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Steven Tyler Act Passes in Hawaii as Celebrities Fight for Privacy

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
March 6, 2013|11:56 am

On Tuesday, legislators in the Hawaii state Senate passed a new privacy bill that has been dubbed the Steven Tyler Act, which aims to grant additional protections to celebrities from members of the press.

The bill, should it pass the state's House, makes taking unwanted pictures and videos or publishing private content of celebrities in private moments a civil violation, according to the Associated Press.

The Aerosmith singer asked Sen. Kalani English to sponsor the legislation last December after Tyler was on the wrong end of photos taken of him and his girlfriend. The pictures were published in a national magazine and caused the entertainer undue stress and family problems.

Tyler is not alone in his support of the bill as other celebrities such as Britney Spears, Mick Fleetwood and the Osbourne family have all come out in support of the bill.

However, even with the bill's celebrity endorsements, national media companies are worried over the real possibilities that the bill could have a serious impact on the freedom of the press. It could also lead to frivolous lawsuits between journalists, photographers and their subjects.

The National Press Photographers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists were two of several media organizations that produced testimony in opposition to the bill.

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Tyler owns a multimillion dollar home in Maui, which falls within Sen. English's district. English had previously said that he believes that the proposed bill could lead to an increase in celebrity tourism for the state.

23 of Hawaii's 25 Senate members voted in favor of the bill, which will now go to the House for further consideration.

Sen. Sam Slom, the state Senate's only Republican, was one of the two senators who opposed the bill, after feeling the legislation was nothing more than pandering to the rich and famous. He also claimed that few legislators out-of-state took the bill seriously.

"We have been the butt of many editorials and jokes across the country for this proposed legislation," Slom said during a press conference.

 

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