NETHERLANDS — Siep R. Kuppens, president of the International Media Company, producers of numerous adult paysites, including ClubSeventeen.com and TeenLiveSex.com, is putting out a call to arms to all adult content producers who have been hijacked by online pirates and to those who wish to take preemptive measures to protect their intellectual property.
As a businessman who’s seen his own sites hacked and his company dwindle from 60 employees to 25, Kuppens knows firsthand the damage digital copyright infringement can cause and has a difficult time hiding his—let’s call it enthusiasm—for “killing” pirates.
“When I first started at IMC, I was sort of flabbergasted by the dejection of some people in this industry,” Kuppens told XBIZ. “Discussions, both within IMC and external, about piracy, illegal file-sharing and free tubes resulted in remarks like ‘it is here and you better learn to live with it.’ If I suggested putting up a fight, they looked at me like I was some sort of a Don Quixote.”
Kuppens soon found his Sancho Panza in ClassMedia.com head Marcel. Together they’ve launched the Adult Content Industry United Foundation (ACIUF), a union of adult industry professionals willing to put their money and knowledge where their mouths are to combat pirates in court and terminate illegal hosting from cyberlockers and other delinquent downloaders.
The group has a battle cry: “Unite and put up a fight.” They have allied themselves with FileSharingCrime.org and consult with payment providers and government tax and justice departments with the goal of acquiring infringing URLS, which they then use to shut down illegal hosting sites.
“We build a program which allows us to analyze a pirate,” Kuppens explained. “With this, we can see where they take the content, say to at least 60 smaller pirate sites. Kill the big ones and the little ones go as well. For example, if we prove that file hosting companies have stolen content, we can take proper action. The hosting company will have no other option than to block the site. If they pop up somewhere else, we will repeat the action. One by one we will go after them.”
But, don’t call them illegal content removers. The ACIUF’s mission, according to Kuppens, is to legally remove major piracy players from the web; not just the property they steal. While Kuppens acknowledges the aid illegal content removing services provide, he’s suspicious of their commitment to the overall cause, citing that such companies rely on piracy to stay in business.
“Most of them do a good job, but removing content is a gag,” Kuppens said. “You take it away and within no time it is back again. The thieves laugh in our faces. Content removers have a huge knowledge base, and it looks like they are not using it. Give us the information and we will kill some pirates like they are mayflies.”
In addition to hunting down pirates, the organization also offers adult companies antipiracy support through a variety of track-and-trace methods such as encoding tips and IP-block tools.
The ACIUF does require membership fees to fund its hired staff, equipment, location and, of course, legal battles. “I know the money will be an issue,” Kuppens said. “Some people will make it look like we are in this for the money. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. We are just some guys that want to make a stand, we want our business back.”
To learn more about Kuppens’ organization, visit ACIUF.org.