‘Nude Scenes’ Controversy Triggers Call on Reddit to Filter Infringing Uploads

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Reddit allows people to freely share and discuss content but that freedom has its downsides too. In Denmark, several actors feel abused and violated by Reddit users who clip and share their nude scenes completely out of context. There is a copyright angle to this as well, as the Rights Alliance urges Reddit to provide tools to screen uploads for potential infringements.

reddit-logoEvery day, millions of people from all over the world submit posts, comments, and other content to Reddit.

The social news and discussion platform turns 18 later this month and according to a Danish anti-piracy group, it’s time for the platform to ‘take responsibility’.

These comments from the Rights Alliance come in response to a revelation from the local radio program “Kulturen”. In a recent episode, it revealed that sexually explicit scenes were systematically shared on Reddit, totally absent of the broader context.

Widespread Abuse

Kulturen reported hearing from 20 Danish actresses affected by this issue, which some describe as abuse and being molested. While they are fine with the original sex or nude scenes, being featured this way is not what they intended.

Actress Andrea Vagn Jensen, who has had one of her explicit scenes shared online, explains to DR that there’s a huge difference between appearing naked in a film and being posted on Reddit.

“It’s just abuse. You deliver something for the production and the story, and then you end up being molested that way,” Jensen notes.

“It’s crazy that some people feel entitled to do that, and what’s just as crazy is that there are so many people who subscribe to it,” fellow actress Signe Egholm Olsen said, responding to the story.

This issue isn’t limited to Denmark. While the explicit nature of sex scenes is generally milder in Hollywood, there are entire subreddits dedicated to sharing nude clips from American productions too.

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Copyright Violations

Aside from the personal integrity issues, posting the scenes has copyright implications too; removal on those grounds provides the most straightforward option when asking Reddit to take action, which many rightsholders have already done.

In this case, the Rights Alliance also reported the issue to the police, on behalf of the Danish Actors’ Association and the respective rightsholders. In addition to the financial aspects, copyrights also have moral rights which include the right to integrity, which could come into play here.

In response to the controversy, several clips were removed by Reddit, but that doesn’t end the problem as the scenes can simply be re-uploaded. The Rights Alliance, therefore, urges Reddit to take its responsibilities seriously under Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive.

Article 17 requires large platforms to ensure that copyright-infringing content does not reappear after it’s removed. This can be achieved through upload and other filtering technologies, which are already in place on YouTube, Facebook, and elsewhere.

‘Reddit Should Filter Uploads’

Rights Alliance director Maria Fredenslund explains that these other platforms paved the way by showing that it is possible to develop effective filters. Reddit should follow suit.

“Reddit should step up and find solutions that prevent users from uploading illegal content to their platform,” Fredenslund says.

Fredenslund further informs us that the group hasn’t reached out to Reddit directly. That wasn’t needed since the problematic clips had already been removed. However, the group believes that upload filters are needed to prevent future trouble. That includes banning external URLs.

“From what we have explored with regard to their platform, they should be able to filter illegal uploads of short movies. Also very important, they could make sure that links to illegal websites are banned from being posted/webcasted on Reddit.”

For Reddit, filtering uploads would go a step further than the current DMCA takedown policy so whether the site plans to do so is unknown. TorrentFreak asked the company for a comment but, at the time of publication, we have yet to hear back.


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