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The Proper DMCA Takedown Notification

On October 28, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”). Since becoming valid law, the DMCA has been controversial to say the least, with many demanding reform. For many in the adult industry, the DMCA has been helpful and beneficial in intellectual property protection while others in the adult industry feel that the DMCA provides too much protection and has allowed “content pirates” to abuse the DMCA for its own financial gains. The adult industry is no stranger to the DMCA. The exponential growth of “Tube” style websites over the past several years has led to an unquantifiable number of lawsuits, disputes, articles and controversies. There are enough articles from adult industry experts regarding the pros and cons of the DMCA and there are equally enough articles from adult industry experts regarding intellectual property protection. The purpose of this article is to examine an often neglected but important piece of the DMCA. This article will discuss what must be included in a properly formatted DMCA notification of claimed infringement (commonly referred to as a “Takedown Notice”). Pursuant to the DMCA, specifically, 17 USC § 512(c), (c) Information Residing on Systems or Networks At…

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Let’s Talk Content and Licensing Agreements

As I write this column, the holiday season has arrived and with it the end of the year. And when the new year rolls around, the adult industry enters into one of the busiest trade show schedules of the year. In the month of January alone, AVN presents an array of shows in Las Vegas: the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo—both the B2B show and the Fan Fest—the Adult Novelty Expo, the AVN Awards Show, and InterNext. Also in the month of January, XBiz presents XBiz 360. Trade shows are a fantastic way to network, learn, improve and grow as a member of the adult industry community, and I urge you to take advantage of the many benefits of the trade shows. I have been attending AVN-sponsored trade shows for over a decade and I am continuously amazed by the great seminars and speakers put together by the AVN team. There is a good chance that you are reading this article while you are at one of the trade shows mentioned above and I encourage you to attend as many seminars as possible. Don’t be afraid to step into a seminar that you don’t think affects your particular business; you never…

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Don’t Be Trapped by Headlines

It’s been a busy time for adult industry legal news, with stories popping up on websites, blogs, television stations and message boards. In the past few months we have seen the obscenity conviction of Ira Isaacs, renewed life in the Free Speech Coalition’s battle against the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. 2257, the failure of SOPA, the ongoing war against piracy, and, of course, condom regulations in Los Angeles. Countless words have been expended discussing these important issues, with more to come in the future. In addition to the hurricane of headlines, the United States is heading toward a turbulent election. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will challenge his Democratic opponent, President Barack Obama, in what will be the most expensive political campaign in the history of the world. Make no mistake about it; the outcome of this election could have substantial ramifications for the adult industry. I encourage all of you United States voters to be fully informed about the candidates before casting your vote. But as essential as all of these issues are, what should matter more to you, the adult industry professional, are the day-to-day details of running your business. And these mundane details can be overlooked in…

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Internext 2012: Protecting Your Online Brand

I am pleased to announce that I will be co-presenting this year's legal seminar at the Internext trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 16, 2012 at 3:00pm. This year's seminar is entitled: Protecting Your Online Brand; Trademarks, Licenses and Affiliate Agreements. In an increasingly complex adult industry, the protection of your intellectual property has never been more important. This seminar is a MUST for everyone in the adult industry. More details to come soon. See you all there.

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The Adult Industry and Contracts

Would you buy a house without a deed? Would you buy a car without getting its title? Or do you blindly sign every document that shows up in the mail promising free money? I'm assuming that you answered all of those questions with a "no." So why is it that most people are smart enough not to engage in the ridiculous examples mentioned above, yet when it comes to contracts and people in the adult industry, I find myself dealing with clients every day who either rushed into an agreement without a written contract, didn't consult with a lawyer prior to making a contract, and/or didn't understand the terms of a contract before they signed it? First, a simple definition of a "contract:" a contract is an agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable by law. While many contracts are in written form (and very much should be), many states only require that certain types of contracts be in writing. The legal term "statute of frauds" generally governs which types of contracts must be writing. Traditionally, the statute of frauds applies in the following circumstances: contracts in consideration of marriage, contracts that cannot be performed within one year,…

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