M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘pornography

Can you even copyright porn in the first place?

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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

Police Blotter of the Day: Burglar downloaded child porn, left wallet

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Officers found a wallet they believed the burglar had dropped, and detectives went to the address listed, where they said 25-year-old Derek McDine was found hiding in a closet.

He was arrested without further incident on burglary charges, and investigators began examining computers stolen from the accountants.

Detectives said they found evidence of child pornography that McDine is accused of loading onto the computers, and he was also charged with possession of child pornography.

Full story (WLWT of Cincinnati)

Written by Alex

January 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Reporting: Porn piracy wars get personal

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Cross-posted from msnbc.com’s Technolog blog, where it originally appeared. To read it in context, with all information boxes and art, click here.

Ron Jeremy is one of more than a dozen adult video stars who talked about the damage piracy can cause in public service announcements published last year by the Free Speech Coalition, the industry’s trade association.

It’s not fun, but all things considered, John Steele is OK with being a villain.

In recent months, Steele’s Chicago law firm has filed almost 100 federal lawsuits seeking to identify thousands of “John Does” who downloaded pornographic videos in violation of their producers’ copyright. Federal court records indicate that none of Steele’s cases — in fact, no case of this type ever — has ended with a verdict at trial.

Sometimes, the cases run into roadblocks from skeptical judges over jurisdiction or whether the defendants have been appropriately identified. Others end in settlements for a few thousand dollars from defendants who are relieved that they get to remain anonymous.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reporting: In adult films, condom question twists plot

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California’s efforts to mandate the use of condoms in adult videos shot in the state has divided the pornography industry and made allies of seemingly strange bedfellows — a leading AIDS organization that says it doesn’t care about the morality of porn and a former adult actress who has made it her mission to shut down the industry.

Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com)

Written by Alex

April 30, 2010 at 6:39 am