Women’s rights are often curtailed online due to the pervasive internet atmosphere of cybermisogyny.Extreme examples include ‘image-based sexual abuse’, a term which encompasses thenon-consensual creation and/or distribution of private sexual images. The harms attached to thisphenomenon are well documented. In this paper, we explore how copyright logic, despite itsmale-centric and property oriented worldview, presents one legal solution to this problem. Weassert that Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Notices, a copyright mechanism that notifieswebsites they are hosting infringing content and requires the prompt removal of the content,represents a novel legal mechanism to force websites to remove image-based sexual abuse fromwomen’s online spaces. By using critical discourse analysis to review how Digital MillenniumCopyright Act Takedown Notices attempt to provide solutions to the socio-spatial problem ofimage-based sexual abuse, we argue that copyright can subvert its current leanings to return to itsoriginal purpose: supporting creativity. Supporting creativity also helps to protect against thereproduction of gendered harms, from the real world to virtual spaces. This theorization represents not just legal geography but a feminist legal geography, in that it recognizes the internetshould be a safe and legal space for women. In endorsing a pragmatic legal solution for women toregulate the sexually violent and nonconsensual distribution of their intimate images online,copyright is one mechanism that affirms women’s right to cyberspaces.
- Nonconsensual pornography, copyright, cybermisogyny, Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown, notices, legal geography