March 6, 2013
Hawaii passes Steven Tyler bill to protect celebrities’ privacy
The Hawaii state Senate passed the so-called Steven Tyler Act Tuesday, a bill that seeks to protect celebrities from overeager paparazzi by creating a civil violation if people take unwanted photos or videos of others in their private moments.
The Aerosmith front man from Massachusetts asked Sen. Kalani English to sponsor the legislation after unwanted photos were taken of him and his girlfriend in December and published in a national magazine, causing family drama.
Tyler owns a multimillion-dollar home in Maui, which is part of English's district.
Twenty-three of the state's 25 Senate members voted in favor of the bill, which now goes to the House for consideration.
Sen. Sam Slom, the body's only Republican, opposed the measure.
Slom said senators had fun with the bill, but Hawaii has adequate laws protecting privacy and this proposal is an attack on First Amendment rights.
"My final remarks to Steven Tyler, as he sang so eloquently, are, 'Dream on, dream on,' " Slom joked.
Besides Tyler, other celebrities have supported the bill, including Britney Spears, Mick Fleetwood and the Osbourne family.
They say intrusive paparazzi make it difficult to enjoy simple activities with family and friends.
But national media organizations worry about the proposal's impact on freedom of the press. The National Press Photographers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists were some of several national media organizations that submitted testimony opposing the bill.