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Over the past several years, the phenomenon of “revenge porn” – defined as sexually explicit images that are publicly shared online, without the consent of the pictured individual – has attracted national attention. Victims of revenge porn often suffer devastating consequences, including losing their jobs, but have had limited success using tort laws to prevent the spread of their images. Victims need a remedy that provides takedown procedures, civil liability for uploaders and websites, and the threat of money damages. Copyright law provides all of these remedies. Because an estimated 80 percent of revenge porn images are “selfies,” meaning that the subject and the photographer are one in the same, the vast majority of victims can use copyright law to protect themselves. Although copyright is not a perfect solution, it provides a powerful tool to combat revenge porn.

Publication Citation

NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law, Vol. 3, No. 2, Pp. 422-446.