efron says, "My day used to be a lot more spontaneous.

"Now it requires a lot more planning. Now I am like 'Oh, do I really have to go outside?"

Civil trial of Keanu Reeves begins over paparazzi incident

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — A civil trial on allegations actor Keanu Reeves tried to run over a celebrity news photographer with his Porsche 911 has got under way, with opening arguments heard by the jury.

The plaintiff's lawyer Joseph Farzam said on Monday his paparazzi client Alison Silva fell to the ground and hurt his hand when Reeves drove his car into him on March 19, 2007. He claimed 40,000 dollars in medical expenses for the injury.

Reeve's lawyer Alfred Gerisch, in turn, said Silva was three meters (yards) from the actor's car during the alleged incident in a posh neighborhood in southwest Los Angeles. He accused the photographer of aggressive behavior.

The star of "Matrix" and "Speed" is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.

In September, a Los Angeles judge dismissed assault claims filed against Reeves by Silva, saying there was no evidence to support the allegations, ruling out a criminal trial.

The judge said Silva had fallen when he tripped over his own feet and that Reeves himself appeared to have been the victim of an assault by Silva when the photographer put his hands on the actor's car.

October 27, 2008


ASHLEY OLSEN has lashed out at the paparazzi - blaming aggressive photographers for turning her into a nervous "wreck".

The 22-year-old actress is fed up with flashbulbs because her small stature makes it difficult to escape snappers desperate to take her picture.

She tells the New York Times: "Honestly, I'm a wreck, Every time I see a camera, I'm a wreck. I don't tend to react as though 'I have to do this, it's my job.' I am reacting as a woman who is five-foot-one whose space is being invaded by a bunch of men whose aggression I can literally feel."

And Olsen insists her fears extend beyond her own safety - defending celebrity mums and innocent civilians who can get caught up in dangerous car chases.

She adds: "In L.A. it is even worse because they are running red lights behind you, and I worry all the time about something terrible happening, someone getting hurt because of me, how I could ever possibly live with that. I can't imagine what it would be like to have kids in the back seat and have to go through this and pretend for their sake that you are not scared."

October 21, 2008 Launches New Celebrity Website

Over 10,000 Celebrity Enthusiasts Rush to Become the Paparazzi During's First Week, Sharing Their Never-Before-Seen Celebrity News Stories with the World

NEW YORK, Oct 21, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- has announced the launch of its new website: the first and only to pay users who break celebrity news. The site is already creating a buzz amid celebrity gossip enthusiasts with its tagline: "Where You are the Paparazzi!" takes a fundamentally different approach to celebrity gossip because 100% of the content is created by users instead of relying on mainstream news sources. The result is countless first person experiences, good and bad, that feature the biggest celebrities in the world.

"I started because so many people witness celebrity news breaking on a daily basis. Aside from tipping off the gossip sites or news outlets, they don't have anything to do with their photos or stories and then they go relatively unnoticed," said Jordan Osher, CEO and Founder of "I saw a need in the celebrity news industry and filled that void with a fully interactive celebrity website that actually pays its users for breaking celebrity news."

In its first week, has already seen 10,000 visitors submit over 1,000 user generated celebrity news stories like "Donald Trump is Orange...Literally," "Scarlett (Johansson) is one Transtastic Starlet" and "I Witnessed Jessica Simpson Take a Stand for Autism." Other famous faces already featured on the site include Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and George Clooney. In total, over 600 celebrities have been showcased on thus far.

October 8, 2008

Lawyer seeks to exclude use of `Paparazzo,' `Paparazzi' from trial

A lawyer for a photographer suing actor Keanu Reeves for negligence wants a judge to forbid the actor's attorneys from using the words "paparazzo" and "paparazzi" at trial, saying the terms are prejudicial, court papers showed today.

Alison Silva says his earning ability and job prospects have been diminished because of injuries suffered March 19, 2007, according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 5 of that year.

Video shows Reeves stopped in black 1996 Porsche 911 Cabrio and trying to pull away from a photographer on Avenida Tranquila in Rancho Palos Verdes Estates.

Silva maintains Reeves drove negligently and hit him, but the actor claims that assertion is untrue and that the photographer tripped on his own feet, then fell.

"In recent years, and especially since the death of Princess Diana, the term "paparazzo" has received a negative connotation," Silva's lawyer, Joseph S. Farzam, states in court papers filed Tuesday. "More recently, there have been several altercations between celebrities and celebrity photographers that have triggered a great deal of negative press regarding (paparazzi) and their conduct."

