New Anti-Paparazzi Law Signed By Governor-The Rules Change for Everyone

Personal Privacy Rights Gain Strength With Passage Of Anti-Paparazzi Bill

California bill will open door to lawsuits against media and publishers

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law last night ground breaking anti-paparazzi legislation that allows civil law suits to be filed against any media outlet who publishes a photo that was taken illegally. Historically, only the paparazzo who took the photo would be held accountable and the publication who published the photo would not be liable. This bill recognizes and addresses the reality that high payouts by publishers for prized photos induce photographers to risk liability and threaten general public safety.

“This new law is significant,” said Sean Burke, Founder of The Paparazzi Reform Initiative (, a supporter of the bill. “The organizations that publish celebrity photos have always been shielded from liability if the paparazzo broke any laws in the act of getting the photo. The photographer would be in trouble, but the publications wouldn’t get touched. This law opens the door to law suits against internet sites, publications and other media outlets if they knowingly publish a photo that was gotten illegally. It doesn’t solve the entire paparazzi problem, but we’re heading in the right direction.”

Patrick Alach, the Loyola Law School graduate whose Entertainment Law Review article entitled “Paparazzi and Privacy” helped frame the legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass said: “Not only is this new law significant in protecting public safety, but it reaffirms the integrity of individual privacy rights. As more technologically advanced methods of surveillance arise, diligent legislation must follow to curb intrusive uses and reaffirm a citizen’s right to privacy. By limiting the use of sensory enhancing technology to observe a person in otherwise private activities, this bill helps protect a citizen’s ‘right to be let alone.’ I’m pleased and honored that my work has helped inspire this legislation.”

About The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative:

The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative (The PRI) ( was founded in February, 2009, by a professional bodyguard with years of experience dealing with the paparazzi. Seeing the abuses and dangerousness getting worse, he established The PRI in an effort to educate the public on the paparazzi industry – how the individuals in it behave, how it has gotten out of control and how no one would wish this kind of harassment on another human being. His hope, and the purpose of The PRI, is to effect reform that restores order to our streets and the right to privacy not only for those in the spotlight, but for everyone in our society.

The PRI mission statement: The restoration of the right to privacy in our rapidly advancing technological age for celebrities and ordinary citizens alike through education, legal action, lobbying and other effective methods.

Contact: Sean Burke Founder of The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative Phone: (310) 954-0809 email: [email protected]