Private Sues Meta Interfaces for Trademark Infringement

Ariana Rodriguez
BARCELONA — Private Media Group's Fraserside Holdings division filed a federal lawsuit against Meta Interfaces last week.

Fraserside is claiming that Meta Interfaces has committed unlawful acts of copyright infringement of its movie titles and trademark infringement of its world-famous Private brand in more than 250 instances.

Fraserside is seeking maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement.

A Private press release noted White House press conference from June, in which U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden said: “Piracy is theft. Clean and simple. It's smash-and-grab. No different than smashing the window of Tiffany's and grabbing what's in the window. Intellectual property is no different."

"We agree with U.S. Vice President Biden, piracy is theft,” Private Media Group chairman and CEP Berth Milton said. “Private has been producing and distributing high quality adult entertainment to adults for over 40 years. Similar to the music industry which successfully went after sites like Napster for unlawful copyright infringement, we are targeting companies, such as Meta Interfaces, that have allowed anyone with an Internet connection to view Private movies for free while also realizing substantial financial profits by doing so. We are going to set a new benchmark for zero tolerance in the adult industry among companies looking to commit these criminal acts."

Private Media Group CFO Johan Gillborg added, "We will continue to aggressively protect our intellectual property and legitimate licensees. If you steal a DVD at a store and get caught there are consequences; the Internet should not be treated any differently.

“To be clear, Private is in the fight against piracy especially among the largest perpetrators’ of this crime and this is one in a list of infringement cases we have planned to file. A Private executive attempted to discuss the situation with Meta Interfaces and was met with expletives. Meta deserves this lawsuit; their actions are criminal.”

According to the suit, Fraserside and Meta Interfaces entered a content licensing agreement on May 11, 2009, providing Meta Interfaces with 200 films in DVD format for streaming parts or complete films through Meta Interfaces web site. The agreement also granted Meta Interfaces rights to display the Private trademark on its websites in conjunction with displaying the films.

As part of the agreement, Meta Interfaces was to consistently notify Fraserside on all Meta Interfaces websites that featured Fraserside’s content. The agreement also forbids Meta Interfaces from using any of Fraserside’s films commercially to benefit any third party, the suit said.

In addition, the license agreement forbids Meta Interfaces and its affiliates from using any portion of Fraserside’s films in excess of two minutes as a promotional segment for Meta Interfaces’ controlled websites.

The suit names numerous tube sites, including SkimTube.com, EskimoTube.com and Tjoob.com, in which Private copyrighted works are displayed alongside third-party vendors, thus specifically benefiting those third party advertisers. In some instances, the videos point viewers to Meta Interfaces-owned sites, such as XMovie.com.

Related: