Pink Visual has filed a $6.75 million suit against the Montreal-based operators of four adult tube sites, claiming that the “tubes” pirated content from 45 Pink Visual movies and allowed that material to be streamed “tens of millions of times.”
The websites at issue in Pink Visual’s … complaint include KeezMovies.com, PornHub.com, Extremetube.com and Tube8.com, all owned by Canadian companies Mansef Inc. and Interhub, whose officers operate both companies.
According to Kevin Blasko, spokesman for counsel Jenner & Block, the copyright infringement suit was filed February 11 at U.S. District Court in New York by Pink Visual’s parent company, Ventura Holdings, against Mansef and Interhub. Mansef and Interhub are the corporate parents of the above four tube sites as well as Brazzers, one of the adult industry’s biggest content providers and recipient of multiple AVN and XBiz awards.
Jenner & Block representatives took part in last year’s Free Speech Coalition forum at which Vivid’s Steve Hirsch and AEBN’s Scott Coffman spoke about porn piracy. Earlier that year Vivid had filed suit against AEBN’s Youporn tube site for copyright infringement, and the two companies worked out an arrangement by which Vivid would sanction certain Youporn content that would then drive traffic back to Vivid.
Pornhub.com, one of the tube sites named in the lawsuit, has recently started a contest to promote original user-submitted movies. An employee who emphasized he was not speaking for the company said:
“All of our content is user submitted like Youtube,” he said. “The uploader is required to affirm they own or retain the rights [and] permissions to use them. We take down any videos that are found to be illegally uploaded or that are requested to be taken down by the content owner. We respect all DMCA requests. As well we are working with a large number of content owners and producers who upload clips of their content in exchange for a link back to their sites.”
This is at odds with Pink Visual’s complaint, which states that Mansef and Interhub “actively engage in, promote and encourage” copyright infringement.
AEBN’s Scott Coffman told me this year that the Vivid lawsuit had to do with Steve Hirsch feeling that “he needed to take a stand against someone.” There is still a great deal of adult industry animus against tubes, even if many studios are either working with tube sites or, like Brazzers and “Fuck A Fan” studio Immoral Productions, operating tubes of their own.
If Pink Visual’s suit is anything like Vivid’s (and I’m not saying it is), the Canadian firms will clamp down on illegal uploads, step up stern language in order to police copyrighted content, and enter into strategic partnerships with the tubes they once sued.
Either that or this lawsuit is an attempt to reduce tubes to a porn industry-anointed few.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Porn: Dumbing it down for women; CNBC’s “Business of Pleasure” neither a hatchet job nor a sunbeam; Scott Coffman: The last man working in porn
See also: Pink Visual, Mansef