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Debate: Britney Law (protecting celebrities from the paparazzi)

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Is it sensible to protect celebrities with a personal safety zone?

Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

In New York, Los Angeles, a councilman, Dennis Zine, has called for a personal safety zone to protect celebrities from the media. It would consists of a 20-yard "safety bubble" around celebs considered to be "paparazzi targets." This law has been nicknamed the 'Britney Law.' The law is supposed to protect celebrities, as well as the general public. But of course the paparazzi want access to all celebrities and are unhappy with the new law which makes it harder to access the celebrities and famous figures that photos are wanted of. Add more text here!

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Necessity: Is a personal safety zone necessary to protect celebrities from the paparazzi?

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Yes

  • The paparazzi constantly invade the privacy of celebrities for photos. The paparazzi constantly invade and attack private lives of celebrities by trespassing on private property to get illegal and often defaming photographs. The taking of pictures while on private property is definitively defined as 'illegal,' but most paparazzi ignore the law and pay only a minor fine if they get caught. This fine is easily covered by the money they make from the photographs they manage to keep; this being so, there should be more strictly defined safety zones for celebrities which, if invaded, will yeild major penalties. Yet another reason for safety zones would be safety in public. One instance in which the paparazzi were legally blamed for the death of a celebrity was the death of Princess Diana in which reckless driving and hounding pursuit of the car which the Princess was riding in at the time of her death. If a privacy zone would have been implemented, the paparazzi would have been more timid/less persistent in their pursuit of her car.
  • It Can Keep People Happy, While Keeping Income. Yes. This law can protect celebrities like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, etc. More often than not, we hear of them being hurt or injured in scuffles with paparazzi and when in cars, pursuits of this celebrities can be critical and potentially life threatening, as in the case of Princess Diana. Celebrities can not be expected to simply stay at home and avoid the paparazzi, they have lives that need to be lived, and them being on TV or on record does not make their job any different, technically, to a person on a 9 to 5, the only difference is that we, as curious people, have made a celebrity culture. It is understandably that paparazzi will need to get their pictures, but this law that they should take them from a respectable position will help the safety of both celebrities and paparazzi, which also helps the celebrities go about everyday activities, while the paps still manage to make their livelihood, without hurting anyone or being dis-respectful, because after all, everyone needs to have personal space.


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No

  • Celebrities can avoid the media by staying at home. Some celebrities want the publicity and choose to travel around for the publicity it creates from the media. People like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and even Lindsay Lohan travel around where the media can get to them and therefore create publicity and money. If celebrities don't want to be chased everywhere by the paparazzi, a personal safety zone is not required. The only thing that is required by the celebrities is to stay at home. By leaving their homes', celebrities are just creating the paparazzi for themselves.
  • Enforcing existing laws will sufficiently protect celebrities TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin - "The way to control it is to arrest people who break the law," said Levin yesterday in a telephone interview. "Trespassing, assault, traffic violations."[1]
  • "Britney law" would wrongly hinge on whether an individual has celebrity status. TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin - "If Jason Davis (aka "Gummy Bear," a minor celeb for being a rich kid staple of the Hollywood scene) gets upset that there's a camera in his face, what do you do? Do you put [his] celebrity status on trial?"


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First amendment: Would "Britney Law" be consistent with the First Amendment?

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Yes

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No

  • Britney Law woud create a slippery slope against freedom of press. "The 'Britney Law' -- A Celeb's Best Friend?". Washington Post, Celebritology. February 12th, 2008 - "While no one likes a pushy photog (well, except maybe Brit herself), Zine's headline-grabbing proposal could have big First Amendment implications. Whether the target is a wire service shooter or gangbangers hired to intimidate rival paps, the Britney Law's 20-yard safety bubble could be a first step on a slippery slope of limiting freedom of the press that could extend to anyone considered newsworthy."


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Celebrities: Is the paparazzi bad for celebrities?

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Yes

  • Princess Diana died escaping from the paparazzi. Princess Diana, one of the most-loved princesses by the world, ever, died in 1997 escaping from the media. The media chased her through France trying to get photos and Diana's chauffeur crashed the car in a Paris tunnel, concentrating on losing the paparazzi, not the road. There, Diana died instantly.
  • The paparazzi annoy many celebrities. Many celebrities have complained about the paparazzi watching their every move and not letting them get on with their lives in peace. The paparazzi are definitely bad to celebrities.
  • What the paparazzi do is illegal. The paparazzi do a number of illegal actions every day. They include taking photos of people without permission and chasing celebrities. This can cause the celebrities distress. As well as that, the paparazzi take the illegal photos, then sell them, against the celebrities' wills, for ridiculous amounts of money.


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No

  • A lot of celebrities actually encourage the paparazzi. Some celebrities actually encourage the media when they want publicity. Some celebrities are stupid enough to tell the media where they are going for the day so the paparazzi will meet them there and take "unwanted" photos of celebrities. Celebrities just need to be careful what they do and what they say to the media, and the paparazzi can be avoided easily.


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Public safety: Will the "Britney Law" protect the safety of the public?

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Yes

  • Paparazzi pursuing celebrities often endanger the public The "Britney Law" would allow celebrities to go to public places such as the supermarket without the paparazzi following them. When following celebrities, the paparazzi often creat mobs and make it dangerous for the general public to be near them. With this law in effect, those mobs would disappear and create a safer environment for not only the celebrities, but for the people who happen to be near them.


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No

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Illegitimacy: Is the media not entitled to "legitimate access" to celebrities?

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Yes

  • If celebreties wanted to be chased around by the paparazzi, they would disapprove of the "Britney Law." Any celebraty used to being chased around and followed everywhere by the media and paparazzi would tell you that they don't like or want that. The idea of the personal safety zones is to protect celebraties from unwanted media. If the media wanted access to the person for a legitimate reason, they could still have access to them. Just that now the media can't get too close, crowd around the person or block where they're going for photography and filming.
  • The paparazzi acts illegally and against celebraties' wishes - that is not legitimate. There is no such thing as legitimate access to a person when it comes to the paparazzi. The paparazzi take unwanted photos of people illegally. The media can't legitimately access someone illegally or against the celebraty's wishes - that is what the paparazzi does.


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No

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Pro/con resources

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Yes

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No

See also

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