Possible Law Has Rihanna’s Name On It

TMZ’s shocking photo of a bruised Rihanna is back in the spotlight because of an anti-paparazzi organization called STOPaprazzi that is trying to collect signatures for “Rihanna’s law,” which would make similar private victim photo leaks by tabloids illegal.

The photo was said to be taken after Rihanna was allegedly attacked by boyfriend and fellow R&B singer Chris Brown in the early hours of Feb. 8. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating whether the photo of Rihanna was leaked from within the department.

Photo: AP Photo
Pepsi Smash Super Bowl Bash, Ford Amphitheatre, Tampa, Fla.

Last year legislation was passed that makes it a misdemeanor for peace officers or law enforcement employees to profit from leaked confidential police reports or images, according to the Los Angeles Times.

STOPaprazzi says the current law, dubbed Mel’s Law, doesn’t do enough to protect victims’ rights because it requires that money changes hands and those that publish leaked photos or videos don’t face prosecution.

“As it stands, anyone can leak private victim photos and get away with it, as long as no one can prove they received money, which usually is unprovable because tabloids pay cash to third parties,” STOPaprazzi states on its home page.

“In addition, entities such as TMZ who pay for these photos and publish them are able to do it, and profit from it, with no legal repercussions whatsoever. The publication of Rihanna’s police victim photo was inexcusable and will likely help the alleged attacker’s case.”

STOPaprazzi didn’t go into detail as to what the punishment should be for guilty parties such as TMZ.

Photo: AP Photo
Fort Open Field, Taguig, Philippines.

The Web site includes the leaked photo of Rihanna with a red stamp over it that reads “SOLD $62,500.00,” which I assume is how much STOPaprazzi claims TMZ paid for the photo. Paparazzi veteran Frank Griffin, a partner of the Bauer-Griffin photo agency, told the Times he believed the photo was sold for no more than $25,000.

He said the photo was worth less cash than a picture of Rihanna kissing a new boyfriend because “without a legitimate contract from a known photographer, TMZ would not be able to prevent other sites from copying the photo and claiming it as their own.”

Los Angeles Police Department Police Chief William J. Bratton said if any officer or department employee is responsible for the leak, the individual will face discipline, including possible termination, according to the Times.

TMZ on the other hand is scot-free for distributing the photo.

Earlier this month Brown, 19, was charged with two felonies – assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats – with the singer’s arraignment scheduled for April 6.

Read the Los Angeles Times article here.

Check out the STOPaprazzi site here.