Sixteen years ago, amatuer videographer George Holliday captured history when he taped Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King.
Today, if something like that happened in France, the videographer could face prison time under a law approved by the country's highest-ranking constitutional authority that says only professional journalists can film or broadcast violent acts, according to Macworld.
The legislation passed by the French Constitutional Council could lead to a U.S. $100,000 fine or five years in jail for eyewitnesses who film acts of violence or people who run Web sites that publish the images.
French lawmakers in favor of the rule said it targets the practice of filming or broadcasting violent acts for the purpose of amusement for the attacker's friends.
But a French civil liberties group, Odebi, charges the videographer or distributor could end up with a worse penalty than the person or persons actually carrying out the violent act, and warn against the possibility of a new judicial system to specifically control the publication of information on the Internet.