Did Brent Everett Break The Law By Re-Selling Michael Hoffman’s Masturbation Videos?

Posted March 2, 2015 by with 58 comments

brent michael hoffman

Following teen bodybuilding jerk off sensation Michael Hoffman’s epic YouTube meltdown yesterday, in which he accused Brent Everett of posting his masturbation videos without permission, Brent Everett and Steve Peña provided pretty clear proof that they did in fact purchase 14 jerk off videos from Michael Hoffman, for the bargain price of $250. But, did Brent and Steve have the legal right to turn around and re-post those videos behind a paywall on Brent Everett’s membership site?

A monthly membership to BrentEverett.com’s “Buddies Area”—where all the Michael Hoffman videos are—is $25.95. Given Michael Hoffman’s popularity, Brent Everett and Steve Peña have no doubt earned a lot of money from re-selling his videos, but nowhere in the text messages or receipt screencaps does Michael Hoffman agree to having his videos re-sold (at a huge mark-up), not to mention re-branded with BrentEverett.com’s logo.

michael-flexing17As one reader just wrote me, Brent Everett (and other commercial websites like QueerPig, BananaBlog, QueerClick, etc., which also put their logos on Hoffman’s videos and photos) could be in big trouble:

Not only did they brand Hoffman’s videos and images with their logo, they used Hoffman’s images to market BrentEverett.com membership and acquire new paying members through the use of Hoffman’s likeness.  Unless they can provide clear documentation of Michael Hoffman authorizing the usage of his likeness for such purposes and authorizing them to embed the BrentEverett.com logo in his videos and photos; then