Fake Celeb porn is big busi­ness

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Sunday World - - NEWS - DAVID MAR­SHALL Zoo

YOU may or may not have heard about the on­line prac­tice of celebrity fakes.

Web­site af­ter web­site, one can find im­ages of the most fa­mous in some of the most hard­core porno­graphic poses. One of those sites, Celebrity Fake, con­structs a com­plete ar­chive of thou­sands of celebri­ties or­gan­ised by name and coun­try of fame. So what s go­ing on

’ here, and why aren t we see­ing any

’ law suits?

Mi­ley Cyrus, along with other Dis­ney alumni such as Se­lena Gomez, are linked to the most pop­u­lar on the site s home page; but

’ the sheer num­ber is un­be­liev­able. Cyrus is found in 432 of these fake porno­graphic poses.

No-one is spared and very few are sa­cred: there are 182 im­ages of Princess Diana, 36 of 50-some­thing film ac­tress An­nette Ben­ning, 195 of the tennis star Maria Shara­pova.

In list­ings for Aus­tralia, Cate Blanchett is re­formed in 124 poses; Ju­lia Gil­lard, six; Kylie Minogue, 524; Libby Trick­ett, three, and so on for more than 150 fa­mous women.

The phe­nom­e­non is hard to fathom and in­trigu­ing to an­a­lyse. First of all, one would ex­pect that the cir­cu­la­tion of false im­ages of very fa­mous peo­ple would gen­er­ate a tor­rent of law­suits.

Famed in­di­vid­u­als have spent years con­struct­ing their pub­lic per­sonas and built for­tunes re­lated to their pub­lic iden­ti­ties so one might think those same in­di­vid­u­als would be ou­traged suf­fi­ciently to gen­er­ate suits and lit­i­ga­tion. For decades, scan­dal and celebrity mag­a­zines have been pur­sued by celebri­ties with some suc­cess.

Im­per­son­ation is gen­er­ally pros­e­cuted by stars and these im­ages are putting their face on some­one else s body and thereby

’ pro­duc­ing a form of im­per­son­ation. Re­cent ex­am­ples where stars have pros­e­cuted im­per­son­ators in­clude Tom Waits suc­cess­fully su­ing Opel for us­ing a sound-alike grav­elly voice to ac­com­pany their tele­vi­sion com­mer­cials

Lind­say Lohan un­suc­cess­fully su­ing E-Trade, a fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany, for a baby called Lind­say in their 2010 Su­per­bowl“” re­leased com­mer­cial who was called a milka­holic ”. Robin Wil­liams

“pur­su­ing the pros­e­cu­tion of a man im­per­son­at­ing him for fi­nan­cial gain at events in Texas.

In Aus­tralia, Greens Sen­a­tor Sarah Han­son-Young is ad­vanc­ing with some suc­cess in su­ing magazine for pub­lish­ing a pho­to­shopped lin­gerie-clad im­age of her in a rather bizarre, taste­less and ob­vi­ously hu­mor­ous cam­paign to find the hottest asy­lum seeker.

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But it s dif­fi­cult to find any

’ law­suits against fake celebrity porn sites. One of the key rea­sons might be the awk­ward po­si­tion celebri­ties in­habit in the pub­lic world. In most le­gal ju­ris­dic­tions (though not all), it is per­mis­si­ble to par­ody or satirise a pub­lic in­di­vid­ual and this al­lows the use of an iden­tity in this way.

The fa­mous im­per­son­ators such as Rich Lit­tle The Man of a

–“Thou­sand Voices were seen as

”– en­ter­tain­ers. The bril­liant 2009 par­ody of Ge­orge W Bush in­ter­view­ing him­self by Will Fer­rell is worth pro­tect­ing from lit­i­ga­tion.

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1) im­ages are gen­er­ally owned by the pho­tog­ra­pher or the agency and it is at least par­tially up to those peo­ple to ini­ti­ate le­gal ac­tion and thus celebri­ties may not be the start­ing point for any law­suit.

2) per­haps it is just em­bar­rass­ing for celebri­ties to draw at­ten­tion to celebrity fake porn af­ter all it is

– their face that has been used and to draw fur­ther scru­tiny might be seen as fur­ther sul­ly­ing rep­u­ta­tions and im­ages. From a le­gal stand­point, the web­sites make it very clear that the im­ages are fake and this makes ad­vanc­ing a defama­tion case more dif­fi­cult.

Mar­shall is pro­fes­sor at Deakin Univer­sity. Source: http://the­con­ver­sa­tion.com/

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