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Ventura Content, Ltd. v. Motherless, Inc.

885 F.3d 597 (2018)

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Ventura Content, Ltd. v. Motherless, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

885 F.3d 597 (2018)

Facts

Joshua Lange owns and operates Motherless, Inc., (defendants), a porn website. Users upload most of its content. The website prohibits uploading copyrighted material under its terms of use, invites takedown notices, uses software allowing copyright owners to delete infringing content themselves, and advises that Motherless.com terminates repeat infringers when appropriate. Lange and an independent contractor review all uploaded content for copyright infringement and child pornography before displaying it. Lange himself terminates repeat infringers based on his own personal judgment but does not keep a log of infringers. Over a three-year period, Lange said he terminated about 1,320 to 1,980 users for possible copyright infringement, missing only nine, and only four of those had more than one takedown notice. But porn-movie company Ventura Content, Ltd. (plaintiff), found 33 clips from its movies uploaded by eight users on Motherless.com. Instead of sending Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or takedown notices, or deleting the content itself, Ventura sued Lange and Motherless for copyright infringement. Lange asked Ventura twice for the URLs and deleted the infringing clips the same day Ventura provided the URLs. The trial court granted summary judgment finding that Motherless satisfied DMCA’s safe-harbor requirement, emphasizing the lack of evidence showing Lange failed to terminate infringers. Ventura appealed, arguing Lange did not have or reasonably implement a repeat-infringer termination policy.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kleinfeld, J.)

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