Perfect 10 Sues Again: This Time It Goes After Usenet Provider Giganews

from the dmca? dept

Perfect 10, the failed "adult magazine" publisher that many say has always really been in the "suing people for infringement" business, rather than the publishing business, has sued again. The company seems to lose nearly all of its copyright infringement lawsuits in the US (though, it's helped create a very useful body of case law), but it just keeps on suing. The latest lawsuit is against usenet service provider Giganews. The complaint points out that the content is stored on Giganews' own servers, but (at least from the description) seems to ignore that the content comes from Usenet and users, not from Giganews itself. And, of course, Giganews has a registered DMCA agent, so it has safe harbor protections from users. It's unclear from the report linked here if Perfect 10 filed takedowns, but given Perfect 10's history of questionable or bogus takedown notices, you have to assume that even if they did, there's a decent chance they were faulty. At what point is this company finally put out of its misery?


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Jay (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:30pm

    How do they still have money to sure with?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Drew (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:36pm

    Re:

    Maybe there's a Government Benefit that helps with company's filing frivolous law suits....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:40pm

    "[M]any say [Perfect 10] has always really been in the 'suing people for infringement' business, rather than the publishing business."

    Really? Who? That link didn't show *anyone* saying that (not even you).

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    FUDslinger, May 3rd, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Give it a moment, FUDbuster will be here and will say something like this...

    This post does not stand up to Wikipedia standards. As we all know Wikipedia is a horrible source so yours being below it, it obviously is a ... worse than horrible source!

    "Perfect 10, the failed "adult magazine" publisher that many say"

    Weasel words, than you link to your own post as a sort of citation I guess.

    Also I'm going to pick a grey area in caselaw where faulty DMCA takedowns can be ignored or that it doesn't invoke "red flag" doctrine or something about specific knowledge of content. Take that grey area and take a completely different side of it than you have and hold you to a higher level of responsibility in proving your position is better than mine while pontificating that I'm correct.

    Signed,
    average_joe

     

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  5.  
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    Casey Bouch (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 5:00pm

    Re:

    Me, I say it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Rekrul, May 3rd, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    Their images must be posted under something other than "Perfect 10". because I just did a search on a Usenet indexing site and it only turned up a handful of results which might be from the magazine. On the other hand, they might just using the phrase "perfect 10" as a generic compliment to the subject in the photos.

    Back when "The X-Show" was on, I actually went looking for nude images of Carla Alapont, a Prefect 10 model who was on the show a lot. I never did find her magazine photos.

     

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  7.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:00pm

    Funny!

    Reading the complaint, I think it's April's Fools Day or something. Why can't they just send a proper takedown notice? Obviously they know how to. They've litigated these notices. They know what a fucking notice is. But what do they do? Read this from the complaint:
    31. On March 25, 2009, Perfect 10 sent to Giganews approximately 800 Perfect 10 copyrighted images, a number of which displayed Perfect 10 copyright notices. Perfect 10 notified Giganews that Giganews was infringing a vast collection of third party copyright works, Perfect 10 rights of publicity, and Perfect 10 copyrighted works. Giganews wrote back claiming that it could not find the allegedly infringing images based on that notice, which was simply not correct. Giganews could have found each and every one of those images by using its own search function to search for the image identifiers provided with Perfect 10’s notice. Once it found an infringing Perfect 10 image in a particular group of such images (called an “article”), it could have blocked other Perfect 10 images displaying Perfect 10 copyright notices in that same group, but failed to do so. Six months later, Giganews was still selling access to many thousands of Perfect 10 copyrighted images that display Perfect 10 copyright notices.

    32. On August 11, 2010, Perfect 10 sent to Giganews examples of obviously infringing episodes of the TV series America Idol, Big Bang Theory, CSI Miami, and How I Met Your Mother. Perfect 10 explained to Giganews that such materials were obviously infringing and that Perfect 10 could not compete with entities like Giganews, which steal and sell massive quantities of obviously copyrighted works, in competition against Perfect 10, who pays for materials it sells. Nevertheless, Giganews has continued to store, copy, distribute, and sell access to massive quantities of similar infringing materials.
    It sounds like they didn't even send them a notice. They sent them 800 Perfect 10 images. Huh? Why would they do that? Did they really not even send DMCA notices? (I wish they'd send me 800 Perfect 10 images, but that's neither here nor there.) Obviously this is some sort of strategy on their part.