Paparazzi is the plural version of paparazzo. Both refer to photographers who take pictures of celebrities. Farzam maintains the two words should be replaced instead by terms such as "celebrity photographer," "reporter" or "photo journalist."

In support of his motion, Farzam has attached to his court papers a history

of the word "paparazzi" according to Wikipedia and an article in The Insider in which singer Seal describes the paparazzi as "scum" and accuses journalists of "ruining his life."

Farzam said Reeves had just visited his sister, who was being treated for an eating disorder, and that Silva was waiting outside to take photographs of the 44-year-old star.

Farzam also wants to stop Reeves' attorneys from making any mention of Silva's default for non-payment of an auto-purchase agreement with Ford Motor Credit Co.

If defense attorneys are allowed to use the words "paparazzo" or "paparazzi" and make mention of the default judgment the result would be "absolutely fatal to (Silva's) case," Farzam's court papers state.

The trial is scheduled Oct. 27.

Reeves starred in "Street Kings," released in April, and also is featured with Jennifer Connelly in "The Day the Earth Stood Still," set to be in theaters in December.

September 10, 2008

Taking a much needed vacation. Be back in October!

September 5, 2008


Hollywood actress EVA MENDES is terrified of paparazzi car chases - insisting some photographers go too far by driving dangerously in a bid to get a picture.

Mendes is often the focus of snappers when she is out and about in Los Angeles, and while she accepts that dealing with the media scrum is a part of life as a celebrity, she is adamant that some should take more care, especially on the road.

She says, "I've been followed and it's scary. You're a young woman alone in your car and you have a few guys in SUVs (sports utility vehicles) following you that won't let up. And the scary part is that they actually run red lights.

"I hate it when people say 'You're in this business, that's what you have to deal with'. No. You don't have to deal with harassment. You have to deal with your life being somewhat public.
"I heard George Clooney talking a few months ago about how he was being followed on a motorcycle and they were running lights and almost getting into accidents with other people and I've totally experienced that."

September 3, 2008

Two Malibu men charged with attacking paparazzo

Officials on Tuesday said they charged two Malibu men for attacking a paparazzo who was snapping pictures of actor Matthew McConaughey as he was surfing in the Pacific Ocean in June.

The attack on the photographer made headlines around the world and sparked calls by Los Angeles-area politicians for more controls over aggressive paparazzi.

Skylar Martin Peak, 24, and Philip John Hildebrand, 30, both of Malibu, were each charged with one misdemeanor count of battery for attacking Richid Altmbareckouhammou, who was working for a French news agency, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said.

Officials claim the two men threw Altmbareckouhammou into the water from where he was taking pictures on the beach. Each faces up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The incident occurred while McConaughey was surfing near a cove in Malibu. About a dozen paparazzi were on the beach taking pictures of the actor, whose film work includes "Fool's Gold," "Failure to Launch," and the upcoming "Surfer, Dude."

The incident caused several local politicians to look for ways to curb the activities of the paparazzi. In late July, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine held a hearing to consider ideas such as licensing paparazzi and creating personal safety zones around celebrities.

September 2, 2008

Paris Hates The Paparazzi

Paris Hilton became famous by the paparazzi who believed she had star quality. They made her a star and now she's really sick of them.

Paris says that she is fed up by being followed by the dudes that made her who she is.

She says, “It is annoying when they are always showing up at your house. I think it is fine at like a movie premiere or an event when they are supposed to be there. But when it is every single day it just gets really tiring.

“There is nothing you can do about it. They want you to lash out at them so I never do. I have never done that and I never will.”

She definitely does have a point. Imagine being followed all the time! It will get really old real soon. But then again, celebs usually start panicking when photogs stop taking their photos so it's sort of Catch 22.

Friend Won't Hesitate To Punch Paparazzi

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY's actor boyfriend RUPERT FRIEND has threatened to "knock out" any paparazzo who gets too close to him, because he's annoyed by the constant media hounding.

The 26-year-old, who has been dating his Pride + Prejudice co-star Knightley for more than two years, is a regular target for press photographers because of the high-profile romance - but the unwanted attention has left Friend fuming.

And he insists he wouldn't hesitate to hit out at a snapper if they overstepped the line.

