Khloe Kardashian Streisands A Photo She Wanted Taken Down By Issuing Takedowns
from the far-and-wide dept
The Kardashians are no strangers to Techdirt’s pages. Being comprised of family members who are by and large famous for being famous, the Kardashians have been notorious for a heavy-handed approach to policing their own images, often times through spurious claims on intellectual property or publicity rights. So, heading into this story, it should be noted that the default posture of this particular family tends to be the use of IP claims to police anything to do with the family’s image on the internet.
But, as readers of this site will recognize, often times these policing attempts have the opposite of the intended effect. This certainly seems to be the case with Khloe Kardashian’s recent attempts to rid the internet world of a un-touched photo of her poolside.
The alleged leaked photo pictured Kardashian smiling in a swimsuit. Many previously criticized Kardashian on social media for her attempts to remove it online after it was leaked, suggesting she was contributing to body image issues by hiding the unfiltered photo. In her post, Kardashian said she thought the leaked photo of herself was “beautiful” but she is entitled to want it removed.
“When someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting or doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working so hard to get it to this point, you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared – regardless of who you are,” she wrote.
That… isn’t how copyright law actually works, though. And it was copyright Khloe’s team used to issue takedown requests to all kinds of sites, including Reddit and Twitter. According to her team, the photo was shot at a Kardashian residence and was “accidentally uploaded” to the internet by “an assistant.” Left unsaid are some important details when it comes to the copyright question. Some reports indicate that the takedown notices were issued by Khloe’s grandmother, who reportedly took the photo. When the family assistant uploaded it on accident, it was done so without authorization. A mistake. But once that was done, it’s unclear how sharing the post via retweets and social media somehow is a copyright violation subject to a DMCA notice.
But that isn’t really the point of this post. Instead, this is a story of a classic Streisand Effect in action. Due in large part to the efforts to disappear the photo, it’s now in much wider circulation on the internet, including in posts from news organizations where any takedown request made by the Kardashians would run straight into the First Amendment. And so now the photo Khloe wanted disappeared is all over the place.
After circulating for about two days, the image is likely experiencing the Streisand Effect, where the effort to suppress information — a story, a video or a picture — only amplifies it further.
Now, I am not including the photo in question here for multiple reasons. First, I don’t need it to get the point of the post across. Second, in recent comments, Khloe has indicated that part of the reason for her wanting the photo gone is that she has struggled with body image issues in her life and I have enough respect for that to not want to add to it.
But that’s kind of the point, right? Other media sources are showing the photo as part of the news coverage of all of this, which is the exact opposite reality that Khloe was attempting to achieve with the aggressive takedowns of the photo elsewhere. Sometimes, it seems, it’s a better strategy to simply let a story die rather than amplify it by trying to kill it.