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Intimate Image Claims Worth “Considerably More” Than $5,000

The first precedent has been handed down invoking BC’s new Intimate Images Protection Act.  In short the legislation makes it unlawful to share intimate images of another person without their consent.  Even if you initially obtained the images consensually.  The law is broad in its reach.

The law allows civil claims to be prosecuted in the Civil Resolution Tribunal, Provincial Court, or Supreme Court.  Choosing the CRT is faster, cheaper and easier.  But the CRT has a limit of $5,000 in damages in these types of claims.  In today’s case the CRT found that these cases, once liability is established, are worth ‘considerably more’ than their limit so awarding the $5,000 seems to be a default damage assessment in that venue.

In the recent case (BDS v. MW) the applicant shared semi nude images of a sexualized nature with the respondent.  The respondant shared these with another without the applicant’s consent.  The key facts and findings were as follows where the CRT provided some worthwhile comments on the definition of what constitutes an intimate image along with damage assessments:

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Intimate Images Protection Act Brought Into Force This Week

The final steps for BC’s innovative Intimate Images Protection Act (“IIPA”) are now complete and the law is set to fully come into force.

On December 18, 2023 Order in Council 725 was published noting that the IIPA will come into force on January 29, 2024.

 

In short this now means that anybody who has had their intimate images distributed without their consent in British Columbia, even if they have previously given consent and later revoked it, now have a new set of legal remedies.

They can apply to various ‘decision makers’ including the online Civil Resolution Tribunal for a takedown order.  They can further sue for non-pecuniary, aggravated and even punitive damages to those who distribute the images without their consent.  Distributors can include search engines like Google and other powerful social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and X. Those that do so can face serios administrative penalties of up to $100,000 for a failure to comply with a take-down order or de-indexing order under the Act.

As discussed earlier this month the legislation is so broad it even covers deep fakes (like the ones Taylor Swift was targeted with this week).

I discussed this earlier this week on Chek News.  You can click here to read our archived posts and learn more.

If you need legal help with an IIPA claim you can contact us confidentially here.

Targeting “Deep Fakes” Using BC’s Intimate Images Protection Act

The BC Government passed the Intimate Images’ Protection Act into law last year.  In short this legislation gives victims of unwanted sexual and nude images posted online powerful tools to have the content removed and the ability to seek damages against those who fail to respect their wishes.  The law will be live as soon as the government passes the regulations and finalizes the updated Civil Resolution Tribunal rules for these claims.

As deepfake technology rapidly spreads many celebrities and others have found themselves victims of fake sexual or nude images online.  The good news is BC’s Intimate Images Protection Act is broad enough to give a remedy in these circumstances.

The legislation covers “visual simultaneous representation of an individual” if the imagery depicts the person engaging in a sexual act, if they are nude or even nearly nude.   The legislation also applies “whether or not the image has been altered in any way”.

Adding the above together the legislation clearly covers deepfakes.

If you are the victim of unwanted deepfake pornography you can take action now.  The law is retroactive to the day it passed first reading last year.  You can demand that not only the people who created the images remove them from the internet but you can also target bigtech such as Google, Facebook and other “internet intermediaries” to respect your wishes.

When it comes to unwanted sexual or nude content online, even fake images that identify you, the BC Intimate Images Protection Act makes one thing clear, its your body, your choice, even online.

CRT Publishes Draft Intimate Image Protection Order Rules

In March 2023 the BC Government passed the Intimate Images Protective Act.  The regulations under the Act and the way the Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) will deal with these claims are yet to be finalized but things now appear to be getting closer.

Today the CRT announced draft rules for these claims and requested public feedback.  The below has been published on the CRT’s website:

The Intimate Images Protection Act (IIPA), passed in March 2023, gives the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) jurisdiction to resolve claims about non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

Under IIPA, the CRT can issue protection orders that require an intimate image be deleted, de-indexed, and/or removed from a website or social media platform. If a person or internet platform doesn’t comply with a protection order, the CRT can order an administrative penalty. Administrative penalties are payable to government. The CRT can also award damages of up to $5,000.

The launch date for the CRT accepting these claims will be determined by the BC government. That date has not yet been announced.

To prepare for this change, we’ve created a new set of CRT rules. These rules are called the Intimate Image Protection Order Rules. They will apply to claims for protection orders and administrative penalties.

The newly drafted rules are ready to share with you. We’d like your feedback on them.

A full copy of the DRAFT RULES can be found here.

Intimate Images Protection Update – Big Tech Warned To Be Ready For Big Changes or Face Big Damages

I’ve written previously about BC’s new ‘Intimate Images Protection Act’.  In short this new law allows people to get quick binding orders for the removal of nude or sexualized content they don’t want on the internet.  Even if they previously consented to sharing the content they can RETROACTIVELY revoke consent.  Big change.

This week BC’s Attorney General wrote a letter to major tech and social medial companies telling them to be ready.

In the letter it is suggested the Act will go live in a matter of months as soon as regulations are finalized.  From there we can assist anyone who wants to have unwanted intimate content removed from the internet.   In fact once the law is live it is retroactive to when it was first introduced so people can send demand letters for the removal of content under the legislation right now.  If demand letters are not complied with damages could follow.

If an intimate image is ordered removed and anyone (hint big tech) continues to ‘distribute’ the image they are liable for a statutory tort and can be on the hook for damages.  These include compensatory damages and potentially aggravated and even punitive damages.

I’ve obtained a copy of the Attorney General’s letter.  Below it is published in full.  Big tech has now been warned.  They will have no excuse not to be ready to have responsible policies in place to swiftly remove ordered images within their control

Why OnlyFans and Other Models Should Know About BC’s Intimate Images Protection Act

This week BC passed the Intimate Images Protection Act.

This law gives victims of wrongful intimate image distribution powerful new remedies and rights to control their intimate images online.

The law is broad in its application.  It captures activity such as revenge porn and other wrongful sharing of intimate images.  The broad language may also give power tools to models and others that have their intellectual property shared beyond their consent.

If you have images behind an online paywall you consent to people that subscribe to view your images.  You don’t consent to people stealing the images and reposting them for others to see outside of that paywall.

The BC Intimate Images Protection Act is worded so broadly it may provide a meaningful remedy in these circumstances (and one that is faster and potentially more effective that cumbersome copyright prosecutions).

If you can prove there is an ‘intimate image’ of you online, and you can prove that you do not consent to that image being ‘distributed’ in the way that it is the law gives you remedies.  These include the ability to get a quick BC Civil Resolution Tribunal order that the image be removed.  By whoever is posting it.  Failure to abide by the order can give rise to claims of damages for the continued distribution.  These damages can include claims for compensatory loss (ie lost income), and even aggravated and punitive damages.

If your intimate images are being shared without or beyond your consent get familiar with this law.  If you want to learn more you can contact us for a free consultation. 

 

Intimate Images Protection Act Now Law

The British Columba Intimate Images Protection Act, which was first introduced earlier this month, has now passed into law.  It passed third reading and received Royal Assent on March 30, 2023.

This law was presented to the public as an anti revenge porn law.  But it does so much more than that.

If you have an intimate image ‘distributed’ by others you can tell them to stop.  Even if you previously consented to the sharing or distribution of the image you can revoke your consent.   Anyone who refuses to abide by these wishes can be ordered to stop distributing the images.  The law also gives victims the right to seek compensatory, aggravated and punitive damages for the unwanted distribution of their intimate images.  It applies not just to actual images but even deep fakes and other damaging nude or sexual images.

MacIsaac & Company is proud to expand our legal services to provide victims of unwanted intimate image distribution assistance in sending demand letters, obtaining judicial or tribunal takedown orders, and litigation for damages.

Your Body.  Your Choice.  Even Online.

 

Your Body, Your Choice. Even Online ™

I am proud to introduce MacIsaac & Company’s Intimate Image Protection Claims practice.

Last week the BC Government introduced Bill 12.  You can read here for background but in short this Bill will be provide British Columbians with powerful tools to take back control of their intimate images.

We are here to help.  MacIsaac & Company’s Intimate Image Protection Claims services will include drafting demand letters for removal of images, obtaining binding Tribunal Orders for the removal of unwanted images and litigation for damages against those who violate your consent.

While Bill 12 is not yet law it will be retroactive once passed and there are meaningful steps you can take right now to help regain control of your intimate images.

Click here for more information or to arrange your confidential free consultation.

Your Body, Your Choice.  Even Online ™

 

One Thing You Can Do Right Now To Reclaim Your Intimate Images

Do you have intimate images of you that have been distributed without your consent?  Or with consent that you now wish to withdraw?

There is one thing British Columbians can do right now to start regaining control of these images.

As discussed yesterday, BC introduced Bill 12, titled the “Intimate Images Protection Act” which will give a whole assortment of new legal tools to people who want to regain control of unwanted use of their intimate images.

The Bill is not law yet, so how can it already help?  Because it will be retroactive.  The bill states that

On the date this Act is brought into force, this Act applies to the following that occur on or after the date this Act receives First Reading in the Legislative Assembly:

(a) a distribution of an intimate image depicting an individual, without the individual’s consent;

(b) a threat to distribute an intimate image depicting an individual.

In plain English this means that once this Bill becomes law that any of the above that occured after this week (the date of First Reading) is an unlawful act.

So what can you do right now?  Write to anyone that has distributed your unwanted intimate images, tell them you did not or no longer consent to those images being distributed.  Demand that they make every reasonable effort to destroy and otherwise make the intimate image unavailable to others.  Tell them that if they fail to do so you will use that failure in your claim for remedies under your soon to be acquired legal rights under BC’s Intimate Images Protection Act.

 

BC Revenge Porn Bill Creates Concept of “Revocable Consent”

This week BC introduced a bill which proposes to give victims of revenge porn more legal remedies.

Imagine you share intimate images with a partner who later abuses that trust and leaks them on the internet.  Or imagine someone obtains images without your consent at all and posts them on line.   Or threatens to.  The proposed BC law creates new remedies for these situations.

But it goes further.  Bill 12, titled the “Intimate Images Protection Act” goes on to create the concept of “revocable consent”.  Meaning that even if you consented to images being online in the first place (such as a live stream) you may still have a remedy to have them removed.

In the broadest of terms the Bill gives victims (including minors and even deceased individuals) the right to bring an application to a ‘decision maker’ to seek various remedies including the removal of the images and awards of damages.  The ‘decision makers’ are broadly defined to include BC Supreme Court judges, provincial court judges, and even tribunal members of BC’s online court the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

In a sweeping power the Bill allows applicants to seek take down orders without notice and even if they sue the wrong party the ‘decision maker’ can make a whole array of orders to whoever can take down the image including

(b) order the person who distributed the intimate image to

(i) delete or destroy all copies of the intimate image in the person’s possession or control, and

(ii) make every reasonable effort to make the intimate image unavailable to others, including by

(A) having the intimate image removed from any platform operated by an internet intermediary and from any other electronic form of application, software, database and communication method, and

(B) having the intimate image de-indexed from any search engine;

(c) order an internet intermediary or other person or organization to

(i) remove the intimate image from any platform operated by the internet intermediary and from any other electronic form of application, software, database or communication method,

(ii) delete or destroy the intimate image, and

(iii) de-index the intimate image from any search engine;

(d) order a person to provide any information the decision maker considers necessary to further the objectives of removal, deletion, destruction or de-indexing of the intimate image;

(e) make any other order the decision maker considers just and reasonable in the circumstances.

Those who want ‘intimate images’ removed have fairly easy remedies with the law proposing a reverse onus saddling respondents with”the burden of proving that the image is not an intimate image because the individual depicted in the image did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the image”.

The definition of ‘intimate images’ casts a wide net and covers the following:

a visual recording or visual simultaneous representation of an individual, whether or not the individual is identifiable and whether or not the image has been altered in any way, in which the individual is or is depicted as

(a) engaging in a sexual act,

(b) nude or nearly nude, or

(c) exposing the individual’s genital organs, anal region or breasts,

and in relation to which the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy at,

(d) in the case of a recording, the time the recording was made and, if distributed, the time of the distribution, and

(e) in the case of a simultaneous representation, the time the simultaneous representation occurred;

Potential damages are broad and include non pecuniary damages, aggravated damages, punitive damages and even administrative penalties.

The law by default protects the identity of the victims.

It also requires internet intermediaries (think platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram and TikTok) to comply with removal orders and leaves them open to damage claims if they have not “taken reasonable steps to address the unlawful distribution of intimate images in the use of its services.“.

On the topic of revocable consent the proposed law specifically says as follows:

(1) An individual who consented to the distribution of an intimate image depicting the individual may revoke consent to that distribution at any time.

(2) If an individual depicted in an intimate image

(a) consented to the distribution of the intimate image,

(b) later revokes that consent, and

(c) communicates that revocation to a person who distributed the intimate image,

the person who distributed the intimate image must make every reasonable effort to make the intimate image unavailable to others.

(3) The person who distributed the intimate image commits an unlawful act under section 3 if the person does not make the efforts described in subsection (2) within a period of time that is reasonable in the circumstances.

The Bill is worded very broadly and even can apply to images in which they cannot be identified and even cases where they consented to the  “image’s distribution by a person other than the individual“.  This wording is so broad it could potentially target content such as consensual adult pornography where a person has regret after the fact.

The Bill is not law yet.  It is always possible the language will be amended before it does pass into law.  The Bill also allows for significant regulations to be passed further clarifying it but as it presently reads it proposes a broad range of far sweeping remedies for victims of revenge porn and more.  This is legislation worth keeping an eye on.