The Problems With Letting Child Porn Victims Demand Cash From Those Caught With Their Images | Techdirt

The Problems With Letting Child Porn Victims Demand Cash From Those Caught With Their Images | Techdirt. 5 November 2010

The  above post refers to http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/02/child_restitution_claims/

Several immediate comments spring to mind:

1. on the principle, I don’t see why simply possessing those images of abused children should not trigger fines (criminal law) or damages (torts). Possession contributes to the abuse in the sense that the abusers can sell the images to others and make a profit (apart from enjoying abusing, however sickening that is).

2. Obviously it is ridiculous to ask 3 million dollars for one image or two images possessed. Hence, it seems it is a torts claim. Maybe the public interest and the victim interest would be better served by using the criminal system with fines for all the images possessed rather than some. THen the money could be put into a fund to compensate the victims for their injuries independently of who is the offender.

3. About the claim by the victim that she feels ‘abused’ each time she is looked at. It is a harm that cannot be dismissed like that, just because it seems ‘over the top’. The internet certainly intensifies the ease with which one can access those images and the digital medium makes those images permanent, which was not the case before. here, I think of the parallel with permanent data retention (say of our name and address, or our Facebook profile). Should there not be a right to being forgotten and for victims of abuse, that means removing all images from circulating (if it is technically possible) or at least sanctioning accordingly those who possess and are at the end of the chain (or in the middle if they themselves redistribute it again).

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About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in Anonymity, Offences - Obscenity, Offences - Violence against the person, Sentencing. Bookmark the permalink.

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