Mudd Law Offices represents individuals whose privacy has been violated through the unauthorized publication of private photographs.
With smartphones, digital images, ease of technology, and the ubiquitous nature of the Internet comes the ever emerging dark side of reputational harm and invasions of privacy. Among the varied legal issues with which Mudd Law Offices has developed experience, the unauthorized publication of nude, naked, explicit, intimate or otherwise private photographs on the Internet stands out for many reasons. Foremost, the publication of such photos (often casually termed ‘pics’) invades an individual’s most private space – their bodies – and often amounts to a significant betrayal of trust.
When our firm receives inquiries from victims of photos being posted online, the first objective for the individual will most often be removal of the photos from the Internet. However, though removal must occur quickly, it will also be imperative to develop a sound strategy to preserve evidence, remove the content, and ensure the publication of the photos will not occur again.
Most of the time the subject of the photographs will know who posted them online. Other times, the person in the photos will not know who posted them on the Internet. Beyond this, many victims will actually be unaware that photos or video had been obtained of them. Each of these factors plays into developing a strategic response to the content online.
It will be essential for anyone who has had nude, intimate, explicit, or private video or photos posted online on the Internet to consult with an attorney who is well-versed in this type of law and knows how to protect the individual’s anonymity as well as preserve the relevant evidence.
Where the Poster is Unknown
Where the individual who posted the content is unknown, the most likely action will involve sending letters to the sites on which the photographs have been posted and filing litigation against an anonymous party. However, in doing so, it will be essential to file suit in a manner that protects the plaintiff’s privacy. After filing suit and following certain procedural protocol, discovery will be implemented in efforts to determine the identity of the individual posting the unauthorized photographs. Many issues come into play in seeking the identity of unknown individuals who posted content on the Internet.
At the same time, one can seek an order from the court seeking preservation and removal of the content.
Knowing the Poster
Where an individual knows the identity of the person posting the content, there exist several strategies to explore. To begin with, an attorney could send an immediate demand letter to remove the material. Depending on the individual at issue, this may or may not work. Often, the client would know best how a letter from an attorney would be received.
In other cases, you may want to file litigation promptly and seek an order compelling preservation of evidence – both in possession of the individual posting the material and the relevant websites. Every situation will demand a unique strategic response.
During resolution efforts with the individual who posted the content, there will also be steps to take to attempt to remove the content from the Internet. Taking the right approach often secures results better than taking the wrong approach.
Should a Criminal Complaint Be Filed
You can also file a police report. However, this often may exacerbate the situation where an effort to resolve the matter may more quickly secure the desired result. Nonetheless, a police report and/or charges may be necessary in certain circumstances. Many state ethics rules, however, preclude threatening such an approach for purposes of settling with the individual. Again, the right strategy must be developed for your circumstances.
You may also speak to an attorney about No Contact Orders, Cyberstalking, and other remedies.
When we do file suit civilly on behalf of our clients, any number of privacy, defamation, stalking, and other claims may be available.