The international adult industry could be about to get a shot in its legal arm, thanks to a potentially unlikely source: the music industry.
A judge in Virginia has ruled on a case brought by several record companies against an alleged Russian-based stream-ripper, and in doing so created a precedent for copyright material stolen by non-US sites.
Tofig Kurbanov owned several sites for stream-ripping, of which there are hundreds in Russia, and had argued that, because his servers were in Russia, the US had no jurisdiction over him, the filing shows.
After initially siding with Kurbanov, the decision was reversed on appeal, with Chief Judge Roger Gregory ruling that there was a case to answer, despite the lack of legal agreements between the US and Russia.
As some of the ad brokers used on the site were US-based, and the sites’ domain names were registered at US site GoDaddy, Verisign and Neustar, the plaintiffs argued there was a legitimate argument to link the sites to the USA.
But what does all that have to do with the adult industry?
Put simply, because there are plenty of adult websites out there which simply stream-rip video from other, US regulated sites, and pass it off as their own, as noted by Xbiz.
Porn.com is one site that is accused of doing just that, and is currently fighting the legal action. This news is bad for anyone accused, because it sets a definite precedent that even if you avoid having your server on US soil, there’s no defense for stealing content.
All streaming media is covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) in the US, but up until now, US authorities were limited in the action they could take.
This ruling could be a massive opportunity for studios and performers who have found their work displayed elsewhere, without any recompense, to claim royalties, or at least have the content taken down more easily.
The question now, given the fact that the Adult industry has been financially decimated by COVID-19, is how many of those affected will actually be able to afford to have their day in court?