~ paparazzi or surveillance ? ~

Could the California law just signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger which aims to provide civil relief to celebrities injured by paparazzi negatively impact surveillance investigators? The California Newspaper Publishers Association describes and quotes the bill:

The bill would create a new cause of action for an “assault committed with the intent to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of the plaintiff.” Assault is both a crime and a tort under current law, and is defined as a willful attempt or threat to inflict injury upon a person, coupled with the apparent present ability to do so. Liability does not require a person to actually smack another. The existing anti-paparazzi law creates civil liability for the trespass on private property for the purpose of obtaining an image or recording of a person engaged in a personal or familial activity. The law also creates liability for “constructive trespass,” such as the use of a long lens from a public vantage point or other hi-tech method to invade the private property and personal space of the plaintiff. Photographers and their employers found in violation of the law are subject to extraordinary damages, including treble damages and disgorgement of profits.


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