Bills Tracked in 2015


Click each state below to see the bills that Media Coalition tracked during the 2015 legislative session.

Total: 82 bills


Alabama

Bill number

Alabama HB 8

Sponsor

Rep. Christopher England (DEM-AL)

Title

Websites containing personal information of persons convicted of crimes, required to remove information at no charge upon request, civil penalties, presumption of defamation

Status

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 8 requires anyone who publishes an arrest photo to a publicly available website to remove the arrest photo and any other “personal information” without a fee within 30 days upon written request, if the charges had been dropped or the person depicted had resolved them without being convicted.

 

Failure to comply is deemed an unfair trade practice and allows the person whose picture has not been removed to sue for civil penalties.

 

“Personal information” is not defined.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 8 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama HB 8

Rep. Christopher England (DEM-AL)

Websites containing personal information of persons convicted of crimes, required to remove information at no charge upon request, civil penalties, presumption of defamation

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 8 requires anyone who publishes an arrest photo to a publicly available website to remove the arrest photo and any other “personal information” without a fee within 30 days upon written request, if the charges had been dropped or the person depicted had resolved them without being convicted.

 

Failure to comply is deemed an unfair trade practice and allows the person whose picture has not been removed to sue for civil penalties.

 

“Personal information” is not defined.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 8 »

Bill number

Alabama HB 181

Sponsor

Rep. Juandalynn Givan (DEM-AL)

Title

Right of Publicity Act, elements and scope of liability for infringement period, extent of right provided, defenses, and damages specified

Status

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary. Its companion bill, Alabama SB 197 was signed into law.

Summary

H.B. 181 creates a right of publicity for life plus 55 years. There is no language providing an artistic exception for non-commercial works.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama HB 181

Rep. Juandalynn Givan (DEM-AL)

Right of Publicity Act, elements and scope of liability for infringement period, extent of right provided, defenses, and damages specified

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary. Its companion bill, Alabama SB 197 was signed into law.

H.B. 181 creates a right of publicity for life plus 55 years. There is no language providing an artistic exception for non-commercial works.

Bill number

Alabama SB 197

Sponsor

Sen. Rodger Smitherman (DEM-AL)

Title

Right of Publicity Act, elements and scope of liability for infringement period, extent of right provided, defenses, and damages specified

Status

Signed by Gov. Robert Bentley on May 18, 2015.

Summary

S.B. 197 creates a right of publicity for life plus 55 years. There is no language providing an artistic exception for non-commercial works.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 197 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama SB 197

Sen. Rodger Smitherman (DEM-AL)

Right of Publicity Act, elements and scope of liability for infringement period, extent of right provided, defenses, and damages specified

Signed by Gov. Robert Bentley on May 18, 2015.

S.B. 197 creates a right of publicity for life plus 55 years. There is no language providing an artistic exception for non-commercial works.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 197 »

Bill number

Alabama HB 39 (1st Special Session)

Sponsor

Williams (JD)

Title

Sexually oriented material, defined, excise tax levied, collection by Revenue Department, deposit in General Fund

Status

Introduced in the 1st Special Session. Died in the House Committee on Ways and Means, General Fund.

Summary

H.B. 39 would impose a 40% sales tax on any book, magazine, movie, sound recording or other material that is harmful to minors. There is an exemption to this tax for any movie rated “R” or “NC-17” by the Motion Picture Association of America.

 

There is a second sales tax of 10% on the sale or rental of “sexually-oriented material.” This is defined as any material that contains nude images of breasts, genitals or sexual conduct.

 

The determination of what material is subject to either tax is to be made by the person or business making the sale or rental. Income derived from the tax must be reported by the retailer to the state on a monthly basis.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 39 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama HB 39 (1st Special Session)

Williams (JD)

Sexually oriented material, defined, excise tax levied, collection by Revenue Department, deposit in General Fund

Introduced in the 1st Special Session. Died in the House Committee on Ways and Means, General Fund.

H.B. 39 would impose a 40% sales tax on any book, magazine, movie, sound recording or other material that is harmful to minors. There is an exemption to this tax for any movie rated “R” or “NC-17” by the Motion Picture Association of America.

 

There is a second sales tax of 10% on the sale or rental of “sexually-oriented material.” This is defined as any material that contains nude images of breasts, genitals or sexual conduct.

 

The determination of what material is subject to either tax is to be made by the person or business making the sale or rental. Income derived from the tax must be reported by the retailer to the state on a monthly basis.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 39 »

Bill number

Alabama HB 17 (2nd Special Session)

Sponsor

Williams (JD)

Title

Sexually oriented material, defined, excise tax levied, collection by Revenue Department, deposit in General Fund

Status

Introduced in the 2nd Special Session. Died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 17 would impose a 40% sales tax on any book, magazine, movie, sound recording or other material that is harmful to minors. There is an exemption to this tax for any material rated “R” or “NC-17” by the Motion Picture Association of America.

 

There is a second sales tax of 10% on the sale or rental of “sexually-oriented material.” This is defined as any material that contains nude images of breasts, genitals or sexual conduct.

 

The determination of what material is subject to either tax is to be made by the person or business making the sale or rental. Income derived from the tax must be reported by the retailer to the state on a monthly basis.

 

The bill is identical to H.B. 39, which died at the end of the first special session.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama HB 17 (2nd Special Session)

Williams (JD)

Sexually oriented material, defined, excise tax levied, collection by Revenue Department, deposit in General Fund

Introduced in the 2nd Special Session. Died in the House.

H.B. 17 would impose a 40% sales tax on any book, magazine, movie, sound recording or other material that is harmful to minors. There is an exemption to this tax for any material rated “R” or “NC-17” by the Motion Picture Association of America.

 

There is a second sales tax of 10% on the sale or rental of “sexually-oriented material.” This is defined as any material that contains nude images of breasts, genitals or sexual conduct.

 

The determination of what material is subject to either tax is to be made by the person or business making the sale or rental. Income derived from the tax must be reported by the retailer to the state on a monthly basis.

 

The bill is identical to H.B. 39, which died at the end of the first special session.

Arkansas

Bill number

Arkansas SB 79

Sponsor

Sen. Jon Woods (REP-AR)

Title

TO ENACT THE PERSONAL RIGHTS PROTECTION ACT; AND TO PROTECT THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S NAME, VOICE, SIGNATURE, AND LIKENESS.

Status

Vetoed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson on March 31. The Senate motion to override the veto failed.

Summary

S.B. 79 creates a right of publicity in a person’s name, image, voice, signature or likeness. Unauthorized use of right of publicity is a misdemeanor and subject to damages and disgorgement, in addition to civil remedies, which may be trebled.

 

The right is limited to commercial use, but there is no explicit exemption for artistic or creative uses. There is a “fair use exception” for the use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness “used in connection with a news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account of public interest, or a political campaign.”

 

The right extends beyond the life of the individual, but there is no specific limitation on the duration.


02/27/2015: The bill was amended to exempt from the right of publicity the use of a name, voice, signature or likeness in a play, book, magazine, newspaper, music composition, audiovisual work, or radio or television program, if it is fictional or nonfictional entertainment, or a dramatic, literary or musical work.


03/25/2015: The bill was amended for a second time to provide that the exemption for artistic uses only applies if the use is protected by the First Amendment. The text of the bill does not make clear whether the claimant or the defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that the use is protected by the First Amendment.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 79 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Arkansas SB 79

Sen. Jon Woods (REP-AR)

TO ENACT THE PERSONAL RIGHTS PROTECTION ACT; AND TO PROTECT THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S NAME, VOICE, SIGNATURE, AND LIKENESS.

Vetoed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson on March 31. The Senate motion to override the veto failed.

S.B. 79 creates a right of publicity in a person’s name, image, voice, signature or likeness. Unauthorized use of right of publicity is a misdemeanor and subject to damages and disgorgement, in addition to civil remedies, which may be trebled.

 

The right is limited to commercial use, but there is no explicit exemption for artistic or creative uses. There is a “fair use exception” for the use of a name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness “used in connection with a news, public affairs, or sports broadcast or account of public interest, or a political campaign.”

 

The right extends beyond the life of the individual, but there is no specific limitation on the duration.


02/27/2015: The bill was amended to exempt from the right of publicity the use of a name, voice, signature or likeness in a play, book, magazine, newspaper, music composition, audiovisual work, or radio or television program, if it is fictional or nonfictional entertainment, or a dramatic, literary or musical work.


03/25/2015: The bill was amended for a second time to provide that the exemption for artistic uses only applies if the use is protected by the First Amendment. The text of the bill does not make clear whether the claimant or the defendant bears the burden of demonstrating that the use is protected by the First Amendment.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 79 »

Bill number

Arkansas SB 965

Sponsor

Sen. Jon Woods (REP-AR)

Title

TO REGULATE PUBLICITY RIGHTS; AND TO PROTECT THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S NAME, VOICE, SIGNATURE, AND LIKENESS.

Status

Passed by the Senate. Died in the House Committee on Judiciary. A different right of publicity bill, S.B. 79, was ultimately passed by the legislature and subsequently vetoed by the governor.

Summary

S.B. 965 creates a right of publicity in a person’s name, image, voice, signature or likeness. Unauthorized use of right of publicity is a misdemeanor and subject to damages and disgorgement, in addition to civil remedies, which may be trebled.

 

The bill includes the common list of exceptions for non-commercial uses.

 

The right extends beyond the life of the individual, but there is no specific limitation on the duration.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Arkansas SB 965

Sen. Jon Woods (REP-AR)

TO REGULATE PUBLICITY RIGHTS; AND TO PROTECT THE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO THE USE OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S NAME, VOICE, SIGNATURE, AND LIKENESS.

Passed by the Senate. Died in the House Committee on Judiciary. A different right of publicity bill, S.B. 79, was ultimately passed by the legislature and subsequently vetoed by the governor.

S.B. 965 creates a right of publicity in a person’s name, image, voice, signature or likeness. Unauthorized use of right of publicity is a misdemeanor and subject to damages and disgorgement, in addition to civil remedies, which may be trebled.

 

The bill includes the common list of exceptions for non-commercial uses.

 

The right extends beyond the life of the individual, but there is no specific limitation on the duration.

Arizona

Bill number

Arizona HB 2561

Sponsor

Rep. J.D. Mesnard (REP-AZ)

Title

Unlawful Distribution of Private Images

Status

Passed by the conference committee and passed by the House. Died in the Senate.

Summary

H.B. 2561 amends the law we are challenging in Antigone Books v. Brnovich. It limits the law to images of an identifiable person, clarifies the definition of nudity and “specific sexual practices” and creates an exception for “disclosures in the public interest.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Arizona HB 2561

Rep. J.D. Mesnard (REP-AZ)

Unlawful Distribution of Private Images

Passed by the conference committee and passed by the House. Died in the Senate.

H.B. 2561 amends the law we are challenging in Antigone Books v. Brnovich. It limits the law to images of an identifiable person, clarifies the definition of nudity and “specific sexual practices” and creates an exception for “disclosures in the public interest.”

Bill number

Arizona HB 2001 (2016 prefile)

Sponsor

Rep. J.D. Mesnard (REP-AZ)

Title

unlawful distribution of private images

Status

Prefiled for 2016 session.

Summary

This legislation is offered to replace the nonconsensual images law struck down in Antigone Books v. Brnovich. It includes elements that satisfy the concerns raised by the plaintiffs in that litigation.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Arizona HB 2001 (2016 prefile)

Rep. J.D. Mesnard (REP-AZ)

unlawful distribution of private images

Prefiled for 2016 session.

This legislation is offered to replace the nonconsensual images law struck down in Antigone Books v. Brnovich. It includes elements that satisfy the concerns raised by the plaintiffs in that litigation.

California

Bill number

California AB 538

Sponsor

Asw. Nora Campos (DEM-CA)

Title

Actions for damages: felony offenses: victim notification.

Status

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on October 3, 2015.

Summary

A.B. 538 requires any person, organization, or company that enters into a contract to pay a person who has been convicted of a crime and who is required to pay restitution for the rights to his or her story, information relating to the crime for use by the company in an “entertainment product,” or consulting fees for the production of an “entertainment product” shall notify the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on A.B. 540/538 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

California AB 538

Asw. Nora Campos (DEM-CA)

Actions for damages: felony offenses: victim notification.