    What I don't get is this. Giganews provides access to alt.binaries newsgroups, and everyone knows what those are used for. Giganews is about piracy. I'm sure many here will defend them, but I think if you're being honest, you'll acknowledge that Usenet is used primarily for infringement. Giganews knows this. Their business model depends on it. I get suing for contributory infringement, but I just don't get the faulty notices--or the lack of notices. Clearly they just want to sue, and I don't begrudge them that, but why be so stupid about the notices? And why send them free porn and then complain that they didn't do anything with it? That just makes Perfect 10 look bad, not the defendants.

     

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  8.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:15pm

    To answer the question about the same time Righthaven, the state prosecuting the alternate currency user, the patent nest dealing with the iphone and finally the sunset provision in the Patriot act are concluded. This has been you TSA of the future. Also this will be fodder for any altruistic, albiet idealistic, lobby to actually abolish copyright, patents and any restrictions on speech since hemp was declared a dirty word. Good day.

     

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  9.  
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    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:39pm

    Re:

    [In a court room, Perfect 10's lawyers are questioning the owners of Giganews]

    Lawyer: My client sent you 800 images and told you that such images are the property of Perfect 10, did they not?

    GN Owner: Yes, they did.

    Lawyer: And you did nothing with them in responce?

    GN Owner: Actually since I'm under oath, jimmy back there took them to the bathroom, what he did with them you will have to ask him.

     

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  10.  
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    Pixelation, May 3rd, 2011 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re:

    "GN Owner: Actually since I'm under oath, jimmy back there took them to the bathroom, what he did with them you will have to ask him."

    Jimmy; "Well sir, I took them into the bathroom and cracked one off. Am I going to jail?"

     

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  11.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 3rd, 2011 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re:

    LOL! Yeah, I'm sure they did something with the images, but it probably wasn't what Perfect 10 had in mind. (Or was it? HmM...)

    Seriously, though. If this is some sort of strategy, I don't get the strategy.

    1. Find websites with money that only have a contributory role in the infringement, at best (Giganews, Google, CCBill, etc.)

    2. Send them free porn and/or faulty takedown notices.

    3. ????

    4. Profit.

    I don't get it.

     

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  12.  
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    Gonnosuke, May 3rd, 2011 @ 10:29pm

    Giganews

    I've always wondered how companies like Giganews can stay in business when they're in the business of storing and serving up protected content. It's not like a torrent index site -- the content is actually *on* the Giganews servers. Hell, their biggest selling points are retention and high-bandwidth connections!

    Is it just so specialized and such a small market that they fly under the radar? Or is there some kind of loophole that allows them to thread the needle?

     

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  13.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 1:26am

    Re: Giganews

    I've always wondered how companies like Giganews can stay in business when they're in the business of storing and serving up protected content. It's not like a torrent index site -- the content is actually *on* the Giganews servers. Hell, their biggest selling points are retention and high-bandwidth connections!

    Giganews is protected by the DMCA's safeharbors. The content is placed there by users, not by Giganews.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    bob, May 4th, 2011 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Giganews

    Loophole? Perhaps the DMCA is such a loophole but it couldn't protect a sleezier bunch of people. The only reason to pay money to a company like Giganews is to get access to other people's content.

    It's absolutely hilarious to watch apologists argue that every DMCA notice must be filled out exactly correctly and in triplicate because that's what the law spells out. But if some copyright holder sues someone for the $250k in damages provided by the law, the copyright haters go ballistic and start saying that it's all too cruel to insist upon following the law exactly.

    It's hilarious to watch Mike speak of the DMCA's ISP protection clause as if it's a holy writ handed down from god, but the rest of the text is some terrible work of the devil.

     

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  15.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 6:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Giganews

    No, it's a case of being able to lawyer your way out. You know, like those corpopeople do each and every single day.

    More importantly, if that was the case, then why did Perfect 10 make such a slipshod DMCA takedown notice? IF being incorrect can allow you to be cut off from everything, cue to a mildly incorrect form-filling (as can be the case for health insurance in the US), then why should that not also apply here?

    Either apply the law completely, or don't bother with law at all.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    wallow-T, May 4th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Copyright and Usenet is an already-litigated area. I haven't got time this morning, but somebody might google for cases involving the science fiction writer Harlan Ellison, and AOL's Usenet service, from years ago.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Giganews

    They funny thing is Giganews are making money while the content owners bitch, moan and piss money up the wall on suing fans.

