I'm writing this in class so I don't have time to write too much, Papabear. At the end of school last year, I nearly broke my ankle doing a shuffle dance on the last day of school. Someone recorded my pain and they put it on YouTube. I recently found out about this, and found the video. I found a way to track the IP address of the user, so that I may find out exactly who this is, and may notify the police, and possibly sue the person who did this. Things like this have, as I told you in my last letter, gone on for much too long, and I think it's time to strike back.
Is it legal for me to track the person's IP, first of all? And will I have grounds for a lawsuit if I can identify the uploader?
I think I'm finally ready to do this and stand up for myself , and I just need those questions answered before I do. Thank you in advance for your advice.
Sincerely, Kodachi Devil Squirrel (KodaDS)
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This is an excellent question in today’s YouTube nutty world, and thank you for writing about it. The short answer to your question is: you can sue people for anything, but in this case you will not win. Why is that? Because you were taped in a public place, and according to my legal consultant, the courts have ruled repeatedly in such cases that when you are in a public place you have “no reasonable expectation of privacy.” This is why you can turn on the TV and see videos of people walking into mall water fountains while on their cell phones.
What you CAN do is contact YouTube and ask them to remove the video because it was posted without your permission. They might or might not do that for you, I don’t know.
The situation would be different if you were, say, in your bedroom and someone videotaped you doing something silly or embarrassing in private.
A note to all those video-happy furries out there who like to record stuff: it is always best to get a signature on a waiver form from people you record before you post them in a public forum, such as YouTube. This covers your furry butt from possible legal action, especially in the case of recording minors.
We are living in a peeping Tom world, folks, where everyone is armed with a tiny recording device everywhere you go. Just something to keep in mind, everyfur.
As for as tracing someone's IP address, sure, that is analogous to researching and finding someone's mailing address. Nothing illegal about it, as long as it doesn't go further than that, such as using that information to try and access computer files.
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