Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler is scheduled to appear in a Hawaiian court Friday. The former “American Idol” judge will be in attendance to testify in favor of a proposed anti-paparazzi law. The Associated Press reports the Steven Tyler Act, yes the law is named after him, would make it possible to sue photographers and videographers in civil court, should they take or distribute photos or videos of private moments.
According to the proposed bill, any photos or video taken “in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person” would be against the law. In a statement, Tyler says, “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.”
The act, which has submitted testimony from Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Neil Diamond, Tommy Lee, and the Osbourne family, comes after a photographer, named Chris Guerra, was killed while taking photos of Justin Bieber’s Ferrari.
Hawaiian senator Kalani English introduced the bill after Tyler requested it, and thinks it will help boost celebrity tourism to the islands, which will bring money into the state. The National Press Photographers Association, on the other hand, doesn’t like the bill, calling it’s “well-meaning but ill-conceived,” and claiming it goes against constitutional rights.
Other opponents of the bill include the Motion Picture Association of America, as well as Hawaii’s biggest newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. In an editorial printed Thursday, the paper calls the lawmakers supporting the bill “star-struck,” and says the law could make criminals “out of anyone taking photographs in public places, be it an ordinary photojournalist or someone with a camera phone.”