Google has responded to the lawsuit filed by Jennifer Lawrence’s lawyers over the nude photos incident. Other celebrities who were victims in the photo hack have also gotten involved, taking the amount of compensation sought for to $100 million. However, the search engine giant claims that it is not at fault for the photos not being removed from the internet.
The lawyers state that Google is “making millions” by still having the photos of the celebrities available. Yet, the company claims that it removed pictures within hours of attorneys filing cease and desist letters. Hundreds of accounts have also been closed due to the actions of the individuals. Lawyer Marty Singer claims that the company has acted unethically and is suing for celebrities yet to be named.
The problems started last month when the photos of a number of celebrity women were stolen. Apple’s iCloud was hacked and nude photos were then shared, including The Hunger Games’ Lawrence. While some celebrities tried to pretend the images were not really theirs, others admitted to taking the photos. They refused to allow an individual thief to shame them for their private—and legal—activities.
Those who shared the photos were warned that they would face legal action for their actions. Yet many ignored the warnings anyway, and it led to a number of cease and desist letters being sent out. The celebrities claimed that they held the copyright, and had not allowed the use of the photos on the websites. It was the quickest and easiest way to get around the situation.
Now lawyers are threatening sites with legal action for their involvement. Google has responded to the claims in the Lawrence nude photo lawsuit, stating that it is not at fault.
Singer claims that while the tech giant did not steal the photos, it did not act ethically. It failed to remove the images expeditiously. This is something that Google does not agree with, saying that images were removed within hours. People found their Blogger blogs, YouTube accounts and other accounts owned by the company closed down due to their actions.
The celebrity lawyer claims that it took weeks for the images to be removed. This may have been the case for the search results, because the tech giant needed valid copyright notices before removing any website or page from its results. This is the way that it has always acted. It means that the copyright holder needs to come forward, and that copyright is checked fully. It is important to do this to protect the real copyright holders under all other circumstances.
Google also has to take other legal requirements into consideration, including elements of fair use. Counter-notices are allowed on YouTube accounts when fair use is being used. However, Singer claims that the tech giant is not acting as it should.
It is a fine line between protecting the privacy of the individuals and following laws. There are strict copyright laws, and it appears the tech giant is working within them. However, the celebrity lawyer is not happy with the company’s actions. According to Google, it is not at fault for Lawrence’s nude photos, and should not be involved in the lawsuit.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo credit: CC-2.0 Dschwen