Copyright News

Maryland Governor Signed Bill Against Revenge Porn

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Added protections from harassment due to broken relationships are signed into law.

Pat Warren reports revenge porn is now a punishable offense.

Annmarie Chiarini’s bad breakup has helped change the way the state views intimate Internet postings.

In a WJZ investigation, Chiarini goes public with her experience as a victim of revenge porn. She tells WJZ an ex-boyfriend posted explicit pictures of her on the Internet. He had taken the pictures with her permission, but posted them in revenge after she broke up with him.

“There I was, and there was my first and last name, and there was the town where I live, and there was the college and the campus where I teach, and there was a solicitation for sex,” she said.

Chiarini went to police for help.

“I sought help from law enforcement, and it was the same shake your head. ‘There’s nothing we can do, no crime has been committed. There’s nothing we can do. Silly girl, go away. There’s nothing we can do,’” said Chiarini.

The extent of the problem became evident as other victims came forward.

“As I’m learning more and starting to understand the Maryland law, I was getting more and more frustrated, and I said, ‘Oh, I’m just going to change the law then,’” Chiarini said. “And that was it. Something clicked and I said, ‘This is what I’m going to do. This is not happening to anyone else.’”

With the help of committed supporters, the House and Senate unanimously passed and the Maryland Governor signed a bill making revenge porn a misdemeanor with up to a year in prison and a $500 fine.

Some Maryland lawmakers wanted to make revenge porn a felony. Arizona’s governor just signed a bill making it a felony in that state.

The Maryland law takes effect October 1.

Bill Signed Into Law Making Revenge Porn A Misdemeanor – CBS Local
Bill Signed Into Law Making Revenge Porn A Misdemeanor
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Appeals court skeptical over Oracle’s copyright infringement win over SAP

oracle

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

A U.S. appeals court “appeared skeptical” on Tuesday about handing Oracle a $1.3 billion damages package previously served by a jury, which was later overturned.

According to the Reuters news agency, Judge William Fletcher called Oracle’s attorney’s figures that were used to drum up the damages figure as “pie in the sky dreaming,” which may lead to the software giant losing the damages it was first awarded.

But if Oracle doesn’t get its way, seven years after the allegations first came to light, the company is gunning for a new trial, reported Bloomberg.

Oracle is taking on German enterprise software powerhouse SAP in a legal ding-dong that led to it admitting massive infringement of Oracle’s copyright.

A jury awarded Oracle the billion-dollar-plus sum in 2010 after an SAP subsidiary, TomorrowNow, unlawfully downloaded millions of Oracle files. SAP bought the company to begin supporting Oracle customers at a lower cost than Oracle charged.

SAP came clean, but the dispute was how much the company should pay Oracle in damages.

But later, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton found that Oracle had only been able to prove it had suffered damages of $272 million.

However, two of the judges in Tuesday’s case suggested Oracle may in fact deserve a little over $300 million.

Oracle attorney Kathleen Sullivan said internal SAP documents showed the company had expected $900 million revenue by using its strategic acquisition in TomorrowNow to poach customers from Oracle. That figure was enough to convince the lower court that $1.3 billion would suffice for reasonable damages.

But one of the judges on the panel argued that those SAP revenue figures was an objective view of how much the copyrighted material was worth.

The judges did not say when they will issue a ruling on the case.

Appeals court ‘skeptical’ over Oracle’s copyright infringement win over SAP – ZDNet
http://www.zdnet.com/appeals-court-skeptical-over-oracles-copyright-infringement-win-over-sap-7000029411/

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Four broadcasters file lawsuit against Aereo over copyright infringement

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – Aereo, backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp charges users a low monthly fee to watch live or recorded broadcast TV channels on computers or mobile devices – and does not pay any of the broadcasters.Aereo has urged the high court to hear the case even though it won in the lower court, as it would like a definitive and final answer in regards to the issue.Help end world hunger by going here.

Justice Samuel Alito will not participate in it, according to The Supreme Court, which generally does not disclose why justices are excused. A ruling is expected by the end of this June.

Aereo subscribers can stream live broadcasts of TV channels on mobile devices using miniature antennas. Launched in March 2012 in the New York area, Aereo has since expanded to about 10 cities and plans to enter several more.

The four broadcasters claim that Aereo violates their copyrights on the television programs. The service, they say, represents a threat to their ability to control subscription fees and generate advertising.

The National Football League, Major League Baseball and various media companies, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. have all filed court papers in support of the broadcasters.

