In Salon of Rue des Moulins, (La Fleur blanche), by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1894

If a person allegedly misappropriates copyrighted material, the copyright holder may sue the misappropriator for copyright infringement.

If the material is pornography, is the accused infringer entitled to additional protections because pornography consumption is widely viewed as private and embarrassing?

Apparently, the answer is, “Yes.

According to his lawyers, Mr. Greg Lansky, an owner of Strike 3 Holdings, LLC is a “three-time [pornographer/] director of the year,” and, according to his lawyers, Strike 3’s motion pictures “are among the most pirated in the world.”

(Also, according to Strike 3’s complaint, Mr. Lansky “has been dubbed the adult film industry’s ‘answer to Steven Spielberg.'” (Who did the dubbing? His lawyers? His proud mother? And what question did Mr. Spielberg ask to which the porn industry’s answer was supposedly, “Mr. Greg Lansky” (at least according to the anonymous dubber)?)

The issue of the legality of Strike 3’s subpoenas of internet service providers to identify accused infringers has been addressed repeatedly in the U.S. district court for the district of Minnesota and the results have not been consistent. The linked decision is Sr. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan W. Frank (D. Minn.) weighing in.

It seems to us that Judge Frank gets it right. That is, the copyright holder should be able to obtain the identity of accused infringers. The accused infringers should be able to get notice of the claims against them without public identification, leaving for later whether the accused infringers can make a showing, down the road, as to whether they have valid bases for their on-going anonymity as accused copyright infringers.

 

 

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