Arnold Schwarzenegger ends Paparazzi mayhem

LOS ANGELES, USA – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated the paparazzi’s reckless pursuit of film personalities with a new set of rules.

The new Paparazzi bill, brought forward by Assemblywoman Karen Basss and signed into law by Schwarzenegger this week targets photographers who endanger celebrities in their reckless pursuit of exclusive pictures. Penalties include fines and jail time for photographers that create a sense of ‘false imprisonment’, breaking traffic laws and interfering with a celebrity’s car.

Advocates of the newly signed bill included Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, who discussed their concerns about the rapidly deteriorating environment celebrities were facing due to overzealous photographers putting them in unnecessary danger.

Many high profile public figures in the film industry feel that the paparazzi have become a nuisance and a danger with their pursuit of exclusive pictures which are often used to fabricate false celebrity gossip. Schwarzenegger’s bill signing was met with strong opposition from the publishing industry, and the California Newspaper Publishers, argued that it violates America’s first amendment. One very strong argument for the bill related to the danger the paparazzi posed when driving dangerously to get a picture. Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in 1997 after being hotly pursued by overzealous paparazzi was discussed. If it weren’t for the pursuit, it is likely that the driver of the car would not have over sped thus avoiding the unfortunate death of one of the world’s most iconic figures.

Despite the controversy surrounding the bill, the endangerment to the wider public of reckless driving was of key importance, not just that of celebrities, who receive no special status from the bill. The new law is a wake up call to photographers who take matters into their own hands when getting their latest scoop. On the other side of the argument, the pressure of working as a paparazzi photographer often weighs in on an individual looking to pay the rent in a difficult economic climate. Paparazzi photographers rarely earn flat fees, and work for commissions only.

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