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Justin Bieber Steals Memory Card Out Of Photographer's Camera

Justin Bieber is having a rough time with the media lately. In the most recent incident, the 19 year old pop star ordered his security guards to take a camera from a paparazzo outside of the 'Hit Factory' recording studio in Miami. Bieber wanted to make sure the photographer wouldn't be able to shoot anymore and told his crew to "Grab that camera! Get that f***ing camera out of here!". After the photographer pleaded to get his camera back and promised to delete the photos, Bieber Agreed to give back the camera but kept the memory card.


Last week Bieber confronted another photographer, this time it was at the Eastern Conference Finals game 7 where a photographer working for 'Local 10' snapped one photo of Justin with his cellphone. Justin decided not to ignore it, and ordered his bodyguards to go and delete the image from the photographers' phone.

What do you think of Bieber's actions? Was he right doing what he did? Or he needs to find better ways to deal with the media? Is it even legal to force a photographer to delete an image when the subject may not have any right to privacy? It's a discussion that has much wider implications than just with regards to the polarizing pop star.

[via TMZ]

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104 Comments

Douglas Sonders's picture

Ive worked with him on several occasions. I can't publicly talk about my experience (good or bad) but I will say he stopped a concert once to yell at photographers in the pit just doing their jobs and kicked them out. Dude hates photographers.

Stephen Cotterell's picture

HE (Bieber) photographed ME in Australia last year http://www.flickr.com/photos/stephencotterellphotography/7594768500/in/p...

I was cool with that

Emil Nyström's picture

I feel nothing but sorry for Justin Bieber for having to cope with that type of blood sucking photographers. Not a minute alone - without people tailing him. The photographer got what he deserved. Weather its legally right or not, thats a different question.

Phase19's picture

Please tell that comment is a joke?

Emil Nyström's picture

Why would i be? Just because he's an artist don't mean he deserves to be stalked and workout privacy. Thrashing on Beaber is så 1600... Welcome to the 21th century. .

Albert Lui's picture

Fstoppers is not a place for dumb remarks, especially "thrashing on Beaber? is sa 1600?" You're telling us that back in the 1600's paparazzi would carry around painting canvases and paint celebrities as they leave buildings........

Emil Nyström's picture

I'd love to see that happen. Of course that's not what i meant. The trash talking and witch hunting is not so fresh in my book. But then again. I guess telling and trash talking is a big part of society -but its still lame....

John's picture

Who was talking trash in that clip? Oh yeah, Beibs. So yes, it is lame. You're saying even though he's an artist, he should be treated like everyone else? Fine, that means he can't steal property from people just because he feels like it, especially when it's that person's source of income. There is literally not one single reason to take his side on this argument. It was unethical, illegal, immature, and he's going to get away completely scot free.

Emil Nyström's picture

I can't believe I'm even having this discussion. It's like your not reading what's written? I'm pretty clearly stating im not talking from a legal stand point. And obviously people here have a unrealistic strong hate for Bieber. I find it kind of sad how you can't see this from his point of view.

John's picture

Oh, trust me, I read everything you said, multiple times in fact, because I was trying to find the microscopic trace of logic that you were basing your argument on. Still can't find it by the way, but I wasn't just saying his actions were wrong from a legal standpoint, they are wrong from any possible standpoint you can take. I understand being constantly hounded by paparazzi could really suck. But having your livelihood jacked by some punk kid and his hired goons while you're completely in your rights, doing your job, that sucks more. If you can't grasp that, then I'm sorry for you.

Emil Nyström's picture

You agree with me that papparazzi's can suck, but you cant find any trace of logic in what i say? It seems to me you just want to make an argument. You are obviously angry over something i don't feel connected to - maybe you can relate to the photographer because you've done similar jobs? For me its like a pimp loosing his hoe, and that would make me feel sorry for him because he lost livelihood. It's an expreme example. But thats how I feel, and obviously you don't.

John's picture

You're shooting a wedding, and someone not connected to the family who hired you comes up and steals your camera because they don't want you to take their picture. You calmly try to explain to them that you were payed by the family to take pictures here, and that you are within your rights, they can't just take your stuff. This guest just laughs at you, talks down to you, and completely disrespects you infront of the entire wedding party, walking away with your camera. Now you're forced to swallow your pride and BEG this guest to give you back your camera; you have to keep shooting the wedding. The guest turns back, loving the power he now has over you, and decides to give you your VERY expensive piece of equipment back, but decides to keep your memory card. The entire wedding, the portraits, the ceremony, the KISS, are all on that card. You beg and plead, in front of the entire wedding party, to give you the card back, you've been working so incredibly hard and that is the key to your paycheck, but he laughs at you and walks away, cocky as hell. He has no use for that card, but he still keeps it to spite you. Now you're completely screwed, and the entire wedding party has just seen this. That is how I look at what happened and that is what angers me.

