Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gay porn company accused of extorting money with threats to out viewers

A supposedly prominent gay man claims that gay porn company, Flava Works, tried to extort him and other subscribers by falsely accusing them of pirating its content on file-sharing sites. The company then demanded thousands of dollars to avoid being named in a lawsuit. Personally I have never used the Flava Works site which offers streaming videos, mostly of African-American and Latino models. I will out myself and confirm that I do watch gay porn. So what?

In a compliant filed Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Central District of California the plaintiff claims that Phillip Bleicher, CEO of Flava Works, extorts subscribers by filing boilerplate lawsuits without identifying users by name. According to the complaint:
Defendant Flava Works operates pornographic websites for gay men. Capitalizing on the social stigma of its own product, Flava Works has apparently discovered a lucrative side business: extorting money from former subscribers by threatening to expose them as consumers of gay porn
He further claims that Bleicher sent him a demand letter accusing him of pirating the company’s copyrighted materials. The letter said he could avoid legal action by paying Flava Works $97,000 – “an amount that would increase to $525,000 if not surrendered quickly.” Presumably there are men who would settle to avoid the exposure. Indeed, the plaintiff in this action has not identified himself in court papers.

Previously based in Miami, Bleicher operated a streaming site called CocoDorm. The owner of the house in which the models lived and worked is, or was, a close friend of Marco Rubio.

FlavaWorks has reportedly sued bloggers in the past for revealing factual information. It's called abuse of process and can have severe repercussions. 

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