LOS ANGELES — A federal judge yesterday sided with JuicyAds and dismissed a lawsuit that accused the adult ad network of profiting from pirate sites that use its service to generate revenue.
The case, filed this past summer at Los Angeles federal court by adult publisher ALS Scan, was the first where an ad traffic company stood accused of aiding pirate sites.
ALS Scan sued JuicyAds, content delivery network CloudFlare and other third parties for copyright infringement carried out by its users.
ALS Scan, in its complaint, said it alerted Juicy Ads 195 times about infringing activities of several customers, but that it took no action in response and continued to offer services.
“[J]uicyAds and Cloudflare make money by continuing to do commerce with sites that draw traffic through the lure of free infringing content,” ALS Scan said in the complaint.
But JuicyAds moved to dismiss the case on grounds that ALS Scan, a website (“All Ladies Shaved”) that is operated by the parent company that owns MetArt, failed to state a claim for secondary liability against the traffic company.
JuicyAds’ legal team — attorneys Corey D. Silverstein, Lawrence Walters and Gary Bostwick — argued that ALS Scan can’t assert any claims for contributory or vicarious liability, given that JuicyAds, which has more than 92,000 businesses participating in its ad network, has no more control over publishers’ sites than it does over any other third-party sites.
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge George Wu issued a ruling after hearing oral arguments from both sides, agreeing with JuicyAds’ counsel and dismissing the case, as well as a motion for preliminary injunction sought by ALS Scan.
ALS Scan, in its complaint, asked the court to impose sanctions against JuicyAds, including to implement wide-ranging content review protocols for all existing and potential publisher customers in an ongoing effort to identify and “weed out” any potential infringement of adult content by third parties.
Walters, upon comment this afternoon, said Wu’s decision was a paramount one for the adult entertainment traffic sector.
“The defense team views this decision as a victory for both JuicyAds and for the online advertising industry,” Walters told XBIZ. “Unchecked efforts to hold distant online service providers responsible for indirect copyright infringement has the potential to stifle innovation.”
Silverstein told XBIZ this afternoon that Wu “made the right decision.”
“The entire legal team comprised of myself, Kevin Toll (Silverstein Legal), Lawrence Walters (Walters Law Group) and Gary Botswick (Bostwick Law) worked tirelessly to defend JuicyAds against the allegations,” Silverstein said.