Barbra Streisand Sues to Suppress Free Speech Protection for Widely Acclaimed Website

Barbra Streisand, known for espousing pro-environmental views and criticizing those who don't, has sued the California Coastal Records Project, a landmark photographic database of over 12,000 frames of the California coast shot since 2002, asserting that the inclusion of a single frame that includes her blufftop Malibu estate invades her privacy, violates the "anti-paparazzi" statute, seeks to profit from her name, and threatens her security. Other defendants in the case were the Project's Internet Service Provider, Layer42.NET, and Pictopia.COM, who provided finished prints of the photographs (both now defunct).

Since shortly after our web site "went live", Barbra Streisand has been complaining about a photograph on our web site, 3% of which covers her home. In February 2003, we received a threatening letter from her attorney, John Gatti of Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan LLP, demanding that we "immediately cease and desist from photographing and displaying and identifying photographs of Ms. Streisand's home on the website [...]".

The photo Barbra Streisand is complaining about

We refuse to be intimidated by these tactics, which would undermine our constitutional protection of free speech and which would compromise the integrity of this historical and scientific database. As a result of which, we received a second threatening letter.

Our goal is to create a complete record of the California coastline. This record has been used by a number of government, university, press, and environmental groups (partial list) free of charge. It is not possible to provide the public with a complete record without the photographs of the coast that happen to include Ms. Streisand's estate. We do not believe in giving special treatment to wealthy coastal land owners.

Ms. Streisand, who purports to espouse the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. apparently feels differently when the publication of a photograph shows her backyard.

Here is a copy of the Complaint that Ms. Streisand filed against us in Superior Court in Los Angeles. Here is a complete set of court documents. All of her claims are frivolous and will be vigorously defended.

Read our full press release here HTML or PDF.

Or read some of the rants we've been receiving.

Coastal Archivist Files Anti-SLAPP Motion Against Barbra Streisand to Safeguard Website Documenting the California Coast

Motion Cites Unlawful Prosecution In Effort to Curb Free Speech Protections

Kenneth Adelman, creator of the California Coastal Records Project, a scientific photographic database documenting the California coast, obtained an early hearing date for his anti-SLAPP motion against Barbra Streisand in Los Angeles Superior Court. The anti-SLAPP motion is in response to Streisand's earlier suit against Adelman, the website's Internet Service Provider, Layer42.NET, and Pictopia.COM. The court agreed with Adelman that the anti-SLAPP motion should be heard first before hearing Streisand's retaliatory effort to obtain an injunction against the website.

SLAPP suits, or Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, have been recognized in California as lawsuits that are brought against individuals, corporations or organizations in an attempt to silence defendants who speak out on matters of public concern. In many instances, the case is without legal merit but the suit is filed to harass and intimidate the defendant into submission. "We find it shocking that an environmentalist like Barbra Streisand would file a SLAPP suit against this project," said Kenneth and Gabrielle Adelman. "This sort of activity against public participation is a tactic normally employed by polluters such as Shell Oil and Texaco. We are determined to fight to protect this website and to continue to make it available to the public."

Here is a copy of the Anti-SLAPP Motion to Strike that we have filed in the Superior Court in Los Angeles. The hearing was held on July 14th through July 18th. Here is a complete set of court documents.

Read our full press release here HTML or PDF.

For more information on SLAPP suits, visit the California Anti-SLAPP Project.

Barbra Streisand's Lawsuit to Silence Coastal Website to be Dismissed

Free Speech Protections Upheld for Landmark Aerial Database

In a decision that reaffirms the public's First Amendment right to participate in matters of public significance, a Los Angeles Superior Court issued a 46-page opinion on December 3, 2003 holding that Barbra Streisand, the well-known entertainer and Hollywood celebrity, abused the judicial process by filing a lawsuit against aerial archivist Ken Adelman, his Internet Service Provider Layer42.NET, and Pictopia.COM. The court also firmly rejected Streisand's request for an injunction to force the removal of a panoramic photographic frame that happens to include her sprawling blufftop estate from Adelman's website,

Here is a copy of the Tentative Ruling of the court. Here is a complete set of court documents.

Read our full press release here HTML or PDF.

