Private Media Group's U.S. Subsidiary Sues xHamster

NORTHWOOD, Iowa—Fraserside IP LLC, the Iowa-based subsidiary of Private Media Group, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Westchester, California-based WhoIsGuard, aka tube site

According to the complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, “Plaintiff's intellectual property has been viewed over 1,000,000 times, available for months and for some videos, years, on Defendant’s website. With the enormous amount of internet users on Defendant’s website, the number of uncompensated views grows daily thus furthering the number of copyright infringements and contributing to the further dilution of the Plaintiff's trade and service marks.”

The complaint further alleges, “Defendant allows third parties to display Plaintiff's intellectual property to third parties on third party websites for the purpose of driving traffic back to XHamster. The number of views displayed on XHamster does not reflect the number of views on those sites. This significantly increases the number of views.”

Attorney Chad Belville filed the lawsuit on behalf of Fraserside IP LLC, which incorporated in Iowa in October 2010, according to the Iowa Secretary of State website. The Private Media Group portfolio also contains a Cyprus-based subsidiary named Fraserside Holdings Ltd., which filed a lawsuit in August 2010 against Meta Interfaces—a San Francisco-based company that runs the popular website—alleging copyright and trademark infringement based on a 2009 licensing agreement gone bad.

In the current copyright infringement lawsuit, the last of several filed over the past few months on behalf of the Iowa subsidiary, Fraserside IP is asking the court to transfer to it, plus all similar domains owned by the company, and to assess damages be determined during trial.

The xHamster complaint can be accessed here.