The California Assembly Thursday passed a strengthened anti-stalking bill that could curtail aggressive paparazzi.
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, said she authored the bill in a bid to stem the tactics of paparazzi vying to get valuable photos and recordings of celebrities while the stars are engaged in private personal and familial activities.
"The entertainment industry is a linchpin of California's economy," Bass said. "People shouldn't have to sacrifice their safety and family's privacy just because they work in that industry."
Bass said out-of-control paparazzi create dangerous situations.
Assembly Bill 2479 would bolster current law by targeting individuals who commit a physical trespass or "constructive invasion of privacy" with the intent to take a photograph or image of a person, "if the invasion occurs in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person."
The bill also addresses cases of false imprisonment, when artists are prevented from exiting their vehicles by throngs of paparazzi.
Additionally, the bill provides enhanced monetary penalties up to three times the amount of any general and special damages, punitive damages, and the repayment of any proceeds obtained if the invasion of privacy was committed in order to sell the photos for commercial use.
The bill now moves on to the Senate, which is expected to vote on the legislation in the fall, said Bass spokesman Sam Katzen.