Barbra Streisand's Lawsuit Dismissed

Affirming his earlier tentative ruling, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a 45-page opinion on December 31, 2003 dismissing Barbra Streisand's lawsuit.

Here is a copy of the Final Ruling of the court. Here is a complete set of court documents.

Barbra Streisand Ordered to Pay Legal Fees

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered that Barbra Streisand pay the defendants in this case a total of $177,107.54 in legal fees and court costs.

Here is a copy of the Ruling of the court. Here is a complete set of court documents.

Barbra Streisand Pays Legal Fees

Streisand delivered to my attorney a check for $155,567.04 for my portion of the legal fees:

See what the press is saying about the lawsuit

Click to read coverage   Go to press homepage
Streisand Sues Over Photograph of Her Coast Home on Web Site   Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2003
Streisand files $50 million lawsuit over aerial photos   Associated Press, May 30, 2003
Barbra Streisand Sues Aerial Photographer   Yahoo! News, May 30, 2003
Streisand Sues Over Web Photos of Malibu Estate   New York Times, May 30, 2003
Celebrity Justice Movie (3.2MB)   Celebrity Justice TV, May 30, 2003
Babs Takes on Guerrilla Environmentalists: Streisand tries to shut down coastal website.   TechTV, May 30, 2003
Streisand Sues Environmentalist Photographer for Website Photo   Cybercast News Service, May 30, 2003
Don't Tread on Babs   E-online, May 30, 2003
Streisand files $10 million lawsuit against Watsonville photographer   KION / channel 46, May 30, 2003
Streisand Suing Watsonville Photographer: Suit Alleges Photographs Show Entry Routes To Property   KSBW / channel 8, May 30, 2003
Total, Unadulterated BS - Barbra Streisand   Rush Limbaugh, May 30, 2003
Joe Scarborough Commentary - Movie (8.5MB)   MSNBC-TV, May 30, 2003
Streisand's home: A suit is born   The San Jose Mercury News, May 31, 2003
Why Sing When You Can Sue?   The Aero-News Network, May 31, 2003
Fascist photo flap   Richard Bennett's Omphalos, May 31, 2003
The Price of Tides: Streisand Environmental Hypocrite   Counterpunch, May 31, 2003
Barbra Streisand poursuit un icologiste pour avoir mis sa villa sur internet   LeMonde, May 31, 2003
Barbra Streisand Sues Over Photos of Home   MSN Entertainment, May 31, 2003
Streisand sues Corralitos photographer   Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 31, 2003
FuzzFace's Notebook: Barbra Streisand   Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organization, May 31, 2003
Streisand suing environmentalists over California Coastline project   BoingBoing: A directory of wonderful things, June 1, 2003
Why Sing When You Can Sue? Barbra Streisand Hits Aerial Photographer With $50 Million Lawsuit "A Conservative News Forum", June 1, 2003
Barbra Streisand klagt gegen Homepage-Betreiber   Heise Online, June 1, 2003
Celebrity Chatter: Babs Is Fighting Mad Over Internet Photos   WMOR-TV / Tampa, June 1, 2003
The fine line of celebrity stupidity Barbra Streisand, the latest star to make a very dumb move   MSNBC News, June 1, 2003
Streisand sues over mansion photos   BBC News, June 2, 2003
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Streisand Claims Coast Photo Violates Privacy   Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2003
Malibu Babs: Snapshots of an eco-hypocrite   Townhall.COM: Conservative News and Information, June 4, 2003
Streisand sues photographer for posting pictures of Malibu estate   The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, June 5, 2003
The case of the indignant diva   The Japan Times, June 8, 2003
When It Comes To Online Photos Of Her Seaside Estate, This Funny Girl Isn't Laughing   ADLAW By Request, June 9, 2003
Editorial: Not funny, girl   The Sacramento Bee, June 11, 2003
A Lawsuit is Born   The GoodTimes, June 12, 2003
Coastal Image Archive Faces Privacy Pressure   GeoPlace.COM: The Authoritive Resource for Spatial Information, June 13, 2003
Techie Protects Coastline via Camera (interview) (7.2MB MP3) (RealAudio)   WebTalkGuys Radio Show, June 14, 2003
