M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Can you even copyright porn in the first place?

with one comment

Over at msnbc.com’s Open Channel blog, I have a follow-up to a story I did last year explaining how law firms threaten to sue people who allegedly illegally download porn — and out them as porn fans in court documents — unless they settle for a few thousand bucks.

One of those people has a new counter-strategy: She argues in a suit filed this week that porn is obscenity, and obscenity is ineligible for copyright. Therefore, porn can’t be copyrighted, so even if she did download it without paying — which she denies — it’s not “piracy” in the first place:

Open Channel: Internet piracy suit asks: Can you even copyright porn?

Do you think that’s a legitimate argument? Read the full piece and let me know in the comments.

Written by Alex

February 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm

One Response

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  1. Could you cite your source for the contention that most of the copyright infringement suits that hit the courts get thrown out? Even if you mean, which you do not make clear, that most of the suits following the sending of such letters get thrown out, I’d like some proof of that. It seems a bald contention and one, from my limited experience as a copyright lawyer, that is not accurate.

    Leslie Burns

    February 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm


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