Tyler bill is bad idea

Well, the state Senate passed the Steven Tyler bill Tuesday.

One of the ironies of this great entertainment age is that personalities who hire publicists now want to dictate to media (and the public) just when and how their images can be photographed and used.

The latest piece of such tomfoolery is the Tyler Bill, introduced in the state Legislature by Maui Sen. J. Kalani English. Named after the Aerosmith frontman, SB 465 is so vague about just when and where personalities could be photographed that one may as well assume the media and the general public would have to ask permission before snapping a celeb’s picture on the street.

Billed as anti-paparazzi legislation, it has been noted more than once that the bill is nothing more than an effort to lure celebrities to vacation more often in Hawaii.

The bill is so bad that even the Motion Picture Association of America has written a memorandum in opposition to it.

Now – for the record – we think public figures have the right to an expectation of privacy in their homes, hotel rooms and other private premises. For example, no one has the right to use a telephoto lens to catch a celeb unclothed in his bedroom or bathroom.

We know of no Hawaii media that do so.

Moreover, we’d quote what Hawaii attorney Jeffrey S. Portnoy recently wrote about SB 465:

“The bill is terrible. It is unnecessary, possibly unconstitutional, and is pandering to a few celebrities at the expense of the media and the public. It has already been roundly criticized by entities like The New York Times. There is sufficient current law available to persons whose privacy rights have been wrongfully violated.

“There are both criminal and civil remedies available for trespass, public disclosure of private facts, and intrusion.”

We hope the state House heeds those words and trashes this awful bill.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.