Wednesday, February 11, 2009

YoBusted -- Most creative scam of the week

has an article about a website,, where you can post pictures of your friends and loved ones taken the night before the day they wondered what they were doing the night before. You can upload the photos for free, but your friend has to pay at least $19.99 and become a "member" to have the photos taken down. Ahh, what jolly clean fun, huh? Get this, the person who uploads the photo gets a kickback when the victim becomes a member to have the photo taken down.

Yobusted reminds me of a skit on SNL back in 1979. The bit was called "The Slop Jockey Man" and it featured Gary Busey as a man who travels to a small town in a white suit and offers to jump into the cess pool for chump change. The kids at home think it's a great idea, pay him to jump in the cess pool, and he does. The catch, you have to pay big bucks to get him to leave.

It seems to me, that there might be a valid "false light" privacy claim against Yobusted when they refuse to take down a photo upon request. The blackmailing nature of the payment scheme may satisfy the malice requirement. We'll see what the courts have to say when they have a shot at it. another argument, as mentioned in the Businessweek article is extortion. If they take your photos from a Facebook page, you might have an argument based on copyright.

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