Fri, Aug 01, 2008 - Page 7 News List

LA officials set sights on setting limits on paparazzi

AP , LOS ANGELES

The paparazzi keep taking their shots, but not always the kind they’re after. Lately it’s a jab from a star’s bodyguard — or his surfer pals — or the metallic pinch of handcuffs slapped on for lingering too long. And more push-back may be coming.

Weary of the scrums of photographers chasing celebs at the airport, on the beach and through the streets, some Los Angeles-area leaders are contemplating tougher regulations against the people who make their living by catching celebrities off-guard.

Officials from celeb enclaves in and around Los Angeles such as Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Malibu and Calabasas were scheduled to meet yesterday for the first time to discuss ways to combat shutterbugs, whose tactics have grown more aggressive and confrontational in the past few years.

Their goal is for each city to adopt its own ordinances to punish aggressive paparazzi, while keeping the rules uniform in the places where celebrities live, work and play.

“This is a response to their lack of responsible behavior,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, an outspoken paparazzi critic and organizer of the task force.

Zine proposed a “personal safety zone” around celebs earlier this year that police officials said would be virtually unenforceable. He has also suggested giving photograhers creditials, and rules.

Zine and other civic leaders say they’re concerned that left unchecked, the aggressive photographers will either drive away entertainers, or worse — harm them or an innocent bystander.

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