Nonconsensual pornography, commonly known as “revenge porn,” usually occurs when an individual (usually a man) publicly posts online sexually explicit images of his former partner (usually a woman). Although normally the stuff of tort law, revenge porn offers copyright attorneys opportunities to help victims, as well: the offending images are often selfies taken by the victim and thus covered by the victim’s copyright. There is, to date, no Second Circuit case law on the subject, making this area uniquely suited to creative social impact litigation. Until state legislatures or Congress pass well-drafted criminal revenge porn statutes, copyright law remains a necessary though inadequate weapon to combat revenge porn in the Second Circuit and elsewhere.
Waldman, Ari Ezra, Images of Harassment: Copyright Law and Revenge Porn (December 3, 2015). 23 Federal Bar Council Quarterly 15 (Sept./Oct./Nov. 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2698720