Pink Visual: Adult Industry Anti-Piracy Movements Gaining Steam

Posted on February 19, 2011

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Press Release: ‘Content Protection Retreat 2’ leads to more participating studios, more UGC sites adopting digital fingerprint filtering

Amidst the speed networking, award show buzz, deal-making and assorted other revelry that took place earlier this month at the adult entertainment industry trade event known as the XBIZ L.A. Conference, a group of adult studios gathered to discuss perhaps the single greatest threat to the future viability of the adult entertainment business: digital content piracy.

For the second time in five months, adult studio Pink Visual coordinated the Content Protection Retreat, an event that provides attendees with intensive educational workshops covering a broad selection of piracy-related topics, including commonly-held misconceptions about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the copyright registration process, site-operator litigation, end-user litigation and the subtle legal and technical differences between the various content distribution platforms and mediums favored by pirates.

CPR2 also gave attendees the opportunity to learn more about the Anti-Piracy Action Program (APAP) initiative, which is coordinated by adult industry trade association the Free Speech Coalition. Attendees received an in-depth demo of the digital fingerprint filtering technology employed by APAP to detect and prevent infringement at the moment of content upload.

Content removal services were also well-represented at CPR2, as attendees were afforded the chance to discuss the services offered by the technology-based take-down service Degban, the digital rights management and watermarking service vendor BuyDRM, manual site review and take-down service provider Take Down Piracy, European end-user monitoring and litigation firm Media-Protector, and the aforementioned PornGuardian.

“All of these services have evolved beyond what might come to mind when someone says ‘digital fingerprinting’ or ‘DRM’ or ‘take-down service,’” said Allison Vivas, President of Pink Visual. “Meeting directly with these companies and litigators really helps studios to craft a comprehensive anti-piracy strategy, because in order to know what’s right for your particular company, you have to reach an understanding of what your options are, and how those options can be combined to better protect your and more effectively enforce your copyrights.”

As litigating against content pirates represents one of the primary means for rights-holders to enforce their intellectual property rights, it is no surprise that both the first CPR and CPR2 included presentations by legal experts and attorneys with extensive knowledge of intellectual property law and experience in handling copyright lawsuits. Participating at CPR2 were attorneys from Jenner & Block LLP, a firm with years of experience representing mainstream entertainment rights-holders; One, LLP, an intellectual property ‘boutique’ firm based in Los Angeles that has handled cases for both rights-holders and defendants accused of violating copyrights; attorney Gill Sperlein of the Law Offices of D. Gill Sperlein, who also runs the FSC APAP program and has represented Titan Media and other adult studios in copyright litigation; and UCLA law professor Douglas Lichtman, who also serves as an anti-piracy strategist for a number of Fortune 100 companies.

Vivas said that more important than the quality of information that has been made available to CPR participants is the fact that studios who have taken part in the events are “actually following through on the action plan they’ve made as a result of attending.”

“It’s all well and good to go to a seminar and learn, but if you don’t put that knowledge to work for you, then the education won’t really help you that much,” Vivas said. “Fortunately, we’ve seen that the CPR is producing results, both in the form of participating studios taking action, and in the word reaching site operators that the time has come to clean up their act, and to be more proactive in doing their part to reduce piracy. At the same time, we’re seeing a lot of action being taken by studios and companies that have not participated in the CPR directly, but who share in the goal of mitigating the impact of content piracy.”

While much of the adult industry’s effort to combat piracy takes place outside of the public view, Vivas said that proof that the industry’s effort can be found in some key metrics that are available publicly. Specifically, Vivas cited the increase in site-operator lawsuits, 5 additional tube sites committing to finger print filtering, and take-down service providers indicating greater than a 100% increase in the number of DMCA notices sent, all within the past 5 months. The FSC APAP program reports that it now has over 40,000 video fingerprints in its database, and has found 43,000 content matches to date on tube sites, representing 1.5 billion views of the content.

Vivas said that while she’s encouraged by these signs of progress, the adult industry has “a long, long way to go where fighting piracy is concerned.”

“As an industry, we’re way behind the curve in terms of our anti-piracy efforts compared to the mainstream entertainment sector,” Vivas said. “The good news is that we’ve built a lot of momentum on the issue, and if we can maintain that momentum, and keep the pressure on the pirates, I believe we can eventually push piracy back down to a level where it is an annoyance and a nuisance, but no longer an existential threat for our industry.”

The Content Protection Retreat is an adult industry movement designed to unite producers of adult content in a collaborative anti-piracy effort. The CPR brings together experts in law, technology and public relations to present studios with a full range of options for combating content piracy and violations of their copyrights. For More information about the Content Protection Retreat, it’s vendors or attendees visit: http://www.contentprotectionretreat.com. For information about Pink Visual visit http://www.pinkvisual.com, call: 1.866.360.PINK or email: Kim@PinkVisual.com