Titan Sues U.K.-Based Video Hosting Site For $2.7M

Joanne Cachapero
SAN FRANCISCO — Gay production company Titan Media continues its aggressive pursuit of alleged infringers by filing a lawsuit against gay video hosting website GayForIt.com, which is operated by British company GLBT Limited.

Titan is claiming $2.7 million in damages for copyright infringement and other alleged violations.

The suit also lists 25 John Doe defendants in the complaint.

In court documents, Titan stated that 55 video clips from Titan movies, between 15 to 45 minutes long, were being hosted on the site without permission and that the video files had more than 575,000 views by users.

The suit also charged GLBT Limited with unauthorized use of the Titan logo for content that was watermarked, and cited the hosting site for illegally labeling the content with their own GayForIt.com logo, as well as labeling that claimed copyright at the bottom of each web page.

Titan also alleged violation of 2257 regulations against GayForIt.com, and unfair business practices under California business and professional code.

In addition, Titan has sent takedown letters to two other sites, ItsAllGay.com and JerkYourTube.com, both allegedly operated by GLBT Limited, but not named in the suit.

The suit was filed Monday, in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Despite the company’s physical location in Great Britain, Titan is claiming that the site is hosted in the U.S. and that its servers are located domestically; also that the site’s content is aimed at the U.S. market.

“Just because the company that operates it is registered in the U.K. does not mean we will not go after then and hold them accountable,” Titan Vice President Keith Webb told XBIZ.

“Even though operating from the U.S., there was no 2257 labeling on the videofiles or on any pages of the website — a clear violation of anyone’s interpretation of 2257 laws,” Webb claimed. “As such, we have also filed an unfair business practices claim against the site for not following 2257 labeling laws. They are operating at an unfair business advantage over us and every other adult site that follows 2257 labeling laws.”

According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act notification posted on the GayForIt.com site, the company made the following statement to users uploading content onto the site:

“GayForIt is an online service provider as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We provide legal copyright owners with the ability to self-publish on the Internet by uploading, storing and displaying various types of media. We do not actively monitor, screen or otherwise review the media that is uploaded to our servers by users of the service. We take copyright violation very seriously and will vigorously protect the rights of legal copyright owners. If you are the copyright owner of content which appears on the GayForIt website and you did not authorize the use of the content you must notify us in writing in order for us to identify the allegedly infringing content and take action.”

Representatives from GLBT Limited, or GayForPay.com, were not immediately available for comment.

According to Webb, other webmasters alerted Titan to alleged infringed content on the GayForIt.com site. Smaller companies often report possible copyright infringement to Titan, knowing that the company’s legal department will pursue a lawsuit if Titan material is potentially being infringed upon.

But Webb cautioned other producers to be active in pursuing infringement on their own, as well.

“People really need to start working together. More and more torrent sites know not to allow Titan content and have warnings to their users not to upload Titan content,” Webb said.

“While this is great for us, all it does is pass the piracy burden on down the line to other similar producers,” he said. “Once these sites ban our content the other producers are shit outta luck and will need to take care of the piracy themselves. All we are really doing is impacting the piracy of our content, not anyone else’s.”

“Just about every other major online and offline studios content is on the [GayForPay.com] site,” Webb added. “There is more commercially produced content on the site then true amateur content. And anyone that thinks 20-minute clips are ‘free advertising’ is an idiot. It amazes me when I hear producers in Internet forums say that they see Tube sites as free advertising. We’ll see how long those producers last.”