Law and Sexuality

A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests

Ben Dover and the Future of Porn

The Annual Erotic Awards and their utterly brilliant golden penis trophies have become a fixture of the sexuality calendar.  They are however, utterly useless at updating their website.  Although the finals took place on the 26th May, I still have no idea who the winners were.  Anyway, one of the finalists (perhaps a winner) was the pornographer Ben Dover (Carry on humour lives) who was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Today, Dover also has an online store, his own clothing and events packages.

The straight porn producer regularly makes an appearance in his films, or at least his dick usually does, with scenes often ending with him getting in on the action.  He’s also been the subject of a BBC Four documentary back in 2009 on trying to make it as an actor.  In the same year, he also appeared on the BBC news channel complaining that it was increasing difficult to make money in the porn industry and suggested that the government set up a task force to tackle porn piracy.

It was therefore not all that surprising to see that Dover and his company, Golden Eye International turned to the courts for action in tackling piracy. Golden Eye International Ltd took action on behalf of 13 adult entertainment companies, stating that it had a list of 9,124 IP addresses which had illegally downloaded some of their films. It also had a draft warning letter demanding £700 for copyright infringement ready to go. If all 9,124 customers paid £700 it would amount to £6.3 million.

The High Court determined that any potential settlement sum should be negotiated with each individual recipient. In total Mr Justice Arnold rejected claims from 12 of the 13 porn production companies. O2 – the company at the centre of the claims – had to hand over the details of people using IP addresses which Golden Eye said illegally downloaded films from Ben Dover Productions.

Read more here, and here.

It’s an interesting approach, especially given that I suspect most of his fans will at some point have watched his material via illegal downloads.  It’s a serious headache for the porn industry as they seek to respond to the fast-evolving contemporary media landscape.

For IP law watchers, it was pleasing to see the court limit a tactic which previously ACS: Law got into a spot of bother over (and ultimately went out of business), as this blog eagerly points out.

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2012 by in commercial, internet, Law, Pornography.

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