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on October 3, 2015.

A.B. 538 requires any person, organization, or company that enters into a contract to pay a person who has been convicted of a crime and who is required to pay restitution for the rights to his or her story, information relating to the crime for use by the company in an “entertainment product,” or consulting fees for the production of an “entertainment product” shall notify the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on A.B. 540/538 »

Bill number

California AB 540

Sponsor

Asw. Nora Campos (DEM-CA)

Title

Restitution: entertainment profits.

Status

Died in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. A similar bill, A.B. 538, was passed and signed by the governor.

Summary

A.B. 540 requires any person, organization, or company that enters into a contract to pay a person who has been convicted of a crime and who is required to pay restitution for the rights to his or her story, information relating to the crime for use by the company in an “entertainment product,” or consulting fees for the production of an “entertainment product” shall notify all of the following as to the amount contracted to be paid:

  1. The court where the person was sentenced for the crime.
  2. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the person is currently under the jurisdiction of that department by reason of (A) being incarcerated in a state prison, a facility under the jurisdiction of the Division of Juvenile Justice, or a state hospital, (B) on parole, or (C) for any other reason.
  3. The county sheriff, if the person is currently under the jurisdiction of the county by reason of (A) being incarcerated in a county jail, (B) on probation, postrelease community supervision, or mandatory supervision, or (C) for any other reason.
  4. The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
  5. The district attorney that prosecuted the relevant crime.
  6. (A) The victim if his or her contact information is reasonably available. (B) If the victim is deceased, his or her next of kin, if known and if their contact information is readily available.

 

“Entertainment product” means a book, play, screen play, television show, movie, advertising campaign, or other similar product that is based, in whole or in part, on the criminal actions of the person being paid.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on A.B. 540/538 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

California AB 540

Asw. Nora Campos (DEM-CA)

Restitution: entertainment profits.

Died in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. A similar bill, A.B. 538, was passed and signed by the governor.

A.B. 540 requires any person, organization, or company that enters into a contract to pay a person who has been convicted of a crime and who is required to pay restitution for the rights to his or her story, information relating to the crime for use by the company in an “entertainment product,” or consulting fees for the production of an “entertainment product” shall notify all of the following as to the amount contracted to be paid:

  1. The court where the person was sentenced for the crime.
  2. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, if the person is currently under the jurisdiction of that department by reason of (A) being incarcerated in a state prison, a facility under the jurisdiction of the Division of Juvenile Justice, or a state hospital, (B) on parole, or (C) for any other reason.
  3. The county sheriff, if the person is currently under the jurisdiction of the county by reason of (A) being incarcerated in a county jail, (B) on probation, postrelease community supervision, or mandatory supervision, or (C) for any other reason.
  4. The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board.
  5. The district attorney that prosecuted the relevant crime.
  6. (A) The victim if his or her contact information is reasonably available. (B) If the victim is deceased, his or her next of kin, if known and if their contact information is readily available.

 

“Entertainment product” means a book, play, screen play, television show, movie, advertising campaign, or other similar product that is based, in whole or in part, on the criminal actions of the person being paid.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on A.B. 540/538 »

Bill number

California SB 676

Sponsor

Sen. Anthony Cannella (REP-CA)

Title

Disorderly conduct: invasion of privacy.

Status

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on September 9, 2015.

Summary

S.B. 676 bars the publication of a person’s name, address or other personally identifiable information associated with an image of an intimidate body part of another person distributed without that person’s consent.

 

There is an exception for republication of otherwise lawful public material.

 

The image does not have to be previously published without being identifiable.


08/27/2015: The bill was amended to remove this provision.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 676 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

California SB 676

Sen. Anthony Cannella (REP-CA)

Disorderly conduct: invasion of privacy.

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on September 9, 2015.

S.B. 676 bars the publication of a person’s name, address or other personally identifiable information associated with an image of an intimidate body part of another person distributed without that person’s consent.

 

There is an exception for republication of otherwise lawful public material.

 

The image does not have to be previously published without being identifiable.


08/27/2015: The bill was amended to remove this provision.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 676 »

Connecticut

Bill number

Connecticut HB 6921

Sponsor

Judiciary Committee

Title

AN ACT CONCERNING INVASIONS OF PRIVACY.

Status

Signed by Gov. Dan Malloy on July 7, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 6921 makes it a crime to electronically disseminate an intimate image with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize another person and without the consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

An intimate image is defined as depicting the genitals, pubic area or buttocks of a person or the breast of such other person who is female with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion of such breast below the top of the nipple, or such other person engaged in sexual intercourse.

 


05/21/2015: The bill was amended n the House floor to remove the intent element of the crime. It now would criminalizes the distribution of such image without consent if it causes harm.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 6921 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Connecticut HB 6921

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING INVASIONS OF PRIVACY.

Signed by Gov. Dan Malloy on July 7, 2015.

H.B. 6921 makes it a crime to electronically disseminate an intimate image with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize another person and without the consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

An intimate image is defined as depicting the genitals, pubic area or buttocks of a person or the breast of such other person who is female with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion of such breast below the top of the nipple, or such other person engaged in sexual intercourse.

 


05/21/2015: The bill was amended n the House floor to remove the intent element of the crime. It now would criminalizes the distribution of such image without consent if it causes harm.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 6921 »

Delaware

Bill number

Delaware SB 68

Sponsor

Sen. Patricia Blevins (DEM-DE)

Title

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ONLINE PRIVACY AND PROTECTION.

Status

Signed by Gov.Jack Markell on August 7, 2015.

Summary

S.B. 68 bars the marketing of a list of products and services that are illegal for minors on sites directed to minors, or, for any site, if it has actual knowledge that a minor is on the site, it may not market or advertise the goods and services to that minor. However, among the restrictions are “sexually oriented material as defined in an adult business ordinance.” The definition includes any sexual content, without any inclusion of the Miller/Ginsberg test.

 

The bill also allows erasure of certain postings by minors and privacy policies for websites.

 

In addition, there is a requirement that “book service providers” may not disclose or provide to the government any “book service information” absent a warrant or court order.


06/15/2015: S.B. 68 has been amended to remove the bar on marketing “sexually oriented” material.

 

It has been replaced by a bar on advertising any material that “predominately appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors; is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole, with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, social or scientific value for minors.”

 

The definition mirrors the Miller/Ginsberg standard but is not limited to sexual material, and could apply to a wide range of speech, such as violent content, that is fully protected for minors.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 68 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Delaware SB 68

Sen. Patricia Blevins (DEM-DE)

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ONLINE PRIVACY AND PROTECTION.

Signed by Gov.Jack Markell on August 7, 2015.

S.B. 68 bars the marketing of a list of products and services that are illegal for minors on sites directed to minors, or, for any site, if it has actual knowledge that a minor is on the site, it may not market or advertise the goods and services to that minor. However, among the restrictions are “sexually oriented material as defined in an adult business ordinance.” The definition includes any sexual content, without any inclusion of the Miller/Ginsberg test.

 

The bill also allows erasure of certain postings by minors and privacy policies for websites.

 

In addition, there is a requirement that “book service providers” may not disclose or provide to the government any “book service information” absent a warrant or court order.


06/15/2015: S.B. 68 has been amended to remove the bar on marketing “sexually oriented” material.

 

It has been replaced by a bar on advertising any material that “predominately appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors; is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole, with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, social or scientific value for minors.”

 

The definition mirrors the Miller/Ginsberg standard but is not limited to sexual material, and could apply to a wide range of speech, such as violent content, that is fully protected for minors.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 68 »

Bill number

Delaware SB 98

Title

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FOREIGN DEFAMATION JUDGMENTS AND TO EXPAND PROTECTIONS FOR CITIZENS AGAINST SUCH JUDGMENTS BY PROVIDING FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND FURTHER LIMIT THE RECOGNITION AFFORDED TO SUCH JUDGMENTS.

Status

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Delaware carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 98 is a libel tourism bill.

Bill number

Title

Status

Summary

Delaware SB 98

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 10 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO FOREIGN DEFAMATION JUDGMENTS AND TO EXPAND PROTECTIONS FOR CITIZENS AGAINST SUCH JUDGMENTS BY PROVIDING FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND FURTHER LIMIT THE RECOGNITION AFFORDED TO SUCH JUDGMENTS.

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Delaware carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

S.B. 98 is a libel tourism bill.

Florida

Bill number

Florida SB 538

Sponsor

Rules

Title

Sexual Cyberharassment

Status

Signed by Gov. Rick Scott on May 14, 2015.

Summary

S.B. 538 bars the dissemination of a nude or sexually explicit picture of an identifiable person with an intent to “harass” the person depicted.

 

“Harass” is defined as engaging in conduct directed at a specific person, which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

 

There is no exception for images that are newsworthy or of public interest.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Florida SB 538

Rules

Sexual Cyberharassment

Signed by Gov. Rick Scott on May 14, 2015.

S.B. 538 bars the dissemination of a nude or sexually explicit picture of an identifiable person with an intent to “harass” the person depicted.

 

“Harass” is defined as engaging in conduct directed at a specific person, which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.

 

There is no exception for images that are newsworthy or of public interest.

Georgia

Bill number

Georgia HB 103

Sponsor

Rep. Dave Belton (REP-GA)

Title

Kelsey’s Law

Status

Passed by the House. Left pending in the Senate. Georgia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 103 bars identifying a depiction that contains nudity as that of a specific minor in such a manner that a reasonable person would conclude that the image was that of the specific minor. Identifying the minor is done by including the minor’s name, address, telephone number or email address. It may also be done by imposing the facial image of the minor onto the depiction.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Georgia HB 103

Rep. Dave Belton (REP-GA)

Kelsey’s Law

Passed by the House. Left pending in the Senate. Georgia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 103 bars identifying a depiction that contains nudity as that of a specific minor in such a manner that a reasonable person would conclude that the image was that of the specific minor. Identifying the minor is done by including the minor’s name, address, telephone number or email address. It may also be done by imposing the facial image of the minor onto the depiction.

Bill number

Georgia HB 698

Sponsor

Rep. Billy Mitchell (DEM-GA)

Title

Retirement; no public retirement system shall invest funds in companies producing songs using certain racist or obscene lyrics; provide for divestiture of such investments

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Retirement. Georgia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 698 requires Georgia’s public retirement funds to divest from any funds in public obligations of companies or businesses that produce, sell or market songs with lyrics containing the word “nigger,” “whore,” or “bitch” or any form of such words.

 

Any public retirement system that holds such investments on July 1, 2015 shall divest itself of all such investment no later than July 1, 2016.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Georgia HB 698

Rep. Billy Mitchell (DEM-GA)

Retirement; no public retirement system shall invest funds in companies producing songs using certain racist or obscene lyrics; provide for divestiture of such investments

Left pending in the House Committee on Retirement. Georgia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 698 requires Georgia’s public retirement funds to divest from any funds in public obligations of companies or businesses that produce, sell or market songs with lyrics containing the word “nigger,” “whore,” or “bitch” or any form of such words.

 

Any public retirement system that holds such investments on July 1, 2015 shall divest itself of all such investment no later than July 1, 2016.

Hawaii

Bill number

Hawaii HB 529

Sponsor

Rep. Cindy Evans (DEM-HI)

Title

Crime; Arrest Booking Photographs; Mug Shots; Commercial Websites

Status

Left pending in the House. Hawaii carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 529 requires a website to remove an arrest photo within 30 days of any person who makes a written request if the person was not convicted or successfully completed the terms of certain convictions.

 

The legislation also bars state criminal justice agencies from posting arrest photos, except as required by law to be posted.

 

These restrictions do not apply to conviction data and to cases wherein the defendant is not convicted because of “physical or mental disease, disorder or defect.”

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 529 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Hawaii HB 529

Rep. Cindy Evans (DEM-HI)

Crime; Arrest Booking Photographs; Mug Shots; Commercial Websites

Left pending in the House. Hawaii carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 529 requires a website to remove an arrest photo within 30 days of any person who makes a written request if the person was not convicted or successfully completed the terms of certain convictions.

