December 18, 2012

Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos

In its first big policy shift since Facebook bought the photo-sharing site, Instagram claims the right to sell users' photos without payment or notification. Oh, and there's no way to opt out.

 Read the full article HERE.

December 5, 2012

Prince William vows to protect pregnant Kate Middleton from the paparazzi

Prince William refuses to be “hounded” by paparazzi in the wake of the baby news, which emerged after the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital due to acute morning sickness, a source close to the heir to the throne has revealed.

Since news of the pregnancy, the world’s media have gathered outside the hospital where Kate is being treated.

However, William will reportedly not allow a repeat of what happened with his mother, Princess Diana of Wales, reported.

The princess died in a car accident in 1997, and was shadowed by the press throughout her life.

In September, French magazine Closer printed topless pictures of Catherine as she and Prince William were enjoying a holiday in Provence, sparking international scandal and a lawsuit.

William will not allow Catherine or his unborn child to undergo similar media pressure, according to sources.

“William has always had a distrust, bordering on outright loathing, for the press,” a source told Radar Online.

“It all stems from his childhood - watching the way his mother was built up and then torn down by the media and ultimately, he strongly believes to this day, hounded to her death by overzealous paparazzi.

“He has vowed to do everything in his power to protect Kate from the media frenzy surrounding her pregnancy and Heaven help anyone who crosses the line,” the source said.

The source added that at William’s behest the Queen instructed Palace bigwigs to individually call all of the chiefs at the British newspapers immediately following the pregnancy announcement and warn them, “in no uncertain terms, that if any lines are crossed, any intrusive paparazzi shots are purchased and published, or if Kate feels hounded in anyway there will be hell to pay.

“William was deeply hurt and angered by the topless photo scandal Kate was forced to endure over the summer, and has made it crystal clear that, make no mistake, he will not allow his wife to be subjected to such blatant intrusion and humiliation ever again,” the source said.

November 14, 2012

Judge throws out anti-paparazzi charges in Justin Bieber chase case

A Los Angeles Superior court judge threw out charges related to a first-of-its-kind anti-paparazzi law Wednesday in the case of a freelance photographer who was charged in connection with a freeway chase involving pop star Justin Bieber.

Judge Thomas Rubinson ruled that while Los Angeles city prosecutors could proceed with two traffic-related charges against Paul Raef, the two counts related to the state law did not pass Constitutional muster.

Passed in  2010, the law punishes paparazzi driving dangerously to obtain images they will sell. But Rubinson said the law violated First Amendment protections by overreaching and potentially affecting such people as wedding photographers or photographers speeding to a location where a celebrity was present.

Attorney David S. Kestenbaum, one of the lawyers representing Raef, said Wednesday he was pleased by the judge's decision, which showed his client was simply doing his job.

"The judge said that when you are talking about people doing their job and yet running the risk of additional criminal punishment, it has a chilling effect from anyone from newsgathers to wedding photographers and even real estate agents," Kestenbaum said. "It just a lesson in constitutional law.

The ruling comes less than six months after Bieber was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley and cited for driving his Fisker sports car at high speed. The pop star said then he was being chased by a freelance paparazzo later identified as Raef.

Los Angeles city prosecutors filed charges against the 30-year-old photographer for allegedly chasing Bieber and then speeding off when police tried to pull over both Bieber and Raef.

The charges included four misdemeanors: reckless driving, failing to obey a peace officer, and two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain.

With the dismissal of the latter charges, Raef still faces the potential of six months in county jail.

Bieber was involved in another traffic incident Tuesday. He was pulled over in a white Ferarri around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 600 block of Hayward Avenue in West Hollywood and was cited for making an unsafe left turn and having an expired registration, Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

October 15, 2012

Kanye West Explodes On The Paps After Dinner With Kim Kardashian

If you're not 'bout that life, you might want to rethink what you ask Kanye West.

Kim Kardashian and her new rapper boo had just finished dinner at Prime 112 in Miami, when one of the sea of paparazzi got brave enough to ask about Kimmy's ex Reggie Bush, who was enjoying his own meal right across the street.

Turns out that this didn't go over well for the "White Dress" rapper. Yeezy got so angry, he tried to snatch the camera from the female paparazzi, while a super sexy Kim looked on and held her man back.

According to TMZ:

Kanye and Kim Kardashian were leaving a dinner date in Miami Beach, when the photog -- NOT OURS -- shouted, "Kim did you know Reggie is here [in Miami] having dinner?"

The pap continued, "Did you wanna go congratulate him on his pregnancy?"

That's when Kanye snapped -- angrily rushing after the female pap after grasping for her camera -- but never actually striking the woman.

In the flicks, you can clearly see the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star a bit amused by the whole thing, while she calms Kanye down by holding onto his arm.

Things eventually cool down and KimYe goes on their way.

All this happened, just because Reggie (who is signed to the Miami Dolphins) and his pregnant girlfriend Lilit Avagyan, wanted to go to Prime Itailian at the same time KimYe went to Prime 112.

September 2, 2012

Photographer charged in Bieber chase opposes 'anti-paparazzi' law

A freelance photographer who allegedly chased singer Justin Bieber on the 101 Freeway earlier this year and became the first person arrested and charged under the state’s new anti-paparazzi law is now waging a constitutional challenge to the law.

Paul Raef, 30, faces four misdemeanor charges in connection with the July 6 incident: reckless driving, failing to obey a peace officer, and two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain.

If convicted, he faces up to a year in county jail and fines totaling $3,500. A hearing in the case is set for Sept. 24.

Raef’s attorneys say the law, signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, violates the 1st Amendment. The law specifically targets “commercial” photographers who pursue celebrities.

“It punishes only the press for engaging in news-gathering,” said Dmitry Gorin, one of Raef’s attorneys. “The law does not apply to a crazed fan following a celebrity, nor does it punish a reporter who is not paid for the photographs.”

