You can't read People on an iPad yet, allegedly because paparazzi want to get paid extra for the use of their photos there. Would a paparazzi-free People be that different?

According to The Hollywood Reporter (now headed Janice Min, until fairly recently the editor of People rival Us Weekly), the celebrity photo agencies want to work out separate payment rights for use on the iPad. It's a dispute similar to the one that led to the writer's strike — content producers are worried about losing out on future revenue, while media companies want usage on other platforms to be included in existing deals.

Let's posit two things about celebrity weeklies. One is that people "read" them for the photos, often generated by paparazzi and then worked over by clever caption writers seeking to draw out some sort of narrative. It's not an exaggeration to say that the photo agencies do a lot of the heavy lifting or "reporting" that takes place in the gossip mill. But the other thing is, People is in a class of its own in this regard. Not only is it the biggest, with newsstand sales still routinely topping a million copies, it's also the one with the best celebrity relationships. Paparazzi were no help when it came to a surprising twist in one of the biggest celebrity stories of recent memory — the Sandra Bullock saga. Bullock came to People, as celebrities have for years, for safe ground.

It's also the ones with all the words, where the same softhearted demo that doesn't get their human interest fill on The Today Show can go for some stories of real people doing Inspiring Things. It's always a surprise to see these still exist while flipping through the magazine, but they're there for a reason: people like them. Even on the iPad? We'll see. With or without extra cash to the paps.

People Magazine iPad App Delayed By Paparazzi [The Hollywood Reporter]