June 2003 Jackass: Barbara Streisand   Bully Magazine, June 15, 2003
Barbra Streisand's Half-truth Alert   The Left Coast Report,, June 17, 2003
Streisand's all wet on coastline photo suit   The San Jose Mercury News, June 18, 2003
People who sue people: Streisand's $14m claim   The Sydney Morning Herald, June 18, 2003
Web photog wants Streisand suit tossed   CNN Headline News, June 24, 2003
Streisand's home becomes hit on Web   The San Jose Mercury News, June 24, 2003
Local man asks for dismissal of Streisand case   Register-Pajaronian, June 26, 2003
Barbra Streisand is blaming the Bush administration   MSNBC News, June 30, 2003
Diva sues dull website   Asiaone, July 2, 2003
When Babs Attacks   The GoodTimes, July 3, 2003
Judge will rule on Streisand privacy suit next month   The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, July 19, 2003
Judge to rule later on Streisand privacy lawsuit   The San Jose Mercury News, August 18, 2003
Streisand goes coastal over Web photo effort   The San Francisco Chronicle, August 31, 2003
Just spell my name right   The San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 2003
Streisand sues to shield estate from aerial view   Guardian Unlimited, September 7, 2003
Air Adelman: A Caltech Couple Takes to the Skies to Help Preserve the California Coast   The Caltech News, Fall 2003
Bad Day in Court for Barbra   The Drudge Report, December 3, 2003
The Smoking Gun on Babs   The Smoking Gun, December 3, 2003
KSBW-TV Movie (1MB)   KSBW / channel 8, December 3, 2003
Celebrity Justice Movie (6.7MB)   Celebrity Justice TV, December 4, 2003
Streisand Loses Privacy Suit   CBS News / WTEV, December 4, 2003
Judge dismisses Streisand's $10M suit   CNN News, December 4, 2003
Judge to Babs: You Are Dismissed   E-online, December 4, 2003
Judge: Photos Don't Violate Streisand's Privacy   FOX News, December 4, 2003
Judge Tosses $10M Streisand Lawsuit   KSBW / channel 8, December 4, 2003
Judge Rejects Streisand Privacy Suit   Los Angeles Times, December 4, 2003
Streisand Fails in Effort to Crush the First Amendment, December 4, 2003
Judge Dismisses Streisand's $10 Million Lawsuit   New York Times, December 4, 2003
County man prevails in Streisand suit over coastal photos   Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 4, 2003
Judge tosses Streisand's suit to keep estate photos off Web She argued activist's aerial shots invaded her privacy   The San Francisco Chronicle, December 4, 2003
Privacy suit a flop, judge tells Streisand   The San Jose Mercury News, December 4, 2003
Babs's peeping tom case fails   The Australian, December 4, 2003
Judge rules against Barbra Streisand   The Toronto Star, December 4, 2003
2003 in review; A Lawsuit is Born   The GoodTimes, January 1, 2004
The Blame Game; Lawyers split on whether frivolous claims make for strong cases or just legal harassment   Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal, January 12, 2004
Saving Malibu from the stars   The Ecologist, February 2004
The Smoking Gun on Babs   The Smoking Gun, March 5, 2004
Photographer says Streisand not following court's ruling   Houston Chronicle, March 8, 2004
Streisand yet to pay over Internet Lawsuit   TheStar Online, March 8, 2004
Babs Stiffs Shutterbug   E-online, March 8, 2004
He's after Streisand to pay his legal fees   The Sacramento Bee, April 20, 2004
Streisand's Privacy Suit Backfires   Celebrity Justice, May 20, 2004
Streisand Hit With $177,000 Legal Bill   The Smoking Gun, May 21, 2004
Judge Orders Streisand to Pay $177,000 for Photographer's Legal Fees   Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2004
Streisand ordered to pay photographer's legal fees   The San Jose Mercury News, May 28, 2004
Streisand Pays Up   Yahoo! News, May 28, 2004
Streisand pays off Corralitos photographer   Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 29, 2004
The public starts SLAPPing back   Chicago Tribune, December 26, 2005
The Streisand Effect   Forbes Magazine, May 11, 2007

Copyright © 2003-2007 Kenneth Adelman - Adelman@Adelman.COM