Vivid Drops PornoTube Lawsuit Alleging Piracy

LOS ANGELES — Vivid Entertainment Group on Monday dropped its lawsuit against AEBN that alleged company unit and parent Data Conversions Inc. pirated its adult properties.

The suit accused PornoTube of hosting excerpts of more than 30 videotapes that include such Vivid titles as "Hawaiian Blast," "Mission Erotica" and parts of the Kim Kardashian sex tape.

The suit, filed at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, was seeking damages of $150,000 per infringed work, or about $4.5 million total, and a permanent injunction.

But on Monday, without further explanation, Vivid attorney Jonathan Brown filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice to the court.

“Whereas defendants have not answered the complaint or filed a motion for summary judgment, plaintiff hereby dismisses its claims against all defendants without prejudice,” the filing read.

XBIZ, with knowledge of Monday’s court-imposed deadline in the case, attempted to reach Vivid attorneys Brown, Paul Cambria and Mark Hoffman last week through Monday, to see if a resolution was in the works. The attorneys, however, did not respond to phone calls nor emails to explain why Vivid dropped the case.

Efforts to reach AEBN officials for comment were unsuccessful.

The suit, filed last December, contended that the “[AEBN’s] business plan depends on the uploading, posting, display and performance of copyrighted audio-visual works belonging to Vivid and others” and that AEBN “knowingly built a library of infringing works to draw Internet traffic” to PornoTube.

The suit also named WMM, a Nevada-based corporation believed to be operated by PornoTube, and 20 John Does.

A noteworthy element of the case was that Vivid contended that PornoTube’s display of its clips violates federal 2257 record-keeping requirements.

Vivid asserted that PornoTube had an unfair competitive advantage because it wasn’t required to maintain 2257 records for all the content on the site.

Attorney Cambia later called the suit “groundbreaking.”

“AEBN and PornoTube are not exempt from their responsibility to comply with 2257 rules, and we will demonstrate in court that they are obtaining an unfair business advantage by violating this obligation,” he said at the time.

With Monday’s filing, the case was dropped without any financial terms reported to the court nor an injunction.