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Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby sunnyd » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:38 pm

Story : http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/02/03/43613.htm

A woman claims pornography is not copyrightable because it is not a science or useful art even if she did download some porn, which she did not. Liuxia Wong sued Hard Drive Productions in Federal Court, after refusing to settle its demand for $3,400.

Hard Drive claimed Wong's IP address had been used to download the porn flick "Amateur Allure Jen." Wong denies downloading the title. Hard Drive sent her a demand letter telling her "she may be liable for statutory damages of up to $150,000," but it would settle for $3,400, Wong says.

In her first amended complaint, Wong claims Hard Drive knew that Bittorrent trackers were transmitting its porn, but "never issued Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.) takedown notices to the owners and/or operators of the Bittorrent trackers because it and/or its agents using them as honeypots so they could continue to log IP address[es]."

Wong says that even if she had downloaded "Amateur Allure Jen," there was no copyright infringement because obscene materials cannot be copyrighted.



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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby tehdoomsayer » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:25 am

Internet piracy suit asks: Can you even copyright porn?

Story: http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/ ... right-porn

The porn industry says it loses billions of dollars a year to Internet piracy, and one of its prime tactics to recover some of that money is to send letters to alleged downloaders threatening to sue them, thereby exposing their identities — and browsing tastes — in public records.

Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union say it's nothing more than extortion. When such cases make it to court, they're usually thrown out, but the industry still sends the letters to tens of thousands of people every year on the assumption that some will settle — usually for $3,000 to $5,000 — because they're too scared to risk outing themselves as porn aficionados.


Pretty nuts how out-in-the-open copyright stories are after the SOPA blackout.
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby Irondell » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:19 am

"In an opposition to EFF's amicus brief, Hard Drive attorney Paul Duffy calls the group "radical, quasi-anarchist, and intrinsically opposed to any effective enforcement of intellectual property rights. ..."


You know you've won when your opponent resorts to Ad hominem arguments...
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby ejonesss » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:39 am

of course they will say billions.

a little thing called "complaint upgrade" means you are going to exaggerate your claims to make it sound worse than it is.
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby luxor500 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:39 am

Wong says that even if she had downloaded "Amateur Allure Jen," there was no copyright infringement because obscene materials cannot be copyrighted.


This is an argument I've never heard before. In the US the courts have never laid down a bright red line as to what is obscene and what is not. If the porn industry were to force this copyright issue all the way through the legal system they could be in for a big surprise. They really should leave it alone and not get the public and the courts in a loud debate in an election year.

On the other hand if there is a firm legal ruling that porn is NOT obscene it means I've been downloading the wrong stuff. :lookup:
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby tehdoomsayer » Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:43 am

luxor500 wrote:This is an argument I've never heard before. In the US the courts have never laid down a bright red line as to what is obscene and what is not. If the porn industry were to force this copyright issue all the way through the legal system they could be in for a big surprise. They really should leave it alone and not get the public and the courts in a loud debate in an election year.

On the other hand if there is a firm legal ruling that porn is NOT obscene it means I've been downloading the wrong stuff. :lookup:


It's a good argument, but it's been tried in different forms. The Communications Decency Act in the 90's tried to make it illegal to post porn on the internet, but was ultimately struck down by SCOTA on first amendment grounds. While it's not exactly the same, the argument could be made that precedent was set that pornography can't be classified as obscene because not allowing copyrights on porn violates freedom of speech. On the other hand, I don't know what all that movie entailed, and if sodomy or other illegal acts are involved it's a completely different playing field.
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby MrFredPFL » Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:26 pm

i am unaware of any language specifying that depiction of an illegal act is not copyrightable.
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby Digital_Exc » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:08 pm

I'm not all that good in American law, but I have seen some stories in the past where you think 'eh? is that a law??'. So I would not be surprised to see this story twist in an odd way because of how some advocate interprets the letter of some old law..
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby tehdoomsayer » Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:40 pm

MrFredPFL wrote:i am unaware of any language specifying that depiction of an illegal act is not copyrightable.


Yeah, that is why it might be possible to legally define illegal acts as obscene, and therefore not copyrightable. It's a legal gray area. I also disagree with the idea that illegal acts should be not copyrightable, just pointing out the possibilities.
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Re: Is Pornography Copyrightable?

Postby MrFredPFL » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:30 pm

i have no doubt that the movie and TV industry will come out fiercely in defense of porn copyright, if it ever gets that far.
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