4:44am PT by Eriq Gardner
Celebrities Threaten Google With $100 Million Lawsuit for "Facilitating" Hacked Nude Photos
Marty Singer, representing over a dozen celebrities whose iCloud accounts were hacked and whose nude photos were stolen in late August, is excoriating Google in a letter that threatens a $100 million lawsuit.
"Google’s 'Don’t be evil' motto is a sham," he writes.
The letter calls out "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."
According to Singer, Google hasn't been expeditiously removing owned work from its platforms pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The letter says that other ISPs including Twitter have accommodated takedown demands, but that "Google, one of the largest ISPs in the world, with vast resources and a huge support staff, generating multimillions of dollars in revenues on a daily basis, has recklessly allowed these blatant violations to continue in conscious disregard of our clients’ rights."
We spotlighted Google's role in the hacked photo scandal here and how the web giant was apparently doing full analysis on things like fair use and who owns a "selfie" before removing URLs from its search engine. The letter suggests Google's responsibility to celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna, Arianna Grande and others goes well beyond the call to scrub search engines. Google is also blamed for how it's allegedly accommodating those using YouTube and Blogspot to post the offending images.
"If your wives, daughters or relatives were the victims of such blatant violations of basic human rights, surely you would take appropriate action," states the letter. "But because the victims are celebrities with valuable publicity rights, you do nothing - - nothing but collect millions of dollars in advertising revenue from your co-conspirator advertising partners as you seek to capitalize on this scandal rather than quash it. Like the NFL, which 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."
The full letter is below. We'll post any response Google has.