In recent years, OnlyFans has seen a meteoric rise, with millions turning to the platform to share exclusive content, build their brand, and even earn a living. As a content creator, understanding how to protect your OnlyFans content is essential to safeguarding your livelihood.
Ensuring that your content remains exclusive is crucial to maintaining both your brand’s value and your revenue stream. To protect your OnlyFans content and prevent leaks:
- Avoid clicking on any links sent to you by subscribers. They may be sending a malicious link in an effort to gain access to your cloud or stored data.
- Educate your subscribers on intellectual property and terms of service (ToS) violations.
- Use multi-factor authentication for greater account security.
- Restrict subscriber access from specific geographical locations.
- Implement tiered subscription pricing for exclusive content.
- Watermark your content. Add a clear and identifiable watermark to deter unauthorized sharing.
- Include a disclaimer in your bio that states you own the copyright to all content, and that any unauthorized use of the content will result in legal action.
- Use Digital Risk Protection services to help you monitor the internet for potential threats and unauthorized use of your content.
At Minc Law, we have extensive experience removing leaked and stolen content from the internet. We have assisted thousands of individuals in response to unwanted adult content leaks and have developed a range of creative and effective strategies to ensure our clients’ content remains protected.
In this article, we will provide guidance on how to safeguard your OnlyFans content against unauthorized distribution and leaks. We will delve into proven strategies and legal avenues available to content creators to maintain the exclusivity of their work.
Understanding the OnlyFans Platform
OnlyFans has revolutionized the way creators interact with their audience. Originating in London by the vision of Timothy Stokely in 2016, this digital platform empowers creators by allowing them to monetize their content through a subscription-based model. As of the date of publication, there are over 3 million content creators on OnlyFans and 210 million users across the platform (with an estimated 500,000 new subscribers joining each day).
While OnlyFans caters to a broad spectrum of creators, it has garnered significant attention for its association with adult content. The platform’s lenient content guidelines have offered adult entertainers a unique avenue to connect with their audience, a level of interaction that is often restricted on other platforms. Here, creators can offer exclusive photos and videos, engage in direct conversations with their subscribers, and accept direct commissions for specific types of content.
Yet, it is important to note that OnlyFans is not solely confined to adult content. Professionals, including fitness trainers, chefs, musicians, and influencers, have harnessed the platform’s potential.
How Does OnlyFans Work?
OnlyFans is one of the most popular content subscription services on the internet because of its unique business model. For those unfamiliar with its inner workings, the platform is centered on a direct monetary relationship between creators and their followers, often referred to as “fans.”
Creators make profiles that act as hubs for their exclusive content. To gain access to this exclusive content, followers are required to pay a monthly subscription fee which is set by the creator. This structure allows for flexibility; while many creators charge for monthly access, some offer free subscriptions, instead charging followers for specific pieces of content or interactions.
Creators can share photographs, videos, and written posts tailored to their audience. The platform also lets creators use a “live” feature, enabling them to broadcast live content to their subscribers. Another element is the direct messaging system, which facilitates private interactions between creators and subscribers. One-on-one communication is often monetized as well, and creators can charge for individual messages or bespoke content.
Apart from regular subscription revenue, OnlyFans also has a Pay-Per-View (PPV) option. With PPV, creators can distribute exclusive content through direct messages, which fans must purchase to access. In addition to this, the platform has a tipping feature, which allows fans to tip creators as a token of gratitude or in exchange for specific content or actions.
Why OnlyFans is a Popular Platform For Stolen Content
Today’s online world brings new problems for creators, especially on sites like OnlyFans where exclusive content is locked behind paywalls. As of 2023, creators have collectively received payments surpassing $5 billion, with the average monthly earnings for a single content creator standing at roughly $150 and “elite creators” pocketing $2 million per month.
For several distinct reasons, OnlyFans has become a hotspot for content piracy.
Nature of the Content
The content on OnlyFans often holds intimate appeal. This exclusivity, combined with the platform’s paywall, amplifies its demand on external platforms, prompting some to distribute or seek it unlawfully.
Digital Content Can Be Easily Shared
The digital medium inherently facilitates easy duplication and distribution. A piece of content, once accessed, can be reproduced and spread across different platforms without any degradation in its quality.
The internet lets people hide their identity, making it easier for them to share stolen content without immediate consequences. Platforms such as Reddit, Telegram, and Discord host private spaces where purloined content finds its way.
Lucrative For Pirates
For those on the darker side of the web, pirated content is a goldmine. Not only can this stolen content be peddled for a price, but it also drives traffic to websites dense with ads. In more sinister cases, pirates might demand payments, threatening creators with the release of more content.
Limited Technological Barriers
Even with new technology, online platforms are not perfectly safe. Measures like disabling right-click functions or incorporating watermarks can be bypassed using screen recording tools or capture cards.