Aereo’s business model is “built on stealing the creative content of others,” CBS said in a statement last week.

In its defense, Aereo counters that its service does nothing more than provide users what they could obtain with a personal television antenna. “We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts,” Aereo chief executive officer Chet Kanojia said in a statement.
Persuasive grounds

The lawsuit is being watched closely with the utmost seriousness. Cablevision Systems Corporation says that the legal theory advanced by broadcasters to the high court would spell trouble for cloud-based content services and threaten Cablevision’s ability to offer DVR recording to its customers.

“Cablevision remains confident that while the Aereo service violates copyright, the Supreme Court will find persuasive grounds for invalidating Aereo without relying on the broadcasters’ overreaching – and wrong – copyright arguments that challenge the legal underpinning of all cloud-based services,” the company said in a statement.
2014, Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM.

Four broadcasters file lawsuit against Aereo over copyright infringement – Catholic Online
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Arizona House approves revenge porn bill

PHOENIX —

The Arizona House on Monday unanimously approved a bill aimed at stopping jilted lovers from posting explicit pictures of their former flames online to get revenge.

The revenge porn bill sponsored by Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, would make it a felony to post nude photos of a person without their written consent.

“As technology changes, people invent new ways of hurting folks,” Mesnard said. “If at the end of the day we send pictures to somebody in the context of a loving relationship, we should not have to wonder what that person is going to do.”

House Bill 2515 is one revenge porn bill of many being considered by lawmakers across the nation in response to the posting of “revenge porn” that has been made easier by the growth of social networking sites. Last year, California made it a misdemeanor to post such images.

Members of an Arizona House committee that passed the bill in February expressed concern that the proposal was too broad and could inadvertently target teens who “sext.”

“Sexting” involves sending racy images to peers that are sometimes resent to others. Current law makes the practice a petty offense.

Mesnard said an amendment to the bill addressed those concerns.

Nobody spoke in opposition to the bill Monday. It now heads to the Senate.

Arizona House OKs ‘revenge porn’ bill – azcentral.com
http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/free/20140310arizona-house-oks-revenge-porn-bill.html
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through Revenge Porn

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s called revenge porn, and it’s a growing problem, impacting thousands of lives. Couples trust each other with intimate photos, then become victims of the digital age.

A Towson woman tells Linh Bui how she’s fighting back after she’s exposed.

Annmarie Chiarini is a respected English professor, a single mother of two and a victim of revenge porn.

It’s a growing problem on the Internet, where former lovers get revenge by posting their ex’s racy photos that were supposed to be for their eyes only.

Annmarie’s problems start when she goes on Facebook and reconnects with a former boyfriend after almost 20 years.

“I was shocked and thrilled and it’s that whole, ‘Oh my gosh!’” she said.

Thinking he’s the one, Annmarie even lets him take explicit naked photos of her. But then, he starts to change.

“He was getting more and more manipulative and even more controlling,” she said. “He had threatened to sell the pictures that I had allowed him to take. He said, ‘I will destroy you’ and hung up the phone.”

With just a few clicks, he inflicts maximum damage, targeting her family, friends, students and bosses with links to her racy photos.

Reporter: “When you first saw that email and you saw that these pictures of you were out there for everyone to see, what was your reaction?”

Annmarie: “I had lost control. Somebody else was in the driver’s seat of my life and I was at his mercy. I realized this is my life and this is never going to end.”

Annmarie isn’t alone. Other victims have joined forces to make revenge porn a crime.

WJZ investigates, learning more than 1,200 victims have contacted the cyber civil rights initiative in the last six months and more than 45 websites are devoted exclusively to revenge porn.

“It’s either every day or twice a day victims get in touch with me,” said Prof. Danielle Citron, University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

Citron is an expert on revenge porn.

“It is creating so much social harm for victims, for society, for the kinds of expectations we have of each other. We can no longer trust one another,” she said.

Feeling betrayed and humiliated, Annmarie takes a handful of prescription pills to end her life.

“I questioned my ability to be a role model to my children,” Annmarie said. “I didn’t want to embarrass them, I didn’t want them to go through school saying, ‘Oh, your mom’s the one who’s naked on the Internet.’”

“I somehow needed to make sure that nobody else felt this way, that nobody else hit this low,” she continued.

When Annmarie finds out there are no laws to punish her ex-boyfriend, she comes to Annapolis and teams up with Delegate Jon Cardin to make revenge porn a crime.

