California’s Kindergarten Cop has pumped up a decade-old law for fining paparazzi who illegally take photos or recordings. Now, in addition to the photographer, celebrities will be allowed to sue the outlets who buy and use the offensively obtained material. That might not strike most of us as an extreme measure, but lawsuits are daunting. They’re already a major expense for media outlets whose bread and butter is broadcasting private moments celebrities try to indulge in.
What do you think? Will markets dry up for these célèbre-stalker photos, or is Ah-nold underestimating the brawn of legal departments at tabloids, TV shows and websites that pay millions for celebrity disaster footage? Furthermore, if the Last Action Hero’s new rule is likely to change ethics guidelines, will paparazzi be tempted to go on a final spree since the new law doesn’t take effect until January? A lot of lucrative celebrity meltdowns could be induced between now and then. As much as the Governator would like to terminate incidents like last week, when Nicole Ritchie was rear-ended by photographers, Schwarzenegger must also secretly hope for fewer offensive invasions of privacy himself. And really, do we really want to see photos like the one below? [Daily News]