Titan Media, Again, Wins Infringement Judgments

Rhett Pardon
SAN FRANCISCO —Titan Media continues on a blistering pace demanding compensation and filing suits against copyright infringers.

Parent company Io Group Inc. on Friday said it has been awarded nearly $56,000 against an online adult website owner for infringing on the copyrights of images posted on AreaGay.com.

The San Francisco gay online adult firm also said that it was awarded $45,000 from a man who sold a CD photo collection of Titan images through auction site eBay.

“We are extremely pleased with these awards by the court,” Titan Media Vice President Keith Webb said. “But we are even more pleased that these judgments continue to amplify our warning to online thieves — if you steal from Titan, you will get caught and you will pay the price.”

Webb said that the civil judgments are a result of Titan’s continued campaign to bring to an end the pilfering of online adult materials, whether the infringers are major operations or small-time companies. He said Titan has not hesitated to file federal suits against companies caught stealing even a single photograph.

In the recent cases — both filed in U.S. District Court — the defendants did not respond to Titan’s demands for compensation.

AreaGay.com, owned by Robert M. Lauenstein and AG Entertainment, allegedly infringed on six images on AreaGay.com, a now-nonactive site; John J. Carlin allegedly infringed on five images he sold on a CD photo collection through eBay.

Titan, in court documents, said that it clearly posts copyright information on each image produced by the company, and that both defendants willfully pirated the photos. The judgments included court and attorneys fees, Webb said.

Titan has been a leading force in copyright protection issues against various websites and peer-to-peer companies that it believes aid in the dissemination of copyrighted content over the Internet.

In September the company settled a claim against LFP Inc. out of court for $400,000, based on 160 images that were allegedly pilfered.

That same month, Titan won a judgment of $418,000 against the owner of two websites, Sobe-cfg.com and Sobear.com.

The latest cases are Io Group Inc. vs. Lauenstein et al., No. C-03-3183, and Io Group Inc. vs. John J. Carlin., No. C-03-3344.