Record Studios Sue Porn Websites

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Major recording studios sued pay-to-see Internet website operators, claiming they violate copyright by synchronizing pornographic videos to songs by major artists. The studios claim that Miami-based RK Netmedia and Realitykings.com “are engaged in copyright infringement of the most blatant and offensive kind.” They want the websites shut down, and punitive damages.




     Warner Bros. and others claim the unlicensed use of their recordings in pornographic videos “tarnishes” the songs and “diminishes their value.”
     “In no uncertain terms, defendants are engaged in copyright infringement of the most blatant and offensive kind,” the complaint states. “Defendants know that major record labels, recording artists, and music publishers do not license their works for use in such pornographic content, especially the type of extreme, sexually explicit videos that defendants produce and distribute. So, defendants simply stole these sound recordings and musical compositions, synchronizing plaintiffs’ works more that 500 times into the soundtrack of their pornographic video without license or consent from plaintiffs, apparently hoping that their conduct would go unnoticed.”
     The defendants own and operate “no fewer than 28” for-profit websites that sell and distribute pornography, according to the complaint.
     The complaint includes an 18-page list of violated copyrights, and claims that “defendants not only incorporated plaintiffs’ works into their videos, but then used them to draw an audience to their Web site and to advertise and promote the videos, including by naming the videos after popular songs.”
     Besides lead plaintiff Warner Bros. plaintiffs include Elektra, Atlantic, and eight other studios.
     In addition to disgorgement, punitive damages and an injunction, the studios demand maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per copyright violation.
     The studios are represented by David Steinberg with Mitchell Silberberg.

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