VSDA Wants Video Pirates to Walk the Plank

Ed Palomar
ENCINO, Calif. - The Video Software Dealers Association is declaring war on video piracy. At a meeting of VSDA’s board of directors in Las Vegas last week, it passed a resolution announcing a 'get tough' policy against the illegal copying of videos and DVDs.

The home video industry’s trade association is taking aim at Grokster, Morpheus and similar file-swapping services, as well as other peer-to-peer file swappers. The resolution also calls for strengthening copyright infringement laws and launching digital rights management technologies.

According to the resolution, VSDA supports the public education campaign of the Motion Picture Association of America to explain why movie piracy is illegal, how it impacts jobs and the economy, and the consequences of engaging in piracy.

The resolution maintains that the rip-off of video and DVD retailers, along with online piracy, costs about $1 billion per year and is “the greatest threat currently facing the home video industry.”

This massive theft of content also adversely effects the adult Internet. The losses are “huge for us,” said Ricard Naimy, Director of Internet Operations for Red Light District. “It most definitely is a major problem for the industry. I bet it costs our company at least $1 million a year,” Naimy said.

Red Light District owns a top gonzo site, Clubredlight.com, and the publishing rights to the Paris Hilton DVD “1 Night in Paris.”

Naimy went on to tell XBiz the different ways bootleggers misappropriate content from porn sites.

“They make 100 copies of one of our DVDs and sell them on eBay for $4 each” - which greatly undercuts Clubredlight.com’s price, Naimy added. “They also buy our DVDs and add them to their membership sites. They use our content under their name,” Naimy said.

Catching these content pirates can also be as hard as capturing the pirates of the Caribbean. “If we find out that they’ve stolen content from us, we send them a cease and desist letter,” Naimy said. “But then they close their site and reopen it under another name… As the technology gets better, it’s easier for the average Joe to do it.”

Another source of concern for webmasters is the caliber of the knock-offs. “Their quality is pretty close to ours,” admitted Naimy.