May 6, 2021

MindGeek your step, pirates!

MindGeek is a Canadian company that operates a number of brands and websites operating in the adult industry, as well running a number of adult film production companies and agencies.

MindGeek owns one of the most visited adult websites: PornHub. In December 2020, all in one go, PornHub removed over 80% of its hosted content that had been uploaded by unverified users. PornHub operates as a ‘Tube’ site (much like YouTube, but in the adult entertainment space), and relies on users to upload content. Much of that, presumably, infringes someone’s copyright, as there is no way of knowing whether an anonymous internet user is the true owner. That is why YouTube uses a “ContentID” system. PornHub’s culling of unverified users’ content was seen as an attempt to avoid liability for hosting infringing content. In its latest transparency report, PornHub revealed that it has removed 544,021 infringing pieces of content as a result of it receiving take down requests from rights holders (or apparent rights holders). In addition to PornHub receiving hundreds of thousands of take down notices, MindGeek has confirmed that over the past 12 months, it has sent out approximately 4.5million take down notices itself, concerning URLS which link to allegedly infringing content. When cross referenced just to Google’s own transparency report, MindGeek has requested that Google remove around 8 million allegedly infringing URLs from its results.

Most Tube providers (both adult and non-adult themed) do not send out take down notices, as they exist without creating their own content: the content is made by third parties and uploaded. It seems the origin of PornHub’s take down notices are exclusivity deals it struck with amateur adult performers, whereby they would upload their content exclusively to PornHub, and in exchange PornHub would protect the content from wider use, and offer favourable monetisation terms to those involved. These take downs seem to be that protection.

If you have any questions about the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: Adham Harker in: Copyright, Digital/Tech

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