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Abuse Using Technology

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August 24, 2016

How can I get my images removed if the abuser posted them online?

If you are featured in the photo or video that was posted and you took the photo or video yourself and sent it to the abuser, there may be a legal strategy involving the copyright of your images that you can use to try to get them removed from online. Generally, the person who takes a photo automatically owns the copyright to that image. However, even if the abuser took the photo or video and the copyright belongs to him/her, the person who is featured in the photo or video may also be able to apply to register the copyright to that image under his/her own name. In other words, another way that a person can handle having sexual images of themselves posted without his/her consent is to apply to register the copyright to that image under their own name even before the photo or video is ever posted. Then if the abuser posts the image publicly, you would own the copyright and can file what is called a “takedown notice” (based on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998), and request that the relevant Web hosts and search engines remove the image. You can read more about this strategy in an interview with attorney Carrie Goldberg in the New Yorker magazine.