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Private Files Default Judgment Motion Against XHamster

Private Files Default Judgment Motion Against XHamster
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Aug 18, 2011 3:00 PM PDT    Text size: 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Execs at Private Media Group, which this week filed a motion for default judgment against the operators of tube site XHamster, already are predicting another copyright infringement victory.  

So far this year, the adult entertainment company, through its Fraserside IP division, has waged nine copyright suits against tubes sites and has settled for payouts in four of the cases.

But a victory against XHamster, which is accused of streaming 73 of Private's videos, would be huge — the tube site's pages are said to be viewed 65 million times a day, taking in $1 million in revenue per month. The site alone is said to be worth $20 million.

Private, in the suit, has asked for at least $10.8 million in damages and wants to take over the website, prompting company officials to look forward in the event of a win.

"We've even started to entertain offers for the site," Private spokesman Jason Tucker told XBIZ.

Private in its suit filed against Westchester, Calif.-based Whoisguard, which protects online identities through its service, as the "doing business as" entity for XHamster. (Whoisguard's service agreement is narrowly tailored and limits its liability, indemnifying them from client risks.)

Private said that the defendants were served properly and have not responded to the suit.

But attorney Val Gurvits, who was retained by XHamster and represents defendant Youngtek in another Private copyright suit, said that Private is suing the wrong party and that XHamster operators haven't yet been properly served.

"Fraserside is suing the wrong party — they named Whoisguard as the defendant," Gurvits told XBIZ. "XHamster has no connection with Whoisguard. We brought this to Fraserside’s attention and requested them to amend their complaint to properly name XHamster. They have thus far ignored our request."

Attorney Chad Belville, meanwhile, wrote in his motion as Private's counsel that XHamster is just playing a "shell game" and that he's properly following court rules, including court-imposed deadlines for service of process.

"Defendant has tried to play a shell game by naming a third party as the registered and responsible owner of the domain," Belville said in Private's motion for default judgment. "Under ICANN rules, the registered owner of a domain is responsible for the domain.

"Plaintiff has followed the rules of court and the rules of ICANN by naming and serving the registered owner of the domain where copyright and trademark infringing material is being voluminously published to the world.

"Defendant, with full knowledge of this action and retaining counsel, has failed to respond to the summons in any way until default was imminent."

XHamster, according to the suit filed at U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been streaming poached Private content — at least 73 videos, including "Dominatrix Chess Gambit," "Billionaire" and "Uranus Experiment 3," among scores of other titles.

A judge will soon rule on Private's brief in support of a motion for default judgment.

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