On Friday afternoon rock legends Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood convinced a Hawaii Senate committee to approve a bill designed to protect celebrities or anyone else from intrusive paparazzi.
The so-called Steven Tyler Act was approved after the rockers said they wanted to fiercely protect what little privacy they have as public figures. The bill gives people the ability to sue photographers who take photos or video of their private lives in an “offensive way”, such as using telephoto lenses or other advanced equipment to record them on their private property.
Tyler approached Senator Kalani English to help introduce the measure originally written by Tyler’s attorney, but later revised to include language from California’s current statute regulating the activities of so-called paparazzi.
The California law was passed in 1998 after the death of Princess Diana, and amended in 2009. The amended law permits lawsuits against media outlets that pay for photos they knew were obtained in a questionable manner. In addition to restrictions around the use of “advanced equipment”, the California measure includes penalties for reckless behavior while attempting to get photos or video of a celebrity.
Tyler had his attorney, Dina LaPolt, craft the bill after he was photographed with his girlfriend while in his Hawaiian home. The photograph was later published in a national magazine and reported that the two were getting married. Tyler told the Associated Press, “It caused a ripple in my family, I hadn’t told anybody.”
According to the former “American Idol” judge, he says his kids won’t even go anywhere with him in Hawaii because of the threat photographers pose.
The drummer from Fleetwood Mac, says he’s used the attention, but said it’s a “grim reality,” going on to say, “The islands shouldn’t represent this to people coming here.”
The bill was opposed by the National Press Photographers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press Media Editors, and the American Society of News Editors, among other media groups.
Two-thirds of the state Senate co-sponsored the measure with Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne and a dozen other celebrities providing written testimony supporting the bill
Associate Press reports that the unusual hearing packed a conference room in the Hawaii Capitol, and found state staffers comparing photos they captured on their cellphones of Tyler and Fleetwood after the hearing.
In the State of Hawaii beaches are consider the property of the people.
Do stars have the right to be protected on public beaches, or are they fair game?
Did this pass because the state Senators were star struck?
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