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Is it legal to put a sex video or pictures of my ex girlfriend on the internet if she let me take the videos willingly?

Baden, PA |

Shes over the age of 18 and sent me all the pictures and let me take the videos of us having sex

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Attorney answers 6


Let's check some more facts. Was she over 18 when the pictures were made? Assuming that she was, did she agree to the photos AFTER she was 18? and assuming also that YOU were over 18 when the pictures were made and that YOU made them, let's get to the heart of the matter ...

Was and is the girl of sound mind? Does she have any sort of disability?
Has she agreed for you to post the pictures on the web? DIFFERENT question from whether she let you MAKE the photos ... does she WANT them on the web?

Okay, let say she does. Then have her sign a letter written in her own handwriting and signed by her in front of a witness who also signs saying that she grants permission.

Then ... I might say you could do it.... but both you and she would be making a HUGE mistake in doing this. It might be a laugh today and you might even make a buck, but both of you, especially her will NEVER get over this. The photos will show up over and over again ... they will never go away.

So, friend, accept the advice of a Dutch Uncle. Enjoy the photos in the privacy of your bedroom. If you and she ever break up, burn them. No later girl friend will ever appreciate your keeping them. Never post them. You will never have cause to regret not taking that step.

All comments on this site are 'in the cloud' and do not form an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Just consider them ideas for discussion. J


In addition to the previous practical advice about posting the videos, and later regrets, the publication of sexually explicit material is regulated by federal law; specifically Title 18 U.S.C. s. 2257. You are required to generate certain age verification paperwork, maintain that information, and post the address where the documents can be inspected by the Attorney General's office during normal business hours. Violations are considered 5 year federal felonies. If you are not prepared to learn about your obligations under federal law, and comply fully, avoid posting any sexually-explicit material to the Internet.

Disclaimer: The foregoing does not constitute legal advice or form an attorney/client relationship. Please contact an attorney for formal legal advice on any specific matter.


I would want to know more details before offering a firm answer. Did you discuss use of the photos with your ex? Did she ever send anything in writing saying that you couldn't share the photos or they were just for you? Did she ask that you return the photos?

This is really a gray area. The internet is filled with sexual photos of exes, and I would guess most of them are posted without consent. Have they resulted in lawsuits? Not in most cases. However, if she discovers that you have posted the images without her consent, she may bring a suit claiming that you broke an agreement not to disclose the pictures or that you are invading her privacy.

Rather than risk a lawsuit, I would recommend you not post the images online.

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Bowen is licensed to practice law in California. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is intended as legal education and to provide general information about the matter within the question. You may contact the writer with these links:

Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Daniel Gary Rosenthal


"I would want to know more details before offering a firm answer." Maybe not the best choice of words....


What is wrong with you? Why would you even consider this? The answer is DO NOT DO IT!

Daniel Gary Rosenthal

Daniel Gary Rosenthal


Real talk.


Putting aside any criminal considerations, your conduct could give rise to civil tort claims. For example, a claim for public disclosure of private facts could exist; a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress could exist.

Having represented the victims of such posts and those who made the bad decision to make such posts, I would say that the posting of private sex videos and pictures to the Internet would certainly expose you to a lawsuit and costly legal expenses - putting aside whether she succeeds or not.

Finally, I agree with everyone who simply says do not do it. Do not do it.

I would actually recommend - not a legal recommendation, but practical - that you think about how best to handle your possession of them. If you do not post them but a roommate or friend finds them and does post them, she no doubt will look to you. If you destroy them but somehow they find their way on the Internet, she no doubt will look to you. If you give them to her and they later find their way to the Internet, she no doubt will look to you.

And, should you think that, if you post them on one of the may exgf pic websites without her name, she will never know, you could very well be mistaken. I can cite you an example where an ex-girlfriend heard from a male friend who visited such sites that her pictures had been posted. Do not ever think you will not get caught when you post to the Internet.

The answers provided arise from general knowledge and experience. Thus, the information provided in the answers is intended to give a general response to a broad question asked. The answers DO NOT constitute specific legal advice. Additionally, the answers do not create an attorney-client relationship. Indeed, the answer is provided not knowing the individual who posted the query or the party interested in the answer. Again, the answer does not constitute specific legal advice as a complete assessment is needed to provide legal advice. Moreover, our firm requires signed engagement letters before providing specific legal advice. An individual should always consult an attorney privately who can ask specific questions and provide specific advice based upon the answers to the questions. An individual should not make independent decisions based on general answers to anonymous questions posted online. Consult an attorney before making any specific decisions regarding your own situation.


Is it legal? Possibly, at considerable possible liability (civil AND criminal) for yourself if you screw something up.

Is it creepy? Absolutely. Is it a drama-bomb waiting to happen? Certainly.

Quit being creepy, don't do this thing.

The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship.