LOS ANGELES—A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court on Aug. 18 by Samson Investments, a Dutch Antilles corporation that owns and operates websites associated with the Teen Revenue affiliate program, alleges copyright infringement on the part of Evan Seinfeld, Lupe Fuentes LLC, Webquest, Netbilling and Local Billing.
According to the complaint, Teen Revenue is managed by First Choice Management, which is run by Paolo Cammarata. Sometime in 2006-7, the complaint states, Cammarata met a diminutive nude model for whom he later coined the stage name Little Lupe. After entering into an agreement with the model he registered, in Samson’s name, and constructed the domain www.littlelupe.com.
“’Little Lupe’ became, and has been for the last three years, one of the most popular and profitable websites marketed through the Teen Revenue program,” the complaint states.
In 2009, the complaint states, Evan Seinfeld began managing and promoting “Little Lupe,” and in April of that year registered the domains LupeFuentes.com and ILoveLupe.com, with the alleged intent “to misappropriate the fame and goodwill associated with the mark ‘Little Lupe,’” and also that Seinfeld, for the benefit of Lupe Fuentes LLC, partnered with WebQuest in the development and management of the above-mentioned websites.
The complaint states that after Cammarata and Seinfeld failed to come to an arrangement to co-promote “Little Lupe,” master copies of numerous videos featuring “Little Lupe” owned by Samson and found on LittleLupe.com were somehow obtained by Seinfeld, and that “Seinfeld provided the stolen videos with the false copyright information to WebQuest, which copied, uploaded, displayed and distributed the stolen videos on www.ilovelupe.com,” and further claims that the “stolen” videos comprise the “vast majority” of videos on the site.
The complaint also alleges that subsequent marketing campaigns undertaken by Seinfeld and WebQuest also infringed on the “Little Lupe” mark, and that the two named billing companies, Netbilling and Local Billing, are “vicarious” infringers “who have the right and ability to supervise, and directly benefit from, the direct infringing activities alleged herein.”
The plaintiff is seeking actual damages of not less than $1 million, an order by the court trebling the actual damages, statutory damages of not less than $2,500 or more than $25,000 per violation, and attorneys’ fees.
Upon request, David Beitchman of Beitchman & Zekian PC, counsel for Evan Seinfeld, Lupe Fuentes LLC and WebQuest, issued the following statement.
"WebQuest, Lupe Fuentes LLC, and Mr. Seinfeld take intellectual property rights very seriously,” he told AVN. “We have full confidence that our clients have acted within their rights in this situation. We believe the action to be without merit, and we look forward to successfully defending this matter.”
Samson Investments is represented by Jay Spillane of the Los Angeles-based law firm Spillane Weingerten LLP.
Netbilling and Local Billing have thus far declined to comment.
The complaint can be read here.