There has been a lot of hoo-ha about nude celebrity photos recently. Poor old J-Law just couldn’t cop a break... until now.

It’s reported that Google faces possible legal action from unnamed (but obviously very extremely famous) women affected by the hacking spree. They have demanded that Google pay $100 million in damages for failing to remove the nude pictures from Google-owned sites like YouTube and BlogSpot quickly enough. Google has responded saying that it removed tens of thousands of pictures within hours of requests being made. The nude celebrities say there are still loads more images that have not yet been removed despite requests.

The claim could be legit. In the US there is legislation that says if you host a website and there is unlawful material posted on that website, you have to act swiftly to take it down once notified of it. If Google dragged its heels, then it’s on the hook for perpetuating the unlawful conduct. And thinking about the likely volume of traffic to nude celeb pics, Google could have made a lot of money by leaving the pictures up longer.

There are similar laws here, although not as far reaching as the US ones. If you host a website and someone posts material on that website that infringes IP or is defamatory then you need to take it down as soon as possible once you’re notified of it. If not, you can be liable as well as the person who posted it. Claimants often prefer to go after the website hosts for damages because the host is easier to identify and has deeper pockets.

Most websites that host user generated content have systems in place for people to notify illegal conduct and ask for material to be taken down. That is the best way to manage the risk of liability for third party material on the site. The host websites come unstuck when they don’t implement their system properly. Then it’s pay day for J-Law and her buds.