Recently, many people have been turning to apps like “OnlyFans” to make a second income – or may even use them as their only source of income. “OnlyFans” is an app where users can pay to view exclusive “content” – mostly on the explicit side. With so many users uploading private photos of themselves – for a price – what happens when one of your “fans” leaks your nude photos without your permission? Can you sue?
Intellectual Property Rights on “OnlyFans”
According to the “OnlyFans” Terms of Service, “You must not reproduce, distribute, modify, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, republish, download, store, or transmit any of the material on the Website, except as follows: you may store files that are automatically cached by your Web browser for display enhancement purposes; and you may print or download one copy of a reasonable number of pages of the Website for your own personal, non-commercial use and not for further reproduction, publication, or distribution.”
So, if one were to take content from a user on “OnlyFans” and then go on to publish or distribute it elsewhere, they would be in violation of the website’s terms of service and “your right to use the Website will end immediately and you must, at FIL option, return or destroy any copies of the materials you have made,” according to the “OnlyFans” terms of service.
Now this may help some victims, but simply banning a user from the website and expecting them to return copies of the materials may not be enough of a solution if your stolen content is still being hosted elsewhere.
So, what legal action can you take?
“Revenge Porn”, also known as non-consensual pornography, occurs when someone shares a sexually graphic image without consent of the person photographed. This act is illegal and is in violation of both civil and criminal law.
There are different Revenge Porn laws that exist depending on the state you reside in. Not every state in the United States has revenge porn state law, but many do. In California, for example, a personal leaking “OnlyFans” images or video could be charged with a misdemeanor, face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for distributing images that identify the victim with the intent to harm under Penal Code Section 647(j)(4).
There are no specific federal laws concerning revenge porn that have been passed yet, but there have been some proposed. A bill called the Internet Privacy Protection Acts was introduced in Congress, but has struggled with First Amendment concerns. Similarly, Arizona passed a revenge porn statute, but it was struck down for being overbroad and violating conduct protected by the First Amendment. Depending on the state you live in, there are different routes you can take to sue someone for distributing revenge porn.
Invasion of Privacy
Another legal route similar to revenge porn laws are those concerning Invasion of Privacy. Invasion of Privacy occurs when there is an intrusion on your reasonable expectation to be left alone. One could argue that a user posting exclusive content to “Only Fans” would reasonably expect that their content would not be stolen or distributed elsewhere, especially according to the websites Terms of Service. So, in a way, leaking content from “Only Fans” could also be considered an Invasion of Privacy.
What if my Private Photos are Being Leaked Onto “Only Fans” ?
Along with their stance on Intellectual Property Rights, Only Fans also has a section in their terms of Service that addresses DMCA takedowns. If your private content is being posted on only fans without your consent, you have the option to submit a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. To learn more about how DMCA takedown requests work, check out our blog.[ SEE: https://rmwarnerlaw.com/2020/04/10/20-things-you-need-to-know-about-dmca-takedowns-in-2020/ ]
How To Register a Copyright For Your OnlyFans Content
If you’d like to register a copyright, for your content posted to OnlyFans, or to prove content hosted on OnlyFans is being used without your permission, you can do so online by using the U.S. copyright office’s online registration.
If you are a victim of an “Only Fans” leak, get in contact with one of our experienced Internet Attorneys today. We know how to help get content removed from the web and sue for damages.
Note: *OnlyFans is a trademark owned by Fenix International Limited, and not affiliated with our firm