You may recall the company Perfect 10 -- a purveyor of pornographic images -- which made a name for itself suing Google. It was an odd case with an odd decision. Basically, Perfect 10 was upset that some other websites (not Google) had taken their photos and placed them on free websites. Google then indexed those sites, and would display thumbnails for the images in its image search. According to Perfect 10, this is copyright infringement -- even though it wasn't Google that had done the copying, but other sites. Also, this was odd because courts have found that thumbnails linking to full images are fair use. Either way, what became clear was that Perfect 10 wasn't exactly concerned with how things got where the were -- it just wanted to sue anyone who touched its photos in any way. So, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the company is also suing various payment processors who process payments for other porn sites. Once again, the situation is that these other porn sites made unauthorized copies of the photos, but are then charging fees to access the content. The billing company have absolutely no way of knowing how these sites got their content, but Perfect 10 is arguing that since they profited from these sites anyway, they're liable. So far, the courts don't appear all that sympathetic to the reasoning -- but the appeals court has just sent it back to the lower court to examine whether one of the billing sites lost its DMCA safe harbor provisions by cutting off Perfect 10's credit card. The billing company says it did so for perfectly legitimate reasons: Perfect 10 kept buying subscriptions to various sites and then canceling the subscription, costing the billing company money. What's still not clear is why Perfect 10 feels the need to go after all these companies who were just doing their jobs -- rather than focusing on the companies who actually made copies of its content.
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