After targeting hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent users, adult entertainment companies have recently expanded their legal efforts to file-hosting sites and their users.
Flava Works, known for winning a preliminary injunction (currently under appeal) in its landmark lawsuit against MyVidster, a case which involved Google, Facebook and even the MPAA, is now targeting two prominent file-hosting services and 26 of their users.
In papers filed at the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois last week, the company accuses FileSonic and Oron of several copyright related offenses.
Among other things, the complaint alleges that FileSonic and Oron are “websites that copy, store, distribute, display, profit from unauthorized copyrighted materials, and/or induce and assist others to infringe copyrighted materials.”
The two cyberlockers are joined by 26 John Doe defendants who allegedly shared links to copyrighted material with each other via several Yahoo groups. It is claimed that through these mailing lists the defendants actively traded links, some of which were uploaded by the defendants themselves.
According to Flava Works the file-hosting sites directly profited from these infringements through their affiliate programs.
The complaint characterizes FileSonic as an “illegitimate” outfit, a description repeated for Oron.
“On information and belief, at all relevant times, Filesonic.com is not a legitimate file storage company. Filesonic.com’s affiliates reward program offered members the opportunity to make money by uploading copyrighted videos.”
“Affiliates members are paid based upon the number of downloads of their posted materials and based upon how many other premium memberships were bought by users accessing Filesonic.com through the member’s links.”
Flava Works goes on to accuse FileSonic, Oron and the Doe defendants on several counts including direct copyright infringement, contributory copyright infringement and inducement of copyright infringement.
The adult company asks for a permanent injunction and temporary restraining order against the defendants. Flava Works further requests statutory, compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged infringements.
It is unclear why Flava Works has singled out these two file-hosting services as the complaint also mentions that Hotfile, Fileserve and Rapidshare were used to share files. Filesonic in particular seems to be an odd choice since the cyberlocker disabled public file-sharing months ago, which led to an exodus of users.
For Oron, this is the second lawsuit brought against the site this summer. Last month adult studio Corbin Fisher sued the company for no less than $34.8 million for alleged copyright infringements. As part of a settlement, Oron then offered to assist the studio prosecute its own users.
Both Oron and FileSonic have yet to respond to the complaint.