Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pornograph Records?

Warner Bros. RecordsImage via Wikipedia
No shortage of news media outlets, ranging from Reuters and The ABA Journal to websites TMZ.com and DigitalSpy.com, have jumped on a copyright infringement case recently filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Warner Bros. Records, Inc. et al. v. RK Netmedia, Inc., RealityKings.com, et al (Case No. 2:10-cv-04991).

The case was brought by 11 major record labels against an adult entertainment company  for allegedly using copyrighted popular songs as a soundtrack to porn videos whose titles are allegedly named after the songs. The plaintiffs' complaint includes 18 pages worth of purported instances of copyright infringements for which the record companies are seeking damages of $150,000 per alleged pirated song.

The defendant porn site, RealityKings.com, which promotes itself as the "World's Best Reality Porn Website," so the dedicated staff of "TUOL" is told, features adult actors engaging in sex acts at parties and night clubs where music is blaring, prompting defendants' counsel somehow to suggest his clients are covered by the "fair use" defense under The Copyright Act. The videos produced by RK Netmedia, Inc., allegedly feature porn star sing-a-longs in which the actors lip-synch the lyrics to songs by artists such as Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry, while engaging in sex acts.  Follow the bouncing ball, so to speak.

Apparently, record company executives have tired of chasing penniless collegiate P2P downloaders and have figured out that there's more money, and less sympathy, involved with smut-peddling defendants.  Pity the directors of adult films. Ridiculed for the electric guitar & electric organ-heavy disco soundtracks that were a mainstay of '70s hardcore films (as "TUOL" read somewhere), the filmmakers purportedly borrow mainstream music from popular artists to accompany the actions of the on-screen "fuguists" and find themselves sued.

Talk about suffering for one's art.

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