He says, "There's 15 big hairy guys one foot in front of you, walking backwards with 15 flashes going off. It's right in your face, all the way to the shop, all the way through the process, and all the way back.

"I now understand entirely why people take swings at photographers, and if one gets within more than a foot of me I will do the same.

"I have absolute respect for anyone who manages to knock one of them out!"

August 22, 2008

Uma Thurman Defends Paparazzi

Actress Uma Thurman has stepped out in defence of the paparazzi, insisting celebrity photographers are "just doing their jobs".

The 38-year-old Kill Bill star has been plagued by swarms of photographers since starting out as a fashion model at the age of 15.

But she refuses to join the celebrity trend of bashing snappers - even when they catch her in unflattering poses.

Thurman says, "They can definitely be annoying, but at the end of the day these photographers are just doing their jobs - one they probably never imagined they would have."

August 8, 2008

Nicole Kidman: Don't shoot our baby

Nicole Kidman has asked photographers to take pictures from a distance.

New parents Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are hoping paparazzi will keep their distance during the family's trip to Sydney.

While Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt fetched $14 million from People magazine for pics of their new twins, Knox and Vivienne, Kidman and Urban are trying to keep little Sunday Rose under wraps.

"Keith and I are appealing to the press to give us a little space so we can walk around Sydney and show the baby our town," Kidman, a native Australian, said on Sydney's "Kyle & Jackie O" show.

Kidman is OK with some photos, she said, adding, "just not right in our face or her face because it's scary for her. She's tiny. A tiny little thing."

Since the couple is keeping their bundle of joy out of the limelight, Kidman has revealed that her daughter looks like her daddy, but with a reddish tint to her hair, just like mommy.

August 6, 2008

Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick moving to escape paparazzi

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are reportedly moving out of their New York apartment in an attempt to escape the paparazzi.

The couple have lived in their home in the West Village for a number of years but the Sex and the City star explained recently that the paparazzi attention has got out of control recently: “Photographers moved into apartments next door to us and we really found ourselves kind of living like a spy movie… I feel like they think they have to be there. Like they punch in or something.”

According to New York magazine, the pair have fallen for a new $18million home across town in the East Village and are hoping to make their move later in the year.

A source explained: “It’s two houses that have been knocked into one so it’s a lot bigger and has a huge backyard.

“They’re hoping it’ll be more private and give their son [James Wilkie] plenty of room to grow.”

August 4, 2008

Celebrity Agents Missing Out On Income – Allowing Paparazzi To Promote Their Stars Rather Than Monetizing Package Effectively

With the advent of blogs and websites, publicity and talent agents can take a more active role in marketing and managing their clients. But sadly some of them may be missing out. Rather than making photos readily available of their stars, they let the paparazzi capitalize. Some of the more famous photos may also be mugshots.

The other day Best Syndication was looking to embed the Jessica Simpson “Public Affair” music video on a story. YouTube was the logical first choice for our project. We found her video but were unable to embed it. Why? What does Jessica Simpson have to lose? They have already partnered with YouTube (Google) to monetize the video. They might as well have it placed on numerous sites around the Internet to increase revenue.

So rather than putting up the original Jessica Simpson video, publishers may opt to place a parody of her video. The parody, which may fall under fair-use (similar to Saturday Night Live parodies), will be disseminated among fan sites, blogs and bulletin boards in place of the original video. Adding insult to injury, Simpson and other talented stars do not receive one dime from Parodies.

Reuters, AFP and Associated Press have all signed-up as partners with YouTube. They have decided to join Google in a revenue sharing agreement where ads are placed at the bottom of their videos. The ads only run for a few seconds of the video, but if someone clicks on the ad they share in the revenue.

It would make sense for these agencies to allow embedding. Currently only the Associated Press (AP) allows publishers to embed videos. Both Reuters and AFP do not allow publishers to use their videos. The message provided is “Embedding disabled by request.” This means AP videos will be seen by more people increasing the potential for revenue.

Some talent management companies, public relations departments and agents might be doing a disservice to their clients. They should be providing the best images copyright-free for the public domain. This might be a better choice than allowing an image of their client without makeup moving to top of the picture list in Yahoo’s image search results.

News agencies, bloggers and fan sites may prefer to use the free image over an image they have to pay for, or one that can not be verified in the public domain. Rather than copyrighting the image, they may be better off to offer the pictures copyright-free. If the agencies already have copyright-free publicity photos, make them more readily available and make more of them.

