CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Private Media Group last week asked a federal judge to go along with a $11.3 million default judgment against two of the largest adult tube sites, EmpFlix.com and TnAFlix.com.
Private, which claims the tube sites' operator, YoungTek Solutions Ltd., is illegally streaming 75 of its videos, also is seeking to have EmpFlix.com and TnAFlix.com's domain names awarded to the adult entertainment company.
"The amount at stake is large, but the defendant is a commercial venture that operates one of the busiest online commercial properties in the world," Private said in a motion for default judgment. "Only a large award will serve to deter these arrogant defendants from future illegal action."
In the motion for default judgment, Private says that YoungTek was properly served and that execs at the Cyprus-based company acknowledged the suit.
"Although service was made upon defendant’s agents and defendant acknowledged the suit, defendant has chosen to ignore the authority of this court," the brief read. "No defendant has cared to appear in this action."
But late Friday, YoungTek attorney Valentin Gurvits of Newton, Mass., filed papers to the court on behalf of the tube site operator.
YoungTek, in a motion to set aside a possible multimillion-dollar judgment, said that the company's delay to respond to the complaint constituted "excusable neglect" and that it isn't subject to personal jurisdiction in Iowa, where the suit was filed.
The company also said that is entitled to "safe harbor" because it has DMCA agents for takedown notices over alleged pirated content and that "Private doesn't even believe its own damages."
"Despite the dramatic and overblown prose of [Private's] complaint, and the damage claims asserted in its motion for default judgment, [Private] does not even believe its own rhetoric," YoungTek said in a brief filed Friday. " Far from the extravagant damage claims presented to the court, [Private CEO] Berth Milton, has recently stated in media interviews that the company believes that Internet pirates are a benefit to [Private], providing them with free promotion.
"[Private] cannot at one and the same time invite the distribution of video content and also cry foul when such content is then distributed, to its benefit."
Jason Tucker, Private's spokesman, told XBIZ that YoungTek's response on the motion for default judgment can't be believed.
"To say that we do not believe our own claim is just ridiculous," Tucker said. "This is nothing more then an effort by thieves to delay the inevitable."
Gurvits told XBIZ that he doesn't believe that Private's Fraserside division has standing to sue YoungTek or affililate John Does named in the case.
"A search of the federal copyright and trademark registers revealed that, contrary to its allegations in the complaint, Fraserside IP is not a registered owner of any copyrights or trademarks," Gurvits said.
"Lastly, one has to wonder why Private, a Cyprus corporation, would direct legal action against another Cyprus corporation in Iowa? I guess forum shopping has its benefits. And that's no bullshit."
Private in its original suit said that the tube sites are powerhouses in the biz, with EmpFlix.com attracting 1.5 million surfers a day and TnAflix.com attracting 3 million, and that YoungTek generates "annual revenue estimated in tens of millions of dollars."
The Barcelona-based company said it noticed the alleged infringement earlier this year after an initial search revealed and documented hundreds of separate instances of copyright infringement.
Private said that EmpFlix.com included numerous films from its catalog, including "Anal Mermaids," "Caribbean Vacation," "Cleopatra," "Fatal Orchid," "From Behind Is OK," "Gladiator," "Guns and Rough Sex," "House of Love," "Ibiza Sex Party 5," "Lady of the Rings," "Lust Treasures No. 5," "Lust Treasures No. 8," "Lust Treasures No. 9," "Millionaire," "Millionaire II," "Paintball Warriors," "Paradise Island," "Pornolympics," "Porn Wars," "Sex Thriller," "Tenerife," and "Private Gold No. 106."
TnAFlix.com, meanwhile, is accused of streaming "Private Gold No. 34," "Private Xtreme No. 07 — Body Shock," "Private Xtreme No. 10 — Hole in One," "Cleopatra," "Ibeza Sex Party 5," "Lady of the Rings," "Taste of Pleasure," "Tenerife" and "Your Time Is Up."