Digital News Report – An unusual law took effect in California that bans people from taking pictures of celebrities, if they invade their privacy doing so. This is bad news for paparazzi since Hollywood is located in the Golden State.
But the law is especially good news for celebrities who are run down by camera carrying paparazzi. Jennifer Aniston reportedly said “There have to be some boundaries. When you have children in the car and the photographers are rushing you, it’s just absolutely out of control.” Aniston played a key role in getting this legislation passed.
Here is a synopsis of the bill:
This important privacy protection measure seeks to strengthen existing legal law designed to thwart privacy invasions that can cause great harm to many Californians. In response to the 1998 death of Princess Diana, and other reports of overzealous paparazzi endangering celebrities and those around them, the
Legislature created a statutory cause of action for “invasion of privacy” to supplement the common law tort of invasion of privacy, and the tort of “intrusion” in particular.
The statutory cause of action for “physical invasion of privacy” covers the knowing entry onto the land of another, or invasion of another place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, in order to capture an image or recording of that person engaged in a “personal or familial” activity.
In addition, the statute creates a cause of action for “constructive invasion of property” where the image or recording is captured from a distance by means of technologically enhanced equipment, where the image or recording could not otherwise have been captured without trespassing on the private space of the subject.
Currently, this statutory action only applies to the person who actually captures the image or recording. It does not apply to a person or entity – such as a newspaper or Internet Web site – that did not directly participate in the act of capturing the image or recording, but then subsequently publishes or broadcasts the potentially illegally obtained image or recording. Indeed, existing law expressly states that the subsequent sale, transmission, publication, broadcast, or use of the image or recording “shall not itself constitute a violation”
The above synopsis came from Mike Feuer, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Judiciary (April 29, 2009) as the Senate and Assembly were considering passage of the bill.
Other celebrities who supported the bill include Sean Penn and Paul Rodriguez. The bill passed the Assembly on September 10th 2009. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass wrote the bill (AB524).
By: Joel Kirk