It’s been a trying week for 4chan, the site where the nude celeb pictures were first posted. In light of the entire scandal, the site has now introduced an official DMCA policy.
The move comes after the incident where the iCloud accounts of many celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, were illegally accessed, which ended into a series of leaked photographs on the Internet.
Aside from the legal action that celebrities are threatening with, the FBI is also investigating the issue and the authors of the theft will likely end up in jail for a long time.
In the current circumstances, the site has decided to implement a DMCA policy. Whether this comes as a direct reaction to the scandal that followed the posted pictures, it’s unclear at this point.
“4chan, LLC (“Company”) has adopted the following general policy toward copyright infringement in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,” reads the Policy’s page. It further explains what types of actions need to be taken to report copyright infringement.
This gives the site safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and users a way to flag copyrighted content hosted on the site.
Content on 4chan is user generated, but it doesn’t stay up for long. In fact, threads expire and are pruned by the company’s software. Content is only available for a few hours or days before it is automatically removed.
TorrentFreak points out that the tactic of removing content after a short while has so far paid out. Google has only removed 706 URLs from 4Chan so far, which is a low number all things considered.
“I don’t have resources like YouTube to deal with $1 billion lawsuit with Viacom. Don’t store what you absolutely don’t need. People are pre-disposed to wanting to store everything,” said Chris Poole, one of the founders, two years ago.
In the case of the stolen nude photos, the DMCA policy would have helped celebrities take down the content faster, before it spread like wildfire across the Internet. While the pictures have since been removed on plenty of sites, torrent sites still host them. The packs of pictures have been downloaded over a million times already and they’ll likely continue to get hits on all sites they’ve reached.
Legal action is on the way, however, and hosting sites should fear what’s to come if the damages these actresses are going to demand will be high.