MindGeek Files Infringement Suit Against XVideos.com Parent

Oct 17, 2015 6:37 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — Adult entertainment conglomerate MindGeek filed a lawsuit this week in Los Angeles federal court against the operators of XNXX.com and XVideos.com, claiming the tube sites streamed its content in excess of 100 million times without authorization.

The suit, which names parent company WGCZ S.R.O. as well as owners Stephane Pacaud and Deborah Pacaud, claims copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement and vicarious infringement, and seeks $150,000 for each infringed film as well as a restraining order as relief.

“The XVideos websites are sites that purport to provide to members of the public adult-oriented audiovisual works uploaded by users,” the suit said.  “Defendants … have copied to their servers millions of audiovisual works ostensibly uploaded by their users, including tens or hundreds of thousands of works owned by plaintiffs. Defendants then publicly performed, reproduced and distributed plaintiffs’ works to millions of people throughout the world, without any license, justification, or defense.

“Moreover, while defendants have purported to defend their conduct by invoking the ‘safe harbors’ of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in fact, defendants do not fully comply with the core requirements of the safe harbors, including the requirements that they take down infringing content after formal notice and terminate so-called ‘repeat infringers.’”

MindGeek, along with Wicked Pictures, which is named as a plaintiff to the suit, said the case is not about whether the DMCA applies to tube sites that store, publicly perform, and transmit to the public works uploaded by users.

“Instead, what this case seeks to address is the unlawful and unfair conduct of one particular group of websites that brazenly flouts the requirements of the DMCA by engaging in a pattern and practice of ignoring valid DMCA copyright notices and by failing to implement any serious ‘repeat infringer’ policy, thereby enabling hundreds of individuals to continually infringe without any consequence.

“By doing so, defendants have lost the ability to invoke the DMCA safe harbor and are liable for all of the infringements on their system. Accordingly, the court should enjoin defendants’ conduct and award damages to plaintiffs for defendants’ willful and deliberate infringement of thousands of their copyrights.”

The material allegedly infringed upon came from the rainbow of MindGeek brands, including Brazzers.com, RealityKings.com, Mofos.com, DigitalPlayground.com, Twistys.com, Babes.com and Men.com, as well as Wicked.com material.

“XVideos.com — just one of the XVideos websites — purports to be the ‘Best Free Porn Site,’ featuring in excess of 10,000 new videos each day. In the normal course of operating the XVideos websites, defendants copy, adapt, publicly perform, display, distribute and otherwise disseminate to the public tens or hundreds of thousands of audiovisual works each day.

“Among the audiovisual works copied, adapted, publicly performed, displayed and distributed by defendants are numerous copies of plaintiffs’ subject works. Indeed, during the past 18 months alone, defendants transmitted copies of the subject works in excess of 100 million times …. Plaintiffs have never authorized defendants to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, or otherwise exploit the subject works via the XVideos websites.”

In August, the MetArt Network filed an infringement suit against XVideos.com and the Picauds, alleging the online adult company found 44 of its copyright-registered works over 65 separate and distinct URLs its sites. When it asked for take downs, compliance was short of what it had asked, MetArt said.

WGCZ S.R.O.’s attorney of record declined comment to XBIZ on the lawsuit.

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