Paparazzi…Can’t Live With ‘Em, Can’t Live Without ‘Em

Whether you like it or not, our society is heavily influenced by celebrities, as our country is driven by fame, glamour, social media and image more and more every year. Most celebrities have a love/hate relationship with the paparazzi, and with good reason. Some live by the motto that, “any publicity is good publicity,” while others consider the unwanted attention as intrusive, stifling, and even dangerous. The lengths that some paparazzi go to for a picture are unprecedented, such as engaging in high-speed chases on California freeway’s, putting the general public at risk.

A New Era of Celebrity Privacy

On September 30, 2014 Governor Brown signed two bills into law to help combat paparazzi intrusiveness:

California Assembly Bill 1256 (AB 1256) – Privacy and Buffer Zones:

AB 1256 amends the California Privacy Law to include within the definition of “personal and familial activity” activities of children occurring at private and public schools, activities occurring at various medical facilities, and activities occurring where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists at other locations.” It also creates a new section in entertainment law that creates buffer zones around entrances and exits at specified facilities, including schools and medical facilities, to prevent barriers and obstructions from impeding ingress and egress to and from such facilities, and to prevent the interruption of important and vital functions of such facilities.

California Assembly Bill 1356 (AB 1356) – Stalking Reform:

AB 1356 amends the California Civil Stalking Law to include as actionable placing someone “under surveillance” in a way that causes “substantial emotional distress,” if all other elements of the law are proved. Licensed private investigators, law enforcement agencies and some other organizations and purposes for surveillance are exempt.

Will It Ever End?

Until our society stops feeling the need to live vicariously through others, there will always be a paparazzi hovering around in the bushes somewhere.