With Photography Comes Responsibility: Why Recent Paparazzi Activities Are Dangerous for Photographers and Their Rights

A group of Paparazzi outside a private establishment.

We’ve done reports over stories that we hear of how people have been treated by police when practicing photography in public. Most of the time they’re journalists, bystanders, or someone trying to expose police in acts they probably shouldn’t be committing in the first place. And we’ve always treated the subject with importance because photography isn’t a crime. A state isn’t truly free if it isn’t a state that builds on a right to a freedom of speech, and photography is one method of that freedom of speech. But what about when photography itself is used in an abusive manner? Like the case just a few weeks back involving the subway guy from Massachusetts? Photographers should never be punished for taking pictures in public, but that statement itself comes with responsibilities on the photographers themselves. I want to focus a bit on something that really blurs the line between what’s appropriate and what isn’t: paparazzi photography.

This post comes after recent news of Kanye West settling a case involving an incident last July in where he assaulted a photographer as he was trying to leave the LAX airport. Before you pick up your pitchforks at me bringing him up, understand why I decided to bring him up. Out of any of the many celebrities that are mobbed today by paparazzi, Kanye West is arguably the most controversial through how may times his impulsive actions have become headlines for paparazzi on TMZ. [Read more...]