A battle in the copyright war between Silicon Valley and Hollywood is being fought in federal court in Chicago.
The biggest players in the mother of all copyright wars are squaring off not just in Washington, D.C., over bills like SOPA and ProtectIP, but also in courtrooms around the country, where the boundaries of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are being fought over in bloody, take-no-prisoner battles, and where judges find themselves calling balls and strikes within the framework of a copyright law that, as one amici filer put it, has failed, despite Congressional efforts, to provide a “predictable legal framework” for stakeholders who are frequently at odds with one another.
One such case is Flava Works v MyVidster, which is notable not just for the fact that Google and Facebook, and now the Motion Picture Association of America, among others, have filed amicus briefs with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now hearing the case, but also because it involves an adult entertainment company. That last fact is actually not unusual—Perfect 10 cases, for instance, are cited regularly in briefs and motions that attempt to clarify the parameters of the law —but it does remind us once again how significant a player the adult entertainment industry is in the evolution of copyright law, the battle against global piracy and the development of cutting-edge content protection and other business models at the bleeding edge of digital distribution.
In an announcement released today on the filing by the MPAA of its brief in support of his company’s position, Flava Works CEO Phillip Bleicher said, “This a simple case of Marques Gunter using his website MyVidster.com as a vehicle to commit and contribute to massive amounts of theft. He is running a media distribution platform based on stolen content that directly competes with guys like us.”
The statement also noted that Flava Works is suing the web host Voxel.net and LeaseWeb.com “for failing to remove MyVidster.com from its servers despite dozens of DMCA notices alerting Voxel.net and LeaseWeb.com that Gunter was a repeat infringer. Under DMCA, safe harbor no longer applies to sites that fail to remove repeat infringers.”