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PornHub Sister Company Seeks Piracy Blocking Order & $21m Damages

By iptv.legal , in Apps and Sites Lawsuits MG Premium Pornhub , at December 19, 2023

dollarsThe name ‘Aylo’ might not ring a bell with many people but it is one of the leading players in the adult entertainment industry.

Formerly known as MindGeek, and Manwin before that, the company conquered the online adult market over the past decade by offering free porn to the masses.

With help from user-uploaded videos, the company built massive databases of adult entertainment, much to the frustration of incumbent adult industry companies that, in the past, often found pirated copies of their content on MindGeek-operated sites.

This bold business model paid off with billions of visits that provided a sizable revenue stream through sites such as Pornhub, YouPorn, Redtube, Tube8, and dozens of others. And as MindGeek’s stature rose, the company transformed into a major rightsholder which today operates under Aylo branding.

This imperium also controls a lot of copyrighted content. Aylo subsidiary MG Premium, for example, which owns various brands including Brazzers, has more than 10,000 works registered at the US copyright office which it actively protects.

Aylo’s subsidiary regularly files lawsuits against ‘pirate’ tube sites and users of peer-to-peer networks. The most impressive numbers come from its DMCA takedown campaign, targeting close to 900 million URLs through Google alone.

Goodporn Lawsuit

One stand-out lawsuit targets the tube site Goodporn. MG Premium sued the platform for widespread copyright infringement, hoping to shut it down, but after two years that is yet to happen.

Instead, Goodporn owner Amrit Kumar fought back hard. Among other things, he allegedly signed a contract to obtain the rights to MG Premium’s content in 2019, leading him to accuse his accusers of copyright infringement.

This counterclaim was eventually dismissed by the court during the summer. In addition, the court granted MG Premium’s motion for summary judgment for inducement of copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement.

It’s almost impossible to summarize the entire case, which comprises hundreds of filings. For example, it also includes Lizette Lundberg and Emile Brunn as defendants, who stood accused of working with Kumar and submitting inaccurate DMCA counternotices.

Ultimately, however, the court entered summary judgment and a default for inducement of copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement against all Goodporn defendants.

$21 million damages

With the default in hand, MG Premium is hoping to finalize the case. A few days ago it submitted a motion for default judgment, pointing out that Kumar continues to profit from the infringing activities to this day.

“As this case has proceeded for two years, Defendant ‘Amrit Kumar’ continued to reap profit from this scheme,” MG Premium writes.

“Operating covertly behind proxy internet protocol addresses, anonymous email servers, and fake physical addresses, Kumar adopted the guise of a ‘pro per’ litigant while engaging ghostwriters, dodging depositions, eschewing telephone or video communication with counsel, and submitting falsified evidence of copyright ownership.”

MG Premium claims to have lost many millions of dollars and seeks substantial damages as compensation. At the maximum of $150,000 per work, it can request up to $216 million. However, following the lower bar set in the Yespornplease case, a tenth of that is sufficient; $21.6 million.

21m

Proposed Blocking Order

In addition to damages, MG Premium also requests a broad permanent injunction, ordering domain registries and registrars to sign over all infringing Goodporn domain names.

While these targeted requests are not uncommon, the proposed injunction goes further than that. It also requires search engines, hosting and Internet service providers, domain registrars, domain registries and other service providers to block the site’s domain names.

According to MG Premium, these companies should be ordered…

“To block or use reasonable efforts to attempt to block access by United States users of the Goodporn Websites by blocking or attempting to block access to all domains, subdomains, URLs, and/or IP Addresses that have as its sole or predominant purpose to enable to facilitate access to the Goodporn Websites”

block

Not Over Yet…

The motion for default judgment has yet to be signed off by the court. The blocking measures are targeted at services that act “in concert or participation” with Goodporn. It’s not clear against which companies it will be enforced.

It’s clear that Pornhub’s sister company is eager to get this case over with. However, history has shown that nothing in the proceeding is straightforward.

Earlier this week, Defendant Kumar submitted a motion to set aside the default judgment, citing Visa restrictions, limited familiarity with U.S. legal proceedings, and other reasons for his earlier lack of appearance. Whether that will be granted remains to be seen.

A copy of MG Premium’s motion for a default judgment is available here (pdf) and the proposed order can be found here (pdf)

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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