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Revenge porn victim from Cheshunt speaks out after fitness model Christopher Spearman dodges jail

 

A fitness model whose private photographs were leaked online in a revenge porn attack has hit out at her tormentor.

The woman, who did not want to be named, told the Mercury she was coming to terms with the death of her mother in a car crash, as well as the death of her ex-boyfriend Simon Andrews, a motorbike racer killed on the track in 2014.

The woman, who lives in Cheshunt, lost modelling work after ex-lover Christopher Spearman shared sexual images of her on social media.

The woman said Spearman, a 26-year-old fitness fanatic who has appeared on the cover of For Men magazine, was “manipulative” and bombarded her with calls after their breakup.

“I was still trying to come to terms with mum’s death and Simon’s,” said the model, who is in her 20s.

“He sent images to friends and family and anyone I had been in contact with. It lost me a year’s work on a film and some boxing contracts I had.”

The images were shared on fake Twitter accounts in September, and the victim said callous Spearman called her to tell her what he had done.

“He posted one lot of photos on Twitter and then called me five minutes later and told me he had done it,” she told the Mercury.

“He kind of laughed about it. It was up for at least an hour.

“Then the next day or two it got posted again and sent to friends and fans and followers I had.”

The model said Spearman, who is studying to be a doctor and is listed as a director of U-Turn Clothing, would message her asking to get back together.

She said: “I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him and then he got really nasty. He said he had nothing to lose.

“I thought, I have nothing to lose, I lost my family. I have nothing left.”

She added: “He was really manipulative. When Simon died, my mum said to him, ‘Promise me you’ll look after her’. So he would use that against me.”

Spearman, of Addison Gardens, London, pleaded guilty to two counts of sharing private sexual images when he appeared at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

He was given two concurrent 12-week prison sentences, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £465 in fines and court costs.

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Texas Passes Revenge Porn Bill

revenge porn bill passedTexans who post nude or sexually explicit pictures on-line to hurt another individual, usually an ex-spouse or ex-partner, would be subject to civil and criminal penalties under a revenge porn bill unanimously accepted on Tuesday by the Senate.

“This bill gets at a very disturbing Internet trend, the posting of nude or sexually explicit images without the consent of the affected person and with the intent to harm,” Garcia said. “In many instances, the images are posted by an ex-partner seeking revenge or to cause harm, and indeed this does cause immediate and irreversible harm.”

She noted, once an image is posted online, it is extremely hard to take down. “This is a very intimate violation of a person’s privacy and no different than the trauma caused by sexual violence, harassment or abuse,” the senator said. “More often than not, the victim is a woman.”
Civil and criminal penalties could be assessed under the bill against not only the perpetrator, but also the owner of the website that publishes the images.

All women senators joined as co-authors of the legislation. “This is an important piece of legislation for the women of Texas,” asserted Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston. The measure now goes to the House.… Read the rest

Arizona court puts revenge porn law on hold

PHOENIX — State officials have agreed not to pursue anyone from booksellers to Internet posters under a new revenge porn law, at least not for now.

The order signed late Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton gives Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, a chance to re-craft the controversial measure to see if he can address challenger concerns the law violates the First Amendment. If he can, the lawsuit goes away.

Mesnard said he already has some ideas in mind.

But he said some of the concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and others are “pretty far-fetched.” And Mesnard said he does not want to dilute the legislation to the point it is no longer meaningful.

The law approved earlier this year makes it a felony to “intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer” a photo, video, film or digital recording of someone else who is naked “if the person knows or should have known that the depicted person has not consented to the disclosure.” The legislation covers not just images of nudity but also anyone engaged in any sex act.

Offenders could end up in prison for up to 2½ years — or 3¾ years if the person is recognizable.

The target is so-called “revenge porn” where someone may have taken a compromising photo during a relationship that was not meant to be shared with others. Mesnard said it becomes an entirely different situation when the relationship ends, often badly, and the images get posted online.

The ACLU and a private law firm representing booksellers sued, charging the law would make criminals out of those who sell, display or simply show images of others who are naked but have not granted specific permission. ACLU attorney Lee Rowland said the result is a “chilling effect” on merchants, causing them to pull books from their shelves for fear prosecutors will use the law against them.

Rowland said the law is so broad that a mother who shows a naked photo of her baby to a neighbor could be charged.

The deal approved by Bolton is based on a promise by Robert Ellman, the state’s solicitor general, not to use the new law while efforts to rework it are underway. The attorneys for 14 of the 15 counties also signed the agreement; Yuma County is expected to join the pact after Thanksgiving.