Difficulty in Enforcement
Locating and holding content pirates accountable is a challenge. While creators can resort to sending legal demand letters such as cease and desist letters or DMCA takedown notices, it becomes a chase as pirates shift to other hosting services or platforms. Engaging in legal battles can also be draining, both in terms of time and finances.
Further, DMCA submissions can be complex. A small oversight can render a DMCA notice invalid, so it is advisable to seek legal guidance when pursuing a DMCA submission.
Misunderstanding or Disregard for Copyright Law
Some people either do not know or do not care about copyright laws. Some individuals might mistakenly believe that once content is purchased, they are free to distribute it, overlooking the legal constraints.
Desire for Social Currency
In some online circles, distributing exclusive content can be a badge of honor. It becomes a way for individuals to earn admiration or elevate their standing within the community.
How Stolen OnlyFans Content Affects Creators
Content theft is not only intellectual property infringement, it is a violation that affects creators on multiple fronts:
- Financial Losses: Many creators depend on OnlyFans as a source of income. With content available unlawfully for free, potential subscribers might bypass the official channel, resulting in decreased revenue for creators.
- Privacy Violations: OnlyFans content, hidden behind a paywall, is often deeply personal and intimate. The unauthorized distribution of such content can be distressing, as it is a severe breach of privacy.
- Potential Harassment: The broader distribution of pirated content can expose creators to a slew of dangers, including cyberbullying and doxxing. This unwanted attention can lead to severe emotional and mental distress.
- Reputation and Brand Damage: The presence of stolen OnlyFans content on multiple platforms can tarnish a creator’s brand. If exclusive content is readily available for free, it could deter genuine subscribers from supporting the creator, undermining the value and exclusivity of their brand.
- Mental Anguish: The violation of having personal content exposed can lead to a cascade of mental health issues for creators. The distress over potential family members discovering the content, coupled with financial and reputational damages, can be overwhelming.
- Other Consequences: There have been instances where educators’ content was exposed, leading not just to public humiliation but also professional consequences, up to and including termination.
For content creators, the theft of their work goes beyond lost revenue; it is a violation of their trust, their brand, and their mental well-being.
How to Prevent Theft & Republication of Your OnlyFans Content
The ability to successfully monetize content is vital for creators. It reflects their creativity, hard work, and dedication. Unfortunately, as the demand for exclusive content has surged, so has the incentive for theft and unauthorized sharing. But prevention is, more often than not, more effective than cure.
OnlyFans, recognizing the value and sensitivity of its creators’ content, has already implemented several protective measures. For instance, the platform does not allow for the download of videos or photos by default. Yet, the absence of a download button is not an insuperable barrier for those determined to steal. Some might bypass this protection by using third-party apps or screen-recording tools to obtain the content.
As such, it is crucial for creators to incorporate additional strategies and tools to protect their content against potential theft.
Educate Your Subscribers on IP & Terms of Service
Preventing content theft starts with awareness and education. While some individuals might share content with malicious intent, many may not grasp the gravity of their actions. This is where creators have an opportunity to make a difference.
By actively educating subscribers about intellectual property (IP) rights and OnlyFans’ Terms of Service, you can foster a community of informed and respectful fans. Ensure your subscribers understand that the content they have access to is not just a product but a result of your hard work, dedication, and creativity. Its unauthorized distribution not only affects your livelihood but also has broader ramifications for the entire industry.
Make it a habit to remind your subscribers that your content is exclusive to them as a token of appreciation for their support. Emphasize that unauthorized sharing is not just a discourtesy but a breach of legal standards.
Moreover, encourage open communication. Urge your subscribers to reach out to you if they come across your content shared elsewhere. Creating a united front against piracy, with your loyal subscribers as allies, can be a deterrent against those who might consider stealing and sharing your content.
Protect Your Account & Strengthen Your Log-In Credentials
The first line of defense against unauthorized access to your content is a strong login procedure. While a strong password is the starting point, multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security.
Here is how you can activate multi-factor authentication on OnlyFans:
- Begin by downloading either the Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator on your phone. These apps generate time-sensitive codes to provide an added layer of login security.
- Access your OnlyFans account and navigate to “Settings.”
- Within the “Settings” menu, click on “Account.” Here, you will find the “Two-Step Verification” option. Select this.
- The next step requires you to link your chosen authenticator app with OnlyFans. You can do this by scanning the provided QR code or entering the provided key into your authenticator app.
Once this process is complete, every login attempt on OnlyFans will require a 6-digit code from your authenticator app. Given the time-sensitive nature of these codes, it narrows the window a potential hacker has to successfully guess the number.
Restrict Access to Geographical Locations
Another way to protect your content against piracy is by controlling who can access it. OnlyFans offers features that empower creators to limit access based on geographic location, adding more security.
