Colorado “Revenge Porn” Bill Passes Committee (or, Contiguglia testifies before Colorado House Judiciary Committee)

I am pleased to say that Colorado’s “revenge porn” bill passed its first test in the Colorado state legislature on today with unanimous approval by the House Judiciary Committee.

I’ve spent the past few days working with Colorado State Representative Amy Stevens to get a solid version of this Bill to the Committee in a condition that it will pass criticism. Today I spent the afternoon watching the presentation to the Committee in an effort to convince them to pass the Bill so it can take its future journey to the House floor and into the State Senate.

About an hour of the afternoon was dedicated to me — that’s right, Andrew Contiguglia. I can officially check off testifying to the state legislature from my “things to do as a lawyer” list.

Under the proposed legislation, a person could face a maximum $10,000 fine if convicted of posting or otherwise disseminating images depicting another person’s intimate parts if the actions are intended to cause “serious emotional distress.” The proposed law would make the offense a class-one misdemeanor under Colorado’s criminal code.

But my contribution extended beyond the efforts of imposing criminal liability to this conduct. My focus was on adding an intellectual property element to the law. Specifically, an amendment to this Bill allows an individual victimized by revenge porn to seek civil remedies and injunctive relief to have images removed from an internet posting. In my experience representing victims of revenge porn, the first concern isn’t getting revenge on the revenger, but removal of the images from the internet.

This is a unique approach, unlike other states’ laws. Many states have tackled this issue with criminal penalties and separate right to privacy laws. The Colorado law attempts to encompass the two.

The road is still long ahead. But the fight moves on…

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/25/us-usa-colorado-revengeporn-idUSBREA3O07420140425

CBS Denver Story

ABC – The Denver Channel

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