Privacy injunction to remove a porn video
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Can you remove porn videos featuring yourself from the internet
If you have acted in a porn film earlier in your life, it does not mean you will no longer be entitled to claim back your privacy. Each case of ongoing publication of pornography online is considered on its own merits and actors in porn films should not assume that they can never have movies removed from the internet
If you believe that you signed a release form, you might still be able to have your video removed from the internet. Ultimately, you might have a right to obtain a privacy injunction to remove a porn movie that is published on various websites, but this is unlikely to be necessary.
Before having to take the step of obtaining a privacy injunction, you should carry out some initial enquiries as to whether the publishers of the videos have a right to publish them and to check as to who has given them the right to do so and what support do they have to assert their right to publish. If the publisher can show that you have signed a release form, you need to obtain a copy of it and find ways to have the validity of the release form challenged.
If the publisher of the porn video can produce a release form that you supposedly signed, you can challenge the right of the publisher to publish the video by requesting to see an unbroken link between the release form and their legal right to handle the video. The publisher might have got hold of your release form but this does not necessarily mean that they have a legal right to publish your video. Even if the publisher can show an undisputed right to the publication of the video, you can then challenge the release form itself. You will need to question the circumstances under which the release form was signed, including asking questions about your state of mind when you signed the release form and the level of understanding that you had at the time of what you were signing and the long-term implications of you agreeing to the release.
If there were conversations between you and anyone in the room at the time of signing the release form, that was used to persuade you to sign it, there is a good possibility that you will be able to challenge the validity of the release form. It is likely that someone presented the release form to you and perhaps said something that belittled the implications of your signing the release form. However, even in the unlikely event, that you are unable to show that the release form that you signed should be invalidated, there are still other grounds that might help you obtain a privacy injunction to remove a porn video.
It will often take more than a simple release form to persuade a court that the ongoing publication of a porn video featuring yourself outweighs your right to private life. A right to private life is a fundamental human right, which is embedded within the European Convention of Human Rights and the English Human Rights Act. The starting point is that it will take a lot of persuasion and very strong evidence for the court to accept an assertion that you have forfeited your right to private life by signing a release form some years ago. In such cases, the release form will be heavily scrutinised together with the circumstances under which it was signed.
Very few publishers of porn videos and fewer producers would be willing to defend in court their right to continue publishing a porn video against your wishes. You should therefore never be disheartened by initial refusals to have your porn video removed from the internet on the grounds of consent or release forms. With the right strategy in place, you are far more likely to succeed in challenging a publisher's right to disseminate your porn video than to fail. It is unlikely that you will be required to obtain a privacy injunction to remove a porn video from the internet and in most cases, it is unlikely that matters will even get to court.
Often, due to the derogatory nature of the porn video and the comments and descriptions accompanying it on porn sites, the actor becomes the subject of harassment and their name is tagged with false private information. It is common for porn actors to have false and private information posted about them on various websites and online discussion forums. They then often become the subject of a campaign of harassment, which can include the tagging of dozens of pornographic videos with their name, which often appears on internet search results. The harassing posts may include references to the porn actor’s sexuality and his or her sexual preferences as numerous false claims.
There is a perception that porn actors have somewhat forfeited human rights, which otherwise are available to most people, including criminals. This represents a misunderstanding of the role of a porn actor and of what the actor might have in fact agreed to subject herself to. Publications of private or harassing posts about the porn actor, by themselves, might give rise to a claim for harassment or a privacy injunction to remove a porn video which is associated with the harassing posts. Actors in porn videos can therefore be encouraged that it is, in most cases, possible to have their porn videos removed from the internet on various legal grounds.
In some cases, it might be proven difficult to establish the true identity of the publisher of the porn videos. In such a case, you can still obtain a privacy injunction to remove the porn video against persons unknown. This will effectively cover all the unidentifiable publishers of the videos, as well as the harassers and those who have published private information about the porn actor, whether true or false. Information about the publisher of the porn video might still come to light in the future, and if this happens, you will be able to enforce the injunction against that person, as well as recover damages from them.
Although porn actors might have knowingly placed some private information in the public domain, this does not mean that all their privacy rights have been relinquished. We represent and empower porn actors and sex workers and have obtained numerous privacy injunctions in favour of our clients. In some cases, in addition to having been able to facilitate the removal of explicit material from the internet, we have also been able to have the copyright to porn videos transferred to our clients as well as securing them a sum of money in compensation for breach of their privacy and for the distress they have suffered.