MIAMI — Hush Hush Entertainment, which operates “mega-pass” membership sites HushPass.com and InterracialPass.com, has filed suit against MindGeek, alleging the adult entertainment conglomerate turned a blind eye or encouraged copyright infringement after it found 47 instances of copyright infringement on one of its tube sites, PornHubPremium.com.
Hush Hush said it found the separate copyright registered works over 304 separate and distinct URLs on PornHubPremium.com.
In its suit, Hush Hush said that because PornHubPremium.com launched in August, the infringing porn uploads predate the development of the monthly subscription site and weren’t transmitted by members.
“These [infringing] works are purported by defendants to have been uploaded by third-party Internet users,” the suit said. “However, since the uploads predate the development of PornHubPremium.com, they clearly could not have been uploaded to the PornHubPremium.com website by such third parties.”
Hush further said that MindGeek is “well aware of the massive infringement occurring on PornHubPremium.com.”
“Their need for content depends upon it. Interestingly, all individuals who upload content are supposed to register with MindGeek in order to have the ability to upload content,” the suit said.
“However, many of those individuals are identified as ‘unknown,’ thereby calling into question who it is that is actually uploading content to defendants’ website. Regardless, defendants have infringed upon plaintiff’s copyrights for which damages and injunctive relief is requested.”
Hush Hush noted in the suit that the DMCA safe harbor provisions have been misused by infringers in recent years in an attempt to garner protection for websites displaying copyrighted adult entertainment content without license or authority.
“Such companies believe that copyright owners will be unable to adequately monitor and provide take-down notices to infringers, thereby enabling websites like those owned by defendants to operate with impunity,” the suit said.
“These websites attract internet user attention through offering free viewing of unauthorized copyrighted materials and the unauthorized use of trademarks, providing the user free website content. For copyright owners like Plaintiff, it is akin to a game of ‘whack-a-mole.’ By the time one video is taken down, five more are added.”
Hush Hush’s suit seeks statutory damages of $150,000 for each act of infringement, along with an injunction, attorneys fees and a transfer of the domain name PornHubPremium.com.
Hush Hush’s suit names the various MindGeek properties as defendants, as well as executive Feras Antoon.
MindGeek officials did not respond by post time for comment on the case.