Emil Nyström's picture

I think that's where you and i view it differently. Paparazzo have been the reason for many cat crashes and dangerous situations. Even deaths. Maybe this one was respectful and not invasive. Maybe he was just that exception. I just don't vocoder paparazzo a part of the business to me is like

John's picture

So because a bunch of people under the label "Paparazzi" did some rude things, then this guy should be punished? Thats making generalizations based on profession If we, as photographers, do that to other photographers, whats to stop the public from making generalizations about ALL of us, based on what the paparazzi does? It's already happening.

Albert Lui's picture

I was thinking exactly this way, but maybe in a less extreme version too. There's no right, morally, legally, jokingly, friendly, for anyone to steal something and say from their point of view...ANYTHING. A photographer or a paparazzi, does something for what they love, or for the paycheck, and if anyone comes up to them and says they're angry or pissed they took a photo or painted a picture of a park scenery, no one should be able to keep that person's work and say, oh you took a picture of me i'll take your life's work away.

He could have just looked through the camera and deleted his photos. He already knew where the memory card was, so why not delete the photos instead of stealing someone's $20-$100 card?

John's picture

Because he wanted to assert himself over the photographer by stealing something from him. And probably because he doesn't understand how to operate something with more buttons than his Iphone.

Brandon Bandy's picture

Just another reason to dislike him.

Maik12's picture

as if we need one.. only braindead baby girls like him.

Espen Johansen's picture

Wich one? the idiot with the camera or the one with the microphone?

It's not a "SIM card"'s picture

Even if it was on private property, he could only request that they stop taking photos or leave the premises.

Taking the camera from the photographer = Battery
Removing and keeping the memory card = Theft

He essentially ordered the mugging of the photographer. It's pretty cut and dry.

C B's picture

... and taking a card by force or threat of force is called strong-armed robbery where I come from, a felony punishable by 15 years incarceration. And telling someone to go do it? Thats conspiracy, punishable the same. I sorta when find this d-bag child, take his photo, get robbed, then charge him with the crime... and drop the charges when he pays me milllllions of dollars. f him. he's in public, hes a public figure. get over it or stay home

John's picture

If he didn't want pictures of himself going about his daily life available to the public, he probably wouldn't have posted 700+ selfies on his PUBLIC instagram feed... Just saying

brianhirschy's picture

I thought it was supposed to be some sort of super nice kid... guess not anymore.

7188photo's picture

Starting to feel sorry for the kid. Seems to have serious psychological issues that are on,y gonna get worse. Also, I'd get a good lawyer and sue him for that crap.

Gus Munoz's picture

He is one seriously confused little bitch ! Wouldn't waste a pixel on him.

Mansgame's picture

Why didn't the photographer call the cops or file a report? Also, how long will it be before Petapixel steals this story? ;)

Zach Sutton's picture

"Thanks for the tip, Mansgame"

;-)

Raymond Larose's picture

Looks like 14 hours... ;)

Espen Johansen's picture

"Hey mr. police? I harrassed and stalked this popstar for the last years, and now he's pissed off! Please help" Nah...

Albert Lui's picture

Bieber has done this to other paparazzi as well...and if this particular paparazzi has been "stalking" Bieber for years...why didn't Bieber just say something, Bieber can contact the police over particular people harassing Bieber. It could have been anyone, even a brand new noobie who could have just recently purchased a camera and wanted to get into the paparazzi business...

Tim Gallo's picture

sooo, everyone is on the photographers side? i am pretty sure if you`ll work with the guy on the magazine shoot or some ad, you`d love the guy and he will willingly pose for you in any way wanted. i worked with a lot of celebrities who love photography and photographers, but hate the guys snapping them from km away with big heave lenses or shooting them in places they don`t want to be photographed at.

let`s clear the things out. photographers take the shots of him on the streets or elsewhere, and sell em. so loosing your memory card (like, c`mon, who will erase the pictures from card after he was told not to take pictures?) is pretty fair. sometimes you get some, sometimes you loose some...

Chris Pickrell's picture

But photographers are within their right to take the shots. He is not within his rights to order someone to steal his card.

It's not that we're "on the photographer's side," it's that the photographers were right.

Brian McCarthy's picture

The issue isn't whether we like paparazzi or not, the issue here is simply the law. Taking a photographers equipment isn't legal no matter if the photographer is a jerk or not. Taking his memory card is also not legal. Requiring him to delete the images before letting him go is an additional criminal felony (it's considered kidnapping). If the photographer has done something illegal he should be prosecuted but from what I can tell he was within his rights, jerk or not.

Tim Gallo's picture

"What do you think of Bieber’s actions? Was he right doing what he did?..."the issue here is what do you think, not only about the law :). its pretty easy of a question - ofcourse its illegal. but we`re not robots and don`t move according to law and sometimes "right" may differ from word of the book.
so i think biebs overreacted, maybe, but i read the comments and most of what i see is just "hate" and "bad words". so i am saying, if you worked with the guy for editorial, you`d be like... "nah, he`s not bad".
i had an opportunity to follow few celebrities around a town, and at that time some photographers behave like drug-addicts who can`t live without a shot and they do all crazy stuff to get it (and its in Japan! i can imagine how its in America)... so most of the time i think "the photographer guy" probably deserved it.

