(via “Revenge porn” site creators hit with $385,000 judgment | Ars Technica)
A federal district court judge in Ohio has ordered Eric Chason and Kevin Bollaert, the founders of the “revenge porn” site You Got Posted, to pay a woman $385,000 for posting sexually explicit images of her on their website.
The suit, filed by a “Jane Doe” plaintiff in May 2013, involved photos that were taken of the plaintiff when she was underage. After finding several sexually explicit images of herself as a minor on the site, which were distributed without her knowledge or consent, the plaintiff sued the site’s operators.
Defendant Kevin Bollaert.
The default judgment included a $150,000 award to the plaintiff for each of the two child pornography counts and $10,000 for the right of publicity count. It also included a $75,000 punitive damages award, a penalty that is typically used to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
The precedent set by this case could serve as a deterrent against other would-be child porn and revenge porn site operators. It could also enable other exploited individuals to similarly pursue child pornography and right of publicity claims in combination, as well as request the court to issue a punitive damages award.
While money damages certainly do not make such plaintiffs “whole,” as the civil system is designed to do, they nevertheless provide a means of recourse when the criminal system does not provide for a just result. Marc Randazza, the plaintiff’s attorney in this case, who has referred to the defendants as “scumbags,” commented:
The message this $385,000 judgment sends to people who run revenge porn sites is unambiguous. These sites irreparably harm their victims, and often without any criminal action against them. In this case, a civil suit allowed our client to obtain justice against the people who exploited her.
good news everyone…