California passes new anti-paparazzi law, but will it help? (Or at least save Kate Moss?)

California passed a new anti-paparazzi law on Tuesday that will implement harsher penalties for photographers found breaking traffic laws or interfering with the operation of a celebrity’s car while in pursuit of a photo. Under this new legislation, those guilty can receive a fine of up to $5,000 or a year in prison. This is California’s second paparazzi-related law made in the last year; in October 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a similar bill which can fine photographers for taking photos that invade a celebrity’s privacy.

A video of Kate Moss at Los Angeles International airport — making the rounds today in support of the new law — certainly exemplifies the need for stricter penalties for paparazzi. In the 2008 video. Moss is consistently hounded by photographers, and later trapped outside of her car. Check it out below.

Have you ever seen anything so terrifying? Yes there are certain “celebrities” who seem to crave the attention of the paparazzi, as if they grow stronger from the bright lights of the flashbulbs (See: Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, the Kardashians, etc.). I admit that I’ve rolled my eyes when hearing a celebrity lament that he or she “just wants some privacy,” but after seeing this, maybe I should be more sympathetic?

What do you think PopWatchers? Has our obsession with celebrity reached horrifying heights? Will hefty fines and jail time be enough to keep the photographers away?  [Hollywood Reporter, Gawker]

Comments (51 total) Add your comment
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  • Stephanie

    I completely agree with this article. Fame does not mean people shouldn’t be allowed some privacy. Or forget about privacy, what about safety? In the instance of the car chasers, it’s not just unsafe for the celebrities, but also for every other driver out on the road. Something needs to give.

    • katie

      I feel bad for the people that just happen to be going about their business and are being subjected to this crazy circus.

    • Rob-L

      How does one expect to have privacy when they’re in a public place?

      I agree that safety is another issue and the laws should focus on that aspect. Because if you’re in a public space, there’s nothing to stop anyone from taking your photo.

      • Bobby F

        What about having a camera shoved in your face while you are shopping or at Starbucks? I don’t think I would like a stranger getting in my personal space taking photos for whatever reason, just because I am in a public space. That excuse isn’t flying with me.

      • A.R.

        True, when these people are in a parking lot or any
        public place they are going to have their pictures taken
        anyway. If they don’t want to be photographed in public,
        the best thing is to avoid cities (NY or LA) where the paparazzis are or go and live in the country to get
        some air and peace. In towns,no one will bother famous people. It is a matter of using one’s head and logic.
        However,if celeb are recognized ,they can try to kick viewers (who know who they are) from public places.

      • Sarah Stilwell

        But that doesn’t mean she should have cops pushing people off of her and her daughter and having people jump in front of the car, pursuing you in traffic recklessly and endangering lives. paparazzi are killed all the time doing this.

      • Sarah S

        Someday, all people living in hollywood will get together as average citizens and follow paparazzi photographers around. Take cameras and stalk their families, and when they go to their cars, block the drivers door and flash 100 bulbs in their faces and when they say go away, we can laugh our asses off.

  • Alia

    Good lord, that’s terrifying. And depressing. I hope this new law is a step in the right direction.

    • Katja

      I agree. That was completely horrifying, and if it had happened to me, I would have crumpled up behind that desk and started crying my eyes out from fright. No person should have to accept that kind of harrassment as part of their “job”. And it’s one thing to hound an adult, terrible as it is. It’s really unspeakably atrocious to do so when there’s a child involved – that girl looked so scared. Good thing she was handed off to someone else. And well done, police, on being total badasses and getting her to her car safely.

  • Stef

    Have you seen that video of Joseph Gordon Levitt where he tries to interview paparazzi that are chasing him? It really shows what a horrible profession it is, and the types of lowlifes that do it.

  • Danger Joe

    Forget Kate, poor kid…

  • Chappel

    Please, Lord… let that poor woman smoke crack in peace.

  • paula

    I couldn’t watch the whole thing, is terrible. Poor kid

  • Kate

    Ok, so explain this to me–how much money can all of those guys be making if they took 8000 nearly identical pictures? It’s a sad commentary on society if they are all actually making a living doing this. My other thought as I watched was what a pain it is for all of the other travelers. I don’t blame Kate Moss–it’s either the paps/tabloid coverage or our hunger for the photos feeding this. Probably both.

  • Honeybelle

    That’s horrible. Was that her child? Where was homeland security. That was a danger for every traveler in that airport.

  • haha

    How about a year in prison mandatory. That will stop these pigs.

    • sunny

      i’ve always felt kind of scummy for watching tmz, this might be just what i need to help me kick the habit! but speaking of tmz, i saw a clip once of some model getting a traffic ticket and they had blurred the face of the police officer. does anyone know why this would be? it made me wonder “do they actually need permission to air this stuff?”

  • haha

    How about we bringin photo licensing. No photo can be sold without the permisssion of those in the photo. This is not press, this is harrassment.

    • Edward

      Oh wow, they call the paparazzi to take their picture when it serves their purpose.

  • dee123

    Scary!! but i’m sure will have some sad people (who wish they looked like Kate Moss) saying that this is what the downfalls are for the life that they live.

  • topazbean

    haha – that could significantly affect freedom of speech. Imagine if you took a photo of a crowd of 200 in the street and had to ask every single one of them permission before you used it. For example at a political rally you could plant someone in the crowd who refuses to give perission for the photo to be shown so the event can’t be properly reported on.

    • John

      Yes, but you cannot get away with that type of aggressive behavior around the president or a congressman. Plus, it should be illegal to take pictures of under aged children who are not public figures. That can be traumatizing to a child and should be outlawed!

  • megan

    i really feel bad for some celebrities who are stalked like this, but did she really just use her child to get these men away from her? i think the first thing i would do is pick her up and shield her from the commotion, not potentially harm her. jesus.

  • John

    I do not understand how they can get away with that at an airport, what with all of the terrorist security there is now. Have you seen the one when Britney Spears had her nervous breakdown? The paparazzi had the ambulance surrounded and the EMTs couldn’t get BS out to receive medical care. How is interring with someone’s medical treatment legal?

  • Kristie

    How does LAX not have a policy banning the photographers from the grounds of the airport? The safety of all travelers was an issue, not just Kate and her daughter (that poor girl). I can’t believe Homeland Security didn’t/hasn’t gotten involved. Pathetic.

    • chattypatra

      Exactly. The ‘photographers’ should be arrested. I feel terrible for her and every other person who has to go through this nightmare. Just awful.

    • Cecile

      About the getting someone’s permission to use their picture – for all activities we go to at my school, the parent has to sign for the picture with the student in it or video to be shown. I thought that was a law when children are in them?

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