Is It Now Illegal To Pretend You're A Celebrity Online?
A new year means new laws. Particularly interesting to showbiz is California's § 528.5, which makes it a crime to maliciously impersonate another person. Specifically:
"any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense."
It sounds like a new spin on cybersquatting, perhaps broadening protection beyond trademark in the cases of bad intent. Does this mean that the guy who is currently impersonating Christopher Walken on Twitter is in trouble? What about that guy who blogged as director Michael Bay? Are they harming these celebrity's images or expressing free speech?
Penalties for violations are up to $1000 and one year in prison.
Titans of Comic-Con: Stars Re-Create Classic Characters (Photos)
- Exclusive Portraits of Robert Griffin III, Ronda Rousey, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Photos)
- MOBA: Inside the Biggest Sporting Event You've Never Heard Of (Photos)
- Emmy Awards 2014: The Nominees (Photos)
- Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2014 (Photos)
- Neil LaBute Q&A: The Controversial Playwright Talks About His L.A. Theater Takeover
- Top Off-Broadway Shows to Watch in NYC This Season: Part One
- Megan Fox Is Not Thrilled About The 'Girl Power' That Was Cut From 'TMNT'
- Keith Olbermann's Powerful Speech About Lack Of Respect For Women In Sports Is A Must Watch
- Emily Deschanel & David Boreanaz Gives Us Intense 'Bones' Season 10 Trailer - Watch Now
- Sofia Vergara & Joe Manganiello Are the Hottest Couple in Miami
- Cate Blanchett's 'Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Will Invade Comic-Con
- Kate Beckinsale's Birthday is Tomorrow & She's Looking More Beautiful Than Ever!