UPDATE, 11:59 AM: One day after being threatened with a $100 million lawsuit over hacked celebrity photos, Google says they are trying their best to get as many of the explicit and private pics of Jennifer Lawrence and others off their sites and search engines as possible. “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures, within hours of the requests being made, and we have closed hundreds of accounts,” said a spokesperson for the tech giant in a statement today. “The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.” While not directly addressing issues of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the claims of victimization by lawyer Marty Singer, Google adds that like other online companies they also rely on being notifying of such content either directly or by the filing of “valid” DMCA requests. Singer’s letter stated that his law firm had sent over a dozen such requests to Google have the material in question removed with no response. Sites like Twitter, on the other hand, Singer says, have “accommodated” the demands quickly.
PREVIOUS, 7:54 AM: Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Bin could have a very expensive Hollywood problem on their hands and servers soon. “We are writing concerning Google’s despicable, reprehensible conduct in not only failing to act expeditiously and responsibly to remove the images but in knowingly accommodating, facilitating and perpetuating the unlawful conduct,” says a letter threatening a more than $100 million lawsuit against the tech giant over leaked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union and others. “Google’s ‘Don’t Be Evil’ is a sham.”
“Like the NFL, which has turned a blind eye while its players assaulted and victimized women and children, Google has turned a blind eye while its sites repeatedly exploit and victimize these women,” adds attorney Marty Singer in the letter. To prevent the looming lawsuit, the heavyweight Tinseltown lawyer wants all images of the hacked pics removed from all Google hosted and owned sites like YouTube and all search engine and image searches.
While not naming anyone specifically, the lawyer says his Lavely & Singer firms are the “litigation counsel for over a dozen female celebrities, actresses, models and athletes whose confidential, personal private photos and videos were recently hacked.” Soon after the first hacked photos started appearing online in late August, Apple said it was confident its iCloud system hadn’t been breached but that it was working with the FBI and others on the matter.
In contrast, the October 1 dated letter to the Google execs slams what Singer calls their “blatantly unethical behavior” for “knowingly allowing vast and pervasive copyright infringement and violation of privacy rights against these women, who are repeatedly violated, exploited and victimized” by the images still showing up on YouTube and in searches. Singer says other sites and site hosting companies have responded to requests to take down the material but that Google has essentially ignored various such requests under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.