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State senate holds hearing on "paparazzi" legislation

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State senate holds hearing on "paparazzi" legislation 11/03/97 CALIFORNIA--Legislators, entertainment industry representatives and legal experts gathered in Santa Monica, Calif.…

State senate holds hearing on “paparazzi” legislation

11/03/97

CALIFORNIA–Legislators, entertainment industry representatives and legal experts gathered in Santa Monica, Calif. in early October to discuss recent legislation that would curb the activities of the paparazzi.

The California Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry heard arguments on how to balance the First Amendment with privacy rights.

State senators Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) and Tom Hayden (D- Los Angeles) were both on hand to discuss their proposals for controlling the paparazzi.

Calderon’s bill would create a 15-foot buffer zone between photographers and their subjects. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that floating bubble zones around abortion clinic protesters were unconstitutional.

Hayden’s proposal, which has not yet been introduced, calls for the creation of a “Commission of Inquiry into Paparazzi Behavior” to track the activities of tabloid journalism.

Celebrity representatives at the hearing argued that famous personalities deserve a greater degree of protection than private citizens, The Associated Press reported.

The AP quoted Screen Actors’ Guild President Richard Masur, who said photos taken by surprise are a theft of intellectual property. “There is a theft there, the stealing of an image that has a real financial value,” Masur said. (S.B. 14)