Though not strictly a claim for defamation, the publication of embarrassing or private photographs may constitute an independent tort. Provided the plaintiff created the photo, owns rights to the photo, or may obtain an assignment of the photo, the publication of a private photograph may constitute copyright infringement. Where such a copyright infringement has occurred, an individual may have several legal remedies available.
Privacy and intellectual property lawyers have seen a marked increase in the publication of embarrassing or private photographs, including nude/naked photos, sex tapes, or stolen or hacked photographs. Various websites now entice users to submit ex-girlfriend photographs, naked photographs, or provocative photographs and have made lucrative business models out of this practice, including amateur pornography websites, “doxed” sites, and ex-girlfriend websites. Though there has been an increase in this practice, lawyers have several methods by which an individual can protect and assert their rights.