Thursday, August 23, 2012, 1:16 PM

Online Adult Videos the Focus of Copyright Action Filed in Northern District of Georgia

On August 17, 2012, Ventura Content, Ltd. ("Ventura"), an Anguillan corporation, filed a complaint in the Northern District of Georgia against UGC Internet Ventures, Ltd. ("UGC"), a corporation organized under the laws of Cyprus, and certain unknown persons or entities ("Does 1-10"), alleging that UGC and Does 1-10 have willfully infringed over 100 of Ventura's copyrights by operating websites that allow users to upload, view, and obtain copies of a library of adult video content for free.

Ventura purports to own numerous copyrights for adult-oriented content, including "high quality adult videos," and to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to create and distribute adult videos "because the Copyright Act protects its economic incentive to do so."  Ventura distributes the works or licenses them for distribution through websites, DVDs and other video formats, and pay-per-view televisions systems.  According to the complaint, UGC and Does 1-10 operate so-called "Tube Sites," which encourage users to generate and upload content which can be freely accessed by other users.  Ventura claims that Tube Sites are nothing more than fronts for massive on-line piracy and copyright infringement, because instead of promoting user-generated content, users primarily upload copyrighted material generated and distributed by companies like Ventura.  According to the complaint, these works often include high-profile "pornstars," and UGC advertises that users can "Watch Free Porn Videos of Famous Pornstars," openly promoting and enabling infringement of copyrighted adult content.

Ventura alleges that the defendants have actual knowledge or "have turned a willfully blind eye to the infringement occurring on the Accused Sites."  According to the complaint, the infringement is open and notorious, and the websites contain "red flags" that infringing activity is occurring, such as the "presence of numerous full-length or extended videos often featuring well-known adult industry 'pornstars' who appear in studio-produced and copyrighted films."  As a result, Ventura claims that it will be irreparably harmed absent an injunction halting the defendants' activity.  Ventura also seeks the maximum statutory damages allowable under 17 U.S.C. § 504(c), or $150,000 per work, or in the alternative actual damages in an amount to be determined at trial, to compenstate for the alleged willful infringement of its copyrighted material.  Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 503 and 505, respectively, Ventura also asks that the Court order the impoundment and destruction of any infringing copies of Ventura's copyrighted content and award Ventura its attorneys' fees and costs.

The case is action number 1:12-cv-02856, and has been assigned to Judge Timothy C. Batten, Jr.

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