Suit: Apple Should Protect Lawyer From Porn Addiction

Jul 12, 2013 1:30 PM PST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Apple Inc. should sell all products with an installed filter blocking all porn.

That's what plaintiff Chris Sevier, a Tennessee attorney, says in a recent lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court in Nashville.

Sevier says that if Apple buyers over the age of 18 wish to unlock the web, he or she is free to contact Apple, sign a form acknowledging the ills of pornography, and receive a code to remove the filter.

The bottom line, he says, is that every Apple device should be sold in "safe mode" with software preset to filter out porn.

"The plaintiff loves Apple," the suit says. "[But] there is no reason for Apple ... to overly support pornography online — explicit sexual content that has led to the proliferation of arousal addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution and countless numbers of destroyed lives."

Sevier argues in his brief, which includes a YouTube link of a music video that he says offer a summary of the suit, that the burden must be shifted from parents to the manufacturer to sell a locked device that makes computing devices become pornless.

The YouTube piece, available here, was made by Sevier and combines Zedd's "Shave It Up" with a segment from "The Demise of Guys," a lecture by Psychologist Philip Zimbardo who discusses why some men are struggling in life, particularly about intimacy and relationships.

Sevier said the video summaries the suit as it "relates to rewiring, voyeurism products liability and systemic problems that are the direct result of our collective arrogance to do not do something about a problem area."

His 50-page complaint paints himself as a victim of porn, who now has "an unwanted addiction with adverse consequences."

"The plaintiff is a victim of Apple’s product that was sold to him without any warning of the damage the pornography causes ...," the suit says. The plaintiff sustained these unwarranted damages in the course of using Apple’s product as designed.

"Apple’s product was not adequately equipped with safety features that would have otherwise blocked unwarranted intrusions of pornographic content that systematically poisoned his life."

Forcing Apple to install preset porn filtering software could have a positive financial impact on the traditional adult entertainment industry, Sevier said.

"The porn industry has the same regulatory and supply and demand problems that the music business and print media does, as a consequence of the free flow of information online," Sevier said.

"There is so much free porn on the internet that ultimately it's going to be difficult for porn providers to rely on the income generated from their work to continue to make a living ....  

"[U]nregulated Internet porn is hurting brick-and-mortar or 'mom and pop' porn shops. This is no different than how illegal downloading of musical content and movie content has caused the collapse of traditional record stores and video rental entities."

Sevier is suing for fraudulent misrepresentation, violating products liability laws and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

He seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions, $75,000 in lost income and a demand that Apple make unspecified donations to groups such as Stop Sex Trafficking Now. He also is asking for Apple execs to deliver a public statement about the dangers of viewing porn online.

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