There could be many reasons to use these restrictions. For example, if you find that your content is being republished mostly in specific regions or you have concerns about subscribers from certain areas, geo-blocking can be an efficient preventive measure.
To enable geo-blocking:
- Navigate to the “Settings” page and click on “Privacy and Safety.”
- Within this section, locate the “block by country” tab. This option will allow you to block access for users based in certain countries. Simply select the country or countries you wish to block.
- For more specific restrictions, OnlyFans also lets creators block access based on IP addresses. To use this feature, head to the “block by IP address” tab and enter the IP addresses you wish to restrict.
Implement Tiered Subscription Models For Exclusive Content
With content being one of the most valuable assets for OnlyFans creators, it is wise to manage its distribution strategically. By leveraging the platform’s tiered subscription model, creators can offer content tailored to the commitment level of each subscriber.
This approach not only helps shield your most exclusive content from potential theft but also drives a clear value proposition.
Watermark Your Content
Watermarks serve as a visual reminder of your content ownership, making it more difficult for pirates to pass off your work as their own. It is not just about marking ownership; it also acts as a deterrent, signaling the content is protected and that redistribution will not be tolerated.
OnlyFans recognizes the importance of watermarking, which is why it offers creators the option to watermark their content directly within the platform. Even if someone decides to share watermarked content, the origin of the content will remain evident, allowing for easier tracking and removal.
To embed a watermark on your OnlyFans content:
- Login to your OnlyFans account and go to the “Settings” page.
- Navigate to the “Privacy and Safety” section.
- Locate and click on the “Watermarks” tab.
- From here, you can choose the specific content you want to watermark.
Utilize Monitoring & Alert Systems to Identify Stolen Content
To truly protect your content, it is crucial to proactively monitor the internet and swiftly identify threats or theft. Fortunately, new tools have emerged that can help creators protect their work.
- Facial Recognition with PIMEyes: PIMEyes is an innovative facial recognition tool that searches the internet for images containing specific faces. If you have content featuring your face, this tool can be invaluable in pinpointing reposts.
- Google Reverse Image Search: A free and easy-to-use tool, Google’s Reverse Image Search allows creators to upload an image and see where else it might appear online. By conducting regular checks of your content, you can identify unauthorized uses and take the necessary steps to have it removed.
- Searching Popular Adult Websites: While this method requires a more hands-on approach, regularly browsing popular platforms that host adult content can help in detecting stolen materials.
- Digital Risk Protection (DRP): DRP services provide comprehensive monitoring for your digital assets. By analyzing web domains, social media platforms, dark web sources, and more, it offers a holistic approach to identifying risks associated with your digital identity and content. When potential threats are detected, DRP services alert you immediately so you can take action.
At Minc Law, we offer digital risk protection services for both individuals and businesses that want to monitor the internet for stolen or malicious content and eliminate digital threats.
How OnlyFans Creators Can Address Stolen Content
The theft and redistribution of content are unfortunate realities for many OnlyFans creators. Despite preventative measures, it is possible for content to be stolen. The impact on a creator’s emotional well-being and financial prospects can be considerable.
However, creators are not powerless in these situations. There are actionable steps that can be taken to address and mitigate the damage from stolen content.
First and foremost, retaining an attorney who can actively assist with takedowns in a quick and efficient manner may help slow the spread of content and be a worthwhile investment for high-profile creators seeking to protect their content (and livelihood).
Document Evidence of the Stolen Content and Damages
Taking swift action in response to stolen content is important, but ensuring you have the evidence to back up your claims is equally crucial. Thorough documentation not only validates your claims but also bolsters your position if you need to escalate the matter legally.
- Digital Footprints: Start by documenting the online profiles and social accounts of the perpetrator, if identifiable. This should include their URLs, any known name or pseudonym, and contact information.
- Capture the Content: Take clear screenshots or save files of the unauthorized content. Ensure you document the exact URLs where the content was posted and the date it was discovered.
- Messages: If you have received any threats, comments, or harassing messages related to the stolen content, capture these as well.
- Damages: It is essential to quantify the impact on your business. This might include tracking a decline in earnings post-theft, collating any communications from fans mentioning they have seen your content elsewhere, and maintaining an accurate record of financial losses with receipts and business statements.
- Deleted Content: If the stolen content was removed or deleted before you could document it, it is essential to jot down all relevant details about the incident, such as the platform it was on, any user identifiers, and any interactions or comments that were made.
Remember, every piece of evidence helps paint a clear picture of the impact the theft had on you and your business.
