If you are a victim of nonconsensual porn, one of the first things you’ll want to do is secure copyright ownership of the nonconsensual porn content. It’s possible that you may already have ownership because copyright automatically vests in in the author of a work like a photograph. So, if you took the photograph (e.g., a selfie), it is likely that you already own the copyright.
If someone else took the photograph, then you must go through the extra step of getting an assignment in writing from the author.
If the author is friendly, you may find it quite straightforward to obtain an assignment in writing simply by asking the photographer to complete a copyright assignment.
Sample Copyright Assignment
For other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, [Name of person who took the photo/video] irrevocably transfers and assigns to [Name of nonconsensual porn victim], her successors and assigns, in perpetuity, the entire right, title, and interest in and to (i) the copyright in the work attached hereto as Exhibit A and any registrations and copyright applications relating thereto and any renewals and extensions thereof, (ii) all works based upon, derived from, or incorporating the work listed above, (iii) all income, royalties, damages, claims and payments now or hereafter due or payable with respect thereto, (iv) all causes of action, either in law or in equity for past, present, or future infringement based on the copyrights, and (v) all rights corresponding to the foregoing throughout the world.
[Name & signature of person who took the photo/video] [Date]
If the photographer is adversarial, the procedure is the same, but it may be more difficult to get them to agree to assign the copyright to you. You may find the assistance of legal counsel helpful in persuading them to give you an assignment. Photographers will often agree to assign the copyright to you in connection with a settlement of your potential legal claims against them. However, we strongly recommend that you consult a lawyer before giving up potentially valuable legal claims that you may have against someone in exchange for a copyright assignment, or any other consideration.
Sample Copyright Assignment Provision In A Settlement Agreement
- Private Content
- [Defendant] hereby assigns to [Plaintiff] the entire right, title, and interest — including but not limited to all copyright rights — in and to any photographs, images, stills, video, audio recordings, or any other content of any type which he has created in which [Plaintiff] is nude or partially nude or is engaging in sexually explicit conduct (the “Private Content”), including without limitation those materials more particularly described in Exhibit A.
- [Defendant] shall execute all documents and take all acts that [Plaintiff] deems reasonable and necessary to effect this assignment.
- [Defendant] represents and warrants that he has either returned to Plaintiff or destroyed any and all copies of the Private Content within his possession, custody or control
- If [Defendant] later discovers any Private Content that should have been destroyed under Section 1.1, he agrees to immediately destroy such content.