Paparazzi photographers have the same constitutional protection as any member of the press, he said.
City Atty. Carmen Trutanich’s office, which supported the law and is prosecuting the case, declined to discuss the case. But constitutional legal experts say the city attorney faces a considerable legal challenge.

“A court is going to demand that the government show the paparazzi cause a special problem in this area that other drivers aren’t causing,” said Barry McDonald, a Pepperdine constitutional law professor. “Even if they meet that standard, the court will also require they show there isn’t another way to go about it. The government is going to have a heavy burden of justification and I don’t think the government is going to meet that justification.”

Raef, 30, was not arrested during his alleged pursuit of Bieber. However, his license plate was reported to police, who investigated and presented the case to city prosecutors.

Bieber was pulled over by the CHP, but a Toyota Rav 4 -- later determined to be Raef's -- was among the vehicles that fled the scene, authorities said. About 30 minutes after Bieber was ticketed, the singer called 911 and said he was again being followed by a Toyota involved in the previous pursuit. CHP officers found a vehicle with the same license plate and identified Raef as the driver.

During his pursuit of Bieber, Raef was seen driving at speeds well in excess of 80 mph across all lanes and even, at times, on the shoulder, prosecutors allege. Other motorists were forced to apply their brakes and swerve to avoid colliding with the vehicles. As it pursued Bieber’s vehicle, the Toyota forced its way into lanes of traffic despite having no room to merge safely.

August 6, 2012

NYPD Violently Arrest NY Times Photog for 2nd Time Since 2004; Smash Camera into his Face Before Confiscating it

Robert Stolarik, the New York Times photographer who had a run-in with NYPD officers in December at an Occupy Wall Street protest, was arrested Saturday night while on assignment.

This time, the Times decided to write about it.

Stolarik was covering a brewing street fight when a New York City police officer slammed the camera into his face.

The Times said he was then dragged down and kicked in the back by several other officers.

Despite all that, police say he “violently resisted being handcuffed.”

Gawker stated that he "was shoved, punched, stomped on, kicked and had his camera confiscated and smashed."

The Times said another journalist shot a video showing Stolarik face-down beneath several officers, but for that has not been posted yet.

According to the New York Times:

Mr. Stolarik was taking photographs of the arrest of a teenage girl about 10:30 p.m., when a police officer instructed him to stop doing so. Mr. Stolarik said he identified himself as a journalist for The Times and continued taking pictures. A second officer appeared, grabbed his camera and “slammed” it into his face, he said.

Mr. Stolarik said he asked for the officers’ badge numbers, and the officers then took his cameras and dragged him to the ground; he said that he was kicked in the back and that he received scrapes and bruises to his arms, legs and face.

The Police Department said in a statement that officers had been trying to disperse the crowd and had given “numerous lawful orders” for both the crowd and Mr. Stolarik to move back, but that he tried to push forward, “inadvertently” striking an officer in the face with his camera.

The police said that Mr. Stolarik then “violently resisted being handcuffed” and that, in the process, a second officer was cut on the hand.

Update: Stolarik was also arrested by NYPD as he was covering the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Downtown Express, which reported on his arrest at the time, has a vivid photo of police holding him down on the ground that looks eerily similar to the description of his latest arrest.

News photographer Robert Stolarik was taking pictures of an arrest Tuesday near Union Square Park when he says police tackled him to the ground and cuffed his hands so tightly he thought it cut off his circulation.

Thursday he was wearing two casts because doctors feared he could have fractured two bones in his wrists. He’s more concerned about being allowed to do his job than he is with his injuries. “It’s the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been as a journalist and I’ve had a gun to my head in Colombia,” Stolarik, 35, said. “All of your rights can be take away instantly.”

July 11, 2012

The Crazy Zoom of a 1700mm Nikon Lens

Check out Nikon’s 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P lens

Nikon launched a prototype of the lens in 1990 for newspaper photographers covering baseball in Japan. The sample photos above show the lens’ ridiculous reach. A standard 50mm FoV can be seen on the left, while the right photo shows what the same scene looks like at 1700mm.

July 10, 2012

UC pays to settle photographer's suit over arrest

The University of California has agreed to dish out a $162,500 settlement to David Morse, a 43-year-old photographer who was arrested back in 2009 while covering a student protest. The SF Chronicle writes,

[The suit] an officer told Morse, “We want your camera. We believe your camera contains evidence of a crime.”

The officers ignored his press pass and arrested him and seven others on suspicion of rioting, threatening an education official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, the suit said.

Morse spent the night in jail. Prosecutors declined to file charges.

But police obtained a search warrant and used several of his photos in brochures and online in hopes that the public could identify individuals.

As part of the settlement, the police department has also agreed to modify its procedures regarding seeking materials from journalists and will be conducting training sessions teaching its officers about media rights.

UC pays to settle photographer’s suit over arrest (via PDN Pulse)

July 9, 2012

ACLU-NJ Releases Police Accountability Smartphone App

Android app allows citizens to record and store video and audio of police encounters, includes guide to citizens’ rights.

Citizens can hold police accountable in the palms of their hands with “Police Tape,” a smartphone application from the ACLU of New Jersey that allows people to securely and discreetly record and store interactions with police, as well as provide legal information about citizens’ rights when interacting with the police. Thanks to the generosity of app developer OpenWatch, the ACLU-NJ is providing Police Tape to the public free of charge.

July 6, 2012

NYPD Publishes Poster of "Professional Agitators," aka Citizens who Record Cops

The New York City Police Department issued a notice to officers to be aware of a pair of “professional agitators” who like to video record police performing their duties.

It was the agitators themselves who discovered the flyer when they walked inside the 30th Precinct for a community board meeting.

This is how Christina Gonzalez Nysid, who captured the flyer on video, described it on Youtube:

Walked into the monthly 30th Precinct community board meeting to discover our own faces hanging on the podium. It reads
Be aware that the subjects are known professional agitators that live at [our address posted on poster]. Above subjects mo is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on youtube. Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too deter officers from conducting there responsibilities. Above subjects also deter officers from being safe and tactical by causing unnecessary distractions. Do not feed into subjects propaganda.

July 5, 2012

Getty Draws Initial Bids in Auction of $4 Billion

Getty Images has received around $4 billion in initial bids related to a potential sale as it progresses to the second round of an auction, people close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The Seattle-based photo agency holds an archive of tens of millions of photographs, including those taken of Lyndon Johnson when he was being sworn in following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

On its web site, Getty says its archive photos collection cover "America from its birth to present day," including "an array of photos, maps, fine art and engravings from legendary sources like Pictorial Parade, FPG and George Eastman House.”

The agency distributes its photos and videos to media and other organizations.

Buyout company Hellman & Friedman took Getty private in 2008 in a leveraged buyout that valued the photo agency at $2.4 billion. A group of investors, including Getty’s co-founder, Mark Getty, that together hold a minority stake in the company, are expected to roll over their investment and strike a new deal with the incoming private equity owner,

Getty’s owners had also been considering an initial public offering, however people close to the matter told the newspaper that those plans are on the back burner.

July 3, 2012

Alec Baldwin's Daughter Blames Paparazzi Clash on Wedding Stress

Alec Baldwin was suffering from "wedding stress" when he clashed with members of the paparazzi on the eve of his nuptials on Friday (29Jun12), according to his teenage daughter.

The 30 Rock star hit the headlines last week when he approached a snapper who had been camped outside his New York apartment complex and grabbed his arm in a bid to escort the photographer away from the building.

In video footage of the incident, a visibly-upset Baldwin can be heard telling the paparazzo, "I want you to shut the f**k up and get outta here", before heading back into his home.

It was the 54 year old's second recent bust-up with the media - he is currently under investigation over claims he attacked a New York Daily News staffer outside a courthouse after obtaining a marriage licence last month (Jun12).

However, Baldwin's daughter Ireland, from his first marriage to actress Kim Basinger, has come to her father's defence over the public tirades, insisting her dad lost his temper as a result of the stress of planning his wedding to yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas.

Speaking to the New York Post before the nuptials, Ireland said, "(He is) actually a very mellow guy, and since he changed his diet, he's been doing so much better... This is all just wedding stress".

The actor exchanged vows with Thomas, 28, on Saturday (30Jun12) at Manhattan's St.

Patrick's Old Cathedral, in front of guests including the groom's brothers Stephen and Billy, his 30 Rock co-star Tina Fey and director Woody Allen.

Baldwin's security team were on high alert at the event and made it clear the paparazzi were unwelcome outside the wedding venue - one photographer was forcefully removed from the area as he tried to snap images of the bridal party arriving at the church.

June 29, 2012

Baldwin fights another photographer outside home

Alec Baldwin fights with another photographer on the street outside his apartment today.

Yoga isn’t having much of calming effect on rageaholic Alec Baldwin.

Hot-headed actor Alec Baldwin went after another photographer this morning, roughing up a shutterbug even as the shooter was trying to get away from the “30 Rock” brute.

Video footage showed Splash photographer Brian Prahl walking away from Baldwin when the actor chased him down and forcibly grabbed the shooter's left arm.

“What are you squeezing my arm for,” the photographer pleaded. “You’re breaking my arm .. all we’re doing is taking your picture.”

The shooter’s calm reasoning set off Baldwin.

“I want you to shut the f--k up and get outta here, I want you to get outta here,” screamed Baldwin, who is getting married tomorrow to his young yoga instructor gal pal Hilaria Thomas. "Leave my neighbor alone."

Prahl explained: “I was just telling you to have a good wedding,”

Again, Baldwin refused to be calm.

“Shut up, shut up. Leave my neighbor alone,” seethed Baldwin.

Video showed one of Baldwin’s lackeys desperately trying to block other shooters from photographing the actor’s latest meltdown.

“Did you hear what I said, did you hear what I said?!” seethed Baldwin, as he menacingly backed the smaller man into a parked van.

Then the TV tough guy, with a pink stuffed animal under his left arm, sneered with no sense of irony: “You little girl.”

The video didn’t show what might have preceded Baldwin’s latest explosion.

VideoBaldwin got physical with a photographer today outside his apartment.

June 28, 2012

Photographers boycott Stone Roses gigs in contract row

Photographers are planning to boycott the Stone Roses reunion concerts in Manchester this weekend in a dispute over the use of their images.

They claim a contract issued by the band is unfair as it expects them to surrender all rights to their pictures.

The National Union of Journalists is supporting the boycott.

A spokesman for the band denied there was a boycott and said a full quota of photographers will be covering the gigs. Rights

The Stone Roses will play three gigs at Heaton Park in Manchester this weekend.

It is claimed that photographers covering the gigs were initially asked to sign a contract which would see the Stone Roses pay £1 to own all the rights to the pictures.

It also stated the images could be used across all merchandise without crediting the photographers.

An improved contract was produced on Monday but it too has been rejected by photographers.

Photographer Ian Tilton, who is encouraging his colleagues to take part in the boycott, has photographed the Stone Roses on several occasions.

His images have previously been used for some of the band's album covers.

He said it is unacceptable for the band to expect photographers to surrender their copyright meaning pictures could only be used in the magazine which commissioned them.

"I understand that the Stone Roses want to make money from the pictures. But I don't agree that the photographers can only use the pictures once, for one publication," said Mr Tilton.

"The photographers should be allowed to earn money from the pictures they take," he added. Assistance

John Toner, from the National Union of Journalists, said they will provide every assistance to the photographers.

