Mobile Content Suit Pits FriendFinder vs. Twistbox

LOS ANGELES — FriendFinder Networks Inc. has filed a suit against mobile content distributor Twistbox Entertainment, alleging the company continued to publish and permit third parties to distribute hundreds of copyrighted Penthouse titles for two years after its contract was terminated.

The suit, filed at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims Twistbox's WATT Media Corp. division entered into a deal with FriendFinder's Penthouse division in May 2006 but after three years the agreement was terminated due to a breach in the mobile content distribution agreement.

The purported breach was not disclosed in the suit.

FriendFinder says the contract termination in January 2009 was written on paper but that Twistbox chose to ignore the severed deal and streamed its content on its site as well as providing it to third parties.

The alleged infringing material FriendFinder claims in the suit comprises more than 500 pieces of Penthouse's catalog, including works from Shay Laren, Heather Vandeven, Penthouse's "'s Guide to Threesomes," Forum magazine and Penthouse magazine archives going back as far as 1969.

The copy infringement suit seeks damages, treble damages and injunctive relief, among other demands.

FriendFinder attorney Ira Rothken and Twistbox executives did not return XBIZ queries by post time.