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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 86557
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I just found out that there are pictures of me posted on a

Resolved Question:

I just found out that there are pictures of me posted on a pornographic website. I submitted a form for removal. Where do I go from here?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Who took the photographs? Was it an ex? Or yourself? Do you have any idea how they ended up on the site?

2) Is this a pay site?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

An ex-boyfriend took the photos and the relationship has been over since 2007. It ended badly and I had to get a restraining order. It looks like these pictures were not posted until 2011. This is a free site and he is listed as anonymous, but must have an account since he is posting. The last post was in June of this year.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I was informed by my employer about the site. I am a manager and some of my associates apparently were participating in the forum.

Expert:  Ely replied 10 months ago.
Thank you, A.

On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times. You may have a harder than usual time stopping him from distributing the pics. Allow me to explain:

1) When you allow someone to take a photograph of you, without prior written agreement, you give that person the rights to that photograph. For example, photographers naturally GET THE RIGHTS TO A PHOTOGRAPH in a shoot unless there is an agreement stating otherwise. They became his, and technically, he can do whatever he wants with them (there are limitations, we will get to them in a moment).

2) Also, unless he is making money off the photographs, he is not illicitly using your likeness, so this is not an angle that you can exploit either.

3) However, you may still have some recourse. You can perhaps threaten (or sue) him under invasion of privacy.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Here, one may argue an invasion of privacy, which includes "intrusion upon seclusion" and/or "public disclosure of private facts." Now, this is very subjective, and you did allow him to take the photos. However, a sympathetic Judge or Jury may agree to enjoin him from sending the photos and possibly even award you damages. While the suit is pending, temporary orders asking the site to take down the photos may be requested from the Court. If you win, the take down order shall be permanent.

This is typically initiated by a "cease and desist" letter from you or your attorney to BOTH the site and the ex, since either have the power to take down the photos. If this is not done, litigation follows. An attorney is recommended so that the letter would be taken more seriously. If you wish to do this yourself (i.e. the letter) and want a sample letter, please let me know via the REPLY button.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 86557
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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