Tag Archives: Upskirt Photography

‘Skirting’ the Law, Part I

(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/6LUL9s)
This is the first in a two-part series by Deepthi Bavirisetty on the law on upskirt photography in USA, Japan and India. Deepthi is a 4th Year Law student at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Calcutta. She is extremely interested in the intersection between gender and technology. She has previously authored a paper on Revenge Porn.

 ‘Upskirt’ photography, as the term suggests, refers to the voyeuristic practice of covertly taking pictures of women under their clothing without their consent or knowledge. These pictures, labeled ‘creepshots’, are generally pictures of a woman’s private areas. They are then widely disseminated via the internet, infamously through sites such as Reddit and 4chan.

In 2014, the legality of upskirt photography was brought into question before the US Courts across three different jurisdictions –Washington DC, Massachusetts and Texas. The first part of this post addresses the American perspective on the issue. It seeks to illustrate how America would rather err on the side of caution and permit the morally reprehensible acts of upskirt photography than curtail free speech. The second portion of the post looks into the Japanese perspective on creepshots, which is the polar opposite. Japan prioritizes women’s safety above free speech concerns. This portion of the post also looks into the curious phenomenon of cellphone manufacturers taking law into their own hands to regulate upskirt photography. I argue that this is a classic example of Lessig’s adage ‘code is law, law is code’. I conclude by extrapolating where India lies on the legal spectrum with regard to regulating upskirt photography. Continue reading ‘Skirting’ the Law, Part I

Advertisements

‘Skirting’ the Law, Part II

(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/6LUL9s)
This is the second in a two-part series by Deepthi Bavirisetty on the law of upskirt photography in USA, Japan and India – this part deals with Japan and India. The first part is available here.

Japan

1. Anti-Nuisance Ordinance

Japan has enacted an Anti Nuisance Ordinance to curtail upskirt photography or “panchira” as it is locally called. In 2008, the Japanese Supreme Court punished a man under this ordinance. The man was found to have taken 11 pictures of the woman’s butt/hip region. It is to be noted that the woman in the photograph was wearing all her clothes. Subsequently, in 2011 a man was arrested for taking pictures of a fully clothed woman sleeping on a train. Continue reading ‘Skirting’ the Law, Part II