- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The paparazzi will no longer be allowed to operate drones over private property in California to photograph celebrities under a new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Legislation signed into law Tuesday expands privacy restrictions to close loopholes that allowed paparazzi to fly drones over celebrities’ homes to photograph or videotape them. The new law expands the definition of trespassing to include “airspace above the land of another.”

The governor approved prior legislation last year aimed at reining in aggressive paparazzi practices, but lawmakers said the new legislation was needed to close a loophole. It clarifies that it is considered trespassing for paparazzi to fly a drone over private property.

California State Assemblymember Ian Calderon said lawmakers heard from residents at a meeting earlier this year that paparazzi were using the tactics despite the legislation on the books.

“At that hearing, we learned that the paparazzi have used drones for years to invade the privacy and capture pictures of public persons in their most private of activities — despite existing law,” he said in a statement.

Singer Miley Cyrus was among those who caught sight of a drone over her home last year. She took video of the unmanned aircraft and posted it online.

The new law establishes a property right in the airspace that spans 350 feet directly above private property. It will ban drones from crossing over property lines and fences to hover above private homes or properties for the purpose of capturing images, Mr. Calderon said.

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