Ventura, Manwin Settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

NEW YORK—Finalizing a tentative resolution arrived at a few weeks ago, Ventura Content AVV, parent company of Pink Visual Productions, and Manwin group of companies, parent company of Brazzers, and previous parent companies Mansef Inc. and Interhub, today signed off on a settlement in the copyright infringement lawsuit Ventura filed in February of this year.

While the terms of the settlement remain confidential, the original complaint sought damages in the range of $6.7 million, attorneys fees and "injunctive relief that requires the defendants to 'cease directly or indirectly infringing, or causing, enabling, facilitating, encouraging, and inducing or participating in the infringement of any of Ventura’s respective copyrights or exclusive rights protected by the Copyright Act, whether now in existence or hereafter created.'"

Today's joint statement does state, however, that as part of the settlement Manwin has agreed to implement—and is already testing on its various tube site properties—the copyright filtering software offered by Vobile Inc. The program, which is the back end powering the FSC Anti-Piracy Action program, flags fingerprinted content in order to help prevent users from sharing material that is not theirs to share.

“Anti-piracy programs, and the use of protective software, were within our plans from the moment the assets were bought,” said Fabian Thylmann, managing partner at Manwin. “Since March 2010, we’ve been taking various measures to implement procedures that support good industry practices. It has been a pleasure to work with Vobile, and we are happy that the FSC has partnered with such a strong contender in the field."

Manwin’s implementation of the fingerprint filtering applies not just to Pink Visual content, but to all content from studios that currently maintain digital fingerprints with Vobile, or will in the future.

Pink Visual President Allison Vivas said her company is very pleased with the settlement, and emphasized that settling the case is in no way an indication that Pink Visual will be stepping back in its effort to protect its intellectual property rights.

“We are serious about enforcing our rights as copyright owners, and feel that we’ve come to an agreement that is reasonable for both parties,” Vivas said. “The incorporation of the technology for digital fingerprint filtering by the tubes was a necessity from our perspective, and we are happy that Manwin has agreed to incorporate that technology through the FSC’s Anti-Piracy Action Program (“APAP”).”

Content owners and operators of user-generated content sites can get more information about the FSC APAP program at

FSC Executive Director Diane Duke, commenting on the role APAP will play in the resolution of cases like this, noted that FSC has long understood that the industry needed to be on the forefront in technological solutions for fighting piracy.

"FSC’s Anti-Piracy Action Program not only affords content providers with a means to react, take down and when necessary litigate, but also the opportunity for tube sites to become a big part of the solution," she said. "The settlement between Ventura Content and Manwin signals to the entire industry that there is a workable solution. Vobile software has been working with FSC diligently to make the program affordable and provide options for the producers and the tube sites to move toward a new revenue stream for online content."

Vivas added that studios and site operators attending the upcoming Content Protection Retreat (CPR) will have the opportunity to learn about the APAP program in-depth.

The settlement announcement comes on the same day that nine leading studios and the websites and announced a partnership agreement wherein the websites will identify and remove pirated content using Vobile’s MediaWise software in exchange for a promise by the studios—Titan Media, Adam & Eve, Evil Angel, Digital Playground, Hustler Video, Raging Stallion Studios, Wicked Pictures, New Sensations and Zero Tolerance—not to sue them.