Is It a Crime to Get Yourself on TV? In Italy, Maybe It Is
Youtube and its ilk have made a certain degree of fame attainable to just about anyone (just search for "stupid, truck, surfing" on Youtube if you don't believe me). In turn, this has forced governments to do what they do best: attempt to control citizens' behavior. In this case, the Italian Supreme Court has ruled that someone deliberately getting on TV whilst filming is taking place in public "can commit an offence". The vagueness of this ruling is somewhat perplexing, and this isn't even examining the obvious tradeoffs of filming anything in public.
The law was targeted at a prankster who's made quite a career for himself disrupting TV newscasts in order to promote condoms. He's (amazingly) been able to do this 20,000 times. You can understand why this might be frustrating -- but you would also think there would be other laws to deal with this.
Mr Paolini has made a career of popping up uninvited behind unwitting on-air TV reporters promoting condom use.
Guinness World Records says Mr Paolini is the world's most successful TV hijacker, interrupting 20,000 link-ups.
But now Italy's Supreme Court has upheld a three-month suspended sentence on him for interrupting a report on the state broadcaster RAI in June 2001.
The court has also ruled that anyone who deliberately gets onto TV while standing in a public place can commit an offence even if they are silent and immobile.