"Too many musical artistes now wish to grab rights from photographers. Having said that, people are surprised that the Stone Roses have chosen to go down this route.

"We fully understand why a band would wish to retain merchandising rights, and the photographers would be happy to concede this. Equally, a photographer must have the right to license editorial use of images without obtaining the band's permission for each use," he said.

The Stone Roses press agent, Murray Chalmers, said it is normal for contracts to be signed and, as far as they are concerned, "there is no boycott".

"We have a complete list, a full quota of photographers who are covering the concerts," he added.

Alec Baldwin Guards Wedding From Potential Paparazzi

The details of Alec Baldwin’s big day are on a need-to-know basis.

The “30 Rock” star is expected to wed his yoga instructor fiancee Hilaria Thomas Saturday at downtown Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. The New York Post reported that because the happy couple is wary of paparazzi — Baldwin scuffled with a New York Daily News photographer last week — they have yet to tell guests where the reception will take place.

But a source close to Baldwin told that’s nonsense. “Everyone knows where to go,” the source said, adding that while Baldwin and Thomas didn’t send out traditional wedding invites, “the idea that they are not telling people” details “is just not true.”

June 26, 2012

Rihanna's Bodyguard Punches Paparazzi in London

Rihanna's bodyguard punched a photographer in the face when he got too close to the singer, reports TMZ. The altercation was caught on camera, which sees the burly bodyguard smack his fist onto the photographer's face. Rihanna had just got inside her car after coming out of the Whiskey Mist nightclub in London when the incident happened.

June 20, 2012

Alec Baldwin Dressed As Ghost To Avoid Photographers

This is Alec Baldwin adjusting a white covering over his head on the Upper East Side today 
Earlier today, hot-headed actor Alec Baldwin ended up having a rage attack against a pair of Daily News photographers in lower Manhattan, allegedly punching one. Baldwin had been at the marriage bureau to get a marriage license with fiancee Hilaria Thomas when he became upset at the photographers trying to take pictures of him. So later in the day, Baldwin decided the only way he could avoid photographers was to wear a white covering (sheet? blanket? big towel?) over his head while on an Upper East Side sidewalk. Hey, doesn't he know the bride wears the veil?!

As for the morning incident, News photographer Marcus Santos says he had been waiting to take pictures of City Councilman Larry Seabrook (you know, the $177 bagel politician), and, after getting the Seabrook photo, he was called away to get a shot of Baldwin. There, Santos noticed that fellow News photographer Jefferson Siege had attracted Baldwin's ire.

So Santos tried to defend Siegel, only for Baldwin to direct his anger at him: "That's when Alec Baldwin turned around and came after me and started punching me and pushing me. I say stop, stop don't touch me, and as you see in the pictures, I was far away from him and he lunged at me like 'Raging Bull.' And I didn't think that could happen to me because I usually tend to be nice to everybody, I tend to respect everybody, I always give everybody space."

While Baldwin's rep insisted that the actor didn't punch anyone (and blamed the photographer for getting physical), freelance photographer Goran Veljic told the Post that Baldwin hit Santos. He added that Baldwin seemed really angry, "I don't know why -- you're getting married, you should be happy. It was very unusual... I was scared. I moved inside. I thought maybe he was crazy."

June 19, 2012

Alec Baldwin Did Not Punch New York Daily News Photographer, Says Rep

Alec Baldwin Punches Nydn Photographer
Alec Baldwin got in a heated scuffle with a New York Daily News photographer on Tuesday morning.

The Daily News published an account of the incident, in which the paper alleges the "30 Rock" actor punched photographer Marcus Santos outside of the city Marriage License Bureau on Worth Street.

According to the paper, Baldwin and his fiancee Hilaria Thomas were exiting the building after just obtaining a marriage license.

Santos and other paparazzi were waiting outside when the 54-year-old actor approached with "an angry glare." The actor reportedly asked the photographers to step back and Santos claims they began to give Baldwin some space. Baldwin then allegedly grabbed another Daily News photographer, and Santos demanded that the actor back off.

"I said, 'Don’t touch him.' I knew he was going to attack me. I stepped back, and he kept coming," Santos told the paper. "He comes after me, starts shoving and punching me — one time, right in the chin. And then he started shoving me, and pushing me. Then he goes the other way.”

Baldwin addressed this morning's incident on Twitter, claiming that one of the photographers nearly hit him in the face with his camera.

A "photographer" almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning.
Later, in response to the paper's story, Baldwin tweeted: "@nydnbrooklyn @nydailynews Ever since that English Queen took over the Daily News, they lie like the Post."

Baldwin followed up his last tweet, by making a reference to the Trayvon Martin case, writing:

I suppose if the offending paparazzi was wearing a hoodie and I shot him, it would all blow over...
The actor's rep, Matthew Hiltzik, released a statement to The Huffington Post, denying the actor ever threw a punch at the photographer:
"As Alec and his fiancee were leaving City Hall, a 'civilian' walking in front of Alec positioned himself to obstruct the view of a photographer aggressively trying to shoot the couple. The photographer was clearly frustrated, pushed past the bystander and assaulted Alec with his camera. There were no punches thrown, and any subsequent physical contact was simply Alec protecting himself."

This isn't the first time Baldwin has become frustrated with members of the New York media. In April, the star tweeted that he was leaving NBC, because of "Today Show" cameras that were parked outside his Manhattan home while covering the arrest of his alleged stalker.

“A story about stalking sure brings out the stalkers in the media. But, the Today Show?” Baldwin tweeted, later adding,“The television crew camped outside my apt said they were with the Today Show. #howthemightyhavefallen,” read another tweet.

Alec Baldwin Makes Trayvon Martin Quip After Paparazzi Clash

He snapped Alec Baldwin's photograph – and then the actor, well, snapped.

Daily News photographer Marcus Santos says that the Rock of Ages star, 54, got physical with him Tuesday morning as Santos stood with other photographers outside Manhattan's Marriage License Bureau.