 

The legislation also bars state criminal justice agencies from posting arrest photos, except as required by law to be posted.

 

These restrictions do not apply to conviction data and to cases wherein the defendant is not convicted because of “physical or mental disease, disorder or defect.”

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 529 »

Bill number

Hawaii SB 264

Sponsor

Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (DEM-HI)

Title

Indecent Advertising; Massage

Status

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. Hawaii carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 264 bars a publisher or producer of a print, broadcast or electronic advertising medium from running any advertisement or listing for massage therapy, relaxation therapy or an escort service that includes the word “massage,” “relaxation,” “spa,” “escort” or “body rubs,” images depicting any person being advertised as a massage therapist, relaxation therapist or escort in nude condition; or any advertisement that refers to the “intimate areas” of a person being advertised as a massage therapist, relaxation therapist or escort in any print, electronic advertisement of directories that includes the word “massage,” “relaxation,” “spa,” “escort” or “body parts.

 

A publisher or producer who obtains a written or electronic agreement from the advertiser that the advertiser will not advertise any service in violation of state or federal law shall be entitled to a rebuttable presumption of compliance with this section.

 

Advertising includes in any newspaper or magazine, broadcasting commercials or distributing commercial messages through any electronic communication system, including but not limited to the internet.

 

“Intimate areas” is defined by reference to another section. “Nude condition” is not defined.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Hawaii SB 264

Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland (DEM-HI)

Indecent Advertising; Massage

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor. Hawaii carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

S.B. 264 bars a publisher or producer of a print, broadcast or electronic advertising medium from running any advertisement or listing for massage therapy, relaxation therapy or an escort service that includes the word “massage,” “relaxation,” “spa,” “escort” or “body rubs,” images depicting any person being advertised as a massage therapist, relaxation therapist or escort in nude condition; or any advertisement that refers to the “intimate areas” of a person being advertised as a massage therapist, relaxation therapist or escort in any print, electronic advertisement of directories that includes the word “massage,” “relaxation,” “spa,” “escort” or “body parts.

 

A publisher or producer who obtains a written or electronic agreement from the advertiser that the advertiser will not advertise any service in violation of state or federal law shall be entitled to a rebuttable presumption of compliance with this section.

 

Advertising includes in any newspaper or magazine, broadcasting commercials or distributing commercial messages through any electronic communication system, including but not limited to the internet.

 

“Intimate areas” is defined by reference to another section. “Nude condition” is not defined.

Indiana

Bill number

Indiana HB 1535

Sponsor

Rep. Christina Hale (DEM-IN)

Title

Harassment.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.

Summary

H.B. 1535 broadens the existing harassment law to bar any written communication with an intent to ridicule another person and with no intent of legitimate communication. Present law bars such communication with an intent to annoy or alarm another person.

 

A separate provision makes it a crime to use any electronic communication to disseminate to a third person an image of another person who is nude or engaged in sexual conduct if done with an intent to annoy or alarm another person, but with no intent of legitimate communication.

 

If a person is convicted under either of these sections, the victim may sue for civil damages, including punitive damages and legal fees.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Indiana HB 1535

Rep. Christina Hale (DEM-IN)

Harassment.

Died in the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.

H.B. 1535 broadens the existing harassment law to bar any written communication with an intent to ridicule another person and with no intent of legitimate communication. Present law bars such communication with an intent to annoy or alarm another person.

 

A separate provision makes it a crime to use any electronic communication to disseminate to a third person an image of another person who is nude or engaged in sexual conduct if done with an intent to annoy or alarm another person, but with no intent of legitimate communication.

 

If a person is convicted under either of these sections, the victim may sue for civil damages, including punitive damages and legal fees.

Bill number

Indiana SB 313

Sponsor

Sen. Randall Head (REP-IN)

Title

Definition of “”sexual conduct””.

Status

Signed by Gov. Mike Pence on April 29, 2015.

Summary

S.B. 313 expands the definition of “sexual conduct” in the existing Indiana child pornography law to include female breasts if they are unclothed or less than opaquely covered.

 

The existing Indiana law bars the possession of any image containing sexual conduct of anyone under the age of 18 or anyone who appears to be under the age of 18 if the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 313 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Indiana SB 313

Sen. Randall Head (REP-IN)

Definition of “”sexual conduct””.

Signed by Gov. Mike Pence on April 29, 2015.

S.B. 313 expands the definition of “sexual conduct” in the existing Indiana child pornography law to include female breasts if they are unclothed or less than opaquely covered.

 

The existing Indiana law bars the possession of any image containing sexual conduct of anyone under the age of 18 or anyone who appears to be under the age of 18 if the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 313 »

Bill number

Indiana SB 314

Sponsor

Sen. Randall Head (REP-IN)

Title

Child exploitation and child pornography.

Status

Withdrawn from consideration in the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. An identical bill, Senate Bill 313, was passed and signed into law by Gov. Pence.

Summary

S.B. 314 expands the definition of “sexual conduct” in the existing Indiana child pornography law to include female breasts if they are unclothed or less than opaquely covered.

 

The existing Indiana law bars the possession of any image containing sexual conduct of anyone under the age of 18 or anyone who appears to be under the age of 18 if the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

 

The bill is identical to S.B. 313.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Indiana SB 314

Sen. Randall Head (REP-IN)

Child exploitation and child pornography.

Withdrawn from consideration in the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law. An identical bill, Senate Bill 313, was passed and signed into law by Gov. Pence.

S.B. 314 expands the definition of “sexual conduct” in the existing Indiana child pornography law to include female breasts if they are unclothed or less than opaquely covered.

 

The existing Indiana law bars the possession of any image containing sexual conduct of anyone under the age of 18 or anyone who appears to be under the age of 18 if the material lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

 

The bill is identical to S.B. 313.

Kansas

Bill number

Kansas HB 2062

Sponsor

Committee on Appropriations

Title

Relating to blackmail and breach of privacy.

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Kansas carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 2062 adds to the existing breach of privacy law to make it illegal to knowingly and without lawful authority disseminate or permit the dissemination of any videotape, film, photograph or image of another identifiable person who is nude or in a state of undress, with the intent to invade the privacy of that person and without the consent of that other person to such dissemination.

 

Neither “nude” nor “state of undress” is defined in the bill or existing section of the law.

 

A violation is a felony.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kansas HB 2062

Committee on Appropriations

Relating to blackmail and breach of privacy.

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Kansas carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 2062 adds to the existing breach of privacy law to make it illegal to knowingly and without lawful authority disseminate or permit the dissemination of any videotape, film, photograph or image of another identifiable person who is nude or in a state of undress, with the intent to invade the privacy of that person and without the consent of that other person to such dissemination.

 

Neither “nude” nor “state of undress” is defined in the bill or existing section of the law.

 

A violation is a felony.

Bill number

Kansas HB 2080

Sponsor

Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Title

Including unlawful dissemination of consensually taken images in blackmail and breach of privacy.

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Kansas carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 2080 adds to the breach of privacy law a provision to make it a crime to disseminate or permit to be disseminated any photographic image of another adult who is nude or in a state of undress, when the image was captured with the consent of that other person, but that other person did not consent to the dissemination of it.

 

There is an enhanced penalty if the distribution is done to gain anything of value, done with an intent to annoy or alarm, the image is paired with personally identifiable information or maintaining a website that contains the image.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kansas HB 2080

Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Including unlawful dissemination of consensually taken images in blackmail and breach of privacy.

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Kansas carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 2080 adds to the breach of privacy law a provision to make it a crime to disseminate or permit to be disseminated any photographic image of another adult who is nude or in a state of undress, when the image was captured with the consent of that other person, but that other person did not consent to the dissemination of it.

 

There is an enhanced penalty if the distribution is done to gain anything of value, done with an intent to annoy or alarm, the image is paired with personally identifiable information or maintaining a website that contains the image.

Bill number

Kansas HB 2277

Sponsor

Committee on Judiciary

Title

Enacting the Kansas child protection registry act.

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Kansas carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 2277 requires Kansas to create and operate a “child protection registry” that allows minors or their parents to register the minor’s electronic contact points with the state.

 

No one may then send or cause to be sent to any contact point registered with the state a communication that has the primary purpose of advertising or promoting material harmful to minors or any good or service that a minor is prohibited from purchasing by law.

 

The state will then create a system to allow companies to scrub their contact list of addresses registered as minors.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kansas HB 2277

Committee on Judiciary

Enacting the Kansas child protection registry act.

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Kansas carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 2277 requires Kansas to create and operate a “child protection registry” that allows minors or their parents to register the minor’s electronic contact points with the state.

 

No one may then send or cause to be sent to any contact point registered with the state a communication that has the primary purpose of advertising or promoting material harmful to minors or any good or service that a minor is prohibited from purchasing by law.

 

The state will then create a system to allow companies to scrub their contact list of addresses registered as minors.

Kentucky

Bill number

Kentucky HB 257

Sponsor

Rep. Darryl Owens (DEM-KY)

Title

AN ACT relating to harassing communications

Status

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 257 makes it a crime to use any electronic communication to communicate in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and serves no purpose of legitimate communication.

 

It also bars any communication with the intent to annoy or alarm if a comment, request, suggestion or proposal is lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kentucky HB 257

Rep. Darryl Owens (DEM-KY)

AN ACT relating to harassing communications

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 257 makes it a crime to use any electronic communication to communicate in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and serves no purpose of legitimate communication.

 

It also bars any communication with the intent to annoy or alarm if a comment, request, suggestion or proposal is lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent.

Louisiana

Bill number

Louisiana HB 153

Sponsor

Rep. Timothy Burns (REP-LA)

Title

Crime: Creates The Crime of Unlawful Distribution Of Material Harmful To Minors Through The Internet (En Increase Lf Rv See Note)

Status

Signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 23, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 153 requires anyone in Louisiana who publishes material harmful to minors on the Internet to require anyone attempting to access such material to attest and acknowledge he or she is 18 years old before permitting access to the material.

 

Failure to do so will be deemed an unlawful dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors if the material being distributed is harmful to minors.

 

A publisher will not be held liable for allowing a minor to access material harmful to minors if the minor falsely acknowledged and attested that he or she is 18 years old.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 153 »

 

See the lawsuit we filed challenging the law, Garden District Book Shop v. Caldwell »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Louisiana HB 153

Rep. Timothy Burns (REP-LA)

Crime: Creates The Crime of Unlawful Distribution Of Material Harmful To Minors Through The Internet (En Increase Lf Rv See Note)

Signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 23, 2015.

H.B. 153 requires anyone in Louisiana who publishes material harmful to minors on the Internet to require anyone attempting to access such material to attest and acknowledge he or she is 18 years old before permitting access to the material.

 

Failure to do so will be deemed an unlawful dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors if the material being distributed is harmful to minors.

 

A publisher will not be held liable for allowing a minor to access material harmful to minors if the minor falsely acknowledged and attested that he or she is 18 years old.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 153 »

 

See the lawsuit we filed challenging the law, Garden District Book Shop v. Caldwell »

Bill number

Louisiana HB 489

Sponsor

Rep. Julie Stokes (REP-LA)

Title

Crime: Creates The Crime of Nonconsensual Disclosure Of A Private Image (En Increase GF Ex See Note)

Status

Signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 25, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 489 bars the dissemination of an image that contains an identifiable person nude or engaged in sexual activity without consent if the picture was obtained under circumstances in which a reasonable would know or understand that the image was to remain private and the person who disseminated it knew or should have known that the disclosure could harass or cause emotional distress to the person in the image.

 

There is an exception for an image “related to a matter of public interest, public concern or related to a public figure who is intimately involved in the resolution of important public questions, or by reason of his fame shapes events in areas of concern to society.”

 

Intimate parts are defined as “the fully unclothed, partially unclothed, or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, or anus. If the person depicted in the image is a female, ‘intimate parts’ also means a partially or fully exposed nipple, including exposure through transparent clothing.”

 

A violation is subject to a prison sentence of up to two years, with or without hard labor, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Louisiana HB 489

Rep. Julie Stokes (REP-LA)

Crime: Creates The Crime of Nonconsensual Disclosure Of A Private Image (En Increase GF Ex See Note)

Signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal on June 25, 2015.