“At the click of a mouse you can ruin somebody’s reputation, you can ruin their life, you can cause them significant psychological anguish,” Del. Cardin said. “We want people to think twice before clicking the mouse.”

“Until the law in Maryland is passed I won’t truly know peace,” Annmarie said.

Under Cardin’s proposal, posting sexually explicit material of someone without their consent would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through ‘Revenge Porn’ – CBS Local
Towson Woman Fighting Back After She’s Exposed Through ‘Revenge Porn’
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Victims of revenge porn deserve real protection

A lot of people know my story. Nobody has to ask me how I got where I am, because my business is posted all over the internet.

My ex-boyfriend was the first one to put me out there, exposing me in my most intimate moments. He did it for control. He did it for revenge. He did it for whatever reasons perpetrators normally have for stalking, harassing, and violating others.

At no point was I allowed to escape and move on. The internet made it possible for my ex and strangers to reach into my life, no matter where I was, and destroy everything I was trying to build. And nobody was willing to stop him.

I was the second person to put myself out there. When I couldn’t stand hiding anymore, having changed my name and lived in fear for years, I took back control of my life. I took it back by saying:

Yes that’s me in those pictures, in that video, and I am not ashamed. I have a right to live my life and not be afraid.

That was the birth of End Revenge Porn, which turned into the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI). Every step in building CCRI has been a learning experience, both in the logistics of starting an organization and in how a movement takes on a life of its own.

We have barely begun, but we find ourselves buoyed by overwhelming support, even as we receive a stream of hateful messages from strangers. This is a culture war, but it is one I have faith we will win, perhaps more quickly than our opposition expects.

California’s SB255 “revenge porn law”, signed into effect by Governor Jerry Brown late last week, was a bittersweet victory for us. Finally, lawmakers and the public acknowledged revenge porn as a problem to be solved.

But that acknowledgement was tainted by the attitude that no matter how reprehensible the actions of perpetrators, the victims somehow deserved what they got. To be told that victims like me were too “stupid” to be provided the protection of the law, and to have that attitude written into the law was crushing. People who have taken pictures of themselves in their most private moments, and shared them as part of an intimate relationship with one person, will find no protection in California. For the moment.

CCRI has been successful so far because I don’t just see the gaping holes in our legal system; I experience them firsthand. On Thursday, I received word that the criminal case against my ex is being dismissed. The police told me that they were able to link the IP address from his house to the postings. However, without a warrant to prove he was the one sitting behind the computer committing the crime, which could only be obtained if his crime was a felony, they have nothing.

Not only do we need strong, comprehensive laws on the books, we need them to be felonies so that law enforcement will be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator is the one behind the postings. Other states will pass laws, and California will strengthen its law because this issue will only grow.

As victims continue to suffer the physical and psychological fallout of this violation, the public will demand action. The purpose of CCRI and the End Revenge Porn campaign, beyond supporting victims, is to speed the public to that conclusion by making people acknowledge the suffering of those victims.

Victims of revenge porn deserve real protection – The Guardian
https://news.google.com/news/feeds?hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&q=revenge+porn&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Millennials deal with consequences of revenge porn

As Millennials become increasingly tech-reliant in all facets of life — including relationships — some are facing unfortunate consequences.

Three out of four college students will be in a long-distance relationship at some point before graduation, according to a study in the Journal of Communication. Sending nude photos to a partner may be one way to maintain the passion.

In fact, a 2011 University of Rhode Island study found that 56% percent of students had received “sexually suggestive images.”

But what happens when a relationship dissolves and a heartbroken ex has a library of nude photos of their former partner?

For some, the answer is “revenge porn,” or posting someone’s sexually explicit image online without their consent.

The action is legal in 48 states — excluding New Jersey and recently, California — and protected under one’s First Amendment rights.

Holly Jacobs, a revenge-porn victim and founder of EndRevengePorn.com, says that this issue uniquely affects Gen Y.

“I would venture to say that most victims that contact me are of the college age,” says Jacobs, who found herself on a revenge porn site as a grad student at Florida International University in 2009. “It’s the Millennials who have grown up with technology and have integrated it into their lives.”

On Tuesday, the governor of California approved the criminalization of revenge porn. “Distributing private images with the intent to harass or annoy” may be punished by up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine on a first offense.

However, the statute does not protect victims who took the photos themselves, a group that makes up 80% of revenge porn victims according to a survey by the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. The law applies only to images that were captured by someone without knowledge or consent of the victim.

