• California Coastal Records Project
  • Streisand Seeks Court Help to Remove Aerial Photographs

    By The GeoCommunity Staff, July 15, 2003 (Printer Friendly)
    Popular celebrity Barbara Streisand has launched a suit against a group of environmentalists to remove one frame out of more than 12,000 aerial photographs that show an aerial perspective of her sprawling estate. Apparently the songbird feels that posting the photograph online in a mosaic that maps the entire California coastline seeks to profit from her name.

    Are you involved in aerial photography or other projects involving the capture of remotely sensed data? Perhaps you better check that your not breaking any anti-privacy laws such as those designed to protect "celebrities" from the paparazzi! In California Kenneth Adelman, creator of the California Coastal Records Project, a scientific photographic database documenting the California coast has been hit with a SLAPP suit from Barbara Streisand (let me refer to her as the "whiny cry-baby and environmentalist impersonator" - are you gonna sue me for defaming your character Barbara?) . Apparently Streisand's suit asserts that the inclusion of a single frame out of 12,200 that happens to contain elements of her sprawling Malibu blufftop estate invades her privacy, violates the “anti-paparazzi” statute, seeks to profit from her name, and threatens her security.

    Imagine, this fantastic project to document, in exhaustive detail, the entire coastline of California is expected to leave gaping holes because Ms. Streisand is worried than any of us actually give a hoot about the ridiculously lavish landscape that she hides out in when she's not slapping gag orders on other environmentalists that are apparently taking advantage of her.

    I wonder if Streisand has her attorneys following up on a suit against NASA for capturing her property in 3D as part of the SRTM Global mapping mission or if they are contacting Space Imaging and warning them not to position their Ikonos Satellite above her nest! Pardon my sarcasm, however, I will be totally amazed if this case actually is decided in favor or Streisand, and I will be equally disgusted in the courts if they set such a ridiculous precedent.

    To see the photos in question please see Click Here - location N34 00.65 - W118 47.24

    Aerial photograph that Streisand seeks to remove(Image Credit: californiacoastline.org)

    In response to her suit, Adelman has issued an anti-SLAPP response which asserts that Streisand’s lawsuit is without legal merit and was filed primarily to intimidate him and his wife into removing a picture of a Malibu coastal neighborhood that happens to contain elements of her blufftop estate. According to a press release, the Adelmans believe that the removal of any photographs or any other information from their web site would undermine its integrity and that their ability to create and maintain the database is well within their right of free speech protection guaranteed under the United States Constitution.

    Kudos to the developers of the California Coastal Records Project at www.californiacoastline.org and good luck in their efforts. This case has some serious implications that can have some profound impacts on the geospatial community. Imagine the task at hand if project developers are forced to remove images, photos, and maps of private property that appear in web maps, aerial photography, DOQs, satellite imagery, and other remotely sensed data products?

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