This approach can help give their client a positive image. No more mug shots. No more bad-hair days. No more less-desirable paparazzi photos. Publishers will likely choose from your copyright-safe free images. It is a win-win.

July 31, 2008

Plan to crack down on aggressive paparazzi

A hearing will be held Thursday to decide what steps can be taken to reduce or penalize aggressive paparazzi.

Celebrities, law enforcement officials and city leaders are expected at L.A. City Hall for the hearing led by City Councilman Dennis Zine.

Members of the paparazzi follow stars, jump in front of cars and hide in bushes to get pictures of the rich and famous. Now there's an effort to clamp down on their aggressive behavior.

Councilman Zine wants a paparazzi task force to create a personal safety zone between the aggressive photographers and their celebrity targets. He proposed the ordinance after the Los Angeles Police Department spent $25,000 to transport Britney Spears from her Studio City home to UCLA Medical Center earlier this year.

Just last month there was a violent clash between surfers and paparazzi in Malibu when photographers tried to get pictures of actor Matthew McConaughey at the beach. Malibu is also trying to create a proposal to regulate unruly photographers, perhaps by creating a buffer zone.

But LAPD Chief William Bratton says the proposal is unnecessary.

"I have no intention of supporting any additional rules, regulations, or laws," said Bratton. "We have enough in this city without piling more on in terms of for one-time incidents. Sorry this thing doesn't rise to the need for that."

"I think the chief should listen to the concerns of the community, listen to the concerns of the celebrities, listen to what issues could be resolved," said Zine. "We have laws on the books, we're not denying that. And I have 40 years of service with the Los Angeles Police Department, I know there's laws. The problem is those laws are not working."

Bruce Willis drenches paparazzi

Bruce Willis threw water over a photographer's car on Tuesday (29.07.08).

The 'Die Hard' actor became angry when the paparazzo tried to take his picture as he left a medical building in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Irritated at how close the photographers were getting to him, he retaliated by throwing a bottle of water over one of their cars.

However, many of the photographers were pleased with his antics as they photographed him hurling the liquid.

Bruce is not the first celebrity to lash out at the paparazzi.

Last year, Britney Spears famously beat a photographer's car with an umbrella when she deemed he was being too intrusive.

She later wrote to the photographer's agency to apologise for the incident.

She said: "I want to apologise for the past incident with the umbrella. I was preparing a character for a possible movie role where the husband doesn't play his part so they swap places.

"Unfortunately, I didn't get the part. I'm sorry I got all carried away with my part."

In January, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin tackled a photographer to the floor outside New York's Mount Sinai Medical Centre.

The singer was with his wife Gwyneth Paltrow - who was rumoured to be pregnant at the time - and became enraged when the photographer shouted "congratulations Chris!"

Chris screamed: "Have some f***ing respect!" He then pushed the paparazzo to the ground and wrestled his camera from him

Recruiting Candid Celebrity Photographers

Dear Photographers,

Hello from Everett Collection. I am writing to ask if any of you can recommend yourself or other photographers who shoot celebrity candids - not the hardcore stalkerazzi shots of celebs hiding from the camera, but the more casual "on the street" shots of them out and about getting their coffee, shopping, or coming and going from nightclubs and restaurants, as well as any movie or video shoots on location.

In the past, we were not accepting anything that was not from invited and credentialed coverage on the red carpet, but as we've grown these last few years (and as our foreign network of partner agents has really increased our share in the foreign markets) we continue to get an increased demand for the more candid celebrity images from our clients. While we do not want to receive coverage that is too aggressive or offensive (we don't want images that came from trespassing on private property or chasing down celebrities in their cars), we know we could make good sales on candids, and appreciate any referrals you can offer.

We are also not aiming to do the FIRST SALES on EXCLUSIVE images, but rather hope to find a shooter who uses his/her primary agency for the first sales on exclusives, but who then has rights to syndicate similars or outtakes for secondary sales through supplemental partners, perhaps after an initial embargo period has expired. We would be happy to accommodate them with a byline that is an alias or pseudonym, if this is their preference. They would retain copyright on all images and receive 50% royalties on all license fees.

Thank you for any recommendations of names, telephone numbers and email addresses you can provide, and feel free to forward my contact information as well.

Take care,

Michael Williams
Director of Entertainment Photo Assignments

July 26, 2008

Paparazzi Fight Bodyguards after Being Discovered at Jolie-Pitt Residence

Two paparazzi that were discovered by the bodyguards that protect the Jolie-Pitt estate in southern France started a fight with the guards that led to both parties filing complaints against the other at the police.