Johnny Milkovich's picture

I agree with @timgallo:disqus he's only asking this one sided comment thread to think how they would feel about Justin if it was a paid gig where he'd more than likely be co-operative. If you had photogs in your face everywhere you went it be tuff not to look at it from the disgruntled celeb point of view. I think Justin makes it worse for himself by being responsive he has to keep his head down and mouth shut for a while as it seems the paps are becoming more and more aggressive. This seems like its only gonna get worse. Anyways I'm going out to shoot a time-lapse... later.

David Portass's picture

so you are saying assault and theft are acceptable?

Tim Gallo's picture

i don`t think assault and theft are acceptable (though i think paparazzi "steals" someones life and sell it to magazines, but it does not matter). but i also know that most of the time celebrities don`t react that way unless the photographer behaves like...mm.. unpolitely.

John's picture

No no no no no, you are quite mistaken sir. Losing a memory card is in no way "fair," it's theft. Taking pictures of people while they're in public places is completely legal, so the photographer did nothing wrong. People don't seem to understand, photographers only shoot what people want to look at. They hound Beiber because the public demands it, and they can't afford not to take every opportunity to make money, since they're probably freelance and don't have the steadiest source of income.

Tim Gallo's picture

"photographers shoot what people want to look at?"
c`mon, there is always a choice in this life. freelance paparazzi photographer can always become a wedding photographer :) (hope no one get offended, though i am being sarcastic).

back to serious talk. it amuses me that taking pictures in public places and selling them to magazines is legal in u.s.a. is it true for every state? in japan you can take picture of a celebrity, but you can`t use it for a commercial purpose without a consent of the agency he belongs, cause they own the right for his "image". but ofcourse everyone sells the pictures, so magazines protect the anonymity of a photographer who took it (i don`t know if english is correct, but i hope you got the idea). what about america? do they print the name of a photographer in magazine who snapped Justin on the street?

John's picture

Good question, whether or not the magazine publishes the name of the photographer is negotiated before hand when the photographer sells the image to the magazine. Often times, if the photographer is a staffed employee, then the magazine claims the rights of the photo, and no credit is given. If the photographer is able to negotiate otherwise, then it will be included. However, you are mistaken to an extent. Taking a picture of a celebrity and printing it in a magazine with a story about them is actually considered (and I use this term VERY loosely, and with a bit of disgust) "journalism." Not quality journalism by any means, but it is not being used to sell a product, and is therefore not commercial. In that regard, we have the same laws as japan. So its the same in Japan, and most other places.

Pixyst's picture

I am waiting to hear about photographers who are competent in physical combat - then it wouldn't be quite so easy to take their property and rough them up.

Micah Jesson's picture

Last time I read it the the laws are clear as long as you are a public figure and on public property or at a sporting event such as the camera phone case, you have no right to privacy. The only thing the photographer can't do is use it for advertising. But the photographer can use it for editorial.

Neil Wheatcraft's picture

Let them do that in texas, you'll get shot.

Lima_Oscar's picture

^^ That is exactly what I was going to say.

Florida too

KO KO's picture

So, you would shoot somebody for taking your card? that's smart. Nothing like going to prison over a memory card, really smart. All the best to you.

Lima_Oscar's picture

Yes, that is strong armed robbery.

I have a CHL here in Texas, I'm not the one going to prison.

Shelly Hawthorne's picture

If it meant defending my physical person and property why yes I would and in the US, in most states self defense is still legal.

I get that the vast majority of Photographers seem to be men - think about this; suppose that photographer was female and Bieber pulled that stunt. Would y'all be so quick to defend Mr Bieber? How would the non photographer public view him then.

Paparazzos give decent photographers a bad name - no one is arguing that, but two wrongs never ever make a right. IMO Justin Bieber has put himself lower than the photographers/paparazzi he was trying to protect himself from.

Bret Walley's picture

In Florida you can shoot someone legally to stop a forcible felony, strong armed robbery is a forcible felony.

I doubt they would get away with it in Florida.

NATHAN CAIN's picture

Only if you can't prove your life was in danger. Just ask George Zimmerman how that law is working out for him.

Bret Walley's picture

George Zimmerman is only on trial because of political pressure, clear case of stand your ground and self defense.

His attorney's have not tried to assert the stand your ground law yet, Mark O'mara has stated there is nothing in the statute that says when they have to use that as a defense, he can wait until the state lays out their case, ask for a dismissal, if the Judge doesn't dismiss, then he can assert the stand your ground law, and then there will be a hearing on it.

By waiting until after the state puts on their case, it gives the defense a look at the states case without having to give the state a look at their case.

Stopping forcible felonies is another issue.

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