General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

(NSFW) Is it illegal to film someone having sex without their knowledge?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19041points) November 21st, 2010

Or is it totally legal?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

bob_'s avatar

I guess it depends on where the filming is taking place.

FutureMemory's avatar

I think it depends on how public the setting is.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@bob_ In the USA, in the privacy of someone’s home?

bob_'s avatar

@papayalily Then it could be said that the filming violates one’s right to privacy, making it illegal.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
ratboy's avatar

@bob_: And if the folks in question are your spouse and your best friend?

bob_'s avatar

@ratboy I don’t think your best friend has a reasonable expectation of privacy in your bedroom.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with the above, it depends where. If it is a public place pretty much anything is fair game I think. If it is in a private place like your home, it might depend on what state you live in? Not sure. For instance taping someone’s conversation varies by state. Some states require both parties be aware they are being taped, some require only one person on the call be aware, or in the conversation be aware. For taping video the laws might vary, again I’m not sure.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Make sure both are above the age of consent – 17 in New York State. One sixteen year old in the frame and you can be charged with child pornography even if they agreed. I recently saw a case of a 14 year old girl who took nude pictures of herself and sent them to her similarly ages boyfriend. She was charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.

Found it: New Jersey March 25, 2009

Andreas's avatar

@worriedguy This boggles my mind.

@papayalily If in doubt, leave it out as the saying goes.

At best it’s probably a legal minefield. Maybe a lawyer could argue that the camera operator or producer didn’t have a signed release just like in the movie business, even if the camera operator and producer are the same person.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Ummm yes and if not then it should be. I think that would be an invasion of privacy and the last time I checked being a “Peeping Tom” is illegal. That being worse I would assume it is illegal.

john65pennington's avatar

On public property, there is no law violation.

On private property, its not a law violation, IF you are standing on the street or public property and the act is occuring on public property. the key is the difference between public and private property. could a person stand out in the street and film two people in their own home? yes. this is why we have shades and blinds to cover ourselves.

iamthemob's avatar

Just also remember that there is a big difference between filming and distributing or showing.

Once you do one of the latter two, the level of “you’re screwed without knowledge or permission” skyrockets.

laureth's avatar

Laws vary from place to place. The case of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi provides some insight. His roommate broadcast secret webcam footage of him having sex in his dorm room.

School of Arts and Sciences first-year student Dharun Ravi and Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy first-year student Molly Wei are charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy after allegedly recording Clementi’s involvement in sexual acts with another male in his room in Davidson Hall C on Busch campus, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan said.

Ravi faces two additional charges for attempting to watch and transmit similar footage involving Clementi on a different date.

“Now that two individuals have been charged with invasion of privacy, we will be making every effort to assess whether bias played a role in the incident, and, if so, we will bring appropriate charges,” Kaplan said.

Under the state’s statutes, it is a fourth-degree crime to view images depicting nudity or sexual contact involving another individual without that person’s consent and a third-degree crime to transmit or distribute them.

The penalty for conviction of a third-degree offense can include a prison term of up to five years. (Source)

jerv's avatar

The sex is irrelevant; it is generally illegal to film people without their knowledge and consent period.

There are fairly few exceptions to that. For instance, a person walking down the street has no reasonable expectation of privacy. However, a person shopping in a store has at least some expectation of privacy, so most places with cameras make sure you know the cameras are there and take your patronage despite the signs on the door saying that cameras are in use as implied consent to being filmed.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Well if you are stupid enough to have sex in public then suffer the consequences lol. I never seen someone have sex in public but if I did I would probobly ruin it by rediculing them brutally.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv So then is it illegal to, say, take a picture of an adult family member doing something really cute in your home without their knowledge?

jerv's avatar

@papayalily Technically, yes,
Of course, it is highly unlikely that they would press charges so it’s probably not an issue under those circumstances.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv But to, say, film a man beating his child without his permission – the father would be totally within his rights to say his privacy was violated?

jerv's avatar

@papayalily Potentially, yes. It’s kind of screwed up in some instances, but that is one way for a defense attorney to get evidence tossed out at trial.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jerv Awesome. So what about when you don’t live there? Example – say I slept over at my boyfriend’s house, and he taped us having sex? Do I have any reasonable expectation of privacy regarding my privates if it isn’t my home (but I am there as an invited guest)?

jerv's avatar

I believe that that one depends on the jurisdiction.

Let me get back to you on that one…

shoebox's avatar

It’s in invasion of someones privacy, you have no consent and they could press chargers…. it would be a horrible thing to do that, almost like a set up…

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