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Governor signs new anti-paparazzi law

Monday, October 12, 2009

The governor signed a bill Monday that cracks down on paparazzi taking illegal photos of stars.

The governor is no stranger to the paparazzi. More than a decade ago, two celebrity photographers were convicted of misdemeanor false imprisonment after the then Hollywood actor and his wife Maria Shriver were pursued by the paparazzi as they drove their son to preschool.

Now, Schwarzenegger wants to rein in the paparazzi once again by signing a bill that makes it easier to sue media outlets that use photos that invade celebrities' privacy.

"Governor Schwarzenegger is expressing, I'd say, an international frustration with people who have invaded other people's privacy but even he knows that you can't spell it out on paper," said Jeanne Wolf, celebrity journalist and west coast editor for Parade Magazine.

Wolf says the new amendment to the anti-paparazzi law may be tough to enforce.

"Everyone would applaud this law if in fact it did teach paparazzi how to be dignified in their treatment of celebrities and public figures. I don't see that happening right away what I do see happening is a bunch of court cases," Wolf added.

Wolf also added that the public has an insatiable appetite for candid photos and videos of the famous and infamous. Also, it's a huge business with tabloid magazines, TV shows and Internet sites paying thousands of dollars for such celebrity fodder. However, when the material is "improperly obtained," the celebrity may have a strong case for a lawsuit.

"I think it's offensive and illegal for someone to climb a fence in a star's back yard and take pictures of their young children that could endanger them," said Wolf.

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