PHOENIX — Gay adult studio BelAmi recently filed a federal lawsuit against that the operator of Teens-Boys-World.com and TBWStudio.com, alleging the sites poached 16 of its videos and streamed them online.
In an infringement suit potentially worth millions, BelAmi said that it first witnessed its content on Teens-Boys-World.com and TBWStudio.com in July.
BelAmi, which has a catalog of more than 1,000 gay adult films, is considered one of the most easily recognized brands in the space.
Teens-Boys-World.com and TBWStudio.com, meanwhile, serve up similar content and are considered "competitors.”
Last month, BelAmi’s counsel was granted an order by a Phoenix federal judge to serve defendant Ivan Foka, the purported owner and operator of Teens-Boys-World.com and TBWStudio.com, the suit’s summons and complaint via email.
The copyright and trademark infringement complaint targets Foka and his companies, as well as 10 John Does, seeking $150,000 per act of infringement, plus injunctive relieve and attorneys’ fees, as well as other costs.
BelAmi’s alleges that the operator of Teens-Boys-World.com and TBWStudio.com, who may reside overseas, has ties in Washington state and Arizona with payment processors and domain registrars.
In an interview today, Chad Belville, an industry attorney who represents BelAmi, remarked that the studio, which through the years has won five XBIZ Awards in numerous categories, is beefing up with “aggressive actions and enforcement” to vigorously protect its brands, content and copyrights.
“This suit is part of an ongoing comprehensive intellectual property protection program, and while most of what we do is behind the scenes, other suits may follow,” Belville told XBIZ.
“Bel Ami is committed to providing first class adult entertainment,” he said. “And in order to continue filming in exotic locations, hiring the best models, videographers and editors, we must protect our videos from blatant piracy by those who invest nothing and republish our works as their own.
“Filing lawsuits is only part of a larger, long term strategy to protect and strengthen our brand so we can continue producing the quality content our viewers have come to expect,” said Belville, who noted that he and Stuart Davis, president of BelAmi, will be available at the upcoming Phoenix Forum to discuss enforcement methods.
Foka, the purported owner of Teens-Boys-World.com and TBWStudio.com, did not respond to XBIZ for comment relative to BelAmi’s lawsuit.