The act of selling pornographic images is nothing new. Men and women all over the world have profited from reproductions of their naughty bits since the dawn of man, and with its boundless demand, this industry appears to be indestructible. However, with the abundance of professionally produced pornography, the industry of ‘amateur’ porn has emerged, where people with no professional experience in pornography sell their images and videos to others, mainly online. With an estimated 30.1 million people in Canada owning a mobile phone with a camera (Statista, 2015), it has become laughably simple to take and upload intimate pictures and videos of oneself online, whether that be over actual pornographic sites, forums like Reddit’s notorious r/gonewild, or even through social media platforms like SnapChat and Instagram. Unfortunately, with this facility of creation and distribution comes the ease of unauthorized redistribution and ‘revenge porn’, where someone maliciously submits previously consensual intimate images of their ex-partners online without their knowledge. Whether commercial or not, the ownership of these images is a gaping grey area in Canadian law, where it can be exceedingly difficult to reclaim images and get them removed from unauthorized websites. Ownership and property rights in this regard need better structure and reinforcement.
The policy actions that this brief will propose to remedy this issue are to;
- Alter current Canadian copyright law to give any identifiable subject some rights to any intimate picture of themselves, unless stated otherwise in an agreement and/or contract.
- Add and/or edit a section in Canadian criminal law to better encompass crimes of redistribution of this nature.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2018 Taylor M Wagner