Tube Sites Ordered to Answer Private's $11.3M Complaint

Dec 20, 2011 10:00 AM PST

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A federal judge sided with Private Media Group today and ordered two of the largest adult tube sites, EmpFlix.com and TnAFlix.com, to answer its $11.3 million complaint.

Private claims in the copyright infringement suit that the tube sites' operator, YoungTek Solutions Ltd.,  illegally streamed 75 of its videos. In addition to a multimillion-dollar award, Private is seeking to have EmpFlix.com and TnAFlix.com transfered to the adult entertainment company.

Today's order is significant because it will be the first time YoungTek has been ordered to file an answer to the complaint.

YoungTek of Cyprus has asserted a jurisdictional defense, claiming it has no business in Iowa, where Private is incorporated. The company also claimed that the Private division that filed the suit — Fraserside IP — isn't the owner of any of the copyrights or trademarks.

YoungTek further claimed that Private can't remove YoungTek from its entitlement for immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 

Attorney Chad Belville, who represents Private, told XBIZ that "in a round about way it appears that jurisdiction has been accepted at this point."  

"I say round about because this order does not directly address it, and refers to ... defenses which include personal jurisdiction," he said. "This order leaves the door open to the jurisdictional defense."

Attorney Valentin Gurvits, who represents Youngtek, said that the federal judge hearing the case decided that the better course of action was to let discovery proceed in the normal course.

"We may ask the court to look at the jurisdictional issue first — since that doesn’t involve any discovery — but we’re still discussing the options with our client," Gurvits told XBIZ.

Youngtek has been vigorously fighting the suit — even charging in motions that Private's leaders don't believe that piracy hurts its own company.

"Far from the extravagant damage claims presented to the court, [now-suspended Private CEO] Berth Milton, has recently stated in media interviews that the company believes that Internet pirates are a benefit to [Private], providing them with free promotion," an earlier YoungTek brief said.

Private in its suit said that the defendant tube sites are powerhouses in the biz, with EmpFlix.com attracting 1.5 million surfers a day and TnAflix.com attracting 3 million, and that YoungTek generates "annual revenue estimated in tens of millions of dollars."

Barcelona-based Private said it noticed the alleged infringement earlier this year after an initial search revealed and documented hundreds of separate instances of copyright infringement.

Private said that EmpFlix.com included numerous films from its catalog, including "Anal Mermaids," "Caribbean Vacation," "Cleopatra," "Fatal Orchid," "From Behind Is OK," "Gladiator," "Guns and Rough Sex," "House of Love," "Ibiza Sex Party 5," "Lady of the Rings," "Lust Treasures No. 5," "Lust Treasures No. 8," "Lust Treasures No. 9," "Millionaire," "Millionaire II," "Paintball Warriors," "Paradise Island," "Pornolympics," "Porn Wars," "Sex Thriller," "Tenerife," and "Private Gold No. 106."

TnAFlix.com, meanwhile, is accused of streaming "Private Gold No. 34," "Private Xtreme No. 07 — Body Shock," "Private Xtreme No. 10 — Hole in One," "Cleopatra," "Ibeza Sex Party 5," "Lady of the Rings," "Taste of Pleasure," "Tenerife" and "Your Time Is Up."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Voss gave YoungTek until Dec. 30 to answer Private's claims in the case.

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