The National Union of Journalists has condemned the Sun and News of the World publisher News International for banning the use of paparazzi photographs of Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton – while still printing images of her taken by agencies and staff photographers.
The union said today that the move amounted to a "ban on freelance photographers".
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NUJ freelance organiser John Toner said: "Surely what is important here is that photographers behave ethically, rather than the source of the pictures? Who is to say that staff photographers in pursuit of celebrities and royals are not paparazzi?
"We would hope all NUJ photographers will abide by the union's code of conduct. But…freelances who abide by the law and the Press Complaints Commission code should not be excluded."
Last week Les Hinton, chairman of NI, ordered a ban on paparazzi photographs of Middleton in all group's titles, including the Times and the Sunday Times, after a public plea by Prince William.
The Prince of Wales's solicitors, Harbottle and Lewis, have threatened to apply for injunctions preventing photographs of her being published and to launch legal action against newspapers who print them.