One of the world’s largest online adult sites is being sued in U.S. District Court in Miami for copyright infringement, with plenty at stake.
Hydentra LP, the plaintiff in the case, is not only demanding millions of dollars, but also to be awarded rights to the popular Sex.com domain name — which has been hotly contested over the years and sold for a record $13 million in 2010 — as well.
Hydentra and its adult entertainment MetArt Network, whose 11 sites include such offerings as EternalDesire.com and Stunning18.com, claims those running the domain site Sex.com knowingly allowed their copyrighted photos and videos to be uploaded to the sharing site not only by members of the site but by the site, and “repeat offenders,” as well.
Hydentra has filed a number of lawsuits against other adult sharing sites in federal courts around the country with similar claims.
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“We believe, there are people who are paid to post stuff by Sex.com,” said Jason Tucker, managing director of the intellectual property management company Battleship Stance, which is employed by Hydentra to search out such infractions.
“When you see a photo or video, there are banner ads offering the chance to view the video in high def or view on your phone. But it’s actually guiding you to get a membership of Sex.com, which doesn’t have that content. And they are doing it with content that doesn’t belong to them.”
According to the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, Hydentra and Met-Art is seeking ”the maximum statutory damages” of $150,000 for each infringed work on the site, as well as transfer of the Sex.com domain name to them.
Tucker claims there are “thousands and thousands” of Hydentra pictures and streaming videos on the site.
The current version of Sex.com has been described as the “Pinterest of Porn” as users upload “pins” of favorite porn scenes, photos and video stills to share with others on the site.
Tucker said Hydentra and MetArt have sent over 3,000 thousand cease-and-desist notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act about its copyrighted work on the site. Tucker said the two sides met to “work out something equitable for both sides” in March.
“Some they took down,” Tucker said, “and some they didn’t. They didn’t want to take it down. Lets face it: It’s good stuff.”
According to the lawsuit and information found online, the defendants registered the domain “sex.com“ through Jacksonville-based Network Solutions, thereby agreeing “to jurisdiction in the State of Florida regarding any actions or obligations pertaining to the website.”
The lawsuit identifies Montreal’s Frederic Valiquette as a defendant based on “information and belief” that he “directs, controls and/or assists in determining the content on Sex.com.”
Valiquette’s LinkedIn profile lists him as the president and founder of the online marketing site Go Fans Go.
A call to a phone number in Montreal supplied by the Go Fans Go website went to an automatic voice mailbox.
Other defendants are Maximum Apps Inc., of which Valiquette is listed as a director, according to Canadian federal corporation listings; and Clover Holdings LP, which bought the domain name Sex.com in 2010.
Both have offices in Montreal and are alleged in the suit to own and operate Sex.com.
Efforts to reach the defendants were unsuccessful.