A film highlighting the impending law suit regarding the use of pornographic images and video as revenge.

Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is the distribution of sexually explicit images of someone without that person's permission. In recent years states have begun to create laws to try to protect the victim's of revenge porn, with 34 states now having laws aimed at curbing this issue. Intentional infliction of emotional distress tort law and Copyright laws are often used when prosecuting the perpetrator. Intentional infliction of emotional distress tort is used because revenge porn falls under the category of being an extreme act that is done with the intention of causing severe emotional distress. Copyright law and Digital Millennium Copyright Act take down notices are issued because often the sexually explicit images were taken by the victim. This would make the victim the owner of the images and any distribution of the images without the permission of the owner is a violation of their copyright. See below for some examples of revenge porn cases in court. 


A California law student and a Virginia man dated for six months, exchanging nude pictures and sexually explicit videos to one another. After the romantically involved couple broke up, the man posted the videos and pictures on pornographic websites. The man now faces criminal charges in a federal court in Los Angeles, as K&L Gates, a Pittsburgh-based law firm, has taken on the case pro bono as a part of the firm's Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project. 

The case, which involves "revenge porn" (a type of online harassment that involves the non-consensual posting of sexually explicit material), will involve copyright law in order to commence the suing of the man based on a "Jane Doe" complaint filed by the woman. In addition to "revenge porn" being of prominent stance in the case, the woman will also be suing for emotional distress, as the posting of her nude pictures and videos allegedly caused her to become clinically depressed.

For more info on the case click here.


In Michigan, a woman was recently awarded $500,000 in a revenge porn settlement. The victim sued her ex-boyfriend after he posted multiple nude photos of her on various websites. Earlier the woman had a professional photographer take nude photos of her. Her ex-boyfriend set up a fake Gmail account and in emailing the photographer,, posed as the victim, tricking the photographer into sending him the images which he then posted online. In April 2016, Michigan passed a law criminalizing the posting of sexually explicit photos of someone without their consent. It was under this law that the judge was able to issue an injunction on the man to destroy all the copies of the images he possessed and to never publish them again. For more information on this case click here. 



Page last modified September 3, 2016