Judge Grants 402 Models Copyrights to Their GirlsDoPorn Content

Judge Grants 402 Models Copyrights to Their GirlsDoPorn Content

SAN DIEGO (CN) — In an unusual decision, U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino granted an order of restitution Friday transferring the copyright of hundreds of GirlsDoPorn videos to the models who appear in them.

Judge Sammartino issued the order as part of the judgement against the site’s disgraced scout and male talent, Ruben Andre "Dre" Garcia.

A January 2019 federal indictment named owner and mastermind Michael Pratt, Matthew Wolfe, Theodore "Teddy" Gyi, Valorie Moser, Amberlyn Dee Nored (aka Amberlyn Clark) and Garcia as co-conspirators in the GDP operation.

Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in June after pleading guilty in December 2020 to charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; and sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.

Pratt has been a fugitive from U.S. federal authorities since late 2019 and was last presumed to be in his native New Zealand.

A Very Unusual Decision

Friday’s decision is unusual for a number of reasons. A civil case against the GDP defendants predated the unsealing of the criminal case and the arrest of most of the people responsible for the site. That case was brought forward by 22 Jane Does, who eventually won it after the criminal case was well underway.

Judge Sammartino, however, explicitly granted the omnibus copyright transfer to 402 models who appeared on the site. All these models “can now seek takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against websites that continue to allow pirated versions of the flicks to be republished on their websites,” Courthouse News reported Friday.

“It awards the video rights to all known victims who filmed with GirlsDoPorn, not just the Does listed in the civil contract fraud case or those who sought restitution from Garcia,” one of the prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Foster, told Courthouse News after the hearing.

“I think we all recognize Mr. Garcia is not a wealthy man; what is driving this is the rights to the videos. 402 victims is significantly larger than the victims listed in the cases,” Foster told the legal news site. “They now have the ability, without filing a civil suit, to seek take down orders.”

'It Is Now a Copyright Issue'

Brian Holm, the attorney for the 22 Jane Does in the civil suit that resulted in the shuttering of GDP and exposed its criminal methods, told Courthouse News that “this order is so encompassing and wide-ranging, there shouldn’t be any question the person asking for the takedown is a victim.”

“Most sites at this point shouldn’t mess with any GirlsDoPorn content, since it is now a copyright issue,” Holm added, pointing out that “some of his clients had been previously successful in using Judge Enright’s order from Jan. 2020 to get their videos taken down, only for the videos to resurface and show up in Google search results,” Courthouse News reported.

Holm also said that all the site’s models can now use Judge Sammartino’s order to “ask videos on Google to be deindexed.”

“Every video is the result of a sex trafficking scheme and shouldn’t be showing up in search results,” Holm continued. “It’s sad it takes the copyrights, as opposed to their status as a victim of sex trafficking, to get the videos taken down.”

Sammartino’s order, the legal news site reported, “also granted $907,000 in restitution to 23 of Garcia’s victims to cover medical and mental health care and other costs. GirlsDoPorn’s gross income — estimated to be nearly $17 million — was also ordered as restitution.”

In October 2021, the FBI raised the reward offered for information leading to Pratt’s arrest to $50,000.

For more of XBIZ’s coverage of the GDP case, click here.

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