Man ordered to pay huge damages to an ex-girlfriend, after spreading images of her online.

Court records refer to the ex-girlfriend as Jane Doe, but her ex is named, as David Elam II. Ms Doe took the unusual step of taking Mr Elam to court alleging copyright infringement, on-line impersonation with intent to harm, stalking and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.

While Ms Doe originally filed suit four years ago, the judgment only came on April 4th this year, and awarded her one of the biggest cash judgments so far in the realm of ‘revenge porn’. “The law in this area is imperfect and has been for some time,” said Elisa D’Amico, a lawyer who specializes in internet privacy and abuse and who worked on the case. It is, she added, “lagging behind technology.”

Californian Court Awards Woman $6.45 Million Damages In Revenge Porn Lawsuit

Award is one of the biggest cash judgments everr for ‘revenge porn’.

Copyright, and left

Ms Doe even took the unusual step of copyrighting her breasts so that she could ask websites to ‘cease and desist’ from using images of her without her consent.

Sadly, Ms Doe may have been lucky to receive such an award. While most states in the US have laws that can address revenge porn, very few states have passed legislation that deals specifically with the ‘revenge porn’ issue. In fact, ‘Revenge Porn’ is only listed as a criminal offense in 17 US states.

Violation

Speaking after the judgment, K&L Gates partner Seth Gold, who pursued the case under the firm’s Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, told CNN that: “We never relied on the outcome of the criminal action… Revenge porn is a very serious violation of someone’s rights and can lead to very serious injuries that are worthy of being redressed—and in a more general sense, people can not ignore the judicial process.

“In many instances it is easier for a victim of revenge porn to have photos of herself and himself removed from a website if they own a copyright registration.”

Jane Doe was awarded $450,000 in damages because of copyright infringement, $3 million in compensatory damages for emotional distress, and $3 million in punitive damages.