Former revenge porn mogul Hunter Moore told tech publication The Register that he doesn’t think the government can stand in the way of websites like the one he started in 2010 — the now-defunct IsAnyoneUp.com.

“This doesn’t stop anything. If you read the bill it is just for peeping toms, not for selfies, which is all revenge porn really is,” he told the Register. “These stupid old white people are even more stupid to think they can stop it … It will just make revenge porn bigger by driving traffic, because people are talking about it.”

Moore added that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 is still in place, a law that protects owners of interactive websites from responsibility for content their users post.

As a victim, Jacobs points out that the California law also specifies a motive — emotional distress of the victim — that can be difficult to prove in court.

“Sometimes people post [revenge porn] to gain acceptance or notoriety on the internet, or even just to make money,” she says, explaining that a victim who initially consented to being photographed would have to prove she was emotionally distressed to win her case.

Gene Policinski, senior vice president of the First Amendment Center, says that civil lawsuits are one option for victims, although they can cause embarrassment and financial burdens.

He added that while California’s recent legislation indicates that the law is catching up with technological advances, lawmakers should be careful not to trample on First Amendment rights.

“Citizens have a right to be concerned anytime a government moves to restrain or punish speech, even if it’s repugnant,” he says. “What may be repugnant to one may not be to another.”

Meeghan Falls, a former Lamar University student, would not have been protected under a law like California’s.

Within a two-year relationship, Falls says she sent countless sexually explicit photos to her boyfriend at the time, a fellow Lamar student.

“After a year and half, you think, ‘I’m going to be with this guy forever,'” says Falls, now 21. “I didn’t have any problems sending these kinds of photos to him.”

The couple eventually split, and about two months later, Falls says she received a Facebook message from a stranger informing her that her photos and other identifying information were on a revenge porn site.

“My stomach dropped. I started shaking. I started crying immediately,” she says. “I felt like the whole world had seen me naked.”

Falls says she is currently in a civil lawsuit against her ex that includes three other women whose images he distributed on revenge porn sites.

Jacobs says that in a world where technology and sexuality overlap so heavily, she rejects the notion that preventing revenge porn means abstaining from taking sexual images.

“When people say that, it’s absolutely another version of blaming the victim. It’s the same thing as someone telling someone who’s been physically raped that they shouldn’t have been wearing that skirt,” she says, adding that she hopes to see further state and federal legislation.

Falls says telling her story is difficult, but she hopes it can prevent her experience from happening to someone else.

“I trusted this man … foolishly, but I trusted this man to keep [the photos] private, confidential,” she says. “As long as we can stop other girls from doing this and having this done to them, as long as something positive can come out of this, it would be just wonderful.”

Falls, who is now engaged to be married, says the betrayal she experienced hasn’t made her cynical.

“I don’t want people to think that they shouldn’t trust anyone, but just be careful who you do trust,” she says. “Make sure they’re worthy of it.”

Millennials deal with consequences of ‘revenge porn’ – USA TODAY
https://news.google.com/news/feeds?hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&q=revenge+porn&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Revenge porn victim devotes life fighting to change nation’s laws – Fox News

Holly Jacobs Revenge Porn Victim

Holly Jacobs, 30, is fighting to change the nation’s laws after private nude images of herself were posted on so-called “revenge porn” websites, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, without her consent or knowledge. (M.A. Williams)

 

When Holly Jacobs sent nude photographs of herself to a long-distance boyfriend she loved and trusted, the 23-year-old woman never imagined the horror that would befall her.

In August 2009, less than a year after the pair mutually ended their three-year relationship, Jacobs did a Google search of her name and discovered the naked photos on a so-called “revenge porn” website.

“I just went completely into shock,” said Jacobs, who hired a lawyer and eventually changed her birth name from “Holli Thometz” to Holly Jacobs.

“This is cyber-rape,” Jacobs, now 30, told FoxNews.com. “It’s all about the guy having control over the woman and exploiting her in a sexual way — the same way real-life rape does that. It violates you over and over again.”

What came next was perhaps more shocking to Jacobs. Police in Miami, where she lived at the time, took no action. They told her that “because you are over 18 and you consented, technically they are his property and he can do whatever he wants with them,” she recalled.

Jacobs, a 2005 graduate of Boston College who managed to earn a Ph.D during her ordeal, channeled her pain into advocacy for women similarly victimized by ex-boyfriends, who — without their knowledge or consent — posted photos meant to be private in the most public and humiliating way. Jacobs created the website “End Revenge Porn” and formed the group Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), under which she serves as CEO and executive director.

With the advancement of technology, millions of people — mostly teens and young adults — turn to “sexting” pornographic or inappropriate photos to their boyfriends or girlfriends, with little or no foresight into what may one day become of them.

“At this time, 49 states do little or nothing to stop malicious individuals from endangering lives and reputations by distributing sexually graphic pictures of people without their consent,” said Mary Anne Franks, a professor at University of Miami School of Law. “Both state and federal criminal laws are needed to prevent and address this form of sexual abuse.”

For Jacobs, the initial discovery of nude photos on a website called “AmIHotOrNotNude.com” was only the beginning of her nightmare.

The young woman hired a lawyer, who wrote a letter to Jacobs’ ex-boyfriend, Tampa resident Ryan Seay, to “just kind of scare him.” The photos immediately came down, Jacobs said.

In November 2011, Jacobs began dating someone new, and posted a picture of the two on her Facebook page. Hours later, she was bombarded by emails from strangers saying, “There are pictures of you all over ‘revenge porn’ websites.”

“My material went viral within three days. It was on over 200 websites, with my full name, my e-mail address, the school I attended, and a link to where I worked,” said Jacobs, who at the time was a teaching assistant at Florida International University.

And then a chilling e-mail arrived in her inbox from a fake Yahoo e-mail address that was created using her name. The writer told her to “get in touch concerning your photos” and warned her that a “nice video” was awaiting distribution, she recalled.

“Have your boss and co-worker seen it?” the taunting e-mail read.

The sender wrote that if Jacobs did not respond by a certain time, he would upload the video, titled, ““Masturbation 201 by Professor Holli Thometz.” And he did, she said.

According to Jacobs, the video was an old Skype interaction between her and Seay, which was recorded without her knowledge.

In April 2013, Jacobs filed a civil lawsuit against Seay as well as websites and servers that posted the photos and personal information. The lawsuit claims that Seay and the other defendants violated her privacy by posting such photos and information without her consent. The complaint also seeks a court order prohibiting additional publication by the defendant, and to retrieve or destroy all the photos in Seay’s possession, Jacobs’ Miami-based attorney, Patrick McGeehan, told FoxNews.com.

Seay, 28, could not be reached for comment. He has reportedly claimed someone hacked into his computer and stole the photos from him. In an e-mail to FoxNews.com, his attorney, Charles Arline, denied any wrongdoing by his client.

“At this time I can only relate that my client is eager to answer these charges and defend himself in the proper forum, i.e. the court system,” Arline wrote. “He adamantly disputes the allegations and is in no remote way affiliated with any type of revenge porn and has previously extended his support to Ms. Thometz or Ms Jacobs efforts.”

Click here to view the lawsuit  

“The laws have not kept up with technology, that’s the bottom line,” Jacobs said.

In New York, for example, such behavior would be criminal if the plaintiff could prove the video was secretly taken, according to legal sources.

“If a person was surreptitiously recorded or unaware that the video was being made, and the recording is then disseminated on one of these websites, this is a crime,” said Mark Bederow, a New York-based criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. “In New York, posting a video made in such a manner would constitute Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree, which is a felony.”

“Even if the person was aware she was being recorded, dissemination of this material in a manner designed to humiliate may constitute aggravated harassment. Other states have similar statutes,” Bederow said.

But University of Maryland School of Law Professor Danielle Keats Citron notes that such dissemination would only be criminal if the defendant engaged in a “harassing course of conduct as an ongoing harassment campaign.”

“One posting, even two, as damaging as it will be, would not constitute a crime in New York and other states,” Citron said. “It can’t be an isolated event.”

New Jersey remains the only state that makes it a felony to share an individual’s nude images without that person’s consent.

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US court finds file-hosting service Hotfile paid users to commit copyright infringement

A U.S. federal court has found file-hosting website Hotfile liable for copyright infringement, according to movie industry body Motion Picture Association of America.The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida also held that Hotfile’s principal, Anton Titov, was personally liable for Hotfile’s infringement, MPAA said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

“This case marked the first time that a US court has ruled on whether so-called cyberlockers like Hotfile can be held liable for their infringing business practices,” it added.

The order was marked on online court records as “restricted/sealed until further notice.” The opinion will be made public by the court in about two weeks, after confidential and proprietary information has been redacted, MPAA said.

hotfile
The court agreed with the movie studios’ complaint that Hotfile gave incentives to post copyrighted content.

Five U.S. movie studios filed a copyright infringement suit against Hotfile in 2011, alleging that the company paid incentives to those who uploaded popular files to the system, that were widely shared. Its affiliate program still offers payment “calculated based on a percentage of the total value of premium accounts purchased by users who download the affiliate’s uploaded files.”

The scheme gave incentives to users to upload popular copyright infringing content to lure users who would pay for premium accounts to access and download the files, according to the complaint by the studios. Hotfile offers downloads on a high-speed connection to holders of paid premium accounts, in contrast to slower download speeds and fewer downloads offered to free users.

“The more frequently the content is downloaded illegally, the more defendants pay the uploading user,” the complaint said. Hotfile was also charged with paying websites that hosted and promoted links to infringing content on its servers.

Outsoursed search

The file-sharing site did not provide a searchable index of the files available for download from its website, and instead relied on “third-party pirate link sites” to host, organize and promote URL links to Hotfile-hosted infringing content, according to the complaint.

In a filing to the court in the civil suit, Hotfile said it is in full compliance with the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. “Hotfile and Mr. Titov run a legitimate business that fully complies with (and, indeed, embraces) the United States’ copyright laws and the DMCA,” it said. The terms of service and an intellectual property and rights policy published on its website explicitly prohibited copyright infringement, it added.

The website said it removes access when notified about files that allegedly infringe copyright, and has provided copyright holders, including the five studios, the “unfettered ability to remove access to files by directly commanding Hotfile’s servers through special rightsholder accounts.”

Hotfile in Panama could not be immediately reached for comment.

US court finds file-hosting service Hotfile incentivized users to upload … – PCWorld
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2047704/us-court-finds-filehosting-service-hotfile-infringed-copyright-says-mpaa.html
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest

Why Isn’t Revenge Porn Illegal Everywhere?


People who have their nude pictures posted on the Internet without consent — a vile practice known as revenge pornhave little legal recourse. That’s changing, but only very slowly, with legislation proposed in California earlier this year joining New Jersey as the second state with laws specifically targeting the practice.* The California bill passed the state Senate earlier this month and this week the California legislature will debate it. If the bill passes in its current form, posting revenge porn would be considered a misdemeanor and posters of their ex-girlfriends’ nudes could face up to a year of jail-time or a fine of up to $2,000.

Despite what sounds like a much-needed bill for a practice that victims and advocates like Holly Jacobs — the first Floridian, according to her lawyer, to sue her ex for the alleged distribution of non-consensual pornography — say is becoming increasingly common, not everyone thinks explicit revenge porn bills are the way to go. One California State senator voted against the proposed legislation arguing, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, that it limits free speech, reports The New York Times‘s Somini Sengupta today. Both Florida and Missouri rejected similar bills last year because of free speech concerns.

In addition, other legal experts argue that current laws already protect revenge porn victims, under harassment, stalking, and even copyright law. “I’m unclear exactly how much ground the new law would cover that isn’t already covered by existing laws, such as anti-harassment/anti-stalking laws,” Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University, told Sengupta. “As usual, one of the key questions is how existing law has failed and what behavior is being newly criminalized.” Indeed, Jacobs’s May 2013 lawsuit aims to charge her ex-boyfriend with one count of stalking, two counts of harassment by use of personal identification info and one count of unlawful publication, all of which could add up to a total of four years’ jail time. (Jacobs worked with Florida lawmakers to pass a bill, which ultimately failed, to make the practice of posting pornographic images on the Internet without consent a third degree felony.)

Still, Jacobs and others say laws specifically targeting revenge porn only cover repeated postings of images. The Internet and sites like the now defunct Is Anyone Up and its even more vile replacement HunterMoore.tv, from noted jerk and Internet entrepreneur Hunter Moore, make a single posting even more impactful because just one image posted without permission can go viral, and harassment or stalking laws might not cover a single infraction. In addition, having specific laws against posting pornographic images online without permission would deter the behavior, argues University of Maryland law professor Danielle Citron. “It signals taking the issue seriously, that harms are serious enough to be criminalized,” she told Sentgupta.

*This post originally said New Jersey passed a revenge porn law in 2011. It already had one on the books.

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Why Isn’t Revenge Porn Illegal Everywhere? – The Atlantic Wire

revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest