It is not easy to have a page removed from the web. One avenue isdefamation law, which applies where a person has made statements whichwould tend to lower your reputation. If someone has published statements which make others think less of you, you may be able toeither have those comments removed or to receive a monetary payment (the first option, an injunction, is usually more popular). Note, however, that there are several defences for defamation, includingtruth and fair comment. If the statements are either true or are phrased in the terms where it appears that the maker is giving an opinion rather than a statement of truth, then the maker is unlikely to be liable for defamation.

Australia has no general right of privacy or publicity, so it is very difficult to have pictures which others have taken removed from the web. Once again, if a picture casts you in a poor light and makes others think less of you (and is not truthful), then you may have a remedy in defamation. Otherwise, unless you're a celebrity who trades off his or her reputation, Australian law generally does not protect your image.

An exception to this general rule is if the pictures were obtained in circumstances which would give rise to an obligation of confidence. This means, for example, if someone stole some secret photos or otherwise came across clearly confidential photos, then they may be prevented from disclosing them. The problem with an action for breach of confidence, however, is that if you do not catch the person in time, the photos may lose their confidential quality and it will then be difficult to have them removed.

If the photos were taken by you (or a third party), posting them on the Internet may infringe the copyright in the photos. As a general rule, copyright vests in the photographer, and only the photographer has the right to reproduce or communicate the photo to the public. Without permission, putting a photo on a web page generally infringes both of these rights. The main defences to copyright infringement in Australia involve criticism and review, research and study, news reporting, and parody or satire. If none of these defences apply, it is likely that the copyright owner can obtain an order either for monetary damages or an injunction to have the material removed. If, however, the photographs were taken by the person who posted them, there will usually not be any infringement.

Finally, Australian states have quite broad stalking legislation which may be applicable, depending on the circumstances. If the web site in question is designed with the intention to cause physical or mental harm to a person, or to cause the victim to fear for his or her safety, the creator may be committing a crime (depending on the particular state - stalking provisions vary from state to state). If this is case, you should contact the police directly.

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