Sunday, January 01, 2006

California celebs now have greater privacy against paparazzi

Among the laws that came into force today is one in California aimed at paparazzi photographers. The law includes treble damages for incidents of "stalkerazzi" antics and the possibility of having the publication of resulting photos prohibited. The constitutionality of the law is under question and hasn't yet been challenged. See: - New law hits�paparazzi in the pocketbook - Dec 30, 2005

...The new legislation amends a bill passed in 1998 that established the concept of "constructive trespass" for photojournalists. It said that using a long lens to capture an image of a person who had "a reasonable expectation of privacy" was tantamount to trespassing.

Ewert, counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, questioned the constitutionality of that law, but it has not been challenged in court, he said. Laws are presumed valid until challenged.

The new legislation, which expands what constitutes invasion of privacy, "is probably even more unconstitutional, if that's possible," Ewert said.

"We don't apologize for the behavior of the paparazzi," he said. "But this law attempts to stop that conduct with a very broad brush."

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