Titan Suit Charges Veoh Used Pirated Porn to Attract Users

Titan Suit Charges Veoh Used Pirated Porn to Attract Users
Michael Hayes
SAN FRANCISCO — In its suit alleging copyright infringement against online video-sharing service Veoh Networks, gay content producer Titan Media has charged that the Time Warner-backed company deliberately and knowingly used stolen adult content to build its user base.

As XBIZ reported earlier, Titan filed suit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against the San Diego, Calif.-based Veoh, alleging copyright infringement.

While Veoh, which counts former Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner as a board member, has declined comment on the case publicly, Titan Vice President Keith Webb told XBIZ that Veoh had not been in contact with Titan attorneys regarding the matter.

“Veoh deliberately and knowingly used our content, and other adult content, to increase its user base,” Webb said. “They used porn to attract users, and when they got $12 million in venture capital and a share of the market, they dropped the porn.”

While Veoh competitors such as YouTube have deliberately restricted sexually explicit content from their sites, Veoh took a different approach, setting aside a specific category for adult.

According to Webb, Veoh included language in its terms of service agreement stating that adult content may require additional documentation — a reference to federal record-keeping requirement 2257. While that language was present in the terms of service printed on the site in January, the text was quietly removed in June, Webb said.

“Veoh had knowledge that they had adult content on their site because they sought it out,” Webb said. “They had users categorize it as adult; they said that it may require additional documentation and they had editors who screened it. Nothing gets adult traffic faster than free porn, and then all of a sudden they took it down.”

While Webb said that he saw content from other companies on Veoh’s site, including content labeled with company names, he said that Titan was the only adult content producer taking legal action.

“A lot of people treat their content like it’s disposable,” Webb said. “Content is our most valuable asset, and we have to protect it.”