H.B. 489 bars the dissemination of an image that contains an identifiable person nude or engaged in sexual activity without consent if the picture was obtained under circumstances in which a reasonable would know or understand that the image was to remain private and the person who disseminated it knew or should have known that the disclosure could harass or cause emotional distress to the person in the image.

 

There is an exception for an image “related to a matter of public interest, public concern or related to a public figure who is intimately involved in the resolution of important public questions, or by reason of his fame shapes events in areas of concern to society.”

 

Intimate parts are defined as “the fully unclothed, partially unclothed, or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, or anus. If the person depicted in the image is a female, ‘intimate parts’ also means a partially or fully exposed nipple, including exposure through transparent clothing.”

 

A violation is subject to a prison sentence of up to two years, with or without hard labor, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Maine

Bill number

Maine LD 679

Sponsor

Rep. Kenneth Fredette (REP-ME)

Title

An Act to Prohibit the Unauthorized Distribution of Certain Private Images

Status

Became law without the governor’s signature on July 12, 2015.

Summary

L.D. 679 makes it illegal to distribute an image of another identifiable person who is nude or engaged in sexual conduct, if done without the person’s consent.

 

Nudity is defined as fully nude, partially nude or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, anus or any portion of the breast of a female below the top of the areola.


06/15/2015: The bill was amended to limit it to images disseminated with an intent to harass, torment or threaten and the dissemination has no newsworthy or public purpose.

 

There is no limitation to images where the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on L.D. 679 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Maine LD 679

Rep. Kenneth Fredette (REP-ME)

An Act to Prohibit the Unauthorized Distribution of Certain Private Images

Became law without the governor’s signature on July 12, 2015.

L.D. 679 makes it illegal to distribute an image of another identifiable person who is nude or engaged in sexual conduct, if done without the person’s consent.

 

Nudity is defined as fully nude, partially nude or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, anus or any portion of the breast of a female below the top of the areola.


06/15/2015: The bill was amended to limit it to images disseminated with an intent to harass, torment or threaten and the dissemination has no newsworthy or public purpose.

 

There is no limitation to images where the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on L.D. 679 »

Bill number

Maine LD 1114

Sponsor

Sen. G. William Diamond (DEM-ME)

Title

An Act To Protect Maine’s Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Status

Left pending in the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Maine carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

L.D. 1114 makes it a crime for an adult to “electronically transmit” an image or video of sexually explicit conduct or a link to a site that hosts such an image to a person he or she knows or believes to be less than 14 years old.

 

“Electronically transmit” includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail or text messaging or through social media or a “community online forum.”

 

“Sexually explicit conduct” is not defined.


07/01/2015: The bill was amended to remove the section restricting the dissemination to minors of sexual material but that does not meet the Miller/Ginsberg test for what is illegal for minors.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on L.D. 1114 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Maine LD 1114

Sen. G. William Diamond (DEM-ME)

An Act To Protect Maine’s Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

Left pending in the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Maine carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

L.D. 1114 makes it a crime for an adult to “electronically transmit” an image or video of sexually explicit conduct or a link to a site that hosts such an image to a person he or she knows or believes to be less than 14 years old.

 

“Electronically transmit” includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail or text messaging or through social media or a “community online forum.”

 

“Sexually explicit conduct” is not defined.


07/01/2015: The bill was amended to remove the section restricting the dissemination to minors of sexual material but that does not meet the Miller/Ginsberg test for what is illegal for minors.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on L.D. 1114 »

Maryland

Bill number

Maryland HB 744

Sponsor

Del. Jill Carter (DEM-MD)

Title

Commercial Law – Consumer Protection – “”Mug Shot”” Web Sites

Status

Signed by Gov. Larry Hogan on May 12, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 744 requires anyone who has published online an arrest booking photo for a criminal or traffic charge or suspected violation of a criminal or traffic law to remove it within 30 days upon written request by the person in the image, if the offense can be expunged under Maryland law. A violation is deemed an unfair trade practice.


04/03/2015: The bill was amended to limit the application to websites that charge a fee to remove the arrest photo.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 744 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Maryland HB 744

Del. Jill Carter (DEM-MD)

Commercial Law – Consumer Protection – “”Mug Shot”” Web Sites

Signed by Gov. Larry Hogan on May 12, 2015.

H.B. 744 requires anyone who has published online an arrest booking photo for a criminal or traffic charge or suspected violation of a criminal or traffic law to remove it within 30 days upon written request by the person in the image, if the offense can be expunged under Maryland law. A violation is deemed an unfair trade practice.


04/03/2015: The bill was amended to limit the application to websites that charge a fee to remove the arrest photo.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 744 »

Massachusetts

Bill number

Massachusetts HB 483

Sponsor

Rep. Alan Silvia (DEM-MA)

Title

An Act relative to the harmful distribution of sexually explicit visual material

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Education. Massachusetts carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 483 makes it a crime for anyone to electronically distribute, publish, email, hyperlink or make available for downloading a visual image depicting nudity or sexual conduct of another identifiable person with an intent to cause substantial emotional distress or humiliation and without the consent of the person depicted.

 

A first violation shall be punished by a fine of no less than $1,000 or imprisonment for no less than 1 year or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Neither substantial emotional distress nor humiliation are defined in the legislation.

 

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy element of the crime.

 

There are no exceptions for commercial or voluntary nudity or for newsworthy images.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts HB 483

Rep. Alan Silvia (DEM-MA)

An Act relative to the harmful distribution of sexually explicit visual material

Left pending in the House Committee on Education. Massachusetts carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 483 makes it a crime for anyone to electronically distribute, publish, email, hyperlink or make available for downloading a visual image depicting nudity or sexual conduct of another identifiable person with an intent to cause substantial emotional distress or humiliation and without the consent of the person depicted.

 

A first violation shall be punished by a fine of no less than $1,000 or imprisonment for no less than 1 year or by both such fine and imprisonment.

 

Neither substantial emotional distress nor humiliation are defined in the legislation.

 

There is no reasonable expectation of privacy element of the crime.

 

There are no exceptions for commercial or voluntary nudity or for newsworthy images.

Bill number

Massachusetts HB 1399

Sponsor

Rep. Bradley Jones (REP-MA)

Title

An Act relative to profits from crime

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Massachusetts carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 1399 requires any person or entity that enters into a contract with a “defendant” for anything of value derived from a “unique knowledge or notoriety acquired by means and in consequence of commission of a crime” to submit the contract to the Attorney General’s office and post a bond equal to the value of the contract.

 

The Attorney General then determines if the contract was entered into for the unique knowledge of the crime or notoriety related to it. If the Attorney General deems that it is, the state keeps the bonded money to pay any civil damages related to the crime. After all claims are paid, the state is entitled to keep 50 percent of the balance of the bond for the victim compensation fund. The other half is to be returned to the contracting party.

 

A “defendant” is defined as anyone charged with or convicted of a crime, or has voluntarily admitted to having committed the crime. Failure to do so is subject to a civil penalty equal to the value of the contract. If the failure is willful, it is subject to a civil fine of up to three times the value of the contract.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1399 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts HB 1399

Rep. Bradley Jones (REP-MA)

An Act relative to profits from crime

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Massachusetts carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 1399 requires any person or entity that enters into a contract with a “defendant” for anything of value derived from a “unique knowledge or notoriety acquired by means and in consequence of commission of a crime” to submit the contract to the Attorney General’s office and post a bond equal to the value of the contract.

 

The Attorney General then determines if the contract was entered into for the unique knowledge of the crime or notoriety related to it. If the Attorney General deems that it is, the state keeps the bonded money to pay any civil damages related to the crime. After all claims are paid, the state is entitled to keep 50 percent of the balance of the bond for the victim compensation fund. The other half is to be returned to the contracting party.

 

A “defendant” is defined as anyone charged with or convicted of a crime, or has voluntarily admitted to having committed the crime. Failure to do so is subject to a civil penalty equal to the value of the contract. If the failure is willful, it is subject to a civil fine of up to three times the value of the contract.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1399 »

Bill number

Massachusetts HB 1513

Sponsor

Rep. Harold Naughton (DEM-MA)

Title

An Act relative to the disclosure of visual images of a person without his or her consent

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Massachusetts carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 1513 bars disclosure of an image of another identifiable person nude, partially nude or engaged in sex if he or she knew or should have known that the person in the image did not consent.

 

There is an exception for disclosure for the purpose of “any bona fide and lawful public purpose.”

 

A vioaltion is subject to imprisonment in the House of Correction for no more than 2 and a half years or in the state prison for no more than 5 years or by a fine of no more than $10,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts HB 1513

Rep. Harold Naughton (DEM-MA)

An Act relative to the disclosure of visual images of a person without his or her consent

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Massachusetts carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 1513 bars disclosure of an image of another identifiable person nude, partially nude or engaged in sex if he or she knew or should have known that the person in the image did not consent.

 

There is an exception for disclosure for the purpose of “any bona fide and lawful public purpose.”

 

A vioaltion is subject to imprisonment in the House of Correction for no more than 2 and a half years or in the state prison for no more than 5 years or by a fine of no more than $10,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Michigan

Bill number

Michigan HB 4584

Sponsor

Rep. Thomas Hooker (REP-MI)

Title

Civil procedure; civil actions; uniform foreign-country money judgments recognition act; amend to exclude foreign defamation judgments.

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Michigan carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 4584 bars enforcement of foreign defamation judgment to the extent they conflict with First Amendment protections in such cases in the U.S.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Michigan HB 4584

Rep. Thomas Hooker (REP-MI)

Civil procedure; civil actions; uniform foreign-country money judgments recognition act; amend to exclude foreign defamation judgments.

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary. Michigan carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 4584 bars enforcement of foreign defamation judgment to the extent they conflict with First Amendment protections in such cases in the U.S.

Bill number

Michigan SB 508

Sponsor

Sen. Steven Bieda (DEM-MI)

Title

Crimes; other; intentional posting of sexually explicit visual material of another person without consent; prohibit.

Status

Passed by Senate. Left pending in the House Committee on Criminal Justice. Michigan carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 508 bars dissemination of an image containing nudity or sexual content in which the person in the image is identifiable from the image or information associated with it, the person who disseminates it obtained the image under circumstances that he or she knew or should have known the image was to remain private and knew or should have known that the person in the image did not consent.

 

There is an exception for media that is similar to the Right of Publicity exemption language: “The use of sexually explicit visual material that is part of a news report or commentary or an artistic or expressive work, such as performance, work of art, literary work, theatrical work, musical work, motion picture, film or audiovisual work.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Michigan SB 508

Sen. Steven Bieda (DEM-MI)

Crimes; other; intentional posting of sexually explicit visual material of another person without consent; prohibit.

Passed by Senate. Left pending in the House Committee on Criminal Justice. Michigan carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

S.B. 508 bars dissemination of an image containing nudity or sexual content in which the person in the image is identifiable from the image or information associated with it, the person who disseminates it obtained the image under circumstances that he or she knew or should have known the image was to remain private and knew or should have known that the person in the image did not consent.

 

There is an exception for media that is similar to the Right of Publicity exemption language: “The use of sexually explicit visual material that is part of a news report or commentary or an artistic or expressive work, such as performance, work of art, literary work, theatrical work, musical work, motion picture, film or audiovisual work.”

Minnesota

Bill number

Minnesota HF 18 (1st Special Session)

Sponsor

Rep. John Lesch (DFL-MN)

Title

Unauthorized disclosure of images penalties provided, criminal defamation clarified, penalties for using another’s identity to solicit sex established.

Status

Introduced during the 1st Special Session. Left pending. Minnesota carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.F. 18 bars the intentional distribution of images of an identifiable person nude or engaged in sexual activity if the image was obtained in circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that it was to remain private and the person in the image did not consent to the distribution.

 

There is an exception for the dissemination of such an image for a lawful public purpose.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Minnesota HF 18 (1st Special Session)

Rep. John Lesch (DFL-MN)

Unauthorized disclosure of images penalties provided, criminal defamation clarified, penalties for using another’s identity to solicit sex established.

Introduced during the 1st Special Session. Left pending. Minnesota carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.F. 18 bars the intentional distribution of images of an identifiable person nude or engaged in sexual activity if the image was obtained in circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that it was to remain private and the person in the image did not consent to the distribution.

