Paparazzi might have to relocate to more legally permissive places and do their not-so-appreciated jobs, if the “Steven Tyler Act” gets passed.
Hawaii is one of the most preferred touristic destinations among both celebrities and the more anonymous side of vacationists. And if you find yourself minding your own business on a Hawaiian beach and come face to face with a celebrity, the excitement will probably make you want to take a picture, right? Wrong!
“Steven Tyler Act” 1 – 0 Paparazzi
The law is named after Aerosmith lead singer and “American Idol” judge Steven Tyler, who is also a part-time Maui resident. Along with Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, the rock star managed to convince a Hawaii Senate committee to approve a bill that would protect celebrities from paparazzi. The bill will allow not only celebrities, but also anyone bothered by the presence of paparazzi or any other intrusive person, to sue them if they will attempt to invade their privacy in an offensive way, by using photographic or recording equipment.
Present laws require that the paparazzi should perform some sort of physical trespassing of the property in order for a form of legal act to take place against them. This is why, the “Steven Tyler Act” will allow celebrities and other “victims” of the paparazzi to sue them even if they have been photographed from afar, as is very much accustomed in the case of private property captures.
Tyler, along with other celebrity supporters, such as Avril Lavigne or Britney Spears, consider that the intrusive actions of the paparazzi can have serious consequences on their private lives. “It caused a ripple in my family.[…] I hadn’t told anybody.” Tyler confessed after the hearing. He also mentioned that ” when I’m in my own home and I’m taking a shower or changing clothes or eating or spending Christmas with my children, and I see paparazzi a mile away, shooting at me with lenses this long, and then seeing that very picture in People magazine, you know, it hurts…That’s what they do, they are just constantly taking from us.”
Tyler decided to ask for the bill to be accepted after paparazzi had taken a photo of him and his girlfriend in his home, and made it public in a national magazine which then spread the rumor that the two were getting married.
The reaction of the other team
As expected, the “Steven Tyler Act” arose reactions from the rival team. The Society of Professional Journalists in Hawaii are against the law, claiming that it is too vague, a statement supported by the National Press Photographers Association. The reason of their reluctance stands in the fact that, the act not being explicit enough, people might take abuse of the law and exploit it in negative and unfair purposes. Also, people might want to photograph celebrities without knowing that they are acting against the law.
Still, the bill is supported by more than two-thirds of the state Senate, and if the “Steven Tyler Act” is passed and signed into law, it’s due to take effect July 1.