Court Hearing Set for Falcon Foto’s Copyright Suit Against ICG

LOS ANGELES — A court hearing has been set for Nov. 29 to consider Internet Commerce Group’s motion to dismiss Falcon Foto’s copyright infringement complaint.

Falcon Foto filed suit Aug. 30 at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claiming that Internet Commerce Group, which operates CelebrityCash, XXXCash, MaleStars, MaleCelebs, MaleCelebrities, ICelebonline, XAhead and CelebrityCashRocks, infringed on its copyright and violated its rights of privacy by copying, publishing, distributing, selling and publicly displaying Falcon Foto’s copyrighted works on its websites.

"In my opinion websites that display stolen material are nothing more then online fencing operations run by electronic shoplifters," Falcon Foto's President Jason Tucker told XBIZ.

"Pirates use the proceeds of their criminal actions to defend against legitimate cases from the studios who had to expend the resources to produce the material. This is the unfortunate reality of what all studios are now facing. The recent success of the Content Protection Retreat lead by Pink Visual and the FSC is proof that we have all had enough."

The suit said the copyrighted works at issue consist of four adult-themed photographs and five adult-themed videos of actor Tom Sizemore, including his sex tape.

“Defendant ICG used, and continues to use, Sizemore’s name, likeness, image and persona to promote and market the defendant’s domains and the defendant’s affiliate marketing program and to generate traffic, customers and revenue via the affiliate marketing program,” the suit said.

Internet Commerce Group filed a motion to dismiss Monday arguing that the invasion of privacy claims “allege some facts in common with plaintiff’s copyright claims” and that “the appropriation claims are wholly preempted by the Copyright Act.”

Falcon Foto, in a filing opposing the motion to dismiss, said “a right of publicity claim is not preemptive where the claim contains elements that are ‘different in kind’ from copyright infringement.”

Falcon Foto seeks that the defendants be enjoined from infringing on its copyrighted works, damages of up to $150,000 for each work infringed and attorneys fees.