 

There is an exception for the dissemination of such an image for a lawful public purpose.

Mississippi

Bill number

Mississippi HB 543

Sponsor

Rep. Deborah Dixon (DEM-MS)

Title

Model Penal Code – “”Truth in Sentencing””: enact to provide uniform sentencing guidelines.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 543 bars the distribution of “obscene” material. Material is deemed “obscene” if, “considered as a whole, its predominant appeal is to prurient interest, that is, a shameful or morbid interest, in nudity, sex or excretion, and if in addition, it goes substantially beyond the customary limits of candor in describing or representing such matters.”

 

The definition of “obscene” material lacks the serious value prong of the Miller test. It does allow evidence of serious value to be introduced but does not say for what purpose.

 

The legislation allows the court to dismiss a prosecution for “obscenity” if it is satisfied that the material is not “obscene.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Mississippi HB 543

Rep. Deborah Dixon (DEM-MS)

Model Penal Code – “”Truth in Sentencing””: enact to provide uniform sentencing guidelines.

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 543 bars the distribution of “obscene” material. Material is deemed “obscene” if, “considered as a whole, its predominant appeal is to prurient interest, that is, a shameful or morbid interest, in nudity, sex or excretion, and if in addition, it goes substantially beyond the customary limits of candor in describing or representing such matters.”

 

The definition of “obscene” material lacks the serious value prong of the Miller test. It does allow evidence of serious value to be introduced but does not say for what purpose.

 

The legislation allows the court to dismiss a prosecution for “obscenity” if it is satisfied that the material is not “obscene.”

Bill number

Mississippi SB 2181

Sponsor

Sen. Haskins Montgomery (DEM-MS)

Title

Cyberbullying; revise and clarify electronic communication offenses.

Status

Died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 2181 makes it unlawful to send an electronic communication without disclosing one’s identity with an intent to annoy any person who accesses the electronic address.

 

A first violation is subject to up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Mississippi SB 2181

Sen. Haskins Montgomery (DEM-MS)

Cyberbullying; revise and clarify electronic communication offenses.

Died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 2181 makes it unlawful to send an electronic communication without disclosing one’s identity with an intent to annoy any person who accesses the electronic address.

 

A first violation is subject to up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

Missouri

Bill number

Missouri HB 848

Sponsor

Rep. Ken Wilson (REP-MO)

Title

Expands the crime of invasion of privacy to include the use of a drone to photograph, film, videotape, produce or otherwise create an image of another person without his or her consent

Status

Withdrawn from consideration by the sponsor on February 23, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 848 bars the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle to capture an image of another person, without their consent, if the person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Missouri HB 848

Rep. Ken Wilson (REP-MO)

Expands the crime of invasion of privacy to include the use of a drone to photograph, film, videotape, produce or otherwise create an image of another person without his or her consent

Withdrawn from consideration by the sponsor on February 23, 2015.

H.B. 848 bars the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle to capture an image of another person, without their consent, if the person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Bill number

Missouri HB 916

Sponsor

Rep. Linda Black (REP-MO)

Title

Establishes the Missouri Child Protection Registry Act

Status

Died in the House Committee on Civil and Criminal Proceedings.

Summary

H.B. 916 creates a “do not contact” list for minors. Businesses would be barred from sending any information about material harmful to minors, alcohol, tobacco, vapor products or controlled substances.

 

Businesses would have to scrub their list of electronic contacts every 30 days.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Missouri HB 916

Rep. Linda Black (REP-MO)

Establishes the Missouri Child Protection Registry Act

Died in the House Committee on Civil and Criminal Proceedings.

H.B. 916 creates a “do not contact” list for minors. Businesses would be barred from sending any information about material harmful to minors, alcohol, tobacco, vapor products or controlled substances.

 

Businesses would have to scrub their list of electronic contacts every 30 days.

Bill number

Missouri SB 179

Sponsor

Sen. David Sater (REP-MO)

Title

Establishes the Missouri Child Protection Registry

Status

Died in the Senate Committee on Seniors, Families and Children.

Summary

S.B. 179 creates a registry for contact points for minors. It then bars anyone from sending a message to the contact point to advertise or market any material harmful to minors after 30 days from the time the contact point was added to the registry.

 

The message is not barred if, prior to sending it, the sender obtained consent from an age-verified adult that the message can be received at an adult-designated contact point.

 

Any registration for a specific minor expires the year the minor reaches the age of 18.

 

A violation of the law is a misdemeanor. It also creates a cause of action to bring a civil action against the sender of a message.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Missouri SB 179

Sen. David Sater (REP-MO)

Establishes the Missouri Child Protection Registry

Died in the Senate Committee on Seniors, Families and Children.

S.B. 179 creates a registry for contact points for minors. It then bars anyone from sending a message to the contact point to advertise or market any material harmful to minors after 30 days from the time the contact point was added to the registry.

 

The message is not barred if, prior to sending it, the sender obtained consent from an age-verified adult that the message can be received at an adult-designated contact point.

 

Any registration for a specific minor expires the year the minor reaches the age of 18.

 

A violation of the law is a misdemeanor. It also creates a cause of action to bring a civil action against the sender of a message.

Montana

Bill number

Montana HB 317

Sponsor

Rep. Ellie Hill (DEM-MT)

Title

Provide for offense of cyberbullying.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 317 makes it a crime to register a minor for access to a pornographic Internet website.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Montana HB 317

Rep. Ellie Hill (DEM-MT)

Provide for offense of cyberbullying.

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 317 makes it a crime to register a minor for access to a pornographic Internet website.

Bill number

Montana HB 633

Sponsor

Rep. Dale Mortensen (REP-MT)

Title

Revise laws related to filming law enforcement officers

Status

Died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 633 requires anyone working for a television or film production company to obtain a permit from a law enforcement agency in order to be permitted to accompany a law enforcement officer conducting official duties on private property.

 

A law enforcement agency that allows a law enforcement officer to be accompanied and filmed retains full control over the content of any recording and must approve its use and any edited version of the content before the content or edited content may be aired.

 

The television or film production company must also obtain a release waiver from any person who is filmed interacting with a law enforcement officer.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Montana HB 633

Rep. Dale Mortensen (REP-MT)

Revise laws related to filming law enforcement officers

Died in the House.

H.B. 633 requires anyone working for a television or film production company to obtain a permit from a law enforcement agency in order to be permitted to accompany a law enforcement officer conducting official duties on private property.

 

A law enforcement agency that allows a law enforcement officer to be accompanied and filmed retains full control over the content of any recording and must approve its use and any edited version of the content before the content or edited content may be aired.

 

The television or film production company must also obtain a release waiver from any person who is filmed interacting with a law enforcement officer.

Nevada

Bill number

Nevada AB 49

Sponsor

Judiciary

Title

Revises provisions governing crimes. (BDR 15-158)

Status

Signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval on June 8, 2015.

Summary

A.B. 49 bars the dissemination of any photo of another, clearly identifiable person if he or she is nude or engaged in sexual activity, and the picture is disseminated with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize the person, the person in the image did not consent to the dissemination, and that person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an exception if the picture has been disseminated for a legitimate public purpose.

 

Also, pictures are not subject to the law if the person depicted is a public figure.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Nevada AB 49

Judiciary

Revises provisions governing crimes. (BDR 15-158)

Signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval on June 8, 2015.

A.B. 49 bars the dissemination of any photo of another, clearly identifiable person if he or she is nude or engaged in sexual activity, and the picture is disseminated with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize the person, the person in the image did not consent to the dissemination, and that person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an exception if the picture has been disseminated for a legitimate public purpose.

 

Also, pictures are not subject to the law if the person depicted is a public figure.

New Jersey

Bill number

New Jersey AB 3148

Sponsor

Asm. Troy Singleton (DEM-NJ)

Title

Prohibits advertising of certain products on websites to minors.

Status

Died in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs.

Summary

A.B. 3148 bars any website, online service, online application or mobile application program directed to minors or that has actual knowledge that a minor is using the site, service or application from marketing or advertising to a minor a series of goods that are illegal for minors, including New Jersey’s “obscene for minors” law.

 

The “obscene for minors” law does not comply with the Miller/Ginsberg standard for material harmful to minors.

 

“Market or advertise” is defined as, in an exchange for monetary compensation, to make a communication to one or more individuals or to arrange for the dissemination to the public of communication about a product or service the primary purpose of which is to encourage recipient of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.

 

An Internet website directed to minors is defined as “an Internet website, online service, online application program or mobile application program, or a portion thereof, that is created for the purpose of reaching an audience that is predominately comprised of minors, and is not intended for a more general audience comprised of adults.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey AB 3148

Asm. Troy Singleton (DEM-NJ)

Prohibits advertising of certain products on websites to minors.

Died in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs.

A.B. 3148 bars any website, online service, online application or mobile application program directed to minors or that has actual knowledge that a minor is using the site, service or application from marketing or advertising to a minor a series of goods that are illegal for minors, including New Jersey’s “obscene for minors” law.

 

The “obscene for minors” law does not comply with the Miller/Ginsberg standard for material harmful to minors.

 

“Market or advertise” is defined as, in an exchange for monetary compensation, to make a communication to one or more individuals or to arrange for the dissemination to the public of communication about a product or service the primary purpose of which is to encourage recipient of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.

 

An Internet website directed to minors is defined as “an Internet website, online service, online application program or mobile application program, or a portion thereof, that is created for the purpose of reaching an audience that is predominately comprised of minors, and is not intended for a more general audience comprised of adults.”

Bill number

New Jersey AB 3286

Sponsor

Asm. Reed Gusciora (DEM-NJ)

Title

Prohibits advertising of certain products to minors on websites; requires website operators to allow minors to delete posts.

Status

Died in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs.

Summary

A.B. 3286 bars any website, online service or any application directed to minors that has actual knowledge a minor is using its service from marketing or advertising to minors or allow others to do so for a list of goods and services that are illegal for minors.

 

Among the material that could not be marketed or advertised to minors is “obscene for minors” material. However, the definition of this material does not include the Miller/Ginsberg standard.

 

An operator is deemed to have complied if he or she has taken reasonable steps to avoid marketing or advertising (or allowing others to do so) of the list of goods and services.

 

The bill also requires the site to allow minors to remove information the minor had posted. The post must be erased within 7 days.

 

This bill is companion to S.B. 1256.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey AB 3286

Asm. Reed Gusciora (DEM-NJ)

Prohibits advertising of certain products to minors on websites; requires website operators to allow minors to delete posts.

Died in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs.

A.B. 3286 bars any website, online service or any application directed to minors that has actual knowledge a minor is using its service from marketing or advertising to minors or allow others to do so for a list of goods and services that are illegal for minors.

 

Among the material that could not be marketed or advertised to minors is “obscene for minors” material. However, the definition of this material does not include the Miller/Ginsberg standard.

 

An operator is deemed to have complied if he or she has taken reasonable steps to avoid marketing or advertising (or allowing others to do so) of the list of goods and services.

 

The bill also requires the site to allow minors to remove information the minor had posted. The post must be erased within 7 days.

 

This bill is companion to S.B. 1256.

Bill number

New Jersey ACR 64

Sponsor

Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle (DEM-NJ)

Title

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

Status

Died in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

A.C.R. 64 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a direct response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey ACR 64

Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle (DEM-NJ)

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

Died in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary.

A.C.R. 64 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a direct response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

Bill number

New Jersey SCR 34

Sponsor

Sen. Nellie Pou (DEM-NJ)

Title

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

Status

Died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.C.R. 34 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a direct response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey SCR 34

Sen. Nellie Pou (DEM-NJ)

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

Died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

S.C.R. 34 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a direct response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

New Mexico

Bill number

New Mexico HB 237

Sponsor

Rep. Yvette Herrell (REP-NM)

Title

CHILD PROTECTION REGISTRY ACT

Status

Died in the House Committees on Regulatory and Public Affairs, Business and Employment, and Appropriations and Finance.

Summary

H.B. 237 requires the Attorney General to establish and operate a child protection registry list that allows a minor or his or her parents to register their contact information. It would then be unlawful to send or cause to be sent to that minor any communication that contains material harmful to minors or advertises such material. The law also bars contacting that minor about other products and services that are illegal for minors.

