Tuesday | September 01, 2015
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Don’t shoot, I’m famous

Senate to vote on anti-paparazzi bill next week

The state Senate is expected next week to take a vote on an anti-paparazzi bill, referred to as the “Steven Tyler Act.”

The legalisation has the support of celebrities, including Tyler, the Aerosmith frontman and former “American Idol” judge, who seek greater privacy while visiting Hawaii.

While drafted for the rich and famous, the bill would give everyone more latitude in suing others who take unwanted photos or recordings of them.

The bill has been heavily criticized by media organizations and civil liberties advocates who say it was overly broad and poorly defined.

Initially, it would have allowed civil action even if an image or recording was taken while the plaintiff was in a public space.

Opponents said the bill would make almost any photo taken in public subject to litigation.

The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee on Feb. 8 replaced the draft with a similar bill from California, which requires the plaintiff to have been on their private land when the image or recording was made.

Both versions also required the action to be considered offensive by an average person. The plaintiff would also have to have been participating in a personal or familial activity at the time and have had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Trespassing would not have to occur, and the bill is intended to address use of equipment such as telephoto lenses.

Tyler, who has a house on Maui, advocated the bill.

Tyler said his children don’t want to go with him to Hawaii because of the threat of photographers who attempt to take pictures from boats in the ocean.