The Problem with the Paparazzi and Children

Today, Prince George was in the press: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33937766.  Photographs are being taken with the consent of his parents.  Paparazzi are using creepy ways to get these photographs. Stalking is the term that comes to mind.

Is this a privacy issue which should be dealt with according to the laws governing privacy or something more?  Palace Communication Secretary Jason Knauf clearly pointed out that “such tactics [stalking] … are being deployed to profit from the image of a two-year old boy”.   The appropriation of the image of Prince George for commercial gain drives the paparazzi to excessive lengths when it comes to invading privacy. If you removed the commercial incentive to take the photographs, would the intrusion of privacy lessen?

The answer is to grant the subject of the photograph equal rights to those rights of copyright enjoyed by the photographer.   Icondia has long believed that the use of registered personality rights in such circumstances is a powerful aid to redressing this balance. I wrote an article in 2014 about why and how the Royal Family could benefit from this type of registration.  My colleague, Keith Laker, wrote an article last week which argued that registered personality rights could be effective against paparazzi harassment of celebrity children.

The solution to this type of excessive paparazzi intrusion already exists. The jurisdiction of Guernsey happens to have drafted this law first, but anyone may register and the protection afforded is potentially global in reach.

Just ask George
Just ask George
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