After having her content stolen from OnlyFans and reposted to Reddit, adult performer Natasha Noel is demanding that Reddit hand over content thieves' full identities—including their usernames, legal names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses.
On March 9, Florida-based attorney Jason Fischer filed a DMCA takedown request that included dozens of links to Reddit posts that contained images stolen from Noel's private OnlyFans and other social media accounts.
As reported by TorrentFreak, Fischer then followed that request with a subpoena application on Noel’s behalf in a California district court on March 23. Fischer referenced the same URLs that were included in the original DMCA takedown notice, and demanded that Reddit disclose the full identities of users who posted the stolen content.
A Reddit spokesperson said in a statement to Motherboard: "In accordance with Reddit's User Agreement, we respond to valid DMCA takedown requests for cases of infringing or copyright materials and will action any users or communities in appropriate circumstances." They also directed us to the company's guidelines for law enforcement, which states that Reddit "discloses user information in response to requests from law enforcement or government agencies only in accordance with or when required by applicable law."
Fischer is bringing a similar subpoena against Reddit on behalf of model and MMA fighter Valerie Loureda. Loureda is not on OnlyFans, but posts exclusive content to her own site fans can subscribe to for $9.99 a month. Reddit previously banned a subreddit dedicated to reposting her content, r/Valoureda, for "excessive copyright removals."
Stolen adult content is a longstanding problem on Reddit, with many performers naming it as the number one site they spend time filing takedown requests against.
If Reddit did give up users' identities to a private individual, it would set a precedent for expectations of privacy on social media platforms. Reddit is generally as anonymous as users want it to be—you don't have to use your legal name, or provide any identifying information to use the site. This might make it easier for content thieves to spread stolen works around without repercussions (beyond risking a suspension or ban, as it's against the terms of service), but anonymity is also a safety feature for many people, especially users in marginalized or precarious real-life situations. Anonymity is also, historically, upheld as a free speech right in the U.S.
We don't know how Noel or her attorney plan to proceed if they do receive the requested information, but pursuing further legal action against individual users seems like the obvious motivation for gathering specific identifying data like this. Motherboard has reached out to Fischer, and will update if we hear back.