HOUSTON, TX—Classic porn powerhouse Command Cinema filed suit last week against the alleged operators of two websites, classicpornbox.com and megaclassicporn.com, for alleged copyright infringement after video files of five Command titles were discovered being sold from those locations.
The suit, filed May 10 in a Texas District Court, targets the websites and alleged owner-operators Floyd Edward Hodges, Ray Reiter and Pinnacle Entertainment as defendants. It claims that five titles—Babylon Pink, Foxtrot, Dangerous Stuff, Neon Nights and Platinum Paradise—were found being exploited on both sites, available via download for a fee. The sites are both registered to Pinnacle Entertainment.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed on May 10 by Texas copyright attorney Evan Stone in U.S. District Court for the Southern Division of Texas, Houston Division, "Defendants Reiter and Hodges, individually and/or through their company Pinnacle Entertainment, are copying, duplicating, reproducing, advertising, distributing, selling, and/or offering for sale items in this judicial district that infringe Plaintiff’s exclusive rights under U.S. copyright law. Defendant Hodges presently owns—and upon information and belief, administers and operates—two internet websites, www.megaclassicporn.com and www.classicpornbox.com. Infringement of Plaintiff’s exclusive rights has occurred and continues to occur through these websites. Defendant is the registrant of record for these websites."
The suit goes on to claim that both sites offer a paid subscription service through which subscribers can download "a wide selection of digital files containing copies of adult motion pictures," including the Command titles noted above, which the suit asserts they are not licensed to reproduce, distribute or sell.
"As a result of Defendants’ infringement of Plaintiff’s exclusive rights under copyright," the suit charges, "Plaintiff is entitled to relief from Defendants pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §504 and to its reasonable attorney’s fees and full costs pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §505." The suit also seeks a permanent injunction against the defendants' further infringement of Command's titles, and the destruction of all copies of the movies which may be in the defendants' possession.
"Those are some of my best known and most beloved titles," said Cecil Howard, the legendary producer/director of the Command Cinema library. "It hurts. So much work and financial investment went into producing these movies and I've worked hard to protect their integrity in every way. It really gets my goat that people are profiting from the investment of time and money I made."
According to a press release issued by HotMovies.com, Howard first learned of the infringements through HotMovies, which in turn had been alerted by Eric Green from Removeyourcontent as part of an ongoing strategic partnership between the two companies.HotMovies currently is the only legally licensed distributor for the entire Command library.
"I know HotMovies makes every effort to ensure the original producer or holder of rights for every movie on their site is properly compensated," said Green. "Our job is to help protect those same businesses from website operators who don't have the same type of scruples. I’m glad for Howard's sake that we found these guys."
Once the files were discovered, Green said they were purchased to ensure that the movies being advertised were the same ones being sold. In each instance, he asserted, this was found to be the case. At that point representatives from HotMovies and Removeyourcontent discussed the situation and decided to approach Howard with an offer to help finance a legal battle to protect his titles from piracy.
At press time, no court date had been set to argue the motion for permanent injunction, and no formal answer to the complaint had been received from any of the defendants.
A copy of Command Cinema's lawsuit may be found here.