YNOT – The Free Speech Coalition on Wednesday applauded the Manwin group of companies’ decision to embrace the FSC’s Anti-Piracy Action Program as part of the group’s settlement of a copyright-infringement lawsuit. APAP’s proprietary software allows content owners to “fingerprint” their intellectual property, which eases the detection of illegally shared content on user-submitted content websites like the tube sites operated by Manwin.According to FSC, Manwin sites including PornHub, Tube8, SpankWire, KeezMovies and ExtremeTube have agreed to employ the APAP system to monitor user uploads.
“We believe this is a very important step for our industry,” said Fabian Thylmann, managing partner for Manwin, which also produces original content under the Brazzers label and others. The company owns more than 70 adult websites. “We’re grateful to the FSC for spearheading this campaign and are eager to take part in the program.”
Two more tube sites, XVideo and XXNX, also have agreed to participate in FSC-APAP as part of an anti-piracy task force that includes studios Titan Media, Adam & Eve, Evil Angel, Digital Playground, Hustler Video, Raging Stallion Studios, Wicked Pictures, New Sensations and Zero Tolerance.
“While the [adult entertainment] industry has been talking about the problem of piracy, we and organizations like FSC and our partner studios have been thinking about solutions,” said an XVideos spokesperson. “Adult tube sites — like non-adult counterpart YouTube — are a great way to attract traffic and provide extraordinary advertising opportunities to reach web surfers. But, as is often the case, the product evolved faster than the technology necessary to protect legitimate copyright holders.
“Now solutions to protect copyrighted content are at hand, and it’s the job of every responsible website to take steps to make sure that copyrighted content is weeded out from the ever-growing volume of legitimate user-generated content uploaded to our sites.”
FSC Executive Director Diane Duke said tube sites traditionally have been considered the most egregious enablers of copyright infringement, but a recent flurry of successful lawsuits and the advent of effective fingerprinting and monitoring solutions like APAP have convinced many operators they do not have to give up profitability to change their image.
“Working with content providers, FSC-APAP has provided a unique opportunity for the adult industry to come together and fight piracy in a coordinated manner,” Duke said. “What is even more exciting, we have been able to bring tube sites to the table to be part of the solution, instead of all of the problem.”
Wicked Pictures Chief Technology Officer Avi Bitton, who assisted in the development of components integral to APAP, said the system is only a partial solution to the overall problem, but it’s a good start.
“Wicked helped bring the software technology to the table, so we are fully confident in it,” he said. “Given the recent settlements, we are also confident in the APAP’s ability to bring about the usage of this technology. We now have a viable and important, albeit partial, solution to a crippling problem.
“From the outset our goal was to convert illegal content into legitimate affiliate content — to fundamentally change the model from whack-a-mole with [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] notices to finding a way, through technology, to work together,” Bitton explained. “Now, less than one year later, PornHub and XVideos are using APAP software technology. I’d call that an outstanding success that opens up new business opportunities.
“We will see who follows suit,” he added. “But the message is clear that copyright holders will fight against infringements and demand [user-generated content] sites employ proactive solutions to deal with the problem.”
Digital Playground founder and FSC-APAP participant Ali Joone also commented about the phenomenon.
“This will have a profound change on illegal use of our content on tube sites,” he said. “For the first time, I feel we have a very good chance to start minimizing piracy.
“The result I have [had with APAP] has been very effective,” Joone added. “I highly recommend all content producers to use this system.”
FSC-APAP administrator and attorney Gill Sperlein emphasized that the FSC-APAP program is accessible for all producers, regardless of the size of their operation.
“One thing I want to make clear is that this program is not just for big producers,” Sperlein said. “The program is priced so that any producer, no matter how small, can afford to join. Information about this program on the [online forums catering to the adult entertainment industry] is about 50-percent inaccurate. I encourage anyone with questions about the program to contact me or the FSC directly.”
For more information about FSC-APAP, visit FSCAPAP.com or call (818) 348-9373.