It seems that the two paparazzi were wearing camouflage gear and that one of them reacted extremely violently when the guards escorted him to the exit. According Jolie's and Pitt's men, the person broke a finger of one of the bodyguards, bit another one and drew blood over them while saying that he had hepatitis C.

On the other hand, the photographer said that the guards were hitting him so hard, that he had to put blood all over them and tell them that he had HIV so that they would stop beating him. According to his declarations, he and his colleague were in a forest outside the estate and the guards reacted abusively by escorting them away from that place which is open for everybody to walk through.

The police said that they questioned both parties and that further investigations will be carried out. However, according to the Associated Press, a spokesperson of the police said that "I won't hide for you that this kind of thing is really not the type of problem that interests us. There are, in my opinion, far more important things than paparazzi taking photos of a glamor couple."

The Jolie-Pitt couple is making efforts in protecting their family's privacy, a thing that seems more and more difficult to accomplish after Angelina gave birth to twins on July 12 attracting press' attention even more than usually.

Halle Berry pushes back against paparazzi

LOS ANGELES - Halle Berry said a paparazzi went too far to get a shot of her infant daughter, alleging that the shooter trespassed on her private property and snapped them hanging out in the backyard.

Evan Spiegel, an attorney representing Berry, said a criminal complaint has been filed and an investigation is under way. He said there are witnesses who saw the photographers in the middle of a "very blatant and invasive trespass."

"The paparazzi have gone too far," Berry said in a statement to The Associated Press. She vowed to do everything possible to get the photographer prosecuted and protect her infant daughter.

"I have long since come to terms with the fact that choosing a career as an actress has made me a public figure, but my baby has made no such choice, and unless and until she does, I will do everything I can ... to keep her out of the public eye," the statement read.

Berry said she wants anyone who used the photos to know they were illegally obtained.

"The magazines are not aware that there was anything improper in the taking of this image," the statement said.

Berry‘s pushback against the paparazzi comes at a time when their tactics are coming under increased scrutiny.

A regional task forces is scheduled to convene in Los Angeles next week to discuss the paparazzi, and Berry‘s statement was issued the same day a pair of photographers scuffled in France with security personnel for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

July 24, 2008

Sienna Miller sues over topless photos with Balthazar Getty

Sienna Miller is one great big bundle of contradictions. Or a hypocrite, depending on how you want to put it. The woman is barely able to keep her top on. I cannot think of any celebrity whose breasts I’ve seen so often I could pick them out of a lineup. And though she seems physically incapable of keeping her shirt on in public, Sienna Miller is suing over the slew of boobie pics of late – and there have been tons. Taken on multiple occasions.

Sienna Miller is suing two media organizations over the topless photos of her vacationing with new beau Balthazar Getty.

According to London’s The Guardian, she claims photo agency Big Pictures and British tabloids News of the World and the Sun violated her privacy by publishing photos and stories about her new romance.

The suit comes days after Getty announced he and his wife Rosetta (with whom he has four children) have separated. In a statement, the actor said “the breakdown of a marriage is a very difficult and painful experience especially when children are involved.” He added that the photos that “have surfaced in print and on the Internet” have “caused myself and my family great embarrassment.”

[From Us Weekly]

Sienna doesn’t just have a history of walking around al fresco, she also has a long history of suing photographers over it. And winning. I’m not saying the woman doesn’t have a right to privacy. And I’m not saying she shouldn’t be able to walk around topless where it’s legal, if that’s what she wants to do. But it’s just about publicity.

If Miller really didn’t want her nipples splashed across the pages of The Sun, then she should keep them behind a nice peasant top. It’s crazy how that works. If you keep your nipples to yourself, photographers won’t take pictures of them. If you go outdoors and shove them into your boyfriend’s hands, photographers will take pictures of them. It’s a pretty simple equation, really.

I hope this lawsuit gets thrown out. It makes me think of the morbidly obese man who sued Wendy’s restaurants because the booths weren’t large enough for him to sit in. As the judge pointed out, the man was too large for the booths, it wasn’t that the booths are too small. Thus the man was ordered by the judge to lose weight (though I’m not saying that was necessarily an appropriate solution in that case).

