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Tumblr Porn Suit: Publisher 'Perfect 10' Sues Company Over Photo Use

The Huffington Post  |  Posted: 05/09/2012 3:50 pm

Tumblr Porn Suit Publisher Perfect 10 Sues Company

The popular social blogging platform Tumblr has come under fire from Perfect 10, a pornography publisher that claims the site infringes on its copyrighted material.

Peta Pixel reports that, if won, the suit could have dire consequences for other photo sharing sites like Pinterest and Twitpic.

In the complaint filed on May 4, the publisher claims Tumblr failed to remove more than 200 copyrighted photos posted by its users even after Perfect 10 sent six Digital Millenium Copyright Act takedown requests. What's more, Photo District News reports that many of the images contained watermarks or other copyright notices.

Perfect 10 sued Google in 2006 over the search giant's use of thumbnail images, claiming that they did not fall under fair use. The US Supreme Court would not hear the case.

However, it's doubtful that Tumblr will be able to mount a defense based on that decision, since its platform displays full-size images.

Furthermore, CNN Money reports that the suit filed by Perfect 10 seems to target a safe harbor defense. The suit claims that Tumblr employees "[turned] a blind eye to the extensive copyright infringement," by ignoring the porn publisher's takedown requests, thus forfeiting Tumblr's right to safe harbor protection.

Tumblr's reliance on pornographic content and copyrighted material has made news before. In September 2011, CBS News reported on the blog hosting site's "dark side," drawing attention to porn-related searches of the site and calling it "the perfect vehicle for image porn."

It also observed that, if the site's users were to monetize blogs that used copyrighted material, "lawyers will descend on Tumblr and its users like lions on an injured antelope."

Tumblr's terms of service prohibits the use of copyrighted material on users' blogs, stating that the company may "immediately terminate or suspend" accounts that are repeatedly flagged for copyright infringement.

According to Photo District News, Tumblr has yet to file a response to Perfect 10's claim. As of press time, Tumblr had more than 54.9 million blogs in its network.

For more on this story, watch the video report above.

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