This story is quite an interesting – and, in some ways, scary – one.
An LA photo agency, Splash News, as ordered to pay damages to Prince Harry after it commissioned a helicopter to fly over the Prince’s country house and take pictures of the interior from the air.
It captured several photos then sold them on to other websites like Closer Magazine according to PetaPixel.
The Associated Press is reporting that Splash News has agreed to pay “substantial damages” for the violation of privacy but no one knows just how much money is involved.
The violation was so great, the Prince’s representation argued, that he and his wife can no longer live at the house because of the photos.
Splash News said that it will “cease and desist from selling, issuing, publishing or making available the photographs” on top of its public apology and damages. Further, the agency says it won’t use a helicopter to take pictures of Prince Harry’s homes in the future.
CNN reported that Splash News told the British Press Association that it “always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgement and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated. We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused.”
For the rest of us in the photography world, this incident brings up so many issues that it is hard to know where to begin.
First, who in their right mind commissions a helicopter to take photos of the interior of someone’s home? That is madness in itself.
But the second issue, the clear disregard for privacy and then the subsequent selling of the photographs for profit, really displays a scary lack of awareness of even the most basic ethics and propriety.
As far as Splash News and Prince Harry are concerned, it looks like the agency “picked the right one” when it came to someone who would fight back and hard.
What do you think? As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.