Similarly, Sienna seems to have confused the essential issue here. It’s not like photographers were snapping pictures of here walking around inside her house naked. She was outdoors on a boat. And on a deck. And a couple other places. She’s been shirtless so often lately that it’s hard to keep track. The judge should order her to keep her top on in public. Or take it off, for all I care. She just needs to stop complaining about the logical result of her actions.

July 23, 2008

Brad Pitt Sics His Lawyers on the Prying Paparazzi … A Little Too Late

Brad Pitt’s loudmouthed attorneys at Lavely & Singer are, preemptively, trying to clamp down on a series of photos that “were surreptitiously taken of Mr. Pitt and his family as they engaged in familial activities on private property, namely, in the privacy of the estate in which they are presently residing in France and where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Not content with issuing a cease and desist letter after the pictures’ publication, L&S want to make sure these photos never make it into the public eye. (Too late, as you’ll see.)

Supposedly, the publication of these photos — showing Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie with the kids — infringe not just on Pitt’s privacy rights in the State of California, but also in France!

Except, according to one understanding of the law, this is wrong. Oh, and also? In Touch already published the pics.

In the U.S., aerial photos of private property haven’t exactly been viewed as invasions of privacy. If those cameras are aimed through windows to snap pictures indoors, well then maybe. But outdoor pics? Less so.

In France, the rules are much stricter, as we’ve noted before. The French take citizen privacy, even for celebs, much more serious, and make it a crime to publish pictures without consent, even when celebs have limited to no expectation of privacy. Except the rules might only matter when the pictures are published in France; the photos, if snapped in France and published elsewhere, are generally un-actionable.

This isn’t the first, nor the last time we’ll see Hollywood firms like Lavely & Singer protecting their clients’ photo privacy. The bulldog law firm went down this road before when topless sunbathing photos of Pitt’s own ex-wife Jennifer Aniston surfaced. Perhaps forecasting where Pitt’s own matter will end up, most web publications pulled those photos.

Indeed: Bauer-Griffin, the paparazzi agency behind the photos that today’s Lavely & Singer cease and desist letter is about, has taken their pictures down. But not before selling them to In Touch. We can’t find the pics on their website, but anybody can find the 20+ pictures in this week’s issue, on newsstands now.

July 22, 2008

Paparazzi arrested near Britney Spears' home

Britney Spears

Two photographers who tried to snap shots of pop star Britney Spears were arrested Monday on suspicion of loitering. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

Two photographers who tried to snap shots of pop star Britney Spears from a fire access road on a hillside near her Studio City home were arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of loitering.

The men were taken into custody after someone called police about 4 p.m. Monday to report that photographers were loitering on city-owned property, which has restricted public access and is blocked by a chain-linked fence, said LAPD Sgt. Ruby Malachi.

Officers told the photographers they were on city-owned property and that they should leave, Malachi said. The photographers said they would heed the warning but when police returned about an hour later, they were still there.

"They were detained, questioned and eventually arrested before being transported to North Hollywood station, where they were released," Malachi said.

The photographers were identified Tuesday as Alexandre Passos, 35, of Canoga Park and Eduardo Ravalha, 35, of Los Angeles. They were booked on suspicion of loitering and Ravalha's silver 2005 C-20 Mercedes Benz was impounded.

Police said they were called to the same area two weeks ago because of a similar report involving the paparazzi, Malachi said. At that time, authorities noted that signs warning people to stay off the property had been removed.

The arrests Monday are part of what authorities have described as a larger crack down against aggressive photographers.

In February, the LAPD arrested four paparazzi on suspicion of reckless driving as they followed Spears on a San Fernando Valley street. Police alleged that at least one of the photographers tried to run her off the road.

That same month, in separate incidents, four paparazzi were booked on charges arising from blocking sidewalks in West Hollywood.

Spears' exploits have been a tabloid staple for years. Among the most memorable moment were photos of her driving down Pacific Coast Highway while holding her infant son in her lap, an incident that led to an inquiry by Los Angeles County child welfare officials.

That was followed by other increasingly bizarre incidents, including Spears' impromptu stop at an Encino salon to shave her head, attacking paparazzi with an umbrella, being photographed sans underwear in public, failed trips to drug rehabilitation, appearing incoherent during a photo shoot for OK! Magazine, a much-panned performance at the MTV Video Music Awards and numerous court hearings about custody of her two young sons.

The paparazzi frenzy reached a peak in January when Spears was taken to psychiatric wards at two local hospitals about a month apart, including an LAPD-escorted trip that cost the department $25,000.

