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Senators schedule hearing on celebrity privacy bill

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:34 p.m. HST, Feb 05, 2013

Hawaii senators are set to consider whether the state should prevent paparazzi from stalking celebrities who vacation in Hawaii.

A Senate committee plans to consider the so-called Steven Tyler Act on Friday. 

The bill is named for the Aerosmith singer because he recently bought a home in Maui, and the lawmaker who wrote it says Tyler requested the legislation.

Sen. Kalani English, a Democrat from Maui, says he hopes enacting the measure will encourage more celebrities to come to Hawaii.

The bill gives public figures the right to collect civil damages from people who take photos or videos of them in an offensive way during their private lives. The initiative has initial support from more than two-thirds of the state Senate.

Hawaii media lawyer Jeff Portnoy says the bill is embarrassing and potentially unconstitutional. 

The bill would open people up to lawsuits if they invade the privacy of public figures by taking or selling photos or videos. It defines invasion of privacy as capturing or trying to capture images or sound of people “in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person” during personal or family moments. 

It does not specify places where pictures would be OK or whether public places would be exempt. The bill says it would apply to people who take photos from boats or anywhere else within ocean waters.  

“Although their celebrity status may justify a lower expectation of privacy, the Legislature finds that sometimes the paparazzi go too far to disturb the peace and tranquility afforded celebrities who escape to Hawaii for a quiet life,” English wrote in the bill. 

Like other destinations, the islands have a steady stream of high-profile visitors. President Barack Obama vacations on Oahu once a year with his family, Oprah Winfrey has property here, and photos of celebrities at the beach are fixtures in tabloids and magazines. 

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Bdpapa wrote:
We don't need this law. They made their money by having maximum exposure. Now, they want the State to protect them from that.
on February 5,2013 | 11:10AM
cojef wrote:
YEs, they pump out what they want and then want privacy, you can't have both ways. It goes with the territory. you no like dan no be celebrity.
on February 5,2013 | 11:22AM
peanutgallery wrote:
This bill is a complete waste of time and tax dollars. Sen. Kalani English probably had lunch with one of these guys and got an album signed. Give me a break! You folks on Maui need to call this fo_l, and straighten him out.i
on February 5,2013 | 11:19AM
townbound wrote:
MisSpeaker Souki, and now this guy. Gee thanks Maui.
on February 5,2013 | 11:31AM
juscasting wrote:
They won't consider a state lotto or scratchies but they have time to address stupid stuff like dis?
on February 5,2013 | 11:46AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This is such a waste of our tax dollars. Sen. English is obviously not qualified to be a senator. Such a bill would open the state all kinds of legal quandaries and for what? Just to give celebrities special treatment?
on February 5,2013 | 12:24PM
MakaniKai wrote:
Waste of time, period! How many kama’aina can get da Ledge to consider or take up our concerns or champion us; yes those of us who vote. Garans Steven Tyler and other “celebs” aren’t registered to vote in Hawaii. They just like come ovah to sun/fun and shaka brah. Give us a break Kalani English. Da Nei has much larger issues than some panty celeb worrying about his/her photo being taken and expecting the state to provide a law to protect them. For Christ’s sake most of them live in L.A.!!!! Aloha.
on February 5,2013 | 12:27PM
EINSTEIN1 wrote:
This is a stupid bill introduced by Senator Kalani English. One has to wonder what stoked his interest. When these guys were "wannabes," they hungered for as much publicity as they can possibly get. Being photographed when they become famous is the price they have to pay without government intrusion.
on February 5,2013 | 12:54PM
Shrek wrote:
Don't we have more pressing things to work on?
on February 5,2013 | 12:54PM
livealoha wrote:
I agree!!
on February 5,2013 | 01:03PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
I hear that if this bill passes, Kalani English has drafted additional legislation giving aging rock stars the right of way at 4-way stop intersections.
on February 5,2013 | 01:11PM
kauai wrote:
I guess the Hawaii State legislature is in session again. What a lame-brained, hair-brained proposal. Now we're crafting legislation for a specific class of people? Gimme a break. How about working on some REAL issues? Like finding ways to lower the cost of living here in this state; diversifying the economy so that we don't have all our "eggs" in the tourist basket? But nooo; these problems are much too difficult for the elected representatives to tackle; better to stick with the easy stuff like creating special laws to protect celebrities. This kind of idiocy is why politicians have such a lousy reputation. I thought the politics in Washington D.C. was bad...
on February 5,2013 | 02:33PM
HD36 wrote:
Perhaps we need less government intervention in order to lower the cost of living. It seems that whatever the government has tried to regulate, and intervene in, they have made more costly, more wasteful, and more beaurocratic. Look at;, the housing market;, they gauranteed all loans regardless of credit quality and fueled a housing bubble; Education; gauranteed Federal Student Loans have caused college tuition to skyrocket as greedy university keep raising the tuition because they know the Fed will fund the student. ; Medical Care;, Obamacare will force you to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. The cost for a family of four will be around $20,000. Look at segments where there is little governemt intervention: Cell phones-prices have gone down from the first huge phone and the quality and features of the phone are amazing compared to the first phones. Computers, televisions, same case. Less government=better prices and better quality.
on February 5,2013 | 04:54PM
HD36 wrote:
We already have laws, backed by case law that define what "expectation of privacy" amounts to. All citizens are afforded an expectation of privacy as defined by the Constitution of the United States. The constitution applys to all citizens equally under the equal protection clause.
on February 5,2013 | 04:04PM
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