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Abuse and Non-Consensual Content on Pornhub

Siskinds, Desmeules Advocats, s.e.n.c.r.l.,in collaboration with Sotos Class Actions, commenced a proposed class action against MindGeek entities. The proceedings, filed in the Québec Superior Court, in Montréal, allege that MindGeek, the parent company of the popular pornography website Pornhub, illegally disseminated intimate videos and photos including depictions of child sexual abuse, sexual assault of adults, as well as intimate images of adults who did not consent to the public dissemination of their images.

According to the application for authorization to institute the class action, MindGeek is alleged to have monetized unverified user content while failing to employ enough properly trained content moderators to review images on its website, and having no or inadequate policies and procedures to screen and remove all abuse and non-consensual content that was uploaded by unverified users.

The class action seeks a minimum of $600 million in compensation for all persons worldwide who, since 2007, had intimate videos or photos (including child sexual abuse material, images of sexual assault and non-consensual intimate images) posted without their consent to a website owned or operated by one of the MindGeek entities, either directly or indirectly. 

Developments

On December 30, 2020 a proposed class action was commenced before the Québec Superior Court by Siskinds Desmeules Avocats s.e.n.c.r.l. You can view a copy of the application for authorization to institute a class action here.

The MindGeek class action is in the early stages of the proceedings. At this time, no action has been authorized by the court.

FAQs

What is a Class Action?

A class action is a lawsuit brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the Abuse and Non-Consensual Content on Pornhub ?

All persons, since 2007, who had intimate videos or photos (including child sexual abuse material, images of sexual assault and non-consensual intimate images) posted without their consent to a website owned or operated by one of the MindGeek entities, either directly or indirectly.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the proposed class action unless you “opt out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

Yes. If the class action is certified, you will be given an opportunity to opt out (exclude yourself from the class action). If you opt out, you will not be able to participate in any settlement or court award achieved in the class action, but you may be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt out of a class action if you intend to bring an individual action. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

I still have questions. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in Touch form below.

On December 30, 2020 a proposed class action was commenced before the Québec Superior Court by Siskinds Desmeules Avocats s.e.n.c.r.l. You can view a copy of the application for authorization to institute a class action here.

The MindGeek class action is in the early stages of the proceedings. At this time, no action has been authorized by the court.

What is a Class Action?

A class action is a lawsuit brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the Abuse and Non-Consensual Content on Pornhub ?

All persons, since 2007, who had intimate videos or photos (including child sexual abuse material, images of sexual assault and non-consensual intimate images) posted without their consent to a website owned or operated by one of the MindGeek entities, either directly or indirectly.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the proposed class action unless you “opt out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I exclude myself from the class action?

Yes. If the class action is certified, you will be given an opportunity to opt out (exclude yourself from the class action). If you opt out, you will not be able to participate in any settlement or court award achieved in the class action, but you may be able to pursue your claim on an individual basis. Generally speaking, you would only want to opt out of a class action if you intend to bring an individual action. In most circumstances, it is more cost effective to participate in a class action because the legal costs are spread over a large number of people, making it more economic for any individual class member to obtain relief.

I still have questions. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in Touch form below.