CHICAGO—Flava Works announced today that it has filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of Illinois against Marques Rondale Gunter, owner and operator of MyVidster.com, and 26 repeat alleged infringers, named John Doe 1-26.
According to the complaint, Marques Rondale Gunter has created a social networking website that enables site members, the defendant John Does, among others, to bookmark and store files of copyrighted materials and videos directly to myVidster, as well as post links to third-party websites on which the files are available.
Flava Works further alleges that Gunter promotes myVidster as “a social video bookmarking and backup service that lets you collect, share and search your videos. You can also explore video collections from other users using myVidster.”
The Flava lawsuit differs from other recent industry "John Does" lawsuits in few ways. It targets a social network site instead of BitTorrent sites, and also it names the owner of the site as a defendant in addition to the 26 Does.
The complaint argues that because of Gunter/myVidster actions, or lack thereof—specifically that it “took little or no action toward stopping, reprimanding, or banning these repeat infringers—it is no longer eligible for the limitations on liability provided by the “safe harbor” provisions of Section 512 of the DMCA.
The complaint further argues that Gunter/myVidster’s failure to designate a DMCA agent also makes it liable for damages as a result of infringing activity by its members.
“Due to myVidster’s lack of check and balances it practically promotes copyright infringement of vast amounts of work,” said Phillip Bleicher, CEO of Flava Works. “It even specifically allows for ‘adult’ clips, a majority of which are full-length videos. MyVidster then profits off our work [by] charging subscription fees and running their own porn ads.”
In its announcement, Flava Works said a customer told them, “Why should we pay for something when MyVidster will give it to us for free?”
Flava Works is seeking over $1 million in statutory and punitive damages from Marques Rondale Gunter, MyVidster.com and the 26 John Does.
The complaint can be found online at .