Industry News

9000+ Lawsuits on Piracy

NL- I’ve been very interested in the piracy lawsuits. I think the issue is very important to keep on top of and I am happy to now have Nate Lowery on board to do it for us.



op/ed by Nathan Lowery of

  Wrap your gray matter around this scenario:

 Lawyers for four porn companies bring in 9,055 nameless defendants, or as they’re also known, “John-Does” for litigation over piracy of their products.  The number of neckbeards, out-of-shape keyboard jockeys, and the nigh-legendary stench of old meat fills the courtroom.  Deaths from exposure happen.  Anarchy within a closed space ensues.  A lone file-sharer opens up his denim jacket to reveal a corset made of dynamite, and blows everyone involved to the promised land.  Every major broadcast and cable news outlet is there to cover the story, and the “blogosphere” masturbates itself silly on both sides of the issue.

Suicide, rioting and lethal body odor are the only way you’d hear about it from almost any source other than adult industry rags and blogs.  After all, we’re not talking about the RIAA or MPAA being involved, right?  This is the filthy and diseased porn industry, which is loved for tax revenue, but would be seen dead and buried by the powers that be.  Yet, the two mainstream institutions mentioned above were able to enact the same kind of mass lawsuits to much ballyhoo and cheerleading on both ends of the issue.

Last week, according to XBIZ, four companies (Devil’s Films, Elegant Angel, Third World Media and Tru Filth) brought their individual lawsuits against an army of pirates and file-sharers, the largest number being 5,011 from Tru Filth, attributed mainly to the spreading of the celebrity sex tape “Danielle Staub Raw.” 

Devil’s Films brings forth their claim mainly over spreading of their title “Don’t Tell My Wife I Assfucked The Babysitter,” but with a title like that, it’s this writer’s own maladjusted and sarcastic opinion that they were just asking for manic interest to the point of flagrant and unashamed online piracy.

This is the latest in an effort to stem the tide of online adult file-sharing and “tube” piracy through mass lawsuits.  Around the last week of September, Patrick Collins, Inc. and Third World Media joined West Coast Productions and Combat Zone in a lawsuit against 5,469 BitTorrent users accused of spreading their content.

Is it a good strategy, though? Flava Works, who is currently involved in a relatively smaller scale lawsuit against 26 John-Does and a website operator, were successfully able to receive damages to the tune of $350K earlier this year, though not against downloaders of illegal content.  The messiness quotient of said downloaders shorts due to receiving subpoenas is currently unknown.  However, it should be noted that Flava Works’ success is seemingly due in part to going after the root cause as opposed to the end result.

According to technology website Ars Technica, mass-lawsuits against those who venture onto the internet to procure porn clips may very well be a valiant, yet futile effort, as this course of action was used in litigation from US Copyright Group over the sharing of The Hurt Locker. Unfortunately, a snag was hit due to a federal judge over Federal Rule 45, which at first glance limits the effectiveness of the subpoenas to the state and district where issued.  In a conversation with Gill Sperlein, general counsel for Titan Media, I was assured that Rule 45 would not be a hindrance to these cases.

Let’s step away from the crowds of the semen-encrusted, distended guts of the pirate-minded internet masturbators for a moment, and talk reasoning.  There’s one factor which strikes the fear of whatever God you believe in this week into the unsuspecting downloading masses:  PUBLIC EXPOSURE.

The success of collecting on some of these cases seems to hinge on embarrassment knocking at the door of users who will potentially have their names and specific downloading habits brought into the omnipresent public eye for scrutiny, righteous indignation and ridicule.  Scary shit, isn’t it?  Allison Vivas, president of Pink Visual, has been quoted as saying that “going public is probably not worth the risk that these torrent and peer-to-peer users are taking.”

Fuck.  To think I was once worried about getting caught receiving a blow-job in public.

Gill Sperlein disagrees with this embarrassment strategy however, calling it “irresponsible behavior” and “troubling.”  He stressed to me the point that he has no interest whatsoever in embarrassing people.  Through prior contact, he says, a settlement with both the user and ISP can be reached without having any kind of public disclosure threatened.

As of right now, these mass-lawsuits are in the early stages of filing.  Whether or not these suits can bear any kind of fruit similar to that gathered by the MPAA and RIAA remains to be seen.

I’ll keep you all posted.


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