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MPAA Criticizes Proposed ‘Revenge Porn’ Law

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has opposed legislation for tougher “revenge porn” laws that are being considered in Minnesota.

The MPAA argues that the Minnesota draft law would restrict the publication of “items of legitimate news, commentary, and historical interest.”

“Revenge porn” refers to the sharing of explicit images of someone without their consent, often as a means of revenge after a relationship has ended.

The MPAA, which represents six major Hollywood film studios, said the Minnesota law could “limit the distribution of a wide array of mainstream, constitutionally protected material.”

It used the examples of prisoners at Auschwitz and Abu Ghraib as images that depict nudity which are widely shared without the subjects’ consent.

The MPAA called for the legislation to clarify that images shared without consent would only be a criminal act if they were shared with an “intent to harass.”

In a statement, the organisation said: “The MPAA opposes online harassment in all forms. While we agree with the aims, we are concerned that the current version of the bill is written so broadly that it could have a chilling effect on mainstream and constitutionally-protected speech.”

But the CCRI (Cyber Civil Rights Initiative), which has campaigned for revenge porn to be criminalised, claimed an “intent to harass” provision would make the law “incoherent.”

“It would allow people to distribute private, sexually explicit material of no public concern unless it could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that their motive was to harass,” the organisation said. “The motive of a distributor has no bearing on whether the material is newsworthy or a matter of public concern.”

“A photograph of a dirty restaurant kitchen is not rendered less newsworthy because the distributor intends to harass the restaurant owner.”

If passed, the proposed legislation would come into effect in Minnesota from 1st August.

You can follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew or email at ben@yiannopoulos.net

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