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Adult Film/buying the rights to an amateur porn


Question
Hello,

I would like to buy the rights to an amateur porn video that was filmed several years ago and is now hosted on a porn website. A waiver was signed at the time so it is legal for the video to be on the website. However, the person in it regrets having done it and would like it taken down hence the need to buy the rights.

How would I go about it? what type of attorney/lawyer should I hire?

Thanks.

Answer
Over the past fifteen years or so, I've been involved in this issue - but almost all the time, representing the photographer or the website. So, I have a pretty intimate knowledge of the issues and you're free to contact me through my website, xxxlaw.com. But read what I say about conflicts of interest, below. I applies to all lawyers, including myself.

What lawyers in general are best able to help your friend? I'd recommend a lawyer who does know adult content photography, who knows the value of video content, and who knows the inside of the right of publicity, the law of copyright, and the law of contracts. He should know the industry - and be known by the industry, too. I would never, for this purpose, use a lawyer who is a stranger to the law of adult content. The trouble you'll have is that the lawyers who practice in this field tend to represent the publishers, not the performers - and there are some odds that the website publisher you wish to contact for purchase of that content may have already used one of the small number of lawyers practicing in this area - the lawyer you want - resulting in such a conflict of interest, that the lawyer whom you want to hire can't negotiate adversely to his past or present client. He may also come to the conclusion that doing this case for you just might close the door to ever get steady work from the publisher you wish to contact. That will always be more lucrative than representing the interests of a stray performer here or there. This does make it tricky.

There is also a "fixer" whom I've dealt with in the past who successfully negotiated for the purchase of all rights and a takedown. He's not a lawyer, but a Winston Wolf sort of guy who can get to the heart of issues and resolve them - and this works, if you are prepared to pay the value of what you want to buy. He was a real gentleman, a true problem solver, and he actually did much better for his client than any lawyer I've dealt with in this connection. I don't know how he was compensated, but I'll bet he's not cheap. So it doesn't absolutely require a lawyer.

Best wishes to you in any event.

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J. D. Obenberger

Expertise

Numerous trials, including jury trials, criminal and civil since 1979. Obscenity. Section 2257. Copyright. Trademark. Communications Decency Act Section 230. Right of Privacy/Right of Publicity. Defamation/Libel/Slander. Warning Pages. Adult Internet Sites. Strip Clubs/Gentlemen's clubs. Massage Parlors. Prostitution. I am the author and operator of http://www.xxxlaw.com, the most comprehensive online legal resource concerning the law of adult entertainment online.

Experience

I've been an attorney for 34 years, nearly 20 years as an attorney concentrating in adult entertainment law. Have spoken at 72 adult webmaster show legal seminars and forums in six nations, seven American states, and three provinces of Canada, have appeared on the O'Reilly factor concerning obscenity, have been published by Thompson-Gale. Full qualifications at xxxlaw.com. My firm, J.D. Obenberger and Associates has provided representation in both criminal and civil matters for adult content producers, the operators of adult online businesses, as well as brick and mortar adult operations for nearly twenty years. We provide legal strategy, forms, protocols, and guidance for every kind of adult operation. Our clients find us available 24/7/365 in every emergency. My background includes numerous jury trials including the defense of major drug case in federal court on the Mexican border at Brownsville, forgery, sexual assaults, gun offenses, aggravated kidnapping, and such civil matters as pharmaceutical malpractice, premises and construction liability, and personal injury. I have prosecuted cases in the name of the United States while serving as a Captain in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. I have represented and advised clients in every part of the United States and from Hong Kong to Budapest. I am a regular columnist for XBIZ World and have published numerous articles in AVN and AVN Online and for YNOT.

Organizations
First Amendment Lawyers' Association, Free Speech Coalition, National Rifle Association, American Legion.

Publications
AVN, XBIZ, YNOT, Online Pornography, published by Thompson-Gale.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Law, 1979, University of Wisconsin Law School. Dean's List. Graduate, National Institute of Trial Advocacy. Guest Lecturer, John Marshall Law School. I have presented Continuing Legal Education for practicing attorneys. Undergrad BA, the University of Wisconsin, double major in Political Science and History. Graduate, 90th Basic Judge Advocate General's Course on the campus of the University of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Army Commendation Medal awarded as a Captain, US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, as the most requested criminal defense lawyer in the US Army, Europe.

Past/Present Clients
No legal issue too great or too hot to handle, no client too small to deserve zealous and effective representation.

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