Indignation. Shame. Rage. They are some of the sensations that you can experience if they steal a photo and publish it on the Internet without your consent, it can turn into humiliation, and even transcend your personal and professional life, sometimes permanently.
This phenomenon is increasingly common in the universe of social networks, images that become memes. There have been many cases that become viral, but .. how to solve this?
- Do not panic. Answer quickly Show yourself confident. Ask for help.
- Contact the authorities. Especially if you are a minor (or if it is the one who appears in the image).
- Collect as many copies as you can. Identify the content on the network and make a list on all the websites where you find it.
- Legal processing begins with the DMCA (or the applicable law). Consult a lawyer or use online services. The sooner the better.
1. Find the owner of the domain and ask him to remove the image
The lawyer, Ofelia Tejerina specialized in human rights and new technologies -and responsible for the service of the Internet Advocate of the Association of Internet Users of Spain-, says that the first step is to try to "locate the owner of the domain".
For this, it recommends the use of web pages such as Who is (whois.net), which allow to find names of registered domains in the network.
Once found, ask him to remove the image from the website.
Sometimes, the owner of the domain has its own legal notice on how to claim and explains what steps you should follow to report the use of that image on the platform. This is the case of Facebook or YouTube.
Of course, if you know the person who published that material, you can also directly communicate your desire for that image to be deleted.
According to the website of the Copyright Law of the Digital Era of the United States (DMCA, for its acronym in English), "in most cases those intimate and personal photographs or videos are found on the internet by family, friends or even co-workers "of the people affected.
"And, to make matters worse, they were often taken years ago, long before a current marriage, personal relationship or job."
"In the age of the power of the internet and social networks, it is too easy for anyone to link your name to photos or videos published (of you) on the network," the experts say.
2. Denounce it to the police
If the owner - or the company - does not delete the photo (or the video), then you must go a step further and report the case to the police.
Normally, there are departments within the police force of each country that are responsible for managing this type of crime, and also international associations.
The Observatory of Computer Crimes of Latin America (ODILA) offers the possibility of making anonymous reports through its website.
3. Know the law
According to ODILA, many people "do not consider themselves victims" and believe that there is a "lack of information on the part of users, who doubt whether what they are suffering configures a criminal offense in the country where they are located".
Tejerina explains that if your image is "accessory" (to another that someone took) and you are in a public place, there will not be much you can do, especially "if you exercise a public office or a profession of notoriety."
And, if that is your case, you can not prevent the use of the image for cartoons (or, in the case of the internet, memes).
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But, if you are not a public figure and, for example, someone takes a picture while you are naked on the beach and publishes it on the internet, it is possible that this image is considered "an injury to the dignity of the person" or even an "injury", says the specialist.
And that would be, for example, the case of Mathers who the prosecution of the city of Los Angeles, in California, considered that invaded the privacy of the woman whom he portrayed nude and whom he ridiculed.
In any case, if they cover your face, even if you know you are the person portrayed, it is more difficult for you to take legal action, warns the lawyer, unless you have an unmistakable tattoo or other characteristics that allow your identification.
Finally, in the case of minors, the collaboration of organizations such as Interpol is vital.
"But the police report is the first step, because it opens the judicial action," says Tejerina.
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Taken from: BBC Mundo