The intense scene led Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff's Department officials to say they planned to use existing laws to crack down on what they described as increasingly aggressive paparazzi

Councilman Dennis Zine introduced a measure to create a minimum "personal safety zone" around individuals targeted by the media. LAPD Chief William J. Bratton said the measure was not needed, arguing that existing laws were sufficient to deal with the problem.

Authorities said their tools include anti-loitering ordinances, traffic laws and rules targeting infractions such as illegally tinted windows and paper license plates.

July 16, 2008


Supermodel GISELE BUNDCHEN is asking for a change in the law, so she can assault the photographers who camp outside her New York home.

The Brazilian beauty spends her days dodging the paparazzi with sports star boyfriend Tom Brady.
And she's desperate to take out her frustration on the men with lenses, snarling, "They sit in front of my house all day... Believe me, if I had my way I would go around punching people."

July 15, 2008

NYC Adopts Improved Photo Permit Rules

The New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (MOFTB) has just issued its final set of rules governing when permits are needed to take pictures in public property. These rules were the subject of much debate last summer, when they were first proposed and then quickly withdrawn and revised.

The rules have improved with each revision. The ones issued today appear to be the the fairest and most photographer-friendly of the whole process.

If you love to read these things in detail, click here to read the 12-page rule notice.

Or you can read the summary in an MOFTB press release.

"Under the adopted rules, a permit would be required for filming if equipment or vehicles, as defined in the rule, are used or if the person filming asserts exclusive use of City property. Equipment does not include hand-held devices (such as hand-held film, still, or television cameras or videocameras) or tripods used to support such cameras, but a permit would be required in certain situations when the person filming asserts exclusive use of City property while using a hand-held device."

As a reminder, permits are already required for this kind of thing in New York and most other cities. The problem was that the rules had evolved over time and nothing formal was on the books. Permits are free but require you to carry $1 million of liability insurance, though it is possible to apply for a waiver in cases of hardship. Students should be covered by their schools.

So when can you get away without having a permit?

"A permit is not required for filming that uses hand-held cameras or tripods and does not assert exclusive use of City property. Standing on a street, walkway of a bridge, sidewalk, or other pedestrian passageway while using a hand-held device and not otherwise asserting exclusive use of City property is not an activity that requires a permit. In addition, activity that involves the filming of a parade, rally, protest or demonstration does not require a permit except when equipment or vehicles are used. The rules also provide that press photographers, who are credentialed by the New York Police Department (NYPD) do not need to obtain a MOFTB permit."

Looks good on paper. Let's see if it holds up out in the streets.

Waiting in the Dark Knight...

The Dark Knight Premiere
July 14, 2008, 7pm
AMC Lincoln Theaters

The first photographer reportedly check in at midnight.

Yes, you read that right. 12 AM! A full 19 HOURS before the premiere.

With all that waiting, you would think Heath would have the decency to at least drive past the premiere in a hearse. Ouch... now that's just wrong.

An what did you get for all that waiting... Christian Bale did a quick walkby.
At least Maggie Gyllenhaal was in nice fashion and posed.


Pregnant MINNIE DRIVER has applauded the angry surfers who came to her rescue when a quiet day at the beach turned into a paparazzi invasion last month (Jun08).

Driver, actor pal Colin Farrell and his young son were relaxing at Paradise Cove in Malibu, California when an army of photographers targeted them for pictures.

Farrell himself challenged one group of snappers but when he was outnumbered, local surfers stepped in to let the cameramen know they weren't welcome.

A brawl broke out between snappers and surfers, with some paparazzi forced to defend themselves from beatings as they were dragged into the sea with their expensive equipment.
Driver says, "We were chased off the beach by these paparazzi and then my local community and my lovely friends and neighbours took serious umbrage at the fact that their community had been so disrupted by these people, who were just total piranhas.

"Whilst I don't condone the violence at all, I think they (surfers) were just defending people trying to have a normal afternoon.

"Colin has a little son and I'm pregnant, so it was just sort of disgusting and wrong. It wasn't a happy experience of taking lovely pictures; it was rabid and weird.

"The Malibu community was defending us, which was really nice. It didn't stop the guy from selling his pictures for $80,000, but, hey, maybe a punch in the mouth was worth it for him."
And Driver is happy the incident has prompted local officials to boost the police presence on the beaches, so celebrities can sunbathe in peace: "Now we have sheriffs patrolling our beach, which I kind of love."

