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Santa Monica Councilman Wants Anti-Paparazzi Law

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Photo by adactio via Flickr

Photo by adactio via Flickr
Santa Monica Police officials say things have improved over the last several months at a local nursery school where celebrities pick up their children. After complaints that paparazzi were becoming unruly at the First Presbyterian Nursery School on 2nd Street, the City Council agreed to a "good faith" effort last October in lieu of creating an ordinance that could have violated the 1st Amendment. However, one councilman believes the problem hasn't been solved, despite the police department's report, says the Santa Monica Daily Press.

"It just hasn't panned out to be the solution folks were looking for," Councilman Richard Bloom said told the paper. "I think the best solution would be something that puts some distance between the paparazzi and the entrances [and] exits to the school."

The item will be discussed at tonight's City Council meeting. Bloom's motion would "direct the City Attorney to return with an ordinance restricting photographers and videographers from blocking or otherwise creating dangerous and/or intrusive conditions at pre-school entrance and exit areas in order to protect the safety and privacy of children entering or exiting said facilities," according to the agenda.

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Last October, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that extends "the 'invasion of privacy' laws to persons that purchase, publish, and print images or recordings of individuals, if these persons knew that the images or recordings were obtained illegally." Taking a photo of pre-school children on a public sidewalk would likely not be considered illegal.

Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine's, who created a regional Paparazzi Task Force in 2008, proposed an ordinance to keep paparazzi 20 feet away from schools, hospitals and medical facilities when recording celebrities. The issue was never taken up. The taskforce, however, did create a Paparazzi Citizen's Guide.