In a ruling that is welcomed by anti-piracy activists, an Iowa court has ordered a popular pornographic website to pay $4 million to an Iowa-based adult film company on the grounds of copyright infringement.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett in Cedar Rapids made the judgment against the operators of PornVisit-dot-com who had been stealing the copyrighted porn of FraserSide IP LLC, a subsidiary of the Private Media Group, Inc. The judge clearly admonished Mark and Mina Faragalla and told them to stop stealing the content of the other company.
Phoenix attorney Chad Belville said, “Simply having the word ‘million’ in a judgment sends a message – it is going to be better to comply with copyright laws than to make money from the work of others.” Belville further commented that, “The only way online piracy will truly be slowed or stopped is to take the financial incentive away.”
The Judge said his ruling was “a shot across the bow” against online piracy. PornVisit-dot-com is visited by more than 500, 000 visitors daily, and it comes within the top three thousand most popular websites of the world.
The judgment noted:
“The modern day pirates at issue in this litigation do not wear tricornes and extract their ill-gotten booty at cutlass point, but with a mouse and the internet. Nonetheless, their theft of property is every bit as lucrative as their brethren in the golden age of piracy,”
The judgment also noted that the guilty website made $720, 000 per year only in advertising revenue besides the huge amount earned in memberships.
FraserSide owns the copyrights to 75 adult films in the U.S. and also owns other content that is distributed online, and through other media like DVD. It sells DVDs in 45 countries.
Due to the subject matter of their copyrighted content, adult entertainment companies find it difficult to be taken seriously, or pursue their copyrights for effective remedies. Pirates often benefit by lifting the work of genuine adult entertainment companies.