CorbinFisher.com, the gay porn studio threatening to sue illegal file sharers, doesn’t seem too concerned that its lawsuits against some 40,000 so-far-anonymous BitTorrent users might out closeted gay teens who live in violent homophobic households. In response to one person’s email to the company expressing disdain, CorbinFisher’s counsel Marc Randazza, a First Amendment attorney, writes, “Liberty Media produces straight content too. So any thieving little shit who gets caught can very easily lie to his parents that he was looking at straight porn.” Harsh. And, well, that claim is not true at all.
In serving any person with a copyright lawsuit, a plaintiff must explicitly state in court documents — all of which would almost certainly be available to the public — what content the defendant allegedly infringed on. In this case it would have to include the file name and BitTorrent hash/name. Otherwise, no judge would ever permit a suit to move forward. “You’re claiming this person illegally stole ‘some stuff?'” Not gonna fly. Which means CorbinFisher would absolutely need to, in order to meet the most basic requirements of tort law, lay out specifically which content a person allegedly shared. And that lawsuit would be served to the owner of the Internet connection used to share the files (i.e. a kid’s parents). And thus, it wouldn’t take long for the parent to figure out what type of content his kid is accused of uploading, even if the plaintiff is listed only as “Liberty Media,” parent of CorbinFisher.
In another email response published by UnicornBooty.com, CorbinFisher’s attorney claims, “I have allowed them [accused file sharers] every courtesy I could, and have offered to support virtually any lie they want me to support (for example, they were looking at Corbins Coeds). Nobody has ever taken me up on that offer.” So now CorbinFisher is willing to lie in court documents about what type of content the defendant is accused of illegally accessing? Such a move won’t just the case tossed out of court — it could get CorbinFisher’s counsel disbarred. (Find me one judge who will tolerate a plaintiff purposefully misleading the court by knowingly providing factual inaccurances.)
But hey, it’s not like CorbinFisher wants to out gay kids with these lawsuits. They’ve done the “math,” talked to the experts (sorry, expert, singular), and found through their completely flawless calculations that only a negligible number of gay teens would attempt to hurt themselves if they were sued (though it appears no calculations were performed about the kids whose parents will do something negative).
Furthermore, once this myth of the “gay teen crisis” arose, we actually did give a shit. We gave a shit enough to consult with a nationally-known sex therapist about it. We had him second guess our actions and we asked him for his honest opinion as to whether we were possibly creating such a problem. His answer – that if we bring in all the possible co-factors, this might cause “acting-out-behavior” in 1 in 100,000 people. So, lets take our 40,000 potential defendants. Lets cut that to how many are possibly closeted. Half? So now its 1 in 20,000. How many are teenagers? 1/4? Now we’re down to 5,000 teenagers — and I think that is a generous number, at best. How many of them are closeted? Half? Now, 2500. How many of them are from families that won’t be supportive? Half? 1250. How many of them are even possibly on the verge of doing something negative to themselves? 500? I think all these numbers are pretty generous to your “think of the children” meme. But, I don’t have a degree in math… if you have a 1 in 100,000 chance of a negative event, and there are 500 potential subjects, what is the percentage chance of a negative event?
So, in sum: A closeted gay kid who doesn’t fully understand copyright law is a “thieving little shit,” and the chances of him getting beat up by his parents for being gay, or taking his own life, are small enough to risk outing him.