Bill Of Lights: 4 New Rules For Sneaky Paparazzi

With stars like Justin Bieber and Halle Berry pushing for stricter laws against peeping paps, entertainment attorney Cassandra Spangler reviews VIBE’s own proposed legislation

NEW RULE NO. 1
Paparazzi who catch celebs with a forkful have to ante up on the bill (plus 30 percent tip).
Spangler: One way to deal with this issue may be a ban on cameras and cell phones in [high-end] restaurants and nightclubs. Establishments that institute a ban may actually see increased celebrity clientele. That’s been the case with The Box in New York City.

NEW RULE NO. 2
Snapping baby bump flicks is considered child endangerment.
Spangler: It’s unlikely that the mere act of photographing an unborn child puts that child in danger. But where extreme measures are taken to obtain the photograph, a paparazzo may face enhanced criminal penalties. Halle Berry requested legal permission to take her daughter out of the country [because of ] paparazzi harassment. Groups like the Los Angeles City Council recently lobbied for a paparazzi-free zone around a celebrity’s person and family.

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NEW RULE NO. 3
Photogs must foot speeding tickets for celebs forced to go 55 in a 54.
Spangler: A law like this may only fuel criticism that our justice system isn’t blind. However, many existing laws provide celebrities with civil remedies for expenses incurred and harm suffered as a result of paparazzi—last year a paparazzo faced criminal charges after a car chase involving Justin Bieber.

NEW RULE NO. 4
Paps must sport badges with their name and the agency for which they gawk.
Spangler: This may be the best way to go. We’ve seen this self-regulation in the music industry with the RIAA’s parental advisories and [Hollywood’s] MPAA ratings system. Perhaps it’s time for the media to follow suit—for example, by purchasing photos only from “licensed” paparazzi.

Photo Credit: INFphoto.com