July 13, 2008

Brangelina twins are million-dollar babes

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's new twins, a girl and a boy born by Caesarian section on Saturday, are barely a few hours old but already their first photos are worth a fortune.

A million dollars, two, five, 10 even 20 million? Exactly how much the first "official" snaps will be sold for is not clear. But the figures being bandied about make the eyes pop.

Nice Matin, the hometown daily in the Riviera city in the south of France where Jolie gave birth, put the twins' worth at more than $11 million. It first broke news of the birth and reported Sunday that the couple have sold the rights for the first photo of their newly enlarged family to a U.S. publication, which it did not name, and that the proceeds would go to charity.

"I've never known a set of pictures to be worth this amount of money," said Darryn Lyons, owner of Big Pictures, a celebrity photo agency in London. He estimated that the twins' official photos will be worth between $15 million and $20 million.

The only other photos that "would possibly come that close is Britney Spears giving birth to an alien," he said.

Veteran London-based celebrity publicist Max Clifford estimated that the first photos could fetch 10 million pounds — roughly $20 million — "which would make it the biggest baby deal ever."

"These kind of pictures sell lots of magazines," he said. "It's a 10-million-pound gamble as to whether the ends justify the means. But obviously it's a very calculated risk because whoever lands the photos will have a lot of experience with the popularity of mum and dad."

Cue the paparazzi. They've been camped in Nice since shortly after Jolie's admission to the Lenval hospital there at the end of June. For them, the Brangelina twins were the biggest story of the year. It's been a cat-and-mouse game between photographers and the hospital, which says it put up a special material on the windows of the couple's room that prevents telephoto lenses from peering through.

"It's the most glamorous couple in the world. Brad and Angelina are the most beautiful people. They are very popular, that is why we are here," one paparazzo in Nice said. The paparazzo would not be identified by name or agency.

This photographer staked out Brangelina for two months before the birth, going back to the Cannes film festival when the family was staying in the nearby St. Jean Cap Ferrat mansion of Microsoft founder Paul Allen. The photographer acknowledged that paparazzi bother people — but said it was the price of their fame, adding that most of the time Pitt and Jolie seemed to tolerate their presence.

"No anger. Only when they want to be alone they tell us, 'Please leave us alone.' They are very kind. They are nice," the photographer said.

Never mind that Jolie was ensconced on the fifth floor in a section of the maternity ward that has been security-enhanced and that she was staying out of sight behind the mirrored blue windows. Paparazzi still had hopes that they would get a valuable shot of Jolie — either as an expectant or brand-new mother.

Clifford said he didn't think that paparazzi will be able to get any candid shots of the babies and, if they do, he didn't think they will have much impact on the value of the official photos.

"If there are sneak shots, they're not going to be anything like the posed ones," he said. "All it does is whet the appetite of those who want to see real quality pictures."

Lyons of Big Pictures also did not think paparazzi will get candid shots.

"There's always a chance in this business. It's down to who is good at what they do," he said. "If you were to get a paparazzi set of photos you could easily buy a little island to live on for the rest of your life."

"Certainly, the feeding frenzy just goes to show that people talk about the celebrity-obsessed world we live in. If publishers are willing to pay up to 15 million, there are obviously plenty of people wanting to see them."

"In the celebrity world, it seems to be the double second coming," he added.

July 10, 2008

Jolie room has anti-paparazzi paint

The hospital where Angelina Jolie will give birth says the windows of her room have been coated with a special material that prevents paparazzi from taking pictures of her and Brad Pitt.

The Lenval hospital in Nice in southern France says photos which purport to show Jolie and Pitt in their room have appeared in magazines and on the internet.

The hospital says the photos are fakes, that they have been manipulated or show other patients at the hospital.

The hospital's statement said that it is in fact "totally impossible" to see inside the couple's room from the outside, because the windows have been covered with an insulating material that lenses cannot see through.

Jolie is expecting twins. She has been resting and been monitored by doctors in the hospital ahead of the birth.

Tobey Maguire Vs. The Paparazzi

Tobey Maguire was trying to exit a parking lot in his car last night with his wife in the passenger's seat, but they were instantly surrounded by paparazzi.

The photogs were so close to the car that Tobey couldn't even see in front of him well enough to drive. After being patient for about 30 seconds, he opens up his door, and gives the paps a piece of his mind.