Porn Company Rejects Mass Lawsuits, Goes After Torrent Sites

The growing trend for some porn companies is to get into bed with a law firm and go down the mass litigation route against users in the hope of extracting millions of dollars in cash settlements. However, one leading company says that the process has difficulties and is not as straightforward as advertised. So this year, instead of chasing file-sharers they will go after torrent sites instead.

pinkPink Visual is a prominent adult entertainment studio based in Van Nuys, California. Unlike some of its competitors, Pink Visual started providing content online and then later moved into physical distribution. It also provides content for cable and pay-per-view.

Pink Visual’s holding company, Ventura Content, is no stranger to anti-piracy litigation. In February 2010 it filed suit against the owner of Brazzers claiming that so-called ‘tube sites’ owned by the company were offering unauthorized copies of their content. Brazzers went on to describe the $6.75m suit as “‘fatally defective“.

Despite high value warning shots such as this, the growth of both tube and torrent sites continues to be of concern to the wider adult industry. Now, in a move designed to reverse the trend, Pink Visual has just made its 2011 anti-piracy strategy public.

Part of the company’s strategy will be educational, with reminders sent to subscribers informing them of their responsibility not to spread Pink Visual’s content and the consequences for doing so. The company has also hired a monitoring company called Degban to scan the web for infringing content and issue takedown requests.

interestingly, what Pink Visual will not do is enter the end-user mass litigation market. Last week president Allison Vivas said that her company had been approached by law firms specializing in this type of work, but had turned down the opportunity to get involved.

Vivas said she had anticipated that the EFF would get involved and that the courts would question the legal tactics being used. She was of course correct, as the recent Batman XXX case shows.

“It wasn’t as straightforward as advertised,” Vivas said about the model.

But that doesn’t mean that Pink Visual won’t litigate – they will. In addition to going after several ‘tube’ sites, the company says it will also start targeting BitTorrent trackers.

“In addition to taking legal action against some site operators on our own, there are several other companies preparing to file multiple-plaintiff lawsuits against such site operators in the coming months. We anticipate that these lawsuits will be officially announced within the first quarter of 2011,” said Vivas.

While Pink Visual will seek damages, they will also try to force site operators to employ filtering technologies. While it seems clear that this will be a requirement for ‘tube’ site operators, it is uncertain how this will relate, if at all, to torrent sites.

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