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Revenge website operator now seeks privacy protection

In an age of social media, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of privacy. In the case of a romance that has gone sour, social media serves as fertile ground to mount revenge. One website made it convenient for jilted lovers to embarrass their old flames. The website has since been shut down but there are additional issues that linger for the owner of the site.

Craig Brittain operated a website that solicited nude pictures of women. When the women discovered that their pictures were posted, they were charged a fee to take down the photos. The fee ranged between $200 and $500 remove the undesirable images from the website. The website stayed in operation until Brittain was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission.

In an interesting twist, Brittain is now requesting that Google remove some of his photos and unauthorized information. At issue are excerpts from Brittain's settlement agreement with the FTC and some photos that were taken by him. Since Brittain took the photos, he owns the copyright to them and believes the photos should not be posted without his express permission. Brittain is also alleging that some of the websites are posting excerpts from his now defunked website without his permission.

Brittain's request highlights the cross section between privacy issues and copyright infringement. Internet crimes have far reaching effects on the lives of those affected. If accused of an internet crime it is important to seek knowledgeable legal counsel that will ensure that the prosecution can prove all the elements of the crime alleged.

Source: ABA Journal, "Revenge-porn website operator wants his own photos taken down, blasts media 'shame narratives'," Debra Cassens Weiss, February 26, 2015

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