 

The Attorney General must create a mechanism to allow anyone sending such communication to verify if the contact point is a minor. The fee to check shall not exceed three cents per contact point.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Mexico HB 237

Rep. Yvette Herrell (REP-NM)

CHILD PROTECTION REGISTRY ACT

Died in the House Committees on Regulatory and Public Affairs, Business and Employment, and Appropriations and Finance.

H.B. 237 requires the Attorney General to establish and operate a child protection registry list that allows a minor or his or her parents to register their contact information. It would then be unlawful to send or cause to be sent to that minor any communication that contains material harmful to minors or advertises such material. The law also bars contacting that minor about other products and services that are illegal for minors.

 

The Attorney General must create a mechanism to allow anyone sending such communication to verify if the contact point is a minor. The fee to check shall not exceed three cents per contact point.

New York

Bill number

New York AB 571

Sponsor

Asm. Edward Braunstein (DEM-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the panel law, in relation to establishing the crime of non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images

Status

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

A.B. 571 bars the intentional and knowing disclosure of an image of another person who is nude or engaged in sexual activity without the consent of the person depicted in the image, when a reasonable would have known the person depicted had not consented and under circumstances when the person in the image has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

A person who consent to a picture being taken or possessed in a “private” or “confidential” relationship retains a reasonable expectation of privacy beyond the end of that relationship.

 

The person in the image does not have to be identifiable.

 

“Disclosure” is defined as any dissemination of the image. It does not exclude republishing of the image.

 

“Intimate parts” are defined as naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the nipple of an adult female.

 

The law would not apply to image of voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy, historic or artistic images.

 

The bill is identical to A.B. 8214, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Braunstein last year.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 571

Asm. Edward Braunstein (DEM-NY)

AN ACT to amend the panel law, in relation to establishing the crime of non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

A.B. 571 bars the intentional and knowing disclosure of an image of another person who is nude or engaged in sexual activity without the consent of the person depicted in the image, when a reasonable would have known the person depicted had not consented and under circumstances when the person in the image has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

A person who consent to a picture being taken or possessed in a “private” or “confidential” relationship retains a reasonable expectation of privacy beyond the end of that relationship.

 

The person in the image does not have to be identifiable.

 

“Disclosure” is defined as any dissemination of the image. It does not exclude republishing of the image.

 

“Intimate parts” are defined as naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the nipple of an adult female.

 

The law would not apply to image of voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy, historic or artistic images.

 

The bill is identical to A.B. 8214, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Braunstein last year.

Bill number

New York AB 1185

Sponsor

Asw. Aileen Gunther (DEM-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

Status

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

A.B. 1185 makes it a crime to intentionally disseminate an image of another person’s “sexual or other intimate parts” without explicit consent to do so and with an intent to harass, annoy or alarm that person.

 

“Sexual or other intimate parts” is not defined.

 

Neither “annoy” nor “alarm” is defined.

 

The person in the image does not have to be identifiable.

 

This bill is the same as A.B. 8204 that Assemblywoman Gunther introduced in 2014.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 1185

Asw. Aileen Gunther (DEM-NY)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

A.B. 1185 makes it a crime to intentionally disseminate an image of another person’s “sexual or other intimate parts” without explicit consent to do so and with an intent to harass, annoy or alarm that person.

 

“Sexual or other intimate parts” is not defined.

 

Neither “annoy” nor “alarm” is defined.

 

The person in the image does not have to be identifiable.

 

This bill is the same as A.B. 8204 that Assemblywoman Gunther introduced in 2014.

Bill number

New York AB 2562

Sponsor

Asm. Steve Katz (REP-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crimes of revenge exposure in the third degree, revenge exposure in the second degree and revenge exposure in the first degree

Status

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

A.B. 2562 makes it a crime to disseminate nude or sexual images of another identifiable person without his or her consent, under circumstances that the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an enhanced penalty if the dissemination is with the intent to cause serious emotional distress or to obtain profit.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 2562

Asm. Steve Katz (REP-NY)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crimes of revenge exposure in the third degree, revenge exposure in the second degree and revenge exposure in the first degree

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

A.B. 2562 makes it a crime to disseminate nude or sexual images of another identifiable person without his or her consent, under circumstances that the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an enhanced penalty if the dissemination is with the intent to cause serious emotional distress or to obtain profit.

Bill number

New York AB 3156

Sponsor

Asm. Matthew Titone (DEM-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, promoting and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, and promoting and possessing a sexual performance by a child; and to amend the civil rights law, in relation to a child victim’s right of privacy

Status

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

A.B. 3156 amends the law struck down in American Library Association v. Pataki to include descriptions of nudity or sexual conduct. Before it was struck down, the law was limited to images of nudity or sexual conduct.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 3156

Asm. Matthew Titone (DEM-NY)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, promoting and possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, and promoting and possessing a sexual performance by a child; and to amend the civil rights law, in relation to a child victim’s right of privacy

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

A.B. 3156 amends the law struck down in American Library Association v. Pataki to include descriptions of nudity or sexual conduct. Before it was struck down, the law was limited to images of nudity or sexual conduct.

Bill number

New York AB 3321

Sponsor

Asm. David Weprin (DEM-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the offense of public display of a blurred sexual advertisement

Status

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

A.B. 3321 bars publishing or the display of any advertisement for anything “sex related” that depicts a person or part of a person without revealing the person’s entire face.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 3321

Asm. David Weprin (DEM-NY)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the offense of public display of a blurred sexual advertisement

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

A.B. 3321 bars publishing or the display of any advertisement for anything “sex related” that depicts a person or part of a person without revealing the person’s entire face.

Bill number

New York AB 3766

Sponsor

Asm. Keith Wright (DEM-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors

Status

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

A.B. 3766 bars the sale or rental of a minor of any video game that has a “mature or violence” rating.

 

Such a rating may contain, but shall not be limited to, depictions descriptive of advocating or glamorizing commission of violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, any sexual activity in a violent context or encouraging murder, violent racism, religious violence, morbid violence or illegal use of drugs or alcohol.

 

Retailers must display such video games in an adults only section of the retail location.

 

“Rating” is defined as “the standardized designation commonly used to inform parents about video games regarding listening and viewing by their children.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 3766

Asm. Keith Wright (DEM-NY)

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors

Left pending in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

A.B. 3766 bars the sale or rental of a minor of any video game that has a “mature or violence” rating.

 

Such a rating may contain, but shall not be limited to, depictions descriptive of advocating or glamorizing commission of violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, any sexual activity in a violent context or encouraging murder, violent racism, religious violence, morbid violence or illegal use of drugs or alcohol.

 

Retailers must display such video games in an adults only section of the retail location.

 

“Rating” is defined as “the standardized designation commonly used to inform parents about video games regarding listening and viewing by their children.”

Bill number

New York SB 610

Sponsor

Sen. Phil Boyle (REP-NY)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

Status

Passed by Senate. Left pending in Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 610 makes it illegal to intentionally disseminate with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, an image or images of the sexual or other intimate parts of another person without explicit consent of the other person to do so.

 

“Annoy,” “alarm” and “harass” are not defined. “Sexual or other intimate parts” is also not defined in the bill.

 

The bill does not require that the person in the image be identifiable.

 

The bill is identical to S.B. 5946, which Senator Boyle introduced last year.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York SB 610

Sen. Phil Boyle (REP-NY)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

Passed by Senate. Left pending in Assembly Committee on Codes. New York carries over bills to 2016, so it could be take up again next year.

S.B. 610 makes it illegal to intentionally disseminate with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, an image or images of the sexual or other intimate parts of another person without explicit consent of the other person to do so.

 

“Annoy,” “alarm” and “harass” are not defined. “Sexual or other intimate parts” is also not defined in the bill.

 

The bill does not require that the person in the image be identifiable.

 

The bill is identical to S.B. 5946, which Senator Boyle introduced last year.

North Carolina

Bill number

North Carolina HB 792

Sponsor

Rep. Rob Bryan (REP-NC)

Title

Privacy/Protection from Revenge Postings.

Status

Signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on September 25, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 792 bars disclosure of a picture depicting a person nude or engaging in sexual activity without the consent of the person in the image and if the person disclosing the image knew or should have known that the person in the image had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an exception for voluntary exposure in public or in a commercial setting. There is a second exception for “disclosures in the public interest,” but the specific list does not suggest this is a newsworthy exception.

 

Reasonable expectation of privacy is defined as when a person has consented to the disclosure of an image within the context of a confidential relationship and reasonably believes that it will not go beyond that relationship.

 

A violation is a felony. A person depicted in an image may also sue for damages to be computer at $1,000 per day or $10,000, whichever is greater.


10/12/2015: H.B. 792 was amended to add additional elements to the crime.

  1. The distribution of an image must also be done with an intent to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate or cause financial loss to the person in the image, or cause others to do so.
  2. The person in the image must be identifiable from the image itself or information offered in connection with the image.

 

The bill was also amended to require that the image be distributed without affirmative consent of the person depicted.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

North Carolina HB 792

Rep. Rob Bryan (REP-NC)

Privacy/Protection from Revenge Postings.

Signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on September 25, 2015.

H.B. 792 bars disclosure of a picture depicting a person nude or engaging in sexual activity without the consent of the person in the image and if the person disclosing the image knew or should have known that the person in the image had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an exception for voluntary exposure in public or in a commercial setting. There is a second exception for “disclosures in the public interest,” but the specific list does not suggest this is a newsworthy exception.

 

Reasonable expectation of privacy is defined as when a person has consented to the disclosure of an image within the context of a confidential relationship and reasonably believes that it will not go beyond that relationship.

 

A violation is a felony. A person depicted in an image may also sue for damages to be computer at $1,000 per day or $10,000, whichever is greater.


10/12/2015: H.B. 792 was amended to add additional elements to the crime.

  1. The distribution of an image must also be done with an intent to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate or cause financial loss to the person in the image, or cause others to do so.
  2. The person in the image must be identifiable from the image itself or information offered in connection with the image.

 

The bill was also amended to require that the image be distributed without affirmative consent of the person depicted.

North Dakota

Bill number

North Dakota SB 2357

Sponsor

Sen. Mac Schneider (DEM-ND)

Title

AN ACT to create and enact section 12.1-17-07.2 and a new section to chapter 32-03 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the distribution of graphic or intimate images of someone without consent; and to provide a penalty.

Status

Signed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple on April 8, 2015.

Summary

 

S.B. 2357 bars the knowing and intentional distribution of nude or sexual images to any third party, if the person depicted has not given consent, the image was created or the image was provided under circumstances in which the person depicted has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the distribution causes actual emotional distress to the person depicted.

 

There is no newsworthy exception.

 

A violation is a misdemeanor but the legislation also creates a private cause of action against each person who has distributed the image in violation of the first part, regardless of whether a criminal prosecution has been initiated or was successful. The plaintiff can seek economic, non-economic and exemplary or punitive damages and other remedies available by law, and obtain a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction ordering the person to cease distribution of the intimate image.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 2357 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

North Dakota SB 2357

Sen. Mac Schneider (DEM-ND)

AN ACT to create and enact section 12.1-17-07.2 and a new section to chapter 32-03 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the distribution of graphic or intimate images of someone without consent; and to provide a penalty.

Signed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple on April 8, 2015.

 

S.B. 2357 bars the knowing and intentional distribution of nude or sexual images to any third party, if the person depicted has not given consent, the image was created or the image was provided under circumstances in which the person depicted has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the distribution causes actual emotional distress to the person depicted.

 

There is no newsworthy exception.

 

A violation is a misdemeanor but the legislation also creates a private cause of action against each person who has distributed the image in violation of the first part, regardless of whether a criminal prosecution has been initiated or was successful. The plaintiff can seek economic, non-economic and exemplary or punitive damages and other remedies available by law, and obtain a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction ordering the person to cease distribution of the intimate image.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 2357 »

Rhode Island

Bill number

Rhode Island HB 5770

Sponsor

Rep. Donald Lally (DEM-RI)

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — ELECTRONIC IMAGING DEVICES (Prohibits a person from electronically disseminating visual images with sexually explicit content without the consent of persons in the images.)

