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‘Revenge porn’ victim seeks new laws in Kansas, Missouri – KSNT (press release) (registration) (blog)

Revenge porn victim seeks new laws in Kansas and Missouri
Alecia Clemmons’ world changed after someone posted online naked pictures that her former husband had taken, along with her name and address.

The Kansas City-area woman had to move, get a new job and endure a torrent of abusive and sexually suggestive emails and messages.

Clemmons was “absolutely astounded,” to discover that what happened to her — called “revenge porn” — is not illegal in Kansas or Missouri, The Kansas City Star reported.

It’s illegal in both states to photograph people without their knowledge or to use compromising pictures for blackmail, but it is not illegal to make public pictures taken during an intimate relationship, even without the consent of the person pictured.

The single mother of two sons said that after she recovered from the initial humiliation, she decided to advocate for change. Clemmons testified last year in favor of bills in Kansas and Missouri that would criminalize “revenge porn,” but neither measure made it out of committee.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a Republican from Overland Park, Kansas, who introduced a revenge porn bill, said laws need to catch up with cellphone technology. She also said that some legislators still have an attitude that people who share those types of pictures deserve whatever they get.

Rep. Kevin Engler, a Republican from Farmington, proposed a similar bill in Missouri.

“It destroys lives,” he said. “It needs to be addressed.”

Clemmons said her life was turned upside down, having to endure aggressive emails and messages from “every scumbag in the world.”

“It was awful,” she said. “They said such grotesque things.”

She has met many other victims and started a Facebook group, “End Revenge Pornography Missouri & Kansas,” to educate the public. She said she is especially concerned after hearing stories of teenagers who committed suicide after they discovered their pictures were online.

Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia currently have revenge porn laws.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/kansas/article42064185.html… Read the rest

Court Dismisses BitTorrent Defendants Wrongly Joined in Copyright Infringement Action

A recent decision from a federal court in Missouri highlights some of the difficulties presented by mass copyright infringement litigation against BitTorrent defendants. The court held that the “joinder” of all defendants in a single lawsuit was not proper based on interests of fairness and judicial economy.The Rules of Civil Procedure allow joinder of multiple defendants in an action when the claims against them arise out of the same transaction or occurrence (or series of related transactions or occurrences) and when any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.Though all BitTorrent defendants were accused of trading the same work in the same BitTorrent swarm, the court found joinder would make the case unmanageable and prejudicial.The court recognized the substantial logistical issues that would arise with having many joined defendants. Looking to an earlier BitTorrent case before the same court, as well as decisions from other districts, the court noted the complexity with managing myriad issues such as wireless network security, personal responsibility, and the allegedly innocent account holder of a multi-unit property.

Moreover, the court found that forcing all BitTorrent defendants to litigate as a group would cause those defendants to suffer prejudice. Each would be required to serve documents on every other defendant — a notable burden given that many would be pro se and not e-filers. Additionally, having each defendant at each others’ deposition would be a “thoroughly unmanageable situation.” Courtroom proceedings would be similarly unworkable, with all defendants present and each requiring his or her own “mini-trial.”

The court found that in contrast to the unfairness posed to the defendants by joinder, the prejudice to plaintiff would be less burdensome. Plaintiff would be required to bring suit against the remaining defendants and pay a filing fee for each action, but “[t]he serious procedural, case management, and fairness concerns that arise in actions such as this outweigh any convenience and cost-savings on Plaintiff’s part.” Indeed, “payment of a separate filing fee for its claim against each Defendant properly balances the Plaintiff’s right to protect its copyright with the Court’s interest in cost-efficient adjudication of cases.”

Purzel Video GMBH v. Does 1–67, 2013 WL 3941383 (E.D.Mo. July 31, 2013)

Court Dismisses BitTorrent Defendants Wrongly Joined in Copyright … – Information Law Group
http://www.infolawgroup.com/2013/08/articles/copyright/court-dismisses-bittorrent-defendants-wrongly-joined-in-copyright-infringement-action/
copyright infringement news – Google News… Read the rest