"He comes after me, starts shoving and punching me, one time right in the chin," he tells the newspaper. "He started shoving me and pushing me. Then he goes the other way."

But the 30 Rock star's rep Matthew Hiltzik refutes the photographer's account, telling PEOPLE, "As Alec and his fiancée were leaving City Hall, a 'civilian' walking in front of Alec positioned himself to obstruct the view of a photographer aggressively trying to shoot the couple. The photographer was clearly frustrated, pushed past the bystander and assaulted Alec with his camera. There were no punches thrown, and any subsequent physical contact was simply Alec protecting himself."

Afterward, Baldwin, who presumably was getting a license to wed fiancée Hilaria Thomas, later took to Twitter with a reference to the Trayvon Martin case.

"A 'photographer' almost hit me in the face with his camera this morning. #allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded," he wrote, adding, "I suppose if the offending paparazzi was wearing a hoodie and I shot him, it would all blow over."

June 5, 2012

Getty Images owners weigh sale or IPO

The owners of Getty Images Inc, the largest supplier of stock photos, video and other digital content, have retained bankers to examine a possible sale or public offering of the business, a person close to the matter said Tuesday.

Hellman & Friedman, the U.S. private equity fund which bought the business four years ago for $2.4 billion, is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc  and JPMorgan Chase & Co, the source said.

A sale or IPO of Getty could value the company at $4 billion, the source said.

Hellman & Friedman and JPMorgan declined to comment. Goldman Sachs was not immediately available for comment.

The news was reported earlier by the Financial Times.

May 30, 2012

Justin Bieber Not Due Back For Police Questioning Until June 17Th

As police get down to the business of trying to sort out the details of Justin Bieber's fracas with a photographer, it looks like they'll be forced to wait a while before they can put both parties under interrogation. Bieber's unveiled his tour plans for Europe, and none of them seem to have been changed to allow for a trip back to the US to explain the event that led to the paparazzo filing a claim of criminal battery against the 18 year-old singer.

"ok. going to board. Off To Europe! Phase 1 of operation secret concerts! lol. Oslo first stop. See u soon....and..." Bieber tweeted, before - some 20 hours later - writing "Norway!!! here with the team. Loving the people! thank u. good food too." Bieber's itinerary for the next few weeks sees him call in at Oslo, Paris, Milan, Verona, Madrid, London, Cologne, Berlin, Mexico City, Nyc and Toronto, before apparently returning to his home town on June 17th.

So it could be three weeks or so before officials even get their hands on the performer. Judging by the muted response coming from his camp, too, you'd suggest that there may some truth in the photgrapher's account in which he claimed he was "physically battered" by Bieber - it's a very different to response to their aggressive cease and desist tactics employed on Mariah Yeater last year when she accused the artist of being the father to her child.

May 28, 2012

Justin Bieber wanted for questioning after allegedly 'roughing up' a photographer

Teen idol Justin Bieber is wanted for questioning by Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators - after a paparazzo complained of being roughed up by the young pop star at a shopping center.

The scuffle allegedly happened when the photographer tried to snap pictures of the 18-year-old and his girlfriend Selena Gomez, after they walked out of a theater at The Commons at Calabasas today.

Sheriff Lt. Robert Wiard says the photographer in question called 911 on Sunday and complained of pain to his chest.

Wiard says the photographer was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released.

He says Bieber and Gomez left before deputies arrived, so investigators want to talk to him to get his side of the story.

During the altercation, the usually complaint pop star appeared angry and frustrated and girlfriend Selena appeared to be trying to reason with him.

May 23, 2012

Justin Timberlake Tells Paparazzi To 'Get A Real Job'

No one wants to hear celebrities complain about having to deal with the paparazzi, but Justin Timberlake has a good reason to be angry.

On Tuesday, the 31-year-old star and his business partner, Trace Ayala, learned just how intrusive the paparazzi can be, when some overeager photographers unsuccessfully attempted to snap a photo of the actor and singer, taking out their frustration on Ayala's truck.

Timberlake justifiably lashed out at the photographers, tweeting about the incident:

While this would be an unfortunate incident for anyone, Timberlake has had previous run-ins with the same photographers, according to Gossip Cop.

Of course Timberlake isn't the only celeb to tweet about frustration with the paps. In April, Miley Cyrus became so fed up with aggressive photographers that she wrote that she was considering leaving Los Angeles for Nashville. Cyrus has also said she doesn't think hounding celebrities for candid photos is a real occupation.

"Today I told a paparazzi to get a real job and he said you too. Hahahahahaha," she wrote in March and later explained to a fan, "@saaaaaaarrrrrah cuz its stalking. how would u feel being followed around by men u don't know? & cuz they risk my life driving dangerously."

Other stars have gone to great lengths to prevent the paparazzi from getting a photo. Teen pop star Justin Bieber received a Fisker Karma for his 18th birthday earlier this year, and had the prestigious car customized with special paint that gives the paparazzi a taste of their own medicine. The chrome finish makes the camera's flash bounce back. "They just get their own face back," he told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Meanwhile, actress Halle Berry also has a big problem with the paparazzi -- especially when they try to snap photos of her 4-year-old daughter, Nahla -- and she wants things to change.

"We are going to figure out what we can do on our local level in Los Angeles to sort of change some laws because it is becoming child exploitation,” the actress told "Access Hollywood" on Tuesday.

"Our children should be off limits. They are innocent little babies that should not be exploited all over these magazine. I’m fair game, I get that, but my kids [and] kids at my children’s school should not be harassed like that,” Halle said. “It’s just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong."

May 22, 2012

Halle Berry Talks Paparazzi: ‘Our Children Should Be Off Limits’

Halle Berry has been very vocal about the growing problem of the persistent paparazzi, who often try their hardest to snap pictures of the star with her 4-year-old daughter, Nahla. Now the actress is looking to change the laws when it comes to photographing children.

