Evil Angel has filed a multi-million dollar, federal counterfeiting lawsuit against a Chatsworth-based distributor, DVD Concepts, Inc., its principal, Alon Nottea and other defendants.
Evil Angel attorney Al Gelbard alleged that DVD Concepts has sold counterfeit Evil Angel discs.
“And we have a significant amount of evidence that backs that up,” Gelbard said, in announcing the lawsuit exclusively to AVN.com. “They are definitely selling them. As far as making them, we don’t know. They may be involved in it … But we’ll see where they’re coming from” as the investigation continues.
DVD Concepts’ Encino-based attorney, Stanley Stone, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles on March 16 under seal so that Gelbard could obtain a court order authorizing the United States Marshall’s office, accompanied by Evil Angel representatives, to search the offices of another distributor - not DVD Concepts - two days later.
While no discs were seized in that search, Gelbard said evidence was found that then led the investigation to DVD Concepts.
The lawsuit was amended in early April and alleges copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition and seeks an injunction to halt the counterfeiting. The suit also seeks millions of dollars in damages.
Gelbard requested that that the identities of the other defendants not be publicized since many of them have been cooperating in the investigation.
Chris Norman, Evil Angel’s vice president of operations, said the company has been actively pursuing evidence as to the source of a significant number of counterfeit Evil Angel DVDs that have recently appeared on the market. Norman said Evil Angel representatives have purchased counterfeit DVDs from several wholesale and retail establishments. Most of these parties, Norman said, were surprised to find that their inventories included counterfeit product and have been cooperative in providing evidence as to the pirated discs’ sources.
Several 20/20 Video stores, Excalibur Films, Spearmint Rhino Stores, LAX Video and others have provided Evil Angel with counterfeit DVDs, and documentary evidence as to the identities of their suppliers, Norman said.
He noted that additional lawsuits could be filed in the case in the near future.
“We’ve been looking for a short period of time and found hundreds of counterfeit discs here,” Gelbard said. “I expect that a significant amount of Evil Angel counterfeit discs will start showing up all over the place, including in New York” as the investigation unfolds.
Norman said, “Evil Angel is committed to eradicating the piracy of its productions and will pursue, to the fullest extent of the law, any party who manufactures, sells and/or assists any third party in manufacturing or selling counterfeit Evil Angel product.
“If any wholesaler, retailer or end-user feels that they may have inadvertently acquired one or more counterfeit Evil Angel DVDs, either because of the inferior appearance of the packaging, the inferior quality of the video, or because certain proprietary menu features are inoperative, please do not hesitate to call our offices at (818) 787-1414. We are very interested to hear from anyone who may be able to help stamp out the distribution of counterfeit product.”
Piracy of adult product is becoming of increasing concern to many other adult producers, including Red Light District, Wicked and Anabolic/Diabolic.
Red Light for instance, recently implemented red discs with clear, vinyl cases that show that the product inside the case is genuine. As for Wicked, in coming months, their DVDs will start to be packaged in gray logo-embossed disc cases, rather than the industry’s traditional black cases.
Gelbard said he expects the Evil Angel investigation to turn up evidence of the counterfeiting of other companies’ discs too.