Attorney: “The DMCA is one of the most fucked up pieces of legislation affecting the industry”

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from – The adult entertainment business is being torn to shreds by websites exploiting a loophole in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), according to porn trade news magazine XBiz.

On one side are the studios and content producers that create the content. On the other, are so-called “tube” sites—websites modeled after YouTube that allow users to upload any video clips they like. A massive amount of pirated content is now available for free at places like and, and the DMCA isn’t much help to the studios in getting copyrighted videos taken down. It’s actually hurting the industry economically, according to USAToday.

The law’s “safe harbor” provision assumes that tube sites don’t know that their content is pirated, as long as they delete infringing content on demand. The problem is that content goes up faster than studios can issue demands for it to be taken down. Worse, some companies upload content themselves while pretending their users have done it.

The publication cites one lawyer who has filed “dozens” of suits on behalf of porn studios against tube sites.

XBiz says:

For example, one shady scenario involves a company that knowingly and willingly submits infringing content to its tube site — or pays others to do it for them — under the guise of “user” uploads. Then in an effort to seemingly comply with the DMCA, removes clips on request — only to have the compliance department send the removed material to the upload department, where this cynically cyclical process is endlessly repeated.

[The DMCA] did not envision legions of third world pirates, spending their days in Internet cafes uploading stolen porn clips, as part of a “get paid based on the number of downloads your clip receives” affiliate program.

“The DMCA is one of the most fucked up pieces of legislation affecting the industry, second only to the labyrinth of 2257 [a record-keeping requirement],” said [Chad Belville, an industry attorney-pictured], who has filed dozens of suits against tube sites on behalf of Private Media Group’s Fraserside unit, and Zero Tolerance.

Federal litigation in the 2nd Circuit may change things in favor of the studios, however.

In a case in which Viacom alleges YouTube infringed its copyrights, an appeals court ruled in April that YouTube could be liable for infringing content on its site if it knew the content was there.

YouTube had moved quickly to remove infringing content, but that wasn’t enough to make it immune from the DMCA, the appeals court ruled.

However, the appeals court sent the case back to a judge to decide exactly how much YouTube knew, so the Viacom battle is far from over.

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