“We are going to figure out what we can do on our local level in Los Angeles to sort of change some laws because it is becoming child exploitation,” the 45-year-old actress told Access Hollywood correspondent Jill Martin at the Revlon ColorStay Whipped Creme Makeup launch in New York on Tuesday.

The actress has become frustrated with seeing her daughter and the kids of other stars in the pages of magazines and tabloids.

“When I open up all these magazines and I see all these children in them. Nahla was just in a magazine and they said, what does she – and I think Gwen Stefani’s kid – have in common? They were both nose pickers and I thought, ‘You know we are stooping to a new low when we prop up our children and exploit them like this.’ And people can’t wait to open up a magazine and see what 4-year-olds are wearing. There is something wrong, fundamentally wrong, with that,” she continued.

Halle acknowledges that photographers should be allowed to take her picture, but not her daughter’s.

“Our children should be off limits. They are innocent little babies that should not be exploited all over these magazine. I’m fair game, I get that, but my kids [and] kids at my children’s school should not be harassed like that,” Halle stressed. “It’s just wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong.”

Adding, “When you have these creepy guys with cameras lurking around it’s really hard for parents, myself and other parents, teachers, principals, to discern who’s supposed to be there… it’s just a chaos and a confusion that doesn’t need to surround where little kids play and where they live and what their world is. It’s just not right.”

May 9, 2012

John Travolta Can Thank Nosy Paparazzi for Proving He Didn't Do the Dirty Deed

Okay, let me see if I've got all these peen-grabbing rumors about John Travolta straight: first he allegedly assaulted a masseur in a Beverly Hills hotel on January 16, and then the same attorney handling that lawsuit suddenly got a second plaintiff, John Doe #2, who also accused Travolta of improper behavior during a massage in Atlanta, and they're both asking for $2 million in damages, and—arrrgh, this is so confusing! I need a diagram that clearly maps out the relationships between penises, massage tables, and million-dollar payouts.

At any rate, it seems like Travolta may be off the hook from at least one of those masseur's accusations, due to photographic proof he was in New York on January 16. As it turns out, Travolta just may have gossip site TMZ to thank for digging up the evidence that sinks John Doe #1's case.

Horribly intrusive celebrity stalking FTW!
TMZ has a photo that sources say was snapped on January 16 in New York. In it, Travolta's seen wearing a cap, scarf, and his hands do not appear to be clutching anyone's penis. TMZ also has a receipt from a meal Travolta ate at Mr. Chow in New York, which includes a date (1/16) and a rather generous $100 tip on a $382 meal.

Okay, so obviously this is the kind of privacy-invasion stuff that TMZ and other sites do all the time, and it's pretty creepy and weird. I mean, how did they get their hands on that receipt? Did they pay a restaurant employee to hand it over, did they fish it out of the trash, or what?

But in this case, TMZ's relentless ability to ferret out seemingly inconsequential celebrity information may actually pay off for Travolta. If he can use this as evidence that he was, in fact, in New York at the same time he was supposedly groping John Doe #1, I'm guessing that's a good thing.

The sooner Travolta can prove his innocence, the better, because that lawyer who's representing the two masseurs says there are even MORE John Does who are crawling out of the woodwork ... and looking for a paycheck.

Halle Berry Has Screaming Match With the Paparazzi! (Photos)

Halle Berry has had enough with the paparazzi!
The celebrity mom was caught in a screaming match with a few photographers who ended up getting too close for comfort at her daughter’s school!
Halle tried talking her feelings out, but ended up going into full protective mode as she screamed at a photographer through a car window!
In the photos below, you’ll see Halle running around her daughter’s campus as well as duking it out with the photographers at hand.

April 13, 2012

Virgin Atlantic worker quits over supplying celebrity tip-offs

A Virgin Atlantic employee has resigned following allegations she routinely fed information about the company's celebrity clientele to a paparazzi agency, the airline says.

Virgin said that the employee, a junior member of the team tasked with looking after high-profile clients, quit on Thursday ahead of reports published in the Guardian and the Press Gazette alleging that she'd passed more than 60 celebrities' booking information on to the Big Pictures photo agency.

Among those allegedly targeted: Britain's Princess Beatrice; singers Madonna and Rihanna; actors Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet, Daniel Radcliffe and Sienna Miller; comedians Sacha Baron Cohen and Russell Brand; and a slew of UK celebrities and sports figures.
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Both the Guardian and the Press Gazette cited messages allegedly sent by the employee to someone at Big Pictures Ltd as the basis for their stories.

The Associated Press had no immediate way of verifying the authenticity of the messages, but the Guardian said it had carried out checks confirming that at least some of the celebrities had travelled to the destinations mentioned in the emails.

Calls and emails to representatives of around a dozen of the celebrities mentioned went unreturned on Friday, a public holiday in the United States and Britain. A representative for Princess Beatrice declined comment, while Kate Winslet's publicist, Heidi Slan, said the star wasn't reachable.

In a statement, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd called the allegations "extremely serious" and said it had launched an investigation. The airline, which is majority-owned by billionaire adventurer Richard Branson, confirmed that high-profile clients were involved but declined to comment on the British newspapers' figures.

A man who answered the phone at London-based Big Pictures hung up when an Associated Press reporter identified himself as a member of the media. Emails sent to company founder Darren Lyons' personal assistant weren't immediately returned. The Press Gazette said Big Pictures was first approached for comment more than 48 hours ago but has yet to respond.

Neither Virgin nor the newspapers identified the employee in question. The Guardian said it had contacted her on Wednesday and that she had declined comment.

It was not clear on Friday if authorities had become involved. Virgin refused to say whether it had called in the police and a Scotland Yard spokesman said he wasn't aware of the leak.

A spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner's office - which investigates data breaches in Britain - said the agency was closed over the holiday period.

The past year has seen the sometimes underhanded methods of Britain's media thrust into the spotlight by a scandal over phone hacking at the now-defunct News of the World.

Paparazzi have come under particular scrutiny, with public figures including Miller alleging aggressive, intimidating or illegal behaviour on the part of celebrity-obsessed snappers.

Miller, who testified before a judge-led inquiry into media ethics set up in the wake of the scandal, said she had been terrorised by photographers stalking her every move.

"I would often find myself - I was 21 - at midnight running down a dark street on my own with ten big men chasing me and the fact that they had cameras in their hands meant that that was legal," she told the inquiry.

"But if you take away the cameras, what have you got? You've got a pack of men chasing a woman and obviously that's a very intimidating situation to be in."

Lyons, the founder of Big Pictures, told the same inquiry he had "no reason" to believe his photographers broke rules in pursuit of pictures, batting away suggestions that paparazzi victimise their targets.

"The fact of the matter is that celebrities court publicity when they want to court publicity and then all of a sudden they want to switch it off very, very soon after," he told the inquiry.

"If you are in the public eye, you are looked up to," he added. "We live in a world of voyeurism."

April 5, 2012

Virgin Atlantic employee in paparazzi probe

Virgin Atlantic said on Thursday it had launched an investigation over claims a member of staff had tipped off paparazzi about details of flights celebrities had booked with the airline.

The employee is accused of passing details of eight high-profile customers including actress Sienna Miller and England soccer player Ashley Cole to the London-based photographic agency Big Pictures.

"The allegations that have been raised are extremely serious and we have launched an immediate investigation," a spokeswoman for the airline said.
"The incident that has been alleged concerns eight customers' flights booked in 2010 and we are in contact with all of those people."

The Guardian newspaper reported that the employee, who looked after high-profile customers for the airline, had now resigned.

It said other celebrities affected included actresses Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow, and singer Robbie Williams.

Miller, star of movies like "Alfie" and "Layer Cake", was awarded 53,000 pounds in damages from Big Pictures in 2008 over claims of paparazzi harassment.

March 28, 2012

Man Who Was Arrested for Filming Police with Phone Settles for $170,000

After being arrested on October 1, 2007 for using his cell phone to film officers making an arrest, Boston lawyer Simon Glik sued the city for violating his civil rights.

Late last year the court denied a motion to have the case dismissed, and just yesterday it was announced that the City of Boston had come to a settlement with Glik, agreeing to pay him $170,000 for damages and legal fees.

The decision last year and the settlement yesterday both reaffirm that the First Amendment protects the right to photograph and film police officers carrying out their duties in a public place.

March 16, 2012

Russell Brand Arrested

Russell Brand is a wanted man no more: He turned himself into New Orleans police today to face charges that he grabbed a paparazzo's iPhone and threw it through a window, reports the Times-Picayune.

The misdemeanor warrant for simple criminal damage to property was issued last night, TMZ reports. Brand has offered to pay for the nearby law firm's broken window, but no word on whether he's offered similar restitution for the iPhone. Brand has been in New Orleans filming a movie.

The confrontation went down Monday night, and the photographer involved named Brand in a police report citing "criminal damages." The pap was filming Brand with his iPhone at the time, and yesterday

Brand tweeted a cheeky defense: "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iphone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."

March 15, 2012

Russell Brand Arrest Warrant Issued for Throwing Paparazzo's iPhone

Police in New Orleans issued an arrest warrant for Russell Brand on Wednesday night following his run-in with a member of the paparazzi earlier this week, TMZ reported.

Brand was named in a police report Monday night after allegedly grabbing a photographer's cell phone out of his hand and hurling it through the window of a law firm.

The paparazzo, Timothy Jackson, filed a police report immediately after the incident, citing "criminal damages."

According to Jackson, he had been out with several fellow photographers when he started taking pictures of the 36-year-old British comedian and actor with his iPhone.

Brand allegedly "flipped out," snatched the cell phone and threw it at a building, breaking a window in the process.

Earlier Wednesday, Brand tweeted about the incident to his more than four million followers, writing, "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iphone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."

Brand, who split from his pop singer wife Katy Perry late last year, is currently filming a movie in New Orleans.

His reps have contacted the law firm and offered to pay for the broken window.

In 2010, Brand was arrested on suspected battery charges after he allegedly attacked a paparazzo at Los Angeles International Airport. He and his lawyers came to an undisclosed agreement with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office and he escaped punishment.

March 7, 2012

Paparazzi Confuse Debbie Harry With Lindsay Lohan

Several paparazzi might have mixed up Debbie Harry and Lindsay Lohan. On Sunday, March 4, a number of photographers swarmed the former Blondie frontwoman when she left the Mercer Hotel in New York morning after mistaking her for the "Mean Girls" actress, it has been reported.

Splash photographers were among those waiting for Lohan's exit from the hotel that day. To E! News, they claimed to know right from the start that it was the 66-year-old rocker, but noted that other photogs took a few frames before coming to realization. They did admit, "Debbie bore a striking resemblance, albeit older, to the young starlet."

When exiting Mercer, 66-year-old Harry rocked platinum blond bangs and wore aviator sunglasses and black hooded sweatshirt. Her outfits were similar to those worn by 25-year-old Lohan when she was spotted two days earlier. The younger celeb was staying at the hotel for her "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig.

This was not the first time Lohan was mistaken for other people though. Back in 2011, the April Booth of "Machete" was confused with fashion designer Donatella Versace when making an appearance at the Cynthia Rowley fashion show in New York. Several years earlier, she was mistaken for rocker Courtney Love.

Jennifer Aniston says NYC paparazzi drove her out

It doesn't seem like L.A. would be a big improvement, but Jennifer Aniston says the paparazzi, hungry for photos of her and new beau Justin Theroux, drove her out of New York and back to California.

