LOS ANGELES — Pink Visual president Allison Vivas will be conducting a special Anti-Piracy Q&A Session at the adult industry’s leading digital media conference, XBIZ LA, in January at the Sofitel Hotel.
Vivas will be accompanied on the stage by UCLA Law Professor Doug Lichtman, who will join her in discussing a range of hot-button topics related to content piracy. The session is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Vivas told XBIZ that one of the main themes of her discussion would be the importance of developing sound strategies to combat the problem.
“Anti-piracy strategies should empower content owners and be viewed in a positive light rather than being perceived as part of a victimization,” Vivas said. “As entertainment providers, anti-piracy should be just as important as sales generation strategies and should be implemented similarly with well-thought-out ideas, early intervention, using creativity, and understanding that the strategies have to constantly evolve.
“Mainstream media companies have understood this for many years and hopefully Doug's insights might motivate adult companies or help shift from being reactive to being proactive.”
Lichtman joined the faculty at UCLA in 2007 after a tenured teaching career at the University of Chicago. His areas of specialty include patent and copyright law; telecommunications regulation; and general legal issues pertaining to technology firms and the Internet.
Vivas emphasized that the industry could maximize its anti-piracy efforts by becoming more unified.
“A unified voice in the adult industry definitely makes the fight against piracy easier and to have more impact on a greater number of companies,” she reasoned. “However, I don't envision a unified adult industry happening unless adult content production companies, they themselves, create an organization solely based on their position as content owners since there are too many members of the adult industry that have financial benefits from the broad and sometimes misinterpretation of the DMCA.”
The Pink Visual executive, who was awarded the 2011 XBIZ Woman of the Year honor at the ninth annual XBIZ Awards in February, said that various methods to fighting piracy have changed during the past year.
“In terms of technology, it has significantly evolved within the adult industry from the ability to prevent infringement through the use of digital fingerprint filtering on both tube and file host sites to the ability to quickly find and take down content through monitoring software and spiders,” Vivas explained. “All of this technology was either unavailable to adult companies in years past, or they had very few options to choose from in terms of service providers and software vendors.
“The mere existence of these technologies in the adult sector, and the fact that the companies who provide such services now have to constantly evolve to stay ahead of their competition, is a huge evolution.”
Vivas said that in terms of law, “there have been many steps forward and a few steps back in some areas.”
“We've seen judgments in cases like RIAA vs. Limewire where the Judge determined that the failure to implement acoustical fingerprinting was some evidence of intent to foster infringement and came down hard on Limewire's failure to take additional reasonable efforts to prevent infringement,” she continued. “Ultimately, that case was settled for $105 million although a jury could have granted an award up to $1.4 billion. I’m sure Doug Lichtman will have a lot more insight on how mainstream legal action has impacted copyright law and how it impacts the adult industry.”
Vivas also noted that California's Unfair Business Practices statutes have “opened up evolution for content owners to make claims beyond copyright infringement against piracy sites and end users, including for 18 U.S.C. Section 2257 violations which have both made their way into court.”
She added, “Some positive steps in end-user litigation have recently been made, despite some mishaps earlier in the year which potentially made end-user litigation more risky and more difficult.”