    Paytards at their finest.

     

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  18.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 9:54am

    Re: Nonsense

    > I think if you're being honest, you'll
    > acknowledge that Usenet is used primarily
    > for infringement.

    Absolute bullshit.

    I've been a regular Usenet reader/poster for over a decade and I've never infringed anything. There are literally tens of thousands of discussion groups covering every conceivable topic that have nothing to do with binary files. They're text-only discussions among people, mostly about politics these days, and (other than an occasional reposted news article-- and even that is legitimate fair use) have nothing to do with infringement or IP in any way.

     

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  19.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Giganews

    > The only reason to pay money to a company like
    > Giganews is to get access to other people's content.

    You must be fucking nuts, or you have no idea what Usenet really is. The binary groups (pictures, video, etc.) are a small percentage of the overall total number of groups on Usenet. The vast majority are text-only discussion groups on everything from politics to basket-weaving which have nothing to do with "other people's content".

    Given that the percentage of "infringing" newsgroups compared to the total number of Usenet groups is roughly equivalent to the percentage of "infringing" web sites compared to the total number of web sites on the internet, your logic dictates that the only reason to pay money to access the internet itself is to get access to other people's content.

    I'm sure that's a position that Big Copy would wholeheartedly endorse, but it's one which no sane person would take seriously.

     

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  20.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:10am

    Re: Re: Nonsense

    I was referring to the alt.binaries groups. Sorry if that wasn't clear. Many ISPs block those groups because it is well known what they are used for. Giganews sells access those groups while advertising great speed and retention. Seems clear enough to me what Giganews is about.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2011 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re:

    Ok, there's one. Not quite "many," but I guess it will have to do.

    Why? On what basis?

     

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  22.  
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    FUDbuster (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Giganews

    The binary groups (pictures, video, etc.) are a small percentage of the overall total number of groups on Usenet. The vast majority are text-only discussion groups on everything from politics to basket-weaving which have nothing to do with "other people's content".

    Yes, the vast majority of groups are not the binary ones, but the binary ones are where the bulk of the traffic is.

    According to the following, the top 100 groups when looking at bytes posted are ALL binary groups: http://www.newsadmin.com/top100bytes.asp

    The number of groups with or without binaries is irrelevant. The fact is, the vast majority of the traffic is in the binary groups. The binary groups are where infringement is rampant, and it is in those groups that Giganews really makes their money.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Giganews

    Loophole? Perhaps the DMCA is such a loophole but it couldn't protect a sleezier bunch of people. The only reason to pay money to a company like Giganews is to get access to other people's content

    It's not a loophole. It's the point of the law: putting liability on the proper party.

    It's hilarious to watch Mike speak of the DMCA's ISP protection clause as if it's a holy writ handed down from god, but the rest of the text is some terrible work of the devil

    Well, this is just false. I've spoken about why liability rules make sense even without the safe harbors, and have even argued that we shouldn't need those safe harbors because of basic COMMON SENSE liability issues.

    But, it's not like you're here to be intellectually honest, are you?

    I support the safe harbors because they match common sense. I have problems with other parts of the DMCA (anti-circumvention) because they do not.

    Is that so hard to comprehend?

     

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  24.  
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    Ccomp5950 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

    Actually many ISP's block them because a.b uses up a LOT of storage space. Even if they do run them they hold a small history of them, since ISP's don't charge for the News Servers access it makes sense not to carry it.

    Where as subscription based newgroups access it makes sense to carry full access.

    Being common carriers server operators are protected and are not subject to what users post. ISP's even more so.

     

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  25.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Nonsense

    > I was referring to the alt.binaries groups. Many ISPs
    > block those groups because it is well known what they
    > are used for.

    The ISPs that block those groups usually do it because those groups eat up huge amounts of server space compared to the text-only groups and/or because they've caved to pressure from grandstanding AGs like Cuomo, who claim that all of Usenet is nothing but a haven for child porn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    btr1701 (profile), May 4th, 2011 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Giganews

    > The binary groups are where the bulk of the traffic is. According
    > to the following, the top 100 groups when looking at bytes
    > posted are ALL binary groups

    Well, of course they are, if you're counting bytes. One post made by one person containing a hi-def video file will contain a thousand or ten thousand times as many bytes as a text-only discussion among hundreds of people. Yet it's the text-only discussion that actually has the most "traffic".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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