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The Music Industry Is Suing The Porn Industry - No, Really

And the award for the most unexpected* lawsuit of the year goes to... the record industry versus the porn industry, over unauthorized use of songs to accompany porn videos online. But is it really just Fair Use?

The THR Esq. blog is reporting that a lawsuit has been filed by multiple record labels against porn production company RK Netmedia, who specialize in, in the words of the blog, "a particular brand of adult entertainment where adult 'actors' perform sexual acts at exclusive night clubs and private parties" - while well-known pop songs happen to play in the background, with damages being claimed somewhere in the region of tens of millions of dollars.

Marc Randazza, attorney for RK Netmedia, claims that the use of the songs is covered under Fair Use:

If you're going to film in a live night club, you're going to absorb some of the ambient sounds [and] hear what the DJ is playing, and if someone can tell me how to shoot at a nightclub and police out the music in the background, I'm all ears.

Complicating matters, however, is the record labels' insistence that actors are encouraged to lipsync to the songs, and that videos are named after individual songs (Songs mentioned by name include "Sexyback" and "I Kissed A Girl" - Surprisingly, no mention of Pulp's "This Is Hardcore"). Surely at that point, it stops being ambient noise and becomes part of the creative process?

(* - Or maybe I don't watch enough porn to have expected it all along.)

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