Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Victory Off the Mat

...and in court.

NY Times: Videotaped Athletes Victorious In Court

A federal judge in Chicago has ordered a group of individuals and video companies to pay more than $500 million to 46 athletes who were filmed in college without their knowledge by cameras hidden in locker rooms and showers.

Last week each of the athletes was awarded a total of $11 million -- $10 million in punitive damages and $1 million in compensatory damages -- by Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the Federal District Court of Northern Illinois. The defendants were also ordered to pay court costs and lawyers' fees in a judgment that amounted to $506,045,795.82.

The defendants were ordered to surrender all the videotapes and any images produced from them. They were also ordered to permanently refrain from selling, advertising and distributing the tapes, which were made during the 1990's and sold on the Internet, carrying titles like ''Straight Off the Mat'' and ''Voyeur Time.''

Calling the judgment a significant victory for the victimized and embarrassed athletes, Cindy Fluxgold, a Chicago lawyer who represented them, said last night that the tapes had been sold as pornography. ''They clearly were trying to appeal to people watching these films for sexual satisfaction,'' Fluxgold said of the defendants.

She added that the judgment was ''a clear statement by the court that the wild, wild Web is going to have to follow the rule of law.''

Like any redblooded homo, I love my porn. But this was something different. If you've read my first novel, PINS, you know how I -and my protagonist, Joey - feel about this creepy video "genre."

I'm happy these wrestlers finally got some justice. They get videotaped by voyeuristic pervs while on the mat, too. The Internet's littered with pics and videos of matches, and the athletes never see a penny, but exploited by creeps who are the sport's parasites.

Locker room fantasies are for the weasels too chicken to go in one. And the creeps who made these tapes, and profited for years off of wrestlers, will finally have to pay up.

I think EBay should be a defendant, too. For years they allowed these tapes to be sold. Sue 'em.

1 comment:

Marc in Chgo said...

There should be a federal law making it a crime to film or photograph anyone in a private area like a bathroom or locker room without the subject's express consent.