Saturday, October 05, 2013
This NYT story on mugshot removal has it all
Mugged by a Mugshot: Right of publicity claims, extortion claims, state-level attempts to deal with for-profit databases whose claims to promote the public interest are made somewhat less plausible by their willingness to pull down the pictures of those who pay, free speech arguments, and--perhaps most significant in the long run--the role of intermediaries. Though this isn't the first story on these websites by far, when the NYT started asking questions for what's evidently a feature story, Google quickly responded that it was changing its algorithm, and MasterCard and PayPal dumped the sites. (No word on Visa.) I'm no fan of these websites, but I do wonder: what differentiates the intermediaries' actions here from what happened to Wikileaks?