In Malibu City, an ocean-side enclave of Los Angeles, local government officials are considering regulations that aim to protect the privacy and safety interests of both celebrities hounded by the paparazzi and local residents, after local surfers went to fisticuffs with photographers trying to capture Matthew McConaughey surfing at Malibu's Little Dume Beach.
According to the Malibu Times, some Malibu City Council members are considering a range of possibilities including buffer zones around certain areas, requiring all "celebrity photographers" to file for a permit, and taxing revenues generated from the photos. Malibu Councilman Jefferson Wagner supports the idea of a licensing requirement for paparazzi because of what he considers the commercial nature of the photographs. Earlier this year, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine proposed creating a "personal safety zone" that would require paparazzi to stay several feet away from the celebrities they photograph.
At first blush, the proposed regulations seem like a well-reasoned response to a problem that has plagued the area for some time. With the demand for candid images of celebrities at an all-time high in part due to highly popular entertainment blogs like Perez Hilton, who is sued frequently over his use of celebrity pics (see CMLP’s summaries here, here, and here), finding a way to wrangle the unruly photographers is a topic that isn't likely to go away. read more »