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Schwarzenegger Signs Paparazzi Bill into Law

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Photo by pointnshoot via Flickr

Photo by pointnshoot via Flickr
California's celebrity governor had no problem signing this bill into law yesterday. AB 2479 by Karen Bass (D - Los Angeles) takes some illegal tactics used by paparazzi and upgrades them to misdemeanors.

"Existing law makes it a crime to willfully interfere with the driver of a vehicle or with the mechanism thereof so as to affect the driver's control of the vehicle, to follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, as specified, and to engage in reckless driving, as described," explains the bill's legislative summary.

AB2479 would take those crimes and upgrade them to a misdemeanor if someone is trying to capture image, sound or recording of another person for commercial purpose. Blocking the sidewalk will also be a no-no as that could be considered "false imprisonment."

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Get caught violating this law and you could end up in jail and with a fine of at least $2,500. And if a minor is involved, the fine can go up to $5,000 and one could be placed in jail for up to a year.

But the law is not without opposition. The LA Times notes that the California Newspaper Publishers Association feels it "is an affront to the 1st Amendment."