Gary Wax


Lawmakers in Los Angeles and in surrounding cities recently proposed the creation of personal safety zones around celebrities to curtail the activities of overly aggressive paparazzi. Nevertheless, First Amendment jurisprudence has generally protected photographers from civil invasion of privacy claims in public, assuming the photographer did not commit any independent crime or tort, especially where the subject matter of the photograph is a matter of public concern. Celebrities are "public figures," and are thus subject to news coverage protected by the First Amendment absent false malicious speech. Furthermore, celebrities who choose to live in celebrity-enclaves in the Los Angeles area cannot reasonably expect the same level of privacy as those who live elsewhere. Therefore, this article argues that Los Angeles will be unable to narrowly tailor an anti-paparazzi ordinance that can withstand First Amendment scrutiny.

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