By mid-2009, prosecutors noted, 62 original photos of that woman's abuse had metastasized online. More than 8,800 versions had surfaced in criminal investigations. The woman's lawyer, James Marsh of New York City, calls those numbers low; versions have recently been tracked to 40,000 Internet addresses involved in peer-to-peer file-sharing.
"What the law has upheld is that nudity alone is not enough to prove that something is child pornography," said lawyer James Marsh, one of Flatley's teammates in the fight for Masha's Law. Marsh represents victims in child pornography cases and blogs about these issues at childlaw.us.
Amazon would never have sold material like the pornographic photos of Masha; however, as Marsh pointed out to me, the site currently lists a lascivious "true crime" book, for sale by four used-bookstore partners, about Masha's case, written by Peter Sotos, a man who once pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge.
Listing a book and selling pictures and videos ...
New York attorney James Marsh, who represents Amy, hired a psychologist and economist to evaluate her and calculate the damage that has stemmed from her abuse and the continuing distribution of the images documenting it. Accounting for lost wages, counseling and lawyer fees, they settled on a price of $3.37m.
The claims demand that each person convicted of possessing even one of the images pay her damages until the threshold $3.37m is reached under a legal doctrine known as joint and several liability. Under the theory, Amy will stop collecting once the figure is reached. Any defendant who was forced to pay more than another is free to sue the ...
"Each and every redistribution of the images causes a distinct injury to the victim," Marsh told The Register. "It's a very deliberate act that they choose when they go seek images of my client out."
Marsh and other child victim advocates argue that the requirement to prove the convicted person proximately caused the damages, applies only to this last catchall item. The other losses need only be established by a preponderance of the evidence, which is almost always satisfied by a conviction that includes one or more images of the victim.