By Derrick DePledge
The state Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would give celebrities in Hawaii a new legal tool against paparazzi.
The bill, known as the Steven Tyler Act for the Aerosmith singer, who has a home on Maui, would allow celebrities to bring civil lawsuits against photographers who take pictures of personal or familial activities. Celebrities would only be protected, however, if they are on property they own or lease and have reasonable expectations of privacy.
Senate Bill 465, modeled after a California anti-paparazzi law, would provide an immediate appeal process for photographers who claim they were engaged in work protected by the First Amendment.
Tyler and Mick Fleetwood, the drummer of Fleetwood Mac, who also has a home on Maui, told state senators at a hearing last month that aggressive paparazzi intrude on their privacy.
The Society of Professional Journalists and other First Amendment advocates are concerned that the bill could infringe on legitimate newsgathering.