Missing the point

Tech Review has published an Associated Press piece about the release of embarrassing videos on the Net…

NEW YORK (AP) — For evidence that digital information, once set free, cannot be controlled, consider the steamy video of Brazilian supermodel Daniela Cicarelli making out with her boyfriend on a Spanish beach and in the water just off shore.

The couple persuaded a Brazilian court last fall to force the video-sharing site YouTube to remove copies, but other users simply resubmitted the video through their free accounts.

Earlier this month, Internet service providers in Brazil, responding to the judge’s order, briefly blocked access to YouTube entirely. But by then other Web sites already had the video, and many in Brazil even had stored personal copies on their computer hard drives….

Actually, the story seems to me to be much more interesting than that. What happened was that Brazilian internet users were so enraged by losing access to YouTube as a result of the model’s legal actions that she eventually twigged that alienating an entire country is not exactly a good career move. And as for the proposition that her ‘right’ to privacy should be respected when she had openly coupled with her boyfriend on a public beach and in the water — in full view of dozens of people, well, words fail one (as the Queen might say).

Different considerations apply to the case of Keeley Hazell, a British model and former Page Three girl, who made a private video of herself having enthusiastic sex with an ex-boyfriend only to find it released onto the Web a couple of weeks ago. (It’s not clear who released it.) YouTube has taken down the copy that was originally available on its site, but a simple Google search suggests that it’s still pretty widely available. So there’s a case for saying that her privacy has been breached, but there seems to be little she can do about it because by now the video is all over the Web.