Federal Court Rules Against Adult Video Pirates in Australia

On Wednesday, Australia’s Federal Magistrates Court upheld a 2005 judgment against an adult video chain convicted of manufacturing and selling counterfeit DVDs of material produced by the Private Group and distributed by Calvista Australia.

Venus Adult Stores had appealed the court’s August 2005 decision on the grounds that “[Venus’] own illegal conduct represented a defense to liability,” Australia’s Adult Industry Copyright Organization (AICO) reported.

According to the AICO report, the judgment against Venus for copyright infringement includes “damages, court costs, permanent injunctions and delivery-up of films.” Although Wednesday’s ruling granted a minor reduction in damages due to a miscalculation of the value of the pirated discs, “all other matters of the judgment remain unchanged … including substantial additional damages of $85,000 against the Venus companies and their directors,” the report said.

David Newnham, general manager for Calvista Australia, told AVN in May 2006 that “pornography is mostly illegal in Australia so the pirates’ defense was always that they did nothing wrong since adult films weren’t legal anyway.”

“This is a significant result for our members and a big blow to the pirates,” said AICO executive officer Graeme Dunne. “The Appeal Court has also made clear that adult film copyright owners are just as entitled to copyright protection as any other copyright owners, including the full range of legal remedies. AICO welcomes this important decision which clears the way for more actions against those who infringe its members’ copyright.”

“We’re glad to see that this is one more blow against the pirates in Australia and around the world,” said Antigua Pictures president and AICO member Todd Blatt. “We want them to know that Vivid, ClubJenna and all other companies represented by Antigua Pictures and AICO are protected. We will do whatever it takes to go after them vigorously to get monetary settlements on all titles distributed through Antigua Pictures and represented by AICO in Australia.”

Other adult companies involved with AICO include Zero Tolerance, Red Light District, Wicked Pictures, Falcon Studios, Titan, Acid Rain and Colossal Entertainment.