Several women in Texas recently learned that their elicit photos were posted on a pornography website without their permission. This incident is not isolated, and has often occurred recently in what many are calling “revenge-porn.” Either ex-boyfriends or computer hackers are accessing elicit photos of women and posting them online. The women in the Texas suit are seeking damages and to shut down the website where their photos were posted, Texxxan.com. The lawsuits may not be easy to win, however, as there are federal laws that protect publishing pornographic images. The lawyers representing people who were violated are considering arguing copyright infringement, or alternatively arguing invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress in order to achieve a favorable outcome for their clients.
A Note From Attorney Lombardi: To all the young women who have asked for help or will ask for help with removing illicit photographs from a website or from being passed around, understand this there is little lawyers can do at this time against the websites who publish content on the Internet. And suing old boyfriends will not pay, because most have nothing worth getting. When anyone suggests you take photographs that you would not want your parents to view, simply decline to participate. Assume the images on the Internet are there for eternity and at this time there is little a lawyer can do to stop these wealthy companies that gather, arrange and publish any content they can get on their hard drives. These companies have gotten Congress on their side by draping themselves in the First Amendment. They blame you for ever allowing the photographs to be taken. It's a serious problem for the law to grapple with and one without an adequate remedy. So do as Nancy Reagan suggested in the 90's, "Just say NO!"