Sunday, October 18, 2009

Paparazzi take a blow from the Terminator

In a land where the online and offline worlds collide – and the lines between public, private, reality and fantasy have been blurred into oblivion – there has been an important step forward to protecting privacy both online and off.

Last week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a groundbreaking anti-paparazzi law that allows civil suits to be filed against media outlets who publish photos that were illegally taken.

According to the AP: The amendment permits lawsuits against media outlets that pay for and make first use of material they knew was improperly obtained.

Celebrity-focused magazines, TV shows and websites like US Weekly, TMZ and PerezHilton often pay millions of dollars for exclusive photos.

Until now, photographers have been restricted (with questionable success) on what was fair game and how they could get their shot. But this is the first time that media outlets have been targeted by legislation.

According to MTV, Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2005 that tripled the damages celebrities could seek from overly aggressive paparazzi.

But I question how effective this will be. The law, which takes effect in January 2010 will fine violator publications up to $50,000 – which may just be seen as the cost of doing business. When you’re already paying $5,000,000 million for a single image, what’s another 0.01%?

According to the AP (me), it’s a blow to the paparazzi/entertainment industry – but not one that will leave a mark for very long.

No comments:

Post a Comment