Eleven record labels including Warner Bros., Eleketra, Atlantic and Bad Boy and 8 others have come together to sue against Miami-based RK Net media and RealityKings.com for using their music as the soundtracks and 'inspiration' for porn videos. An 18 pages lawsuit was filed in California U.S. District Court on July 7. It claims that the defendants are engaged in “infringement of the most blatant and offensive kind.”
According to the lawsuit, the audio tracks are often being played in the background while "models or actors are 'performing' their scenes. The plaintiffs also claim that Defendants not only incorporated Plaintiffs' works into their videos, but then used them to draw an audience to their website and to advertise and promote the videos, including by naming the videos after popular songs (e.g., "Bring Sexy Back," containing the song "Sexyback"), encouraging their performers to lip-synch the lyrics to Plaintiffs' recordings while engaged in sexual acts on-camera, and using certain recordings to highlight certain sexual activities (e.g., Katy Perry's hit song "I Kissed a Girl").
The plaintiffs claim that the “defendants own and operate a network of subscription-based Internet websites that make millions of dollars from performing and distributing to their members an ever-growing library of explicit pornographic videos.”
The suit further states that the defendants know that major record labels, recording artists and music publishers do not license their works for use in such pornographic content, especially the type of extreme, sexually explicit videos that defendants produce and distribute.
So, according to the suit, “defendants simply stole these sound recordings and music compositions, synchronizing plaintiff’s works more than 500 times onto the soundtrack of their pornographic videos without license of consent from the plaintiffs.”
The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction, punitive damages and maximum damages of $150,000 per copyright violation.
Legal People’s opinion:1. An attorney for RK Netmedia, Lawrence Walters, said the use of the music was a First Amendment issue and that the videos represented a “reality show in a dance club.” (Documentaries traditionally are allowed greater leeway in using copyrighted material if it’s part of the event being documented.) The company will try to resolve the matter without going to court but contends that the music was being used fairly as part of a commentary on popular night club culture.
Source: Copy of lawsuit