Status

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 5770 bars the dissemination of images depicting nudity or sexual conduct if the image was captured with the consent of the person depicted, in circumstances where the person who captured the image knew or should have known that the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy and the picture is disseminated without the consent of the person depicted.

 

Re-publishers are not liable unless they have actual knowledge that the picture was initially disseminated illegally.

 

There is a catchall that “constitutionally protected material” is exempted from the legislation.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 5770 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island HB 5770

Rep. Donald Lally (DEM-RI)

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — ELECTRONIC IMAGING DEVICES (Prohibits a person from electronically disseminating visual images with sexually explicit content without the consent of persons in the images.)

Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 5770 bars the dissemination of images depicting nudity or sexual conduct if the image was captured with the consent of the person depicted, in circumstances where the person who captured the image knew or should have known that the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy and the picture is disseminated without the consent of the person depicted.

 

Re-publishers are not liable unless they have actual knowledge that the picture was initially disseminated illegally.

 

There is a catchall that “constitutionally protected material” is exempted from the legislation.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 5770 »

Bill number

Rhode Island SB 625

Sponsor

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (DEM-RI)

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – ELECTRONIC IMAGING DEVISES (Prohibits dissemination, of visual images of another person engaged in sexually explicit conduct, without that person’s consent.)

Status

Died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 625 bars the dissemination of images depicting nudity or sexual conduct, if the image was captured with the consent of the person depicted, in circumstances where the person who captured the image knew or should have known that the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy and the picture is disseminated without the consent of all of the people depicted in the image.

 

There is a catchall that “constitutionally protected material” is exempted from the legislation.

 

A violation is a felony subject to 3 years in prison, a fine of $3,000 or both.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 625 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island SB 625

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (DEM-RI)

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – ELECTRONIC IMAGING DEVISES (Prohibits dissemination, of visual images of another person engaged in sexually explicit conduct, without that person’s consent.)

Died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 625 bars the dissemination of images depicting nudity or sexual conduct, if the image was captured with the consent of the person depicted, in circumstances where the person who captured the image knew or should have known that the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy and the picture is disseminated without the consent of all of the people depicted in the image.

 

There is a catchall that “constitutionally protected material” is exempted from the legislation.

 

A violation is a felony subject to 3 years in prison, a fine of $3,000 or both.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 625 »

Bill number

Rhode Island SB 630

Sponsor

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (DEM-RI)

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — ELECTRONIC IMAGING DEVISES (Prohibits a person from electronically disseminating visual images of another engaged in sexually explicit conduct or the intimate parts of another, without that person’s consent and where the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.)

Status

Passed by the Senate. Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 630 bars the dissemination of images depicting nudity or sexual conduct if the images was captured with the consent of the person depicted, in circumstances where the person who captured the image knew or should have known that the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the picture is disseminated without the consent of the person depicted.

 

Re-publishers are not liable unless they have actual knowledge that the picture was initially disseminated illegally under this section.

 

There is a catchall that “constitutionally protected material” is exempted from the legislation.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 630 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island SB 630

Sen. Erin Lynch Prata (DEM-RI)

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — ELECTRONIC IMAGING DEVISES (Prohibits a person from electronically disseminating visual images of another engaged in sexually explicit conduct or the intimate parts of another, without that person’s consent and where the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.)

Passed by the Senate. Died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 630 bars the dissemination of images depicting nudity or sexual conduct if the images was captured with the consent of the person depicted, in circumstances where the person who captured the image knew or should have known that the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and the picture is disseminated without the consent of the person depicted.

 

Re-publishers are not liable unless they have actual knowledge that the picture was initially disseminated illegally under this section.

 

There is a catchall that “constitutionally protected material” is exempted from the legislation.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 630 »

South Carolina

Bill number

South Carolina SB 255

Sponsor

Sen. Paul Thurmond (REP-SC)

Title

Destruction of booking and arrest records

Status

Left pending in the conference committee. South Carolina carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 255 requires any website to remove booking information, including arrest photos, of anyone not convicted within 30 days upon written request by that person. If the person is convicted of a lesser offense, the publisher is not required to remove the arrest information but must change any published information to reference the lesser charge only.

 

A violation is subject to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

 

The legislation also provides a cause of action against the publisher for failing to remove or change information that has been published.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 255 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

South Carolina SB 255

Sen. Paul Thurmond (REP-SC)

Destruction of booking and arrest records

Left pending in the conference committee. South Carolina carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

S.B. 255 requires any website to remove booking information, including arrest photos, of anyone not convicted within 30 days upon written request by that person. If the person is convicted of a lesser offense, the publisher is not required to remove the arrest information but must change any published information to reference the lesser charge only.

 

A violation is subject to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

 

The legislation also provides a cause of action against the publisher for failing to remove or change information that has been published.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 255 »

South Dakota

Bill number

South Dakota HB 1225

Sponsor

Rep. Elizabeth May (REP-SD)

Title

Prohibit the unauthorized commercial use of a personality’s right of publicity and provide a civil remedy therefor.

Status

Signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on March 30, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 1225 creates a statutory right of publicity for life plus 100 years. There is no standard language exempting specific artistic uses.


02/27/2015: Amended to exempt from right of publicity literary work, theatrical work, musical composition, audio visual work, film, radio or television program. Also material that has political or newsworthy value.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

South Dakota HB 1225

Rep. Elizabeth May (REP-SD)

Prohibit the unauthorized commercial use of a personality’s right of publicity and provide a civil remedy therefor.

Signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on March 30, 2015.

H.B. 1225 creates a statutory right of publicity for life plus 100 years. There is no standard language exempting specific artistic uses.


02/27/2015: Amended to exempt from right of publicity literary work, theatrical work, musical composition, audio visual work, film, radio or television program. Also material that has political or newsworthy value.

Texas

Bill number

Texas HB 101

Sponsor

Rep. Ryan Guillen (DEM-TX)

Title

Relating to the creation of the offense of unlawful disclosure of certain visual material.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

Summary

H.B. 101 bars dissemination of nude images without the consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 101 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 101

Rep. Ryan Guillen (DEM-TX)

Relating to the creation of the offense of unlawful disclosure of certain visual material.

Died in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 101 bars dissemination of nude images without the consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 101 »

Bill number

Texas HB 320

Sponsor

Rep. Mark Keough (REP-TX)

Title

Relating to the clarification of the offense of online sexual solicitation of a minor.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

Summary

H.B. 320 bars any sexually explicit communication or distribution of sexually explicit material between an adult and a minor over the Internet, by email or text message.

 

“Sexually explicit” means any communication that relates to or describes “sexual conduct.”

 

“Sexual conduct” is defined as sexual contact, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

 

There is no reference to the three prong Miller/Ginsberg test.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 320

Rep. Mark Keough (REP-TX)

Relating to the clarification of the offense of online sexual solicitation of a minor.

Died in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 320 bars any sexually explicit communication or distribution of sexually explicit material between an adult and a minor over the Internet, by email or text message.

 

“Sexually explicit” means any communication that relates to or describes “sexual conduct.”

 

“Sexual conduct” is defined as sexual contact, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

 

There is no reference to the three prong Miller/Ginsberg test.

Bill number

Texas HB 603

Sponsor

Rep. Sarah Davis (REP-TX)

Title

Relating to the creation of the offense of unlawful dissemination of certain visual material; providing penalties.

Status

Died in the conference committee.

Summary

H.B. 603 bars dissemination of nude images without the consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 603 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 603

Rep. Sarah Davis (REP-TX)

Relating to the creation of the offense of unlawful dissemination of certain visual material; providing penalties.

Died in the conference committee.

H.B. 603 bars dissemination of nude images without the consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 603 »

Bill number

Texas HB 2918

Sponsor

Rep. Jason Villalba (REP-TX)

Title

Relating to the prosecution of the offense of interference with public duties; increasing a penalty.

Status

Died in the House Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement.

Summary

H.B. 2918 bars the filming recording, photographing or documenting law enforcement officers within 25 feet or him or her. The limit is 100 feet if the documentor is carrying a handgun.

 

There is an exception for news media that is licensed by the FCC or a regularly published newspaper or magazine.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 2918

Rep. Jason Villalba (REP-TX)

Relating to the prosecution of the offense of interference with public duties; increasing a penalty.

Died in the House Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement.

H.B. 2918 bars the filming recording, photographing or documenting law enforcement officers within 25 feet or him or her. The limit is 100 feet if the documentor is carrying a handgun.

 

There is an exception for news media that is licensed by the FCC or a regularly published newspaper or magazine.

Bill number

Texas HB 3510

Sponsor

Rep. Yvonne Davis (DEM-TX)

Title

Relating to the publication of an image that depicts an individual without the individual’s consent; imposing civil penalties.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Business and Industry.

Summary

H.B. 3510 bars the publication of any image on the Internet if the person in the image has not consented to its capture and publication.

 

There is an exception for publication of an image by a “bona fide member of the news media” and for law enforcement when acting in that capacity. “Bona fide member of the news media” is not defined.

 

Any business that owns or operates a website must remove such a picture within 48 hours of a request by the person depicted in the image. Failure to do so is subject to a $200 civil penalty. The Attorney General may also bring an action in the name of the state to restrain or enjoin a violation or threatened violation of the law.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 3510

Rep. Yvonne Davis (DEM-TX)

Relating to the publication of an image that depicts an individual without the individual’s consent; imposing civil penalties.

Died in the House Committee on Business and Industry.

H.B. 3510 bars the publication of any image on the Internet if the person in the image has not consented to its capture and publication.

 

There is an exception for publication of an image by a “bona fide member of the news media” and for law enforcement when acting in that capacity. “Bona fide member of the news media” is not defined.

 

Any business that owns or operates a website must remove such a picture within 48 hours of a request by the person depicted in the image. Failure to do so is subject to a $200 civil penalty. The Attorney General may also bring an action in the name of the state to restrain or enjoin a violation or threatened violation of the law.

Bill number

Texas HB 3797

Sponsor

Rep. Richard Raymond (DEM-TX)

Title

Relating to the prosecution of the offense of online solicitation of a minor.

Status

Died in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

Summary

H.B. 3797 bars anyone over the age of 17 from intentionally communicating electronically with a minor with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person that:

  1. He or she intends to have sex with the minor, or
  2. Sends a communication that;
    1. the average person, applying contemporary standards, would find that taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest harmful to minors;
    2. depicts or describe patently offensive representations or descriptions of sexual conduct; and
    3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political and scientific value.

Patently offensive is defined by reference to the Texas obscenity statute. 

 

Sexual conduct is defined as sexual acts, lascivious display of the genitals, anus or breasts if the person is a female.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 3797

Rep. Richard Raymond (DEM-TX)

Relating to the prosecution of the offense of online solicitation of a minor.

Died in the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 3797 bars anyone over the age of 17 from intentionally communicating electronically with a minor with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person that:

  1. He or she intends to have sex with the minor, or
  2. Sends a communication that;
    1. the average person, applying contemporary standards, would find that taken as a whole appeals to a prurient interest harmful to minors;
    2. depicts or describe patently offensive representations or descriptions of sexual conduct; and
    3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political and scientific value.

Patently offensive is defined by reference to the Texas obscenity statute. 

 

Sexual conduct is defined as sexual acts, lascivious display of the genitals, anus or breasts if the person is a female.

Bill number

Texas SB 1135

Sponsor

Sen. Sylvia Garcia (DEM-TX)

Title

Relating to civil and criminal liability for the unlawful disclosure or promotion of certain intimate visual material; creating an offense.

Status

Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 17, 2015.

Summary

S.B. 1135 bars distribution or advertising of nude or sexually explicit images:

  1. if done intentionally without the “effective” consent of the person depicted,
  2. the image was obtained or created under circumstances in which the depicted person had a reasonable expectation that it would remain private;
  3. the distribution caused “harm,” and
  4. the person in the image is identifiable, including when the picture is accompanied by identifying information or it is subsequently added by the person who distributes it or a third party.

There is no definition of “harm.”

 

There is no scienter element for the other elements of the crime. A person can be convicted without knowledge or foreseeability that the person depicted had an expectation of privacy, harm was cause or the identity of the person depicted.

