Silverstone Files Lawsuit, Names Multiple Adult Industry Defendants

Michael Hayes
LOS ANGELES — In a legal battle that could have profound ramifications for online distribution of adult content, Silverstone Entertainment, which owns the rights to the “Pick Up Lines” series, among others, has named 13 defendants in a federal lawsuit alleging breach of contract and copyright infringement.

According to court papers, Silverstone entered into separate distribution agreements with Legend Video and Simon Wolf Productions to distribute the company’s various film lines.

Court papers identify Silverstone as the copyright holder for the “Peeping Tom” series, “Wild on These,” “Latin Eye Candy,” “Young Girls in Dark Territory,” “Pick Up Babes,” “Fresh Euro Flesh” and “Behind the Scenes.”

In the 46-page complaint, Silverstone alleges that Wolf Productions continued to distribute its titles after the agreement expired in 2003, and that both companies illegally sold Silverstone content through various online channels, including video-on-demand, despite explicit language in the contract exclusively reserving that right for the plaintiff.

The suit also names various companies doing business under the Legend banner as defendants, as well as Bruce Mendleson and Jack Richman personally, as co-owners of Legend.

In a separate portion of the lawsuit, attorneys for Silverstone identified a wide cross-section of adult companies that had not done business with the plaintiff, accusing them of copyright infringement.

Among the companies accused of infringing on Silverstone copyrights through various online distribution channels are VIS Technologies, Red Light District, Deluxe Pass, Ounique, Nectartech Services, DivXNetworks, Bryan Yen c/o Choopa.com, Cogent Communications and Cable Entertainment Distribution and its President, Marc Bruder.

According to the complaint, Silverstone first became aware of infringement by what court papers call the “Internet companies” in 2004. From 2004 until late August of 2006, Silverstone said it sent numerous letters informing the defendants of their unauthorized use of the copyrighted material.

Silverstone attorneys also named various John Does, a legal mechanism that allows the plaintiff to seek out and serve other defendants who allegedly participated in similar conduct.

The suit does not specify monetary damages. However, attorneys for Silverstone did ask that the defendants be enjoined from infringing upon company copyrights, that they be given a full accounting of the profits from the alleged infringements to date and that those profits be paid to Silverstone.

The suit also seeks attorneys fees and punitive damages as “a result of the defendants’ willful, deliberate, malicious and intentional bad faith conduct in the continued unlawful” use of the Silverstone product.