U.S. Court Orders Raids of 2 Adult Retailers Over Alleged Piracy

Rhett Pardon
NEW YORK — Some of the largest gay adult video companies have coalesced in a fight against counterfeit content at a pair of New York City retail storefronts.

Dark Alley Media, Falcon Studios, Hot House Entertainment, Jet Set Productions, Pitbull Productions, Raging Stallion Studios and Titan Media filed suit and were successful in winning a U.S. judge’s decision Friday to raid the Manhattan retailers and seize more than 4,000 DVDs.

Two teams of U.S. Marshals raided Peep Show XXX (610 8th Ave.) and The Blue DVD Inc. (236 W.40th St.), prompted by alleged charges of duplication, importation, distribution and sale of pirated DVDs.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District in New York by the companies as a result of a broadening investigation that uncovered a large-scale counterfeiter.

The initial discovery was made by Dark Alley Media, which notified the other studios and called for a “dragnet” in New York City of counterfeit gay video merchandise.

Titan’s Keith Webb, reached Sunday by XBIZ, said a coalition against piracy could be the next step for the gay video community, which seemingly continues to battle bogus material on a higher level than straight porn.

"This cooperative action by the top gay studios shows that the industry can successfully work together to combat piracy,” Webb said. “My hope is that this is just the first step in many more to come. Unless we find ways to band together to fight piracy we will all lose in the end."

Another adult professional agreed, saying that adult simply has a bigger problem with piracy. Counterfeit goods are 600 percent higher for adult content than for theatrical films, Jet Set Men’s Mark Hovanec said after the raid.

“If we are to survive the natural course of business evolution, we must be even more aggressive than Hollywood", Hovanec said.

Pitbull Productions Vice President Pat Reshen concurred.

“The time has come to take a stand against the flood of cheap knockoffs and blatant bootlegs,” he said. “The vendors who sell pirated DVDs are causing huge economic losses for legitimate businesses and must be stopped.”

The raid was marked by a porn celebrity appearance. Performer and Dark Alley cofounder Owen Hawk took publicity stills while surrounded by trash bags full of seized DVDs.