Court Orders Girls Do Porn Victims Have the Rights to All Their Videos

They now own anything Girls Do Porn and Girls Do Toys took from them, including images, likenesses, videos, and copyrights.
A gavel.
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A federal judge has ordered that all victims of the GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys—sex-trafficking rings that coerced potentially hundreds of women into having sex on camera—have the rights to the videos and images they appeared in with those companies.

This is part of a restitution order from the prosecution of Ruben Andre Garcia—who also went by Jonathan—the male performer and co-operator of Girls Do Porn. According to dozens of women who appeared in Girls Do Porn videos, Garcia pressured them into sex acts that weren’t agreed upon beforehand and lied about the true nature of the shoot. Most were lured to hotel rooms in San Diego through modeling shoot ads posted by Girls Do Porn, and were pressured into having sex when they arrived. Garcia and his co-conspirator told the women that the videos wouldn’t be disseminated online, and would only be sold in private collectors’ stores in other countries. 

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Last year, Garcia pled guilty to federal counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, as part of the federal case against himself and his co-conspirators Matthew Wolfe and Michael Pratt. In June, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. 

According to the press release: 

- Garcia, aka “Jonathan,” has no right to use, publish, or otherwise exploit GirlsDoPorn (GDP) or GirlsDoToys (GDT) images, likenesses, or videos;

- All purported model releases and other agreements between GDP and/or GDT and its models purporting to give GDP and/or GDT the right to use, publish, or otherwise exploit its models’ images, likenesses, or videos are void and unenforceable;

- All transfers, licenses, or leases of the right to use, publish, or otherwise exploit the models’ images, likenesses, or videos by GDP and/or GDT to any third parties are void;

- Each model holds superior right, title, and interest in the images, likenesses, and videos depicting that model produced by GDP and/or GDT; and

- Each model shall have and recover all property that GDP and/or GDT took from them, including images, likenesses, videos, and copyrights.

The way images spread widely on porn sites and social media caused untold trauma to these women’s lives. Girls Do Porn’s operators posted them for free on websites including Pornhub, one of the most popular websites in the world, where their friends and family found the videos and, in some cases, cut them out of their communities and forced them to move or change their names. Some of the women, according to their testimonies, contemplated suicide as a result of these videos going viral. One woman I spoke to is still dealing with the aftermath of these videos appearing on Twitter and YouTube to this day.

Tracking down the videos and demanding they be removed from countless sites across the internet is still an ordeal, but by holding the copyrights, these women will now be able to send cease and desist orders as opposed to simply asking and sometimes being ignored by these sites.

In October, 50 victims of Girls Do Porn won a settlement with Pornhub for the website’s role in spreading these videos.

Authorities still haven’t located Pratt, the ringleader of the group, who they suspect fled the country during the civil case against Girls Do Porn and was added to the Most Wanted list in September 2020. They’re now offering up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.

The FBI is advising anyone who was a victim of Girls Do Porn or Girls Do Toys and wants to enforce these rights to call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit the bureau’s tip website.