Report Stolen & Republished Content to OnlyFans
OnlyFans has provided a suite of measures to help its creators combat unauthorized use. When a creator identifies content they believe has been unlawfully published, they can take the following steps to report it:
- Navigate to the specific post or profile,
- Click on the “More” button in the top right-hand corner,
- Select “Report,” and
- Specify the nature of the violation, such as “Stolen material.”
OnlyFans also has a dedicated DMCA team. This team works to identify and ensure the removal of copyrighted content with a special focus on those bearing watermarks. If creators come across stolen material, they can also use the “Report” button and specify that the content violates DMCA regulations. They also notify external websites, domain registrars, hosting services, and search engines if they discover infringement.
Send a Cease & Desist Letter
For content creators who discover that their work is being shared, it is important to consider legal measures.
One of the primary legal tools at your disposal is the cease and desist letter. The cease and desist letter acts as a formal warning, indicating that they must stop their unlawful activities. If they fail to comply, they risk facing a lawsuit.
One of the key advantages of these letters is a quick resolution. Unlike a lawsuit, cease and desist letters can lead to immediate results. Many individuals, when faced with the possibility of legal action, choose to stop their unlawful activities. Another benefit is the cost-effectiveness of this approach. Hiring an attorney to draft and send a cease and desist letter is far less expensive than filing a lawsuit.
To ensure the effectiveness of the letter, it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney.
Send a DMCA Takedown Notice
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) offers another powerful legal solution. The DMCA takedown notice is a formal request that allows copyright holders to demand the removal of infringing content from online platforms.
Key features of a DMCA takedown notice include:
- A legal request aimed at removing copyright-protected content from online platforms.
- It can be issued by the copyright holder or their appointed agent.
- The notice is directed either to the individual who posted the infringing content or to the website, search engine, or web hosting service where the content is found.
Notably, you do not necessarily need a registered copyright to send a DMCA takedown request. Merely owning the content grants you the authority to issue this notice.
For creators based in the European Union or the United Kingdom, specific processes are available for addressing copyright issues. Detailed information on this can be found at OnlyFans’ transparency center.
For further reading, please see our comprehensive guides explaining why you should hire an attorney to send a DMCA notice and how much a DMCA takedown notice costs.
Notice of Nonconsensual Porn
In cases where content is posted online without consent, particularly if it involves intimate or private images or videos, it can be categorized as “nonconsensual porn” or “revenge porn.” This is not just a breach of privacy; in many jurisdictions, it is also a crime. For victims of nonconsensual porn, the emotional and psychological toll can be overwhelming.
To address this issue and get the content removed swiftly, victims or their representatives can submit a Notice of Nonconsensual Porn to the platform or website hosting the content. The notice is a formal request, emphasizing the nonconsensual nature of the posted content and the urgency for its immediate removal.
File a Claim With the Copyright Claims Board
As of June 16, 2022, the CASE Act has provided an avenue for creators who find their copyrighted content misused. If a creator is seeking compensation of less than $30,000 due to copyright infringement, they now have the option to file a claim with the Copyright Claims Board. The filing fee stands at $100. This enables creators to pursue justice against content thieves without the need to hire an attorney or undergo traditional courtroom procedures.
If an individual is illicitly distributing your OnlyFans content without your permission, you might have grounds for a copyright infringement claim. In such a lawsuit, the copyright owner has the right to seek an injunction to stop the unauthorized sharing of their copyrighted material by the infringing party. Also, in specific circumstances, the plaintiff can also pursue damages.
For a successful copyright infringement claim, two elements must be proven:
- Ownership of the copyright by the plaintiff, and
- Proof of infringement by the defendant.
Always remember, before taking any legal action, that consulting with an attorney experienced in copyright law can help you evaluate the strength and merit of your claim.
Beyond copyright infringement, another legal avenue to consider is filing a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. This term encompasses the unauthorized publication of private, non-public facts about an individual. If you suspect your privacy rights have been violated, it is wise to engage an experienced attorney. They can guide you through the process, ensuring you understand all possible legal claims and remedies available to you.
We Help Creators Protect Their Content
Finding that your OnlyFans content has been stolen and leaked on the internet can have catastrophic effects on your personal life and your bottom line. Identifying exactly where the stolen content has been posted and removing it can feel like an arduous and insurmountable task. However, we are here to help.
At Minc Law, we have extensive experience helping content creators and businesses remove stolen, copyrighted, and damaging content from the internet. We strive to bring creators peace of mind in these stressful situations and take a non-judgmental, compassionate approach to the removal of intimate and personal content.
“Melanie and the team at Minc did a great job taking offensive posts down of several websites. Quick and efficient, with good communication during the whole process. I can’t thank them enough!”
January 22, 2021
If your OnlyFans content has been leaked and you would like to explore your options for removal, schedule your initial, no-obligation consultation, reach out by calling us at (216) 373-7706, speaking with a Chat representative, or filling out our online contact form.