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05/24/2014 01:01 pm ET Updated Aug 07, 2014

The U.S. Should Immediately Adopt This 'Revenge Porn' Rule

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If you've got x-rated photos of your ex stored somewhere on your phone, and your ex is unhappy about it, you might be legally obligated to delete them.

At least if you're a German citizen.

In a verdict published on Tuesday, a German court ruled a local man should have deleted erotic photos of his now-former girlfriend as soon as she asked him to, according to The Guardian.

In explaining its decision, the court argued that the girlfriend's personal rights trumped the ownership rights of the boyfriend, according to the The Local, an English-language German newspaper.

It's a ground-breaking ruling on "revenge porn" -- a type of porn in which people publicly post intimate photos of their exes -- as it asks involved parties to delete photos before they're even public.

There was a good chance a German court would be the first to rule so strictly on this subject. The country has some of the world's most intense privacy laws, a product of rules put into place after World War II, according to The New York Times.

Courts around the world have been grappling for some time with the complicated topic of revenge porn, and current rules over its legality are sparse and vary greatly by region. California last year became the first state in the U.S. to come down hard on revenge porn, and Arizona follow its lead in April, according to Reuters. Dozens of similar measures are being proposed across the nation.

The laws in both Arizona and California make it possible to punish those who post sexts publicly. But there is nothing akin to this new German decision, which lets exes demand sexts be deleted before they are put out for the world to see.

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