Copyright lawyers deal with these types of issues all the time. A prospective client calls indicating that their photograph is showing up on someone else’s website. Sometimes, the photograph is one that the client does not want being shown on the internet, such as pornography or a nude photo. Sometimes, the person who is posting your photograph or picture is saying defamatory things about you as part of the post. As an internet lawyer specializing in copyright infringement issues, I get asked all the time what can be done.
The first thing that you need to understand is that the easiest way to have a photograph or picture of you removed from the internet is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). A DMCA takedown notice can be sent by a copyright holder to a website host or even Google or Yahoo to have a picture or photograph removed or de-indexed from the web. In order to allow your attorney to send a DMCA takedown, you must be the copyright owner. This means that you either must have taken the photograph or have rights from the photographer assigned to you so that you, in fact, own the copyright. For more information about who owns a copyright, click this link titled: “Copyright Primer: Exclusive Rights to Reproduce, Distribute, Perform or Display the Copyrighted Work.”