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Attacking Piracy From All Angles

Attacking Piracy From All Angles

May 21, 2008
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" We are at our best when our industry comes together as a driving force to address issues like piracy and 2257. "

In just a little over a week from the time I write this article, FSC will launch its first XXX University Anti-Piracy 101 Roundtable. Sponsored by Sureflix and premiering at the Phoenix Forum, this roundtable seminar promises to be an incredible resource for industry professionals. Moreover, it represents the first part of a strategic industry-wide effort made possible when individuals and organizations put their egos aside and ask the question:“What is best for the industry as a whole?”

In 2007, three groups within the adult entertainment industry began to address the issue of piracy.The Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the trade association for the adult entertainment industry, developed a task force to research the issue and develop an action plan to support members and the industry in combating piracy.

Simultaneously, Sureflix Digital Distribution, a leading digital distributor of adult programming in the worldwide television broadcast markets and Internet VOD markets, developed GAPA (Global Anti-Piracy Agency). GAPA was developed as a not-for-profit organization created to provide support and resources to businesses within the adult industry to combat piracy of their intellectual property. At the same time, a separate group of adult producers came together to explore the possibility of adult entertainment producers coordinating joint lawsuits against companies pirating adult content.

Understanding the probability of duplication of efforts, the leadership of FSC and GAPA came together to discuss ways to maximize the industry’s resources in combating piracy. As a result, the two organizations merged their programs, launching this antipiracy initiative, founded by Sureflix, utilizing the infrastructure and under the overall umbrella of the Free Speech Coalition.

Next, the leadership of GAPA and FSC sat down with the aforementioned producers group now known as PAK, a global intellectual property rights enforcement agency, again to avoid duplication of efforts and to utilize the resources of the industry efficiently.The result of these discussions, and this industrywide organizing, is a coordinated effort that will bring the industry together to tackle the tough issue of piracy.

And yet, with all of this agreement and all of this coordination, there exists the proverbial gun aimed right at our foot. The gun I am speaking of is 2257. On the heels of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning 2257 as unconstitutional on its face, and after an industry-wide coordination of public comments to the Department of Justice on the burdens imposed on the industry by 2257, some people are discussing using 2257 as an unfair compete clause of their copyright infringement lawsuits.

Let me be clear, we as an industry cannot simultaneously argue that 2257 harms the industry as we are using 2257 to help us in copyright lawsuits. By doing so, we are in effect legitimizing 2257. POW! There goes the gun — a shot fired right through our foot.

It is imperative that we, as an industry, stay focused on the big picture and long-term successes. Yes, a 2257 argument may help an individual business drive the point home in a copyright lawsuit, but at what expense? At the possible expense of the industry’s overall relief from 2257? Don’t do it. And when you are around those who excitedly discuss the possibility, remind them that their thinking is shortsighted and potentially dangerous.

We are at our best when our industry comes together as a driving force to address issues like piracy and 2257. We are in this for the long haul, folks — to build an environment where adult businesses can thrive, free of government oppression and revenue- snatching pirates. But when you choose one over the other, we all lose.


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