"We tried New York," the 43-year-old "Wanderlust" star told Australia's Kyle and Jacki O. Show last week. "It felt like I was [living] in a fish bowl and I felt mortified for my neighbors."

It was only a little more than a year ago that the actress said, 'I grew up here. I miss it,' during an interview with New York's ABC News. "There is nothing like being in the city that is just the city of Everyman. It's all walks of life -- I love that!"

But now she's changed her tune. "It was a little rough with the paparazzi, it didn't feel like the New York I grew up in and knew," Aniston told the radio hosts last week about her recent stay in the Big Apple.

The actress,  43, says she's felt better ever since she moved into her new 8,500-square-foot Bel Air home last month.

February 22, 2012

Casket Photo of Whitney Houston’s Dead Body Is Now on Newsstands Everywhere

The chilling picture shows the singer lying dead in her golden casket, clad in a regal purple dress and wearing what looks like a diamond brooch and earrings.

The weekly magazine has run the snap alongside a bold headline
proclaiming: "Whitney: The last photo!"

It is understood the photograph was taken inside the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, New Jersey, where her family attended a private wake last Friday (local time) on the eve of her funeral.

The magazine claims the photo was taken at the private viewing - although does not reveal who took the picture.

Carolyn Whigham, the owner of the Whigham Funeral Home, "I have spoken with the family about this and they have asked me not to comment on the matter."

Whitney - who died aged 48 on February 11 - was wearing jewels worth $500,000 and had gold slippers on her feet, according to the publication.

The image - which was published in today's edition - has stirred a strong reaction on Twitter, with people expressing their shock.

'#wrong #rip,' wrote one Twitter user named as The Bitter Critter.
Another user of the social networking site, Eric S Pittman, simply exclaimed 'Oh dear' while tweeter Peter Anthony Holder wrote: 'No privacy for Whitney, even in death. As usual, the National Enquirer is a piece of work.'

The singer's funeral took place on Saturday (Sunday AEDT)and was attended by stars including Mariah Carey, Oprah Winfrey and her co-star from The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner.

Houston was laid to rest the following day in a burial service attended by close family and friends.

She was found dead in the bathtub of her fourth-floor hotel suite at the Beverly Hilton hotel on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
The official cause of death is yet to be revealed, pending the release of toxicology reports - which could still be several weeks off.

However, there has been speculation that the troubled star - who endured a long battle with drugs - died as a result of a deadly concoction of prescriptions drugs and alcohol.

Yesterday, RadarOnline reported Whitney had a mixture of Valium, Xanax and alcohol in her system when she was found at the Beverly Hilton.
"Whitney had taken Valium, Xanax, and alcohol, which led to her death," a source close to the situation told the website.
"The coroner is waiting on final toxicology results to determine which one of the three was the major contributing factor of her demise.

"The coroner will be closely examining Whitney's blood alcohol content at the time she died as well. The sedatives and alcohol will almost certainly be the cause of death, and not drowning.

"Her heart stopped beating because her respiratory system was suppressed because of the anti-anxiety meds, and combined with the booze it probably happened very quickly before she was found partially submerged in the bathtub."

February 8, 2012

Justin Bieber Inspired Game App Takes Stab at Aggressive Paparazzi

RC3, Inc. today is pleased to announce the release of Joustin' Beaver 1.0, their new mobile gaming title for iOS and Android devices. Joustin' Beaver allows Justin Bieber fans to help their favorite pop star poke fun at the overbearing and aggressive paparazzi by defeating "Phot-hogs" and picking up "Otter-graph seekers".

The single-player arcade-style adventure game is an homage to teen heartthrob Justin Bieber. Fans of the pop star can help guide his cartoon counterpart down a river while picking up "Otter-graph seekers" and knocking evil "Phot-hogs" into the water with his jousting lance. The "Phot-hogs" are camera wielding pigs from a fictional gossip website called "TeaM Z," which bears a resemblance to Harvey Levin's popular gossip blog TMZ.

Mark Kaye, a radio host who partnered with Robb Chamberlain from RC3, Inc., explains, "We wanted to create a game that appeals to Justin Bieber's fans. He's a hero and adored by millions. It's important that 'Joustin' Beaver' reflects that. Paparazzi are relentless creatures who are difficult to dodge. Just the other day the real Justin Bieber was harassed by an overly aggressive photog. They stop at nothing to get their shots and, therefore, make an easy and appropriate villain for our hero, Joustin' Beaver."

The app has been on the market for just a few days and has already enjoyed some excellent reviews:
* "I can't stop playing this. It's very cool and super fun," starts one review. "Graphics are great. I love the homages to 'Pop Culture!' Really funny concept. My new favorite!"

* Another early player writes, "Simple to learn and hard to stop playing."

"Mark's initial idea was ingenious in itself," says Robb Chamberlain CO-creator of "Joustin Beaver" and developer of several other successful apps. "The fact the gameplay became addictive was a bonus. It became more than just 'punny.'"

January 11, 2012

LiLo being sued by paparazzi photographer

Lindsay Lohan is in yet another legal tangle as a paparazzo has filed a lawsuit against her alleging he was run over by her car in January 2010.
This latest incident comes close on the heels of the lien filed by the IRS, which means they could go after her property if she fails pay her tax dues.

 According to, a legal claim has been filed against Lohan by photographer Grigor Balyan, who alleged that he was injured when a car driven by the star's assistant hit him while he was trying to photograph the 'Mean Girls' star as she left a Hollywood club.
 His lawyer, Neil Steiner, claims he subsequently attempted to settle the incident with Lohan's insurance company but they only made 'an insignificant offer', Contactmusic reported.
 Steiner says he is seeking 'reasonable compensation' for his client, who was treated for orthopaedic and neurologic injuries following the alleged accident.