 

A legal distribution of an image becomes illegal if a third party identifies the person in the picture.

 

The bill grants jurisdiction to Texas if an image is accessible in the state.

 

A violation is a criminal offense and it provides a cause of action to seek money damages and injunctive relief.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 1135 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas SB 1135

Sen. Sylvia Garcia (DEM-TX)

Relating to civil and criminal liability for the unlawful disclosure or promotion of certain intimate visual material; creating an offense.

Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 17, 2015.

S.B. 1135 bars distribution or advertising of nude or sexually explicit images:

  1. if done intentionally without the “effective” consent of the person depicted,
  2. the image was obtained or created under circumstances in which the depicted person had a reasonable expectation that it would remain private;
  3. the distribution caused “harm,” and
  4. the person in the image is identifiable, including when the picture is accompanied by identifying information or it is subsequently added by the person who distributes it or a third party.

There is no definition of “harm.”

 

There is no scienter element for the other elements of the crime. A person can be convicted without knowledge or foreseeability that the person depicted had an expectation of privacy, harm was cause or the identity of the person depicted.

 

A legal distribution of an image becomes illegal if a third party identifies the person in the picture.

 

The bill grants jurisdiction to Texas if an image is accessible in the state.

 

A violation is a criminal offense and it provides a cause of action to seek money damages and injunctive relief.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 1135 »

United States

Bill number

United States HR 285

Sponsor

Rep. Ann Wagner (REP-MO)

Title

SAVE ACT of 2015

Status

Passed by the House.

Summary

H.R. 285 makes it a crime to distribute or knowingly benefit from advertising that offers a commercial sex act. A violation is subject to up to five years in prison, a fine or both.

 

This would include dissemination of any material that included advertisements, such as alternative newspapers.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States HR 285

Rep. Ann Wagner (REP-MO)

SAVE ACT of 2015

Passed by the House.

H.R. 285 makes it a crime to distribute or knowingly benefit from advertising that offers a commercial sex act. A violation is subject to up to five years in prison, a fine or both.

 

This would include dissemination of any material that included advertisements, such as alternative newspapers.

Bill number

United States HR 877

Sponsor

Rep. Candice Miller (REP-MI)

Title

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Authorization Act

Status

In the House Committee on Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

Summary

H.R. 877 creates a position of director to lead the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The position will be referred to as Director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

 

The Director is granted authority to investigate and, where appropriate, refer for prosecution any violation of federal criminal law relating to or involving customs, trade or import or export control of “pornography” as contraband or as an aspect of sex trafficking.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States HR 877

Rep. Candice Miller (REP-MI)

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Authorization Act

In the House Committee on Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

H.R. 877 creates a position of director to lead the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The position will be referred to as Director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and will be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

 

The Director is granted authority to investigate and, where appropriate, refer for prosecution any violation of federal criminal law relating to or involving customs, trade or import or export control of “pornography” as contraband or as an aspect of sex trafficking.

Bill number

United States S 572

Sponsor

Sen. Mark Kirk (REP-IL)

Title

Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015

Status

In the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S. 572 adds advertise to a list of actions that comprise the crime of sex trafficking. The legislation leaves vague whether it applies to placing an advertisement or publishing it.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States S 572

Sen. Mark Kirk (REP-IL)

Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2015

In the House Committee on Judiciary.

S. 572 adds advertise to a list of actions that comprise the crime of sex trafficking. The legislation leaves vague whether it applies to placing an advertisement or publishing it.

Vermont

Bill number

Vermont HB 105

Sponsor

Rep. Barbara Rachelson

Title

An act relating to the disclosure of sexually explicit images without consent, charging fees for removing booking photographs from the Internet, and expanding the scope of practice of Level II certified law enforcement officers.

Status

Signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 17, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 105 bars dissemination of a picture of another person, either nude or engaged in sexual activity, without the person’s consent and in circumstances when the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

It would also be a crime to disseminate an altered photo of another person to “fraudulently” portray the person as nude or engaging in sexual conduct without the other person’s knowledge or consent.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 105 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Vermont HB 105

Rep. Barbara Rachelson

An act relating to the disclosure of sexually explicit images without consent, charging fees for removing booking photographs from the Internet, and expanding the scope of practice of Level II certified law enforcement officers.

Signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 17, 2015.

H.B. 105 bars dissemination of a picture of another person, either nude or engaged in sexual activity, without the person’s consent and in circumstances when the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

It would also be a crime to disseminate an altered photo of another person to “fraudulently” portray the person as nude or engaging in sexual conduct without the other person’s knowledge or consent.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 105 »

Washington

Bill number

Washington HB 1624

Sponsor

Rep. Tina Orwall (DEM-WA)

Title

Concerning the distribution of intimate images.

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 1624 bars the dissemination of an “intimate image” without consent of the person depicted if the picture had been “entrusted” to the person and it is disseminated with an intent to cause emotional damage and the person depicted suffers emotional damage.

 

“Entrusted” is defined as the image was obtained under circumstances where both parties should reasonably understand that the image was to remain private.

 

An “intimate image” is defined as a person’s intimate apparel, nude or the touching of a person’s intimate body parts done for the purpose of “gratifying sexual desire.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Washington HB 1624

Rep. Tina Orwall (DEM-WA)

Concerning the distribution of intimate images.

Left pending in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 1624 bars the dissemination of an “intimate image” without consent of the person depicted if the picture had been “entrusted” to the person and it is disseminated with an intent to cause emotional damage and the person depicted suffers emotional damage.

 

“Entrusted” is defined as the image was obtained under circumstances where both parties should reasonably understand that the image was to remain private.

 

An “intimate image” is defined as a person’s intimate apparel, nude or the touching of a person’s intimate body parts done for the purpose of “gratifying sexual desire.”

Bill number

Washington HB 1788

Sponsor

Rep. Shannon Wylie (DEM-WA)

Title

Creating the crime of criminal invasion of privacy via nonconsensual dissemination or disclosure of a sexual act or intimate parts.

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Public Safety.

Summary

H.B. 1788 bars the dissemination of an image of another identifiable person, either nude or engaged in sexual conduct, when the person knew or should have known that the person depicted did not consent.

 

There is a second version of the crime deemed a criminal invasion of privacy if he or she distributes the image the same as above but obtained it under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images but there is one for “distribution made in the public interest including, but not limited to, the reporting of unlawful conduct, or the lawful and common practices of law enforcement, criminal reporting, legal proceedings or medical treatment.”

 

There are criminal penalties and a civil cause of action as remedies.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Washington HB 1788

Rep. Shannon Wylie (DEM-WA)

Creating the crime of criminal invasion of privacy via nonconsensual dissemination or disclosure of a sexual act or intimate parts.

Left pending in the House Committee on Public Safety.

H.B. 1788 bars the dissemination of an image of another identifiable person, either nude or engaged in sexual conduct, when the person knew or should have known that the person depicted did not consent.

 

There is a second version of the crime deemed a criminal invasion of privacy if he or she distributes the image the same as above but obtained it under circumstances in which a reasonable person would know or understand that the image was to remain private.

 

There is no exception for newsworthy images but there is one for “distribution made in the public interest including, but not limited to, the reporting of unlawful conduct, or the lawful and common practices of law enforcement, criminal reporting, legal proceedings or medical treatment.”

 

There are criminal penalties and a civil cause of action as remedies.

Bill number

Washington HB 2160

Sponsor

Rep. Shannon Wylie (DEM-WA)

Title

Concerning the distribution of intimate images.

Status

Signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on July 9, 2015.

Summary

H.B. 2160 bars the distribution of an “intimate image” of another person when one intentionally distributes an image without consent if the image was “entrusted” to the person and the distribution intentionally or recklessly causes emotional harm to the person depicted.

 

“Entrusted” is defined as the image was obtained under circumstances where both parties should reasonably understand that the image was to remain private.

 

Factors for determining whether a picture was “entrusted” are:

a. The nature of the relationship between the parties;

b. The circumstances under which the intimate image was taken;

c. The circumstances under which the intimate image was distributed; and

d. Any other relevant factors.

 

“Intimate image” includes visual depictions of a person in intimate apparel, less than opaque clothing, touching of any person’s intimate body parts for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire.

 

Anyone who violates the statute would be liable to the person depicted for $10,000 or actual damages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, economic damages and lost earnings, whichever is greater. The court can also impose injunctive relief.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Washington HB 2160

Rep. Shannon Wylie (DEM-WA)

Concerning the distribution of intimate images.

Signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on July 9, 2015.

H.B. 2160 bars the distribution of an “intimate image” of another person when one intentionally distributes an image without consent if the image was “entrusted” to the person and the distribution intentionally or recklessly causes emotional harm to the person depicted.

 

“Entrusted” is defined as the image was obtained under circumstances where both parties should reasonably understand that the image was to remain private.

 

Factors for determining whether a picture was “entrusted” are:

a. The nature of the relationship between the parties;

b. The circumstances under which the intimate image was taken;

c. The circumstances under which the intimate image was distributed; and

d. Any other relevant factors.

 

“Intimate image” includes visual depictions of a person in intimate apparel, less than opaque clothing, touching of any person’s intimate body parts for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire.

 

Anyone who violates the statute would be liable to the person depicted for $10,000 or actual damages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, economic damages and lost earnings, whichever is greater. The court can also impose injunctive relief.

West Virginia

Bill number

West Virginia HB 2821

Sponsor

Del. Randy Smith (REP-WV)

Title

Implementing a surcharge on licensed exotic entertainment facilities and adult bookstores to provide funding for rape information and prevention services and rape crisis centers

Status

Left pending in the House Committee on Finance. West Virginia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

H.B. 2821 imposes a 1% annual sales tax on “adult bookstores.”

 

“Adult bookstores” is defined as a commercial establishment that, as one of its principal business purpose, offers for sale or rental material that depicts or describes “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

West Virginia HB 2821

Del. Randy Smith (REP-WV)

Implementing a surcharge on licensed exotic entertainment facilities and adult bookstores to provide funding for rape information and prevention services and rape crisis centers

Left pending in the House Committee on Finance. West Virginia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

H.B. 2821 imposes a 1% annual sales tax on “adult bookstores.”

 

“Adult bookstores” is defined as a commercial establishment that, as one of its principal business purpose, offers for sale or rental material that depicts or describes “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas.”

Bill number

West Virginia SB 128

Sponsor

Sen. Jack Yost (DEM-WV)

Title

Revising definition of “”obscene matter””

Status

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. West Virginia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 128 bars the dissemination or display to minors of depictions or description of nudity or sexual conduct that is “harmful to minors.”

 

The bill criminalizes the dissemination or display of such content by brick and mortar retailers and theaters and by Internet.

 

However, there is no definition of “harmful to minors” in this bill or existing West Virginia law.

 

A violation would be punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of $25,000 or both.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 128 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

West Virginia SB 128

Sen. Jack Yost (DEM-WV)

Revising definition of “”obscene matter””

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. West Virginia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

S.B. 128 bars the dissemination or display to minors of depictions or description of nudity or sexual conduct that is “harmful to minors.”

 

The bill criminalizes the dissemination or display of such content by brick and mortar retailers and theaters and by Internet.

 

However, there is no definition of “harmful to minors” in this bill or existing West Virginia law.

 

A violation would be punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of $25,000 or both.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 128 »

Bill number

West Virginia SB 438

Sponsor

Sen. Corey Palumbo (DEM-WV)

Title

Creating Sexual Assault Fund to End Rape Act

Status

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Finance. West Virginia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

Summary

S.B. 438 imposes a 1% annual sales tax on “adult bookstores.”

 

“Adult bookstores” is defined as a commercial establishment that, as one of its principal business purposes, offers for sale or rental material that depicts or describes “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

West Virginia SB 438

Sen. Corey Palumbo (DEM-WV)

Creating Sexual Assault Fund to End Rape Act

Left pending in the Senate Committee on Finance. West Virginia carries over bills to 2016, so it could be taken up again next year.

S.B. 438 imposes a 1% annual sales tax on “adult bookstores.”

 

“Adult bookstores” is defined as a commercial establishment that, as one of its principal business purposes, offers for sale or rental material that depicts or describes “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas.”