Adult entertainment giant MindGeek is taking legal action against former website PornEZ, seeking more than $117 million in damages for alleged copyright infringement in an ongoing federal lawsuit.
MindGeek subsidiary MG Premium filed the suit in January, accusing PornEZ and alleged owner Nguyen Hoi of unauthorized duplication and distribution of thousands of MG’s copyrighted videos. Recent court filings reveal the full extent of the lawsuit. MG identified over 50,000 instances where copyrighted material was illegally distributed through PornEZ.
Attorney Corey Silverstein explains that such lawsuits often end with large damages that cannot be enforced due to legal restrictions. However, he says it is positive when copyright holders like MindGeek actively protect their intellectual property, regardless of the costs involved.
The lawsuit fits with MindGeek’s recent efforts to present itself as a law-abiding corporation that complies with regulations. The company has been investing in many areas for months to address previous image damage related to piracy on its own tube sites, such as Pornhub and Redtube.
In 2020, Pornhub removed millions of videos in the face of public outcry, as critics claimed that videos on the platform showed victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking, and that revenge porn had been published on the site. Copyright infringements on MindGeek’s subsidiaries had also been criticized again and again in the past.
The current lawsuit aims to deter other potential pirates by taking a tough stance against copyright infringement. The company is sending a message that content theft will not be tolerated, even though the damages sought may not realistically be fully enforceable.
Although critics continue to question the sincerity of the MindGeek Group, the company insists that it is a reformed stakeholder in the industry and that it intends to play by the rules.