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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Accused File-Sharer Claimed Porn Wasn’t Copyrightable

Recently, the Hard Drive Productions (a porn studio) launched a lawsuit against Internet users who allegedly downloaded their videos. However, the case in question has taken quite an interesting turn: one of the defendants, accused of downloading a porn video, insisted that copyright legislation can’t be applied to adult clips, because they are not copyrightable.
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The defendant in question is a woman from California. Her petition for declaratory relief points at a provision of the American Constitution defining the purpose of copyright, which reads: “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries”.

Meanwhile, such acronyms as P.O.V. or M.I.L.F. aren’t associated with such keywords as “science” and “useful arts”, so they can’t be qualified under copyright legislation. This means that copyright works only for the content that promotes the progress of science and the useful arts. The brief of the woman’s lawyer also notes that early Circuit law in California held that obscene works didn’t promote the progress of either science or the useful arts, and therefore can’t be protected by copyright.

The defendant has underlined this point a few times, pointing out that Hard Drive’s work didn’t promote the progress of science or the useful arts. In addition, the porn studio has judicially admitted that its content is adult pornography which depicts obscene material. The brief also said that plaintiff was informed and believed, and thereon alleged that to create the work, the studio and its partners and employees violated legislation that prohibited pimping, pandering, solicitation and prostitution, as well as any claims of conspiracy. The conclusion is that Hard Drive’s work is not copyrightable.

Meanwhile, it isn’t the first lawsuit Hard Drive Productions launches over copyright, and their affairs may be regarded by some as suspicious: for instance, last summer a California judge smashed the studio’s claims that almost 200 alleged pirates could be sued together. Later, the company tried a different approach by going to Washington judge with a case including 1,500 defendants and a grudge against the EFF.

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