The newest chapter in the Taylor Swift and Kanye West feud stems from the release of video footage on Kim Kardashian’s Snapchat account.
In Kanye’s latest album, The Life of Pablo, he released a song titled “Famous,” which made a reference to Swift. Upon release, Swift was publicly outraged at the song’s content and denied giving Kanye permission to use the specific lyrics West used in the song. This disagreement prompted Kim Kardashian to defend West by posting recorded videos on her Snapchat between Swift and Kanye purporting to show Swift giving Kanye permission to use Swift’s name in the lyrics of a song.
Unfortunately for Kim and Kanye the recording of the phone conversation may be illegal. California, where the recording allegedly took place, has what is known as a “two-party” consent law with regard to recording conversations. That means that both parties of a phone call must give their permission to tape a conversation. California Penal Code Section 632 states:
“Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication, whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device, except a radio, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison, or by both that fine and imprisonment.”
The question of whether the communication is considered confidential hinges on whether Swift had a reasonable expectation that her conversation with West was private. If Swift did have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and was unaware of the recording, Kim and Kanye could face criminal and civil punishments.