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KEITH WEBB TALKS TO KEITH WITCHKA ABOUT THE $ 2.7 MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT FILED BY TITAN AGAINST GLBT LIMITED
(JRL Exclusive Copy of Lawsuit Complaint Filed)
By: Andy Powell, Staff Writer 5-01-08 12:00 a.m.PDT
Mega Power House Titan Media Entertainment (www.titanmen.com) continues its aggressive pursuit of alleged infringers by filing a lawsuit against gay video hosting website GayForIt.com, which is operated by British company GLBT Limited. Titan is claiming $2.7 million in damages for copyright infringement and other alleged violations. The suit also lists 25 John Doe defendants in the complaint.
In court documents, Titan stated that 55 video clips from Titan movies, between 15 to 45 minutes long, were being hosted on the site without permission and that the video files had more than 575,000 views by users. The suit also charged GLBT Limited with unauthorized use of the Titan logo for content that was watermarked, and cited the hosting site for illegally labeling the content with their own GayForIt.com logo, as well as labeling that claimed copyright at the bottom of each web page.
Titan also alleged violation of 2257 regulations against GayForIt.com, and unfair business practices under California business and professional code. In addition, Titan has sent takedown letters to two other sites, ItsAllGay.com and JerkYourTube.com, both allegedly operated by GLBT Limited, but not named in the suit. We have confirmed that the lawest was filed Monday August 11, 2008, in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
I spoke with Vice President Keith Webb of Titan Media about the latest incident;
Keith Witchka: Keith, with the strong reputation that Titan Media and Io Group has for going after web sites, retail store chains and mail order houses for using your content without permission. Why are we still finding webmasters who are crazy enough to continue to pirate content for profit?
Keith Webb: When there is money to be made there will always be people willing to take the risk.
Keith Webb Continues:..Many think that they won’t get caught, or if they do they will not be criminally prosecuted. As long as there is intellectual property to be stolen there will always be piracy. Piracy is something that needs to be managed and controlled, it will never be eliminated.
Keith Witchka: Do you feel that there are webmasters who still think back in the 20th Century "THOUGHT" that people in the United States won't discover the piracy in their country?
Keith Webb: I think it’s more about people willing to take the risk to make easy money. When you have no costs associated with the content itself your profit margin can be quite high. Many people are willing to risk the consequences if they think they can get away with it. In many third world countries the concept of intellectual property is not something they fully understand and adhere too…just ask Microsoft or Adobe! With this case we are making it very clear that we will not be bound by international boundaries. If we catch you pirating our content we will go after you, no matter where you are.
Keith Witchka: What is it going to take to get the word out on a global scale that this type of behavior will not be tolerated by studios?
Keith Webb: Its cases like that get picked up by the press, blogs, webmaster forums, etc., etc. The more the word is spread the better it is for the entire industry. Trust me, if these people are stealing from Titan they are stealing form everyone else as well. It’s going to also take others in the industry to start pulling their heads out of the sand and confronting piracy head on. Ignoring it is not going to make it go way, it is going to end up killing your business. No matter how good your content is you cannot compete against free.
Despite the company’s physical location in Great Britain, Titan is claiming that the site is hosted in the U.S. and that its servers are located domestically; also that the site’s content is aimed at the U.S. market.
"Even though operating from the U.S., there was no 2257 labeling on the videofiles or on any pages of the website — a clear violation of anyone’s interpretation of 2257 laws,” Keith Webb told JRL.."As such, we have also filed an unfair business practices claim against the site for not following 2257 labeling laws. They are operating at an unfair business advantage over us and every other adult site that follows 2257 labeling laws.”
According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act notification posted on the GayForIt.com site, the company made the following statement to users uploading content onto the site:
“GayForIt is an online service provider as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We provide legal copyright owners with the ability to self-publish on the Internet by uploading, storing and displaying various types of media. We do not actively monitor, screen or otherwise review the media that is uploaded to our servers by users of the service. We take copyright violation very seriously and will vigorously protect the rights of legal copyright owners. If you are the copyright owner of content which appears on the GayForIt website and you did not authorize the use of the content you must notify us in writing in order for us to identify the allegedly infringing content and take action.”
We have attempted to reach GLBT Limited through email and by calling their offices located in Southampton but received no response at press time.
Keith Webb also told JRL, other webmasters alerted Titan to alleged infringed content on the GayForIt.com site. Smaller companies often report possible copyright infringement to Titan, knowing that the company’s legal department will pursue a lawsuit if Titan material is potentially being infringed upon.
But Webb cautioned other producers to be active in pursuing infringement on their own, as well. “People really need to start working together. More and more torrent sites know not to allow Titan content and have warnings to their users not to upload Titan content,” Webb told JRL.
“While this is great for us, all it does is pass the piracy burden on down the line to other similar producers,” he said. “Once these sites ban our content the other producers are shit outta luck and will need to take care of the piracy themselves. All we are really doing is impacting the piracy of our content, not anyone else’s.”
“Just about every other major online and offline studios content is on the [GayForPay.com] site,” Webb added. “There is more commercially produced content on the site then true amateur content. And anyone that thinks 20-minute clips are ‘free advertising’ is an idiot. It amazes me when I hear producers in Internet forums say that they see Tube sites as free advertising. We’ll see how long those producers last.”
Now, exclusively on JRLChartsOnline, read the full complaint filed by Titan Media Entertaiment and Io Group Distribution.
Io Group, Inc vs. GLBT Limited Complaint - A JRL Exclusive .
If we get word of GLBT Limited, we will bring it right to you and, as this story continues to develop, JRL will bring you up to the minute coverage on this explosive news story.