California Guv Signs Bill to Stave Off Paparazzi

Photogs can't shout at or touch children of the famous as they snap pics

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Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - July 26, 2011
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Halle Berry and daughter Nahla Aubry are seen shopping in Century City on July 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Paparazzi who “harass” the children of public figures will now face stiff penalties thanks to legislation California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Tuesday.

Violators of the law, which prohibits photographers from shouting at or touching the children of the famous as they snap pictures, could face up to a year in prison and fines as high as $10,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Many celebrities urged lawmakers to support the bill, including actress Halle Berry, who testified that her daughter has been intimidated by aggressive photographers who shout at them as they snap pictures daily.

Media organizations opposed the legislation, saying it could block legitimate news gathering. But the government contends that the bill does not impinge on the First Amendment because it targets photographers’ conduct, not the act of taking a photograph.

[Los Angeles Times]