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Can someone put your photo on a website without your permission

Hamburg, NY |
Filed under: Civil rights

Can someone put your photo on a website without your permission?

can an x boyfriend legally publish nude photo's of you on the web?

Attorney Answers 3


Internet privacy rights are in a state of flux. Federal rulings and state rulings by the various state court systems provide some guidance, but each situation is very fact specific. Without a great deal more information about the particulars in your situation, a meaningful answer is not possible.

A good number of commentators suggest that the internet is a public forum with little privacy options available. Inroads to adopt and enforce privacy rights are being made, however.

You can write and send a cease and desist letter.

A public picture of you taken in a public place and posted on the internet that causes no harm to you is quite different than an intimate picture of you taken in a private place that is posted publicly on the internet and causes you harm.

Contact a local lawyer that will provide a consultation to you so you might explain your situation in more detail.

Good luck to you.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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The short answer to your question is: it depends. If you do not want the photo posted on a particular website, consider contacting the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the website claiming a copyright infringement. Whoever took the photo has an intellectual property right to it and may prevent unauthorized use of the photo. ISPs must respond to copyright infringement claims under federal law.

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Ms. Conway is certainly correct that it "depends."

Your question does not have an answer because publishing a photograph of a person (on the internet, in a brochure, in an advertisement, or where ever) is clearly lawful in some circumstances but not in others. If you think you've been disparaged, or harmed in some other way, via a published photograph of yourself then you need to discuss the details with an attorney.

Contacting the service provider that's publishing the photograph to request that it be taken down is risky. Only the owner of the copyright in the photograph (i.e. essentially the one who took the photograph or had it taken by an employee) can send a 'take down" notice to the service provider. There are a number of other prerequisites that must be satisfied before a take down notice can properly be sent --- and improper take down notices subjects the sender to significant penalties.

In short, sometimes it's lawful (and beneficial for society) for someone to publish the photograph of another on the internet and sometimes it's not.

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