Is the Act of Spreading Nude Photos or Sex Videos in the Internet Punishable in the Philippines?

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Nicolas and de Vega Law Article: Is the Act of Spreading Nude Photos or Sex Videos in the Internet Punishable in the Philippines?

Spreading the nude photos or sex videos of another without his or her consent is punishable under Republic Act No. 9995, otherwise known as the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009.

The use of technology in this modern society has brought forth a borderless world. Thus, sharing of information knows no bounds and has enabled us to communicate to a wider range of audience. As the adage goes, the world is your oyster.

However, these technological advances have also been used by unscrupulous individuals to victimize others. Private photos and videos which are shared intimately to trusted persons are being used to the exploit these private moments. Good thing the Philippines finally enacted in 2009 RA 9995 which punishes photo or video voyeurism.

Republic Act No. 9995 punishes photo or video voyeurism

Under Sec. 3 of RA 9995, photo or video voyeurism means the act of taking photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or of capturing an image of the private area of a person or persons without the latter’s consent, under circumstances in which such person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy. It also includes the act of selling, copying, reproducing, broadcasting, sharing, showing or exhibiting the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and similar means or device without the written consent of the person/s involved, notwithstanding that consent to record or take photo or video coverage of same was given by such persons.

RA 995 punishes the taking of a photo or video of others engaged in sexual activity or with the image of the private area of the person without their consent.

The following acts are punishable under Section 4 of RA 9995:

(a) To take photo or video coverage of a person or group of persons performing sexual act or any similar activity or to capture an image of the private area of a person/s such as the naked or undergarment clad genitals, public area, buttocks or female breast without the consent of the person/s involved and under circumstances in which the person/s has/have a reasonable expectation of privacy;

(b) To copy or reproduce, or to cause to be copied or reproduced, such photo or video or recording of sexual act or any similar activity with or without consideration;

(c) To sell or distribute, or cause to be sold or distributed, such photo or video or recording of sexual act, whether it be the original copy or reproduction thereof; or

(d) To publish or broadcast, or cause to be published or broadcast, whether in print or broadcast media, or show or exhibit the photo or video coverage or recordings of such sexual act or any similar activity through VCD/DVD, internet, cellular phones and other similar means or device.

Take note that if the photo or video was taken with the person’s consent, then he or she cannot complain that his photo or video was taken since there is no reasonable expectation of privacy. Under the said law, the phrase “under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” means belief that he/she could disrobe in privacy, without being concerned that an image or a private area of the person was being captured; or circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that a private area of the person would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that person is in a public or private place.

RA 9995 also punishes copying, reproducing, selling, distributing, publishing, broadcasting or sharing such videos and photos without the person’s consent.

However, even if the person consented to the taking of his video or photo in intimate moments, that does not mean that such person is consenting to the reproduction, distribution, broadcast or publication of such photos and videos. Hence, showing third parties such photos or videos, sharing them to others on the internet, mobile phones, selling copies of them and the like are punishable under RA 9995.

Violation of RA 9995 is punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine.

Violation of RA 9995 is punishable by imprisonment of not less than three (3) years but not more than seven (7) years and/or a fine of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00).

That is how photo and video voyeurism is punished under Philippine laws.

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