Australian Video Chain Venus Loses Battle Over Pirated Porn

Rhett Pardon
SYDNEY, Australia — The Adult Industry Copyright Organisation has prevailed in a claim against one of Australia’s best-known adult video and novelty stores over the sale of pirated adult videos.

Operators of the Venus adult shops, with six stores in Sydney and eight in Melbourne, failed to sway a federal appeals court this week over a six-figure judgment against them.

Australian divisions of Cal Vista and Private Media Group are expected to claim more than $300,000 in damages, interest and costs following the dismissal of the appeal.

Titan Media’s Keith Webb told XBIZ that judgment was substantial, particularly since it effectively “destroyed [Venus’] pirated DVD business.”

“This is a huge win for the AICO and the adult industry in Australia,” Webb said. “Venus was a huge pirate of our products.”

Webb said that since 2004 Venus had been selling pirated Titan titles, which are distributed by Cal Vista.

“I walked into one of the Venus stores in Sydney and picked up all our pirated DVDs and walked out with them,” he said. “I left my business card and a message that said, ‘Stop pirating Titan DVD or we will sue you!’

“They didn't listen to our warning, and three years later we have won our case and the appeal.”

AICO, which offers holograms for members’ products, represented Private and Cal Vista in the case. The organization operates as a nonprofit and is funded by overseas and Australian adult film producers.

According to its website, AICO claims that 85 percent of all adult films sold in Australia are pirated.

Titan’s Webb said that his company is just as legally proactive overseas as it is in the U.S.

“We are tenacious in our pursuit of pirates,” he said. “Once we get you in our crosshairs we will not let go until we win. This case is proof of just that.”