With the latest scandal regarding the posting of the hacked images of more than a hundred of celebrities and increased number of Czech cases concerning sexting and revenge porn there is important for victims that their rights are protected in the Czech legal order as well for offenders that this act is punishable not only under the criminal law but subject to civil claims with severe damages too.
The Czech New Civil Code (Act n. 89/2012 Coll.) has widened the scope of the protection of personal rights and increased sanctions for an infringement of the rights. In case of an unlawful publication (in these case usually online, on illegal website, on social sites or via mobiles phones) the privacy of the person is breached, along with the breach of image rights, the right to honor and dignity and lastly the family (including private) life. All those rights are covered by the term of protection of personal rights.
The case Czech courts has so far dealt with might be divided into those concerning adult and minors. In majority of cases the Police acted and started criminal proceeding against the infringing party. In case involving adults, the offenders were convicted of crimes: Violation of domestic freedom; Illegal use of data; Breach of secret of personal communication; Defamation (Slander). In case of minors (under 18) the crime committed is Reproduction and dissemination of child pornography. The crimes are covered by Head II: Crimes against freedom and against right to protect personality, privacy and secret of correspondence (Sections 168 – 184) of the Criminal Code and Head III: Crimes against human dignity related to sexuality (Section 185 – 193) CC. For all those crimes the possible punishment is imprisonment in form of aa) a suspended prison sentence or a suspended prison sentence with parole ab) a sentence of imprisonment ac) exceptional punishment or home imprisonment, community service (publicly beneficial work), pecuniary penalty, forfeiture of a certain thing or other property value or prohibition of certain activity.
The Police (state prosecutor) has power to order to remove all images under the preliminary restricting orders and those who disseminate these images will be charged as well. Another way how to make the photos to be put down from websites or social sites is to seek the preliminary injunctions in the civil proceedings before taking an action.
In the civil proceeding the victim has a right to bring a claim (an action) in respect of the breach of his or her personal rights, especially privacy, images, dignity and family life. The victim can seek the damages (pecuniary damages), the apology, the restricting order to stop the defendant to publish or even to hold the intimate images and restore the previous state. What has changes is the amount of the damages awarded after 1.1.2014. In these cases the redress will be severe as the infringement is the rights is massive.
For further detail see previous posts on New Civil Code, Rise of interim injunctions and foreign celebrities and the template for a defamation claim, applicable for the privacy action.