One possible change might be a more restrictive definition of “nudity” to exclude some images that otherwise might result in criminal charges.

Mesnard also said he will explore a “public interest” exception.

In essence, anyone whose publication or distribution of an image that would otherwise fit under the law could escape prosecution if there is a legitimate public purpose. That would cover things like the news photo of a Vietnamese girl running down the road naked after her clothes were burned off with napalm.

But Mesnard said he’s not convinced all the issues raised by challengers are legitimate. That includes the claim that a mother could end up behind bars for showing off the naked picture of her baby.

“That’s an example of something that really wouldn’t apply,” he said, because the mother has authority to give consent.

Somewhat trickier is the question of books which may have photos or images of someone who is naked. But Mesnard said he believes challengers are looking for problems where none exist.

“The bill only applies when a bookstore knew or should have known they haven’t consent,” he said. “I don’t know why a bookstore would be expected to know that.”

“We’ve just got to be careful to where we don’t water this down to where the bill becomes meaningless and is simply a feel-good statement,” he said. “If, at the end of the day, we just put something in statute that has no teeth and has a net that’s so narrow that few, if any cases will ever come under it, well, then we’ve just wasted everybody’s time.”

State and court put revenge porn law on hold – Arizona Daily Star
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Getty Images Sues Microsoft over Bing Photo Widget and ‘Massive Infringement’

A photo widget on Microsoft’s Bing service has led to a lawsuit claiming “massive infringement” on copyright. Microsoft has removed the offending tool, which allowed users to post photos and slideshows onto their websites, Sky News reports.The “Bing Image Widget” allowed Web publishers to embed galleries and slideshows of images curated from Microsoft’s Bing search engine. It had been in beta testing for less than two weeks when Getty Images, one of the world’s largest stock-photo companies, responded with a federal lawsuit claiming the tool facilitated “massive infringement.”

In a legal complaint filed last week in New York, the notoriously litigious company claimed the widget crawled the Internet for billions of images without regard to licensing or copyrights. The suit further alleged that Microsoft made copies and indexes of every image without permission.

The images, collected via Bing, came from all over the Internet—and Getty Images’ lawsuit is charging that many of them were copyrighted, Reuters reports. “In effect, the defendant has turned the entirety of the world’s online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed ‘clip art’ collection,” the suit says.

Getty has never been shy about using the court system to solve a disagreement. Earlier this year, it went on a litigation spree with a series of boilerplate copyright lawsuits aimed at online publishers it said was using its images without permission. In an ironic twist last month, Getty Images itself was sued over its aggressive copyright-enforcement efforts by an intellectual-property law firm, which accused Getty of “unfair and deceptive business practices.”

Microsoft has responded to Getty’s complaint: “As a copyright owner ourselves, we think the laws in this area are important,” says a rep. “We’ll take a close look at Getty’s concerns.” Getty says it is facing “incalculable” injury from the widget; the company “owns or represents” some 80 million digital photos, it says, per Reuters. It wants unspecified damages as well as the shuttering of the Microsoft widget. Its current removal is reportedly temporary, PC World notes.

Source Article from http://www.newser.com/story/193581/microsoft-dumps-widget-sued-for-massive-infringement.html
Microsoft Dumps Widget Sued for ‘Massive Infringement’
Read more copyright infringement stories on Newser

The full legal complaint is below:

Getty Images Vs Microsoft

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German ruling over removal of intimate photographs ignites debate

A court in Koblenz, Germany, has ruled that intimate, compromising photographs should be deleted at the end of a relationship if one partner wants it. In this case, the woman wanted the man to delete erotic photographs she had consented to pose for. When he refused, she sought legal help.Even though the man had shown no intention of reproducing the images or putting them online, the Koblenz case has been viewed as a sign that partners should feel empowered not only to demand deletion of images, but to be able to do so immediately after the relationship ends, instead of having to wait for something bad to happen.There is much discussion at the moment about “the right not to remember” and the blurring of lines between privacy and censorship online. However, there could be no gray areas where revenge porn is concerned. In revenge porn, private photos and footage end up being shown around, sent to victims’ friends and colleagues, placed on porn sites or leaked elsewhere online.

Victims can end up stalked, sexually assaulted, being forced to leave jobs or change where they are studying, and more. It is a devastating, very modern betrayal — where just one mistake (trusting a person you are intimate with) destroys your life. Embarrassing, degrading, and frightening, it could be viewed as a form of stalking once removed.

Revenge porn also seems representative of a kind of carnal electronic tagging of the sexually active female — a way of punishing, denigrating and branding former partners — namely, the ones who got away, the point being that ultimately they didn’t manage to get away. Victims of revenge porn are bound to their tormentors, perhaps forever, within those incriminating, denigrating pixels.

With this in mind, you can see why some people campaign to have it classified as a sexual crime. Certainly revenge porn has victim-blaming in common with sexual assault.

Instead of “Why did you dress sexy?” it is “Why did you allow it to happen?” However, there is a world of difference between a couple being privately playful with an Olympus Stylus and the images ending up on a porn site.

On an ethical level, for me this extends even to when people don’t publish, and just weirdly hang on to highly intimate private images. Unless you are keeping them by mutual agreement, and he/she is cool about it, how creepy and sad to try to “hang on” to the perk of seeing your ex naked?

Perhaps even the Koblenz ruling doesn’t catch the problem early enough, and there should be an official pre-nupping of such items — making it clear who owns what, what they are allowed to do with it, and where it is permitted to end up. It might slightly “spoil the moment” as you set out your boundaries, but then again, many people think prenups about houses and possessions are unsexy/unromantic too. Your reputation and peace of mind have to be just as, or even more, valuable than material possessions.

Clearly, the hordes of scared, ashamed and tricked victims deserve stronger, more focused legislation. In a wider sense, something like this trashes the idea of the sacred contract between two people in a relationship — where basic levels of trust and mutual respect continue long after they have parted company.

In this way, the spread of revenge porn taints everybody — not just those directly affected. You see said victims bravely trying to warn others — and the most terrible thing is that they are right.

As things stand, I would strongly advise even the friskiest and most broad-minded not to be sexually photographed or filmed by anyone, under any circumstances.

Taking it from those who know, it is just not worth the risk.

‘Revenge porn’ ruling ignites debate – The Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/25/world/social-issues-world/revenge-porn-ruling-ignites-debate/
revenge porn – Google News… Read the rest

Az lawmaker targets revenge porn, seeking felony charge

Some images are posted by angry exes, while others are circulated around schools. No matter how sexually explicit photos and
videos make the rounds, one Arizona lawmaker wants to make so-called revenge porn a criminal offense.“People have taken their lives because of the mortification that happens in these situations,” said Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, author of HB 2515. The bill would make it a felony to knowingly distribute images showing a person who is nude or engaged in a sexual act without the written consent of the pictured individual. It carries harsher penalties if the individual is recognizable.

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously endorsed the bill Thursday, sending it to the House floor by way of the Rules Committee.

Will Gaona, system advocate at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, told the committee that such images can be used by an abusive partner to trap a victim.

“Currently there’s few if any repercussions that people face for sharing these images,” he said. “We believe criminalization is both the most appropriate response and most effect deterrent for this behavior.”

California and New Jersey have both passed laws to fight revenge porn, and Utah lawmakers are considering a similar bill.

Rep. Lupe Chavira Contreras, D-Cashion, who voted for the bill, said he was concerned about how it would apply to minors who may not know better.

“There’s a lot of kids, high school kids, that are sexting,” he said.

Rebecca Baker, legislative liaison for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, noted that sexting by juveniles is a petty offense under state law. She said exempting juveniles from Mesnard’s bill could be a way to address those concerns.

Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, the committee’s chairman, questioned whether someone who has shared sexually explicit images of himself or herself is entitled to privacy.

“I think there’s some difficulty claiming you have a right to privacy because you sent it and it’s on the entire system,” he said.

“You can’t absolve someone of complete stupidity,” Farnsworth said.

Mesnard said not all sexually explicit photo exchanges occur between young people and questioned whether people would find sexting as inappropriate and stupid if it occurred between a married couple.

“I’m not sure we should be telling people what to do in a loving, healthy, possibly marital relationship,” he said.

“If we become a society where we’re so terrified of what someone might do when we trust them, that’s just sad,” he added.

Rep. Justin Pierce, R-Mesa, said that he’s concerned about sending the message that while sexting is stupid a person who does so will be protected if the images find their way to unintended viewers.

“By protecting the conduct too much we actually enable it,” Pierce said.

Mesnard said it’s time for Arizona to send a message that taking revenge in such a manner is unacceptable.

“In all honesty, I wish this bill wasn’t necessary,” he said.

Az lawmaker targets revenge porn, seeking felony charge – TucsonSentinel.com
http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/021014_revenge_porn/az-lawmaker-targets-revenge-porn-seeking-felony-charge/
revenge porn – Google News

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