Lawmakers scramble to pass revenge porn law - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Lawmakers scramble to pass revenge porn law

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

It's the kind of stuff celebrity hopefuls love to cash in on: sex tapes, nude pictures leaked to high bidders, but the outcome can be far different when those images involve average couples and average breakups. Chris Tritico is a legal analyst for Fox 26.

 

"There are situations were couples agree to exchange sexy photographs," Tritico said. "But that doesn't mean I've agreed to let you show it to the whole world when we break up."

 

And that's where lawmakers are jumping into the situation.

Right now, politicians in Arizona are on the verge of passing a "so-called" revenge porn bill, which would make it a felony to post nude pictures of others without permission. Lawmakers in Georgia are looking at is as a misdemeanor, then a felony for repeat offenders.

But the critics site issues over ownership and first amendment rights.

"Once you release it is no longer in your control," said Ashley Small.

Small is a public relations and special media branding expert.

Online exposure can be a good thing, but even without a jilted lover involved, some of her clients have learned too much exposure can also wreck personal and professional reputations.

 

 

"They'll say, ‘hey Ashley, there's embarrassing footage on YouTube I want to get rid of'," she said. "We can't get rid of it if we don't own it, but we can put positive content our there push that info down in the search engines."

 

The possibility of making revenge porn a criminal offense sparked a debate on our Fox 26 Houston Facebook page.

"Here's some great advice from Josh," Tritico said. "(Josh writes) if you don't want the world to see it, don't videotape yourself doing it."

 

Texas already has laws against improper photography.

"If you're taking these pictures without my knowledge and without my consent, that is illegal in Texas," Tritico said.

 

But those laws don't protect against revenge porn, and as websites dedicated to jilted love continue to pop up, lawmakers here in Texas are considering filing bills similar to those in Arizona and Georgia. Which brings us back to square one:

 

"There's a real first amendment issue here," Tritico said. " You gave me this (picture). I now own it."

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