Warner Bros. Files Suit Alleging Copyright Infringement Against Adult Entertainment Companies
Thu, 15 Jul 2010 11:49:17
Warner Bros. and a number of other record labels filed a lawsuit last week alleging copyright infringement on the part of an adult entertainment company whose porn videos allegedly featured actors lip-synching to a cache of songs while engaging in sexual acts on camera. Ouch. This one is going to get ugly. The defendant in the case is Florida-based company, RK Netmedia. The labels are claiming "nasty" use of copyrighted music and the damages could run in the tens of millions of bucks. Perhaps some label head honchos have selective memories regarding some of the oversexed video content they churn out? Just sayin'.
According to Billboard, the defendant specializes in a particular brand of adult entertainment where adult "actors" perform sexual acts at exclusive night clubs and private parties. The labels claim that there is hardly any dialogue in these videos; instead, songs by Timberlake, Michael Jackson and Katy Perry provide the "soundtrack" accompaniment to the lascivious acts. Videos are allegedly named after songs, and actors are encouraged to lip-sync to the lyrics while sexing it up. These videos sound pretty ridiculous on paper and I think I'll skip checking it out online, even for the sake of research purposes.
Marc Randazza, the attorney for RK, says he plans to argue that the defendants' use of music is "fair use" in this context, saying, "If you're going to film in a live night club, you're going to absorb some of the ambient sounds. You are going to hear what the DJ is playing, and if someone can tell me how to shoot at a nightclub and police out the music in the background, I'm all ears." Ugh, with a side of ugh. The legal eagle also said that RK respects intellectual property but would never make a claim against a reality TV show producer whose actors were shown watching RK porn. I am not so sure that's the same thing and ignites a slippery slope argument, but…
The plaintiffs contend that the use of music was "deliberate and calculated." They are seeking maximum statutory penalties in the amount of $150,000 per claimed infringement. The complaint lists hundreds of examples of alleged infringements.
Team Labels or Team RK?