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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask such a question... Let's say that a website posted a picture of me, without my consent, and I want to be removed (it's something private, could compromise my career if it's seen by someone that shouldn't). I sent them an email asking nicely that they should remove it, but they didn't respond and the picture is still there. Using 'Whois' I found that the website is hosted by GoDaddy. Is there a way (an email address, for ex.) to report to GoDaddy that one of the sites they're hosting does something illegal and to force them to remove the photo? I searched the site and found nothing about such a thing. Thnaks in advance!

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5 Answers

This is a difficult question. Yes, you can email the hosting provider and request that they take action. But it depends on their terms and conditions. If the website doesn't break the hosting companies terms, then the hosting company doesn't have to do anything. This would then mean you would have to take legal action privately and take them to court. But then you are faced with the issue that the image in question is in the public domain so therefore can't be removed. There has been a lot of these types of stories in the press, and most of the time the image remains online.

But you must also remember that if you are going to the hosting company saying that the image is illegal, at some point or other they will want to know why it is illegal. If the content of the image is illegal, then you will be in trouble yourself as it is you in the image. If not, then you will have to go to a solicitor.

Also, powers a web host or even you have over websites depends on the country where the server is located. GoDaddy may be an American company but the server with this website on could be in Russia or the UK. So exactly what powers you have on getting the image taken down also changes depending on the country. GoDaddy would be able to tell you this though.

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If they are in the US you can send a DMCA take down request to Godaddy asking them to remove the picture. They will notify the user of the request who can either take it down, respond saying it is not a copyright violation and leave it, or ignore the request at which point Godaddy will take the page down themselves. Keep in mind that that picture probably does not violate any copyrights so this could be seen as an abuse of the DMCA and it also doesn't mean that the picture will come down. But if you really want to get that picture taken down it might be worth trying.

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This is not abuse in the sense that no law has been broken and the activity in question could hardly be described as malicious.

Unless you want to break the law to get the picture taken down, I would recommend that you talk to a lawyer and be prepared for a lengthy and fruitless process.

Once an image is on the web you have no control over it - the real lesson here would be to avoid doing things on camera if you don't want other people to see them and, failing that, don't try to abuse existing processes (or abuse departments) - you're wasting your time if you do.

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"no law has been broken" how do you know? I think we're all assuming the same type of image here, and there are laws in many countries that cover that sort of thing, not to mention if the OP took it themselves, they can leverage copyright law to get it taken offline. Here's one of many court cases involving an unfavourable outcome for someone distributing photos of someone else: nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/… –  ZoFreX Jan 11 '11 at 10:33
    
I read "a picture of me" to mean "someone else took it", "without my consent" to mean "whomever took it posted it", and "could compromise my career" to mean "I'm doing something I shouldn't be in this photo" - the asker would (should?) know to talk to the police if any actual laws (i.e. asker is under 18 with someone posting nude photos) have been broken here. –  danlefree Jan 11 '11 at 11:32
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On Godaddy.com scroll to the bottom and click "legal". From there locate copyright infringement claims. They'll explain what you need to include in your claim which you must follow to the letter. Then email your claim to them using the included email address. Make sure you include all the information necessary or your claim will be delayed. Do note that Godaddy.com is very slow at times with responding to claims. Some of our past claims have taken from 1 day to 2 weeks to get resolved; so start now. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

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Agreed. Making a copyright infringement claim under the DMCA is probably the fastest way to get it taken down. ISP's are required to respond to such claims in an expeditious manner to maintain their "Safe-Harbor" status. –  Robert Harvey Feb 2 '11 at 17:58
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This is some of the most inaccurate information I have ever read... I have dealt with DMCA for 7 years now, if somebody posts ANYTHING on a server that violates my copyrights or personal rights such as software, images of me etc. it MUST as stated right in the DMCA code be taken down. The hosting company has no say at all, it's law.

If you do not know what you are talking about stop blogging. Jesus you will have people thinking they can't do anything. Worst information ever. Go learn the law first then write. How irresponsible are you?

Now for accurate information, yes you can file a DMCA and by law they have to remove it. Now the other party can try and say it's not violating a copyright but there is more to it than that, you can have images removed if they are of you. I have had images removed many, many times.

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