Gov. Brown Signs Revenge Porn Bill, Criminalizing Internet Trend - California Case Law
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Gov. Brown Signs Revenge Porn Bill, Criminalizing Internet Trend

On Tuesday, California became the second state in the nation to criminalize the new phenomenon terrorizing ex-lovers -- revenge porn, reports Bloomberg.

For those not familiar with the internet trend, revenge porn is the posting of nude photos of an ex-lover after a bad breakup. The law has been murky because the person in the photo gave consent to having the photos taken in much happier times, but didn't consent to the publication of such photos. Though California allows victims to bring civil actions, a very costly prospect, now the act of publishing the photos has been criminalized, reports The Associated Press.

California's Revenge Porn Law

California's revenge porn law makes it misdemeanor to distribute a nude image of someone, without their consent, "with the intent to cause serious emotional distress," payable by a fine of $1,000 and six months in jail. Conviction of a second offense would raise the penalties to a $2,000 fine and up to one-year in jail.

Most notably, the law does not cover another digital phenomenon -- sexting. That is, if the person takes the picture themselves, and sends it to someone, and the recipient re-publishes the photo, there is no criminal act, according to CNN.

California state Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), who authored the bill, stated: "Until now, there was no tool for law enforcement to protect victims ... Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Revenge Porn Law Trend

Usually one to start trends, in this instance California is not the first state to address this issue. New Jersey was the first state to enact revenge porn legislation, while an attempt in Florida failed, reports the AP. As far as trends go, this has yet to hit its peak, it's very likely other states will follow the lead of New Jersey and California.

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