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Hawaii considers bill to protect privacy of celebrities
HONOLULU, Hawaii: Celebrities Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood appeared on February 8, 2013 at a Hawaii legislative hearing to push a bill aimed at protecting celebrities' privacy. The testimony convinced the Hawaii State Senate Judiciary Committee to approve the so-called "Steven Tyler Act," SB465, to protect celebrities, or anyone else, from intrusive paparazzi.
Tyler said he had his manager draft the bill and requested that Sen. Kalani English introduce it on his behalf. During the hearing, State Senate Judiciary Committee chair Clayton Hee replaced much of the bill’s original contents,which were largely drafted by Tyler’s counsel, and replaced them with language from a related California statute.
The California statute was originally passed in 1998 in response to the death of Princess Diana, then amended in 2009 to permit lawsuits against media outlets that pay for and make first use of material they knew was improperly obtained. In addition to provisions against advanced equipment, the California measure has penalties for reckless behavior while attempting to get photos or video of a celebrity.
Tyler discussed the bill stating, "The paradise of Hawaii is a magnet for celebrities who just want a peaceful vacation. As a person in the public eye, I know the paparazzi are there and we have to accept that. But when they intrude into our private space, disregard our safety and the safety of others, that crosses a serious line that shouldn't be ignored."
Opposition to the bill argue that the bill, even with its amendments, is still too vague. Stirling Morita, president of the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists commented, “You have to be pretty definite to limit First Amendment rights.”
The bill is also opposed by the National Press Photographers Association, which submitted testimony on behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of News Editors, among other media groups.
The National Press Photographers Association said the bill is "well-meaning but ill-conceived" and tramples on constitutional rights.
Laurie Temple, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, said on February 7th that the bill would punish freedoms of expression protected by the First Amendment, arguing instead that lawmakers should support better enforcement of current stalking laws rather than passing new legislation.
- Hawaii State Senate
- Judiciary and Labor Committee, Hawaii State Senate
- State Senator Kalani English
- State Senator Clayton Hee
- News: CBS News, "Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood go to privacy hearing in Hawaii"
- News: Boston Globe, "Steven Tyler Act moves along in Hawaii"
- News: Honolulu Star Advertiser, "Committee approves celebrity privacy bill after stars testify"
- News: Billboard, "'Steven Tyler Act' Faces Opposition in Hawaii"
- News: New Zealand Herald, "Stars win limit on snooping"
- News: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, "State Senate committee approves ‘Steven Tyler Act’"
- News: E! News, "Steven Tyler Act Sailing Toward Senate Floor in Hawaii, Intended to Deter Paparazzi From Invading Privacy"
- CBS News, "Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood go to privacy hearing in Hawaii"
- Boston Globe, "Steven Tyler Act moves along in Hawaii" accessed February 11, 2013
- Honolulu Star Advertiser, "Committee approves celebrity privacy bill after stars testify" accessed February 11, 2013
- New Zealand Herald, "Stars win limit on snooping" accessed February 11, 2013
- Hawaii Tribune-Herald, "State Senate committee approves ‘Steven Tyler Act’" accessed February 11, 2013
- Billboard, "'Steven Tyler Act' Faces Opposition in Hawaii" accessed February 11, 2013
- E! News, "Steven Tyler Act Sailing Toward Senate Floor in Hawaii, Intended to Deter Paparazzi From Invading Privacy" accessed February 11, 2013