The State of California has passed a law prohibiting paparazzi from taking illegal photos of people, especially celebrities who have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The anti-paparazzi law was signed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last October and took effect Jan. 1.
The new law allows for civil penalties
against members of the paparazzi and media outlets that sell and buy unlawfully obtained photographs and video footage of people, including celebrities and their families.
Actress Jenifer Aniston was reportedly behind the passage of the law after the popular actress shared horror stories about her encounter with paparazzi to California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass who fast-tracked the passage of the new law.
Earlier former World Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson figured in a brawling incident involving a paparazzi photographer who reportedly harassed Tyson, his wife and and child inside the Los Angeles International Airport.
The L.A. City Attorney officially rejected the case
, citing "insufficient evidence."
Tyson's lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, says: "The City Attorney's office made the right decision given the harassing conduct of the paparazzo."
Paparazzi tend to be independent contractors
unaffiliated with a mainstream media organization.
Paparazzi take photos of celebrities at moments when the subjects do not expect to be photographed, such as when they shop, walk through a city, eat at a restaurant, or swim or lie on the beach.