MPAA Files Friend-of-the-Court Brief in Porn Piracy Case
CHICAGO — Hollywood has sided with Flava Works in the gay porn company's appeal supporting a preliminary injunction issued against MyVidster.com, which allegedly poached and streamed its content.
On Thursday, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) submitted a friend-of-the-court brief, supporting Flava Works in the long-running copyright infringement case.
MyVidster, operated by Marques Rondale Gunter, is a user-generated tube site that had been fingered by Flava Works for copyright violations.
Flava Works, which has been in business since 1999, offers content featuring black and Latino talent on a number of sites, including Cocodorm.com, PapiCock.com, ThugBoy.com, CocoBoyz.com FlavaMen.com and Thugsforsex.com.
A lower court last year held that Flava Works would likely succeed on copyright violation claims that MyVidster was secondarily liable for the direct infringement. But the case went to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after Gunter appealed an injunction.
Through the appeal, several companies and organizations have also filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the case — in support of Gunter. Google, Facebook, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge have all thrown their hats into the ring.
But the MPAA has sided with Flava Works, saying that MyVidster’s conduct in the case did not provide for safe harbors for providing digital storage space and information location tools.
"After receiving repeated notices about the infringing embedded videos on its service, MyVidster ignored the wrongful conduct instead of attempting to rid its service of bad actors," the MPAA said in the brief. "MyVidster initially refused to remove specific infringing links."
The MPAA continued in its brief that taking steps to thwart illegal conduct does not undermine technological progress or free speech. On the contrary, such steps facilitate those laudable objectives, it said.
Flava Works CEO Phillip Bleicher told XBIZ that the case is simple — "Marques Gunter used his website MyVidster.com as a vehicle to commit and contribute to massive amounts of theft."
"MyVidster is not just stealing our content, but dozens of small- and medium-sized porn companies (and individual amateurs) who may not be in a position to hire an attorney to stop sites like this from popping up," he said.
"For instance, we had a small home-based company contact us for help in writing a DMCA notice to MyVidster," he said. "They found over three dozen videos on MyVidster that belonged to this guy. When he contacted MyVidster, their response was 'MyVidster is a bookmarking site and not a video host' — which is bullshit."