Brazzers Loses Motion to Dismiss $6.75 Million Infringement Suit

Apr 19, 2010 10:45 PM PST
NEW YORK — A federal judge late Monday denied Brazzers' parent company its motion to dismiss a $6.75 million suit alleging it pirates adult content.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin moves forward Pink Visual’s claims that Mansef Inc., which owns Brazzers, violated 45 copyrights on four of its tube sites. The judge issued the ruling without any discovery or disclosures.

Scheindlin, however, said that Mansef could renew a motion to dismiss at another appropriate time.

Pink Visual, owned by parent company Ventura Content, claims in the suit that Mansef’s business model “depends on the lure of infringing materials” and that the Montreal-based company fails to employ “any reasonable measures to reduce infringement on their websites.”

Mansef, alternatively, said that Pink Visual fails to make the case that it actually owns the copyrights on the videos in question. Their attorneys also assert that the federal court lacks jurisdiction because “a more convenient alternate forum exists in Canada."

The websites at issue in Pink Visual's complaint include KeezMovies.com, PornHub.com, ExtremeTube.com and Tube8.com, all owned by Mansef Inc. and Interhub, whose officers operate both companies as well as one of the best-known adult companies, Brazzers.

As the case moves forward, Pink Visual plans to depose current and former Mansef execs.

Pink Visual intends to depose the individuals about the technological operation of Mansef-owned sites, including the mechanisms for copying, distributing, uploading, displaying and performing files. It also wants Mansef communications with users, including efforts to terminate user accounts.

Pink Visual also wants to look at Mansef’s business plans and advertising revenue, as well as a review of content on the sites.

Mansef plans to depose current and former Pink Visual execs.

It too wants to look at its competitor’s business plans and explore Pink Visual copyrights, as well as ways it is able to identify its works and the methods it uses to police its copyrights.

Both parties have come up with a deadline of mid July to commence discovery and have agreed to forward protective orders that will govern the exchange of confidential information.

Mansef attorneys, who so far have not answered Pink Visual’s demand to preserve relevant discovery material, called Pink Visual’s requests “onerous and irrelevant.”

Pink Visual, which seeks statutory and actual damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees and injunctive relief in the suit, said in a statement that their case is solid.

"We aren't surprised the court denied their motion, and we remain highly confident in our case," says Q Boyer, Pink Visual's director of public relations.

XBIZ calls to Mansef attorney Michael Lane went unreturned at post time.

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