Lawsuit: Revenge Porn Law Criminalizes Artists

A coalition of artists, booksellers, and journalists, led by Dan Pochoda with the ACLU Foundation of Arizona, have united to sue Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and all of Arizona’s county attorneys, alleging that a new state law making it a felony to distribute nude photos of someone without his or her consent is unconstitutional.

Arizona House Bill 2515 makes it a crime to “intentionally disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise, or offer a photograph, videotape, film or digital recording of another person in a state of nudity or engaged in a sexual act if the person knows or should have known that the person depicted has not consented to the disclosure.” Violation is a felony punishable by up to 3 years and 9 months in prison.

According to Courthouse News Service, “The booksellers say the law would criminalize a number of constitutionally protected scenarios, such as a college professor who shows students ‘Napalm Girl,’ Nick Ut’s Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph depicting a naked girl fleeing her village in Vietnam, a newspaper that publishes images of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, or an educator who uses photos of breast-feeding mothers.”

The group seeks a declaratory judgment that the law is unconstitutional, and an injunction stopping its enforcement.

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