For most independent porn producers finding their own digital content pirated on the Internet not only means money out of their pockets but it can also feel like the loss of sexual autonomy and control. Typically individual performers are engaged in the laborious filming, editing, and hosting of content of themselves and friends out of their own bedrooms with no studio crew or budget. Independent porn producers lose out on much needed income when their content is downloaded or streamed for free from tube sites.
For an in-depth look at the effects of pirated spank banks see Siri’s article “Here’s why you need to pay for your porn.”
For porn producers whose content is pirated, all hope is not lost. Though a tedious process, it is possible to have copyrighted content taken down from tube sites, forums, and search engines.
There are two different kinds of letters used to get pirated content taken down:
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices and Cease and Desist letters. When pirated content is discovered we recommend that both DMCA and Cease and Desist letters are sent.
DMCA Takedown Notices
Takedown notices are sent to website owners when a third-party has posted pirated content. Links to DMCA reporting pages for some of the most common websites can be found here:
Here is a DMCA takedown template that can be sent to tube sites, forums hosting sites, and search engines. For each site that is hosting pirated content, fill in the [bracketed] sections with the appropriate information, including all URL links to the pirated content. Be sure to remove the brackets before sending. Note: it is ok to sign the letter with a performer name in an initial communication; there is no need to reveal private information for these purposes.
Cease and Desist Letters
Cease and desist letters are sent to parties known to have posted content on the Internet without the consent of the producer. While it can be difficult to ascertain the real identity of people on the Internet, it is not always impossible (this link has helpful tips to find out people’s identity). Regardless of whether the individual’s true identity is known, a cease and desist letter can still be sent to their online handle.
Here is a cease and desist letter template specifically for instances of copyright infringement. For each person who has shared content without consent, fill in the [bracketed] sections with the required information. Again, be sure to remove brackets before sending.
Have you sent both letters and the pirated content is still up?
Contact us via the online legal clinic for help figuring out next steps.