Bill Gates: Philanthropy Santa Claus and Paparazzi Mogul?

Bill Gates owns many things. Among them is a digital image company based here in Seattle called Corbis Corporation.

Corbis also owns many things--mainly photos and the rights to those photos. And as of this week, Corbis (and through it, Gates) owns something new--something that oddly has to do with Brangelina, Tiger Woods' mistress, and Lindsay Lohan.

Splash News, the tabloid-friendly paparazzi photo service, was just purchased by Corbis. So now a portion of Gates' massive income will come via the photographic hounding of celebrities by media's most hated employees.

Puget Sound Business Journal reports:

CorbisbizWatch, the digital image company owned by Bill Gates, has bought Splash NewsbizWatch, a Hollywood-based photo agency. Splash has supplied celebrity images such as Michael Jackson's first child and Tiger Woods' mistress to tabloids, magazines and gossip and celebrity sites such as TMZbizWatch, The New York PostbizWatch and People.

Corbis' CEO apparently had to have a heart-to-heart with Gates to inform him that should he find himself in a "celebrity setting," the Splash paparazzi will not spare him their lens.

Gates is apparently cool with that.

And frankly, if some photos of LiLo barfing outside at a club will help pay for a few extra polio vaccinations for African kids, where's the harm?

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