Japan-Based Will Co. Sues Avgle.com for Copyright Infringement

WASHINGTON — Japan-based adult entertainment company Will Co., Ltd. has filed a lawsuit against website Avgle.com and its operators for infringing on 50 of its U.S.-registered copyrights.

Will’s brands and trademarks include S1, Moodyz, Wanz Factory and Idea Pocket, and a rep described their product as “exploring and delivering sensuality and sexuality through artistic photography, video and erotic stories” since 2016.

Will’s video library comprises over 50,000 full length adult entertainment movies, featuring over 5,000 models shot by over 300 photographer/directors.

Will’s complaint, filed in U.S. Federal Court in Washington, claims that the Avgle operators ignored takedown notices, allowed anonymous uploads, and have failed to implement a “repeat infringer” policy.

Avgle is a tube site focused on Asian content, with over 37M visits a month, largely from Asia, according to Similar Web. Its name is a portmanteau of “AV” — the Japanese initials that denote “adult video” content — and “Google,” whose logo Avgle imitated.

The complaint also accuses the website of placing a “a custom Avgle branded trailer at the beginning of videos uploaded” and “a custom Avgle branded watermark on the bottom right of the movie, implying an endorsement by or relationship with the actual content producer.” Will also alleges Avgle inserts “a clickable link, denoted by an Avgle logo, on the top right of Will’s movies unlawfully displayed on the Avgle Web Site.”

This suit is unusual in that a Japanese based content producer is protecting their intellectual property in the United States. Will seeks damages of up to $150,000 for infringement of each of the 50 works,  a total of $7.5M. Will is further requesting that the court block U.S. users from access to the Avgle Web Site, and to embargo Avgle from being able to display any Will content.