Sharing ‘revenge porn’ is now a criminal offence in England and Wales, thanks to a recent amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. The amendment was passed by the House of Lords last year and is set to receive Royal Assent – formal approval by the Queen – on Thursday.
Someone found guilty of distributing explicit images without permission from the subject, in order to harass, blackmail, or humiliate the subject could face up to two years in prison. As defined by the bill, ‘revenge porn’ is classed as “photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public.” The law covers both photos and videos, shared online or offline.
The law also makes it easier for victims of ‘revenge porn’ to get the offending photos or videos taken down from websites, bypassing the previous method of complex copyright appeals.