Driven by the lure of thousands of dollars for a single photograph, the paparazzi are as much a part of Hollywood as the stars themselves. Anywhere the celebrities go, they go, too.
Of course, no one was hounded more than the late Princess Diana. In fact, her death led to the California law. It allows lawsuits against photographers who trespass for pictures and even applies to paparazzi who stay off private property but zoom in with high-powered lenses to snap photos of celebrities who think they're alone.
Many actors welcome the relief, including Charlton Heston, who says, "There are performers with very public faces who just want to have their privacy protected.
But civil libertarians argue that the law infringes on the photographers since it applies to photographers who stay on public property.
"We already have laws on the books that adequately punish people who stalk, adequately punish people who harass," says Douglas Mirell, a civil rights expert. "What we now have, though, is a real intrusion on traditional accepted journalistic activity."
In fact, the major television networks and California's newspaper publishers opposed the new restrictions. The American Civil Libertarian Union says it could muzzle legitimate news gathering.
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