Judge Orders 8 Websites Transferred to Bright Imperial

Rhett Pardon

LUXEMBOURG — Bright Imperial, the company in the midst of being acquired by adult entertainment conglomerate Manwin, has received a federal judge's approval to take over eight "red tube"-like domain names used to stream adult tube site content.

Bright Imperial not only operates RedTube.com but at least 116 other "red tube" sites.

U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady ordered a default judgment against various different registrants, including Rchr-media of Spain (Red-Tube.net), PayVS Ltd. of Seychelles (Red-Tube.net), Christian Stechl of Italy(RedTube24.net), Thomas Gebauer of Germany (RedTubeHardcore.com), Steve Johnson of Spain (Reds-Tube.com) and Key-Systems HmbH of Virginia (My-RedTube.com, RedTube24.com and Red-Tube-Porn.net).

O'Grady ordered the default judgment based on a magistrate judge's finding last month. He said that none of the defendant domain names filed an objection to the magistrate's ruling.

"The magistrate judge finds that the well-pled facts of the complaint establish that the registrants all registered the defendant domain names with a bad faith intent to profit," according to the magistrate judge. "The RedTube mark in question is a distinctive mark apparently well known in the online adult video content, and the defendant domain names have merely added minor generic qualifiers or modifications to this mark or its top-level domain, thereby intentionally creating a significant likelihood of confusion. 

"The registrants have modeled the websites posted on defendant domain names, as well as their business model, after those of plaintiff. In doing so, it is clear that the registrants have attempted to usurp plaintiff’s goodwill to make advertising revenues themselves, thereby potentially tarnishing plaintiff’s goodwill."

The magistrate judge further said that PayVS offered Red-Tube.com for sale to Bright Imperial, and that because of the offer it "clearly indicates that that defendant domain name is maintained by the registrant as a moneymaking scheme, rather than to conduct any legitimate business activities."

Manwin last month filed merger papers with the Austrian Competition Authority stating that an acquisition for Hong Kong-based Bright Imperial Ltd. is in the works.

Bright Imperial owns two U.S. trademark registrations for the RedTube mark. In 2010, court papers revealed that Bright Imperial operated 116 other "red tube" domain names.