California’s Revenge Porn Law

California's Revenge Porn LawThere are bright and dark sides to the internet. One aspect of the dark side is revenge porn, in which a person distributes a photograph, film, videotape, recording, or any other reproduction of another person’s intimate body part or shows him/her engaging in an act of intercourse, oral copulation, sodomy, or other act of sexual penetration without that person’s consent.

This vengeful invasion of privacy increased a great deal on the internet and where there’s interest, there’s an opportunity to make money from it. Revenge porn sites have popped up, allowing any user to post revenge porn, allowing other users to view the porn, and charging fees to humiliated victims to remove the porn.

California became the first state to address this problem, adding §1708.85 to its Civil Code. Approved by the Governor and filed with California’s Secretary of State on September 30, 2014. More than a dozen other states, including New York, have also passed revenge porn laws.

There is no liability under California’s new law if: the material was created by agreement or was otherwise intended by the “victim” for public use and distribution; the person distributing the material has the victim’s permission; the victim already made the material accessible to the general public; the material constitutes a matter of public concern; the material was produced in a public place and in circumstances in which the victim had no reasonable expectation of privacy; the material was already distributed by someone else.

Nearly 3 months after its passage, the law nabbed its first offender: Noe Iniguez, 36, of Los Angeles. The chivalrous Mr. Iniguez posted a photo of an ex-girlfriend, topless, on her employer’s Facebook page, posted that she is a “drunk” and a “slut” and urged her employer to fire her. He also violated two restraining orders. Iniguez was convicted and his gallantry was rewarded with 1 year in jail, 3 years of probation and mandatory attendance at domestic violence counseling.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California was and is neutral about California’s revenge porn law; however, the ACLU opposes similar statutes in other states due to vague language, loopholes and possibilities for false arrest.

By Kathy Catanzarite


Source: Kathy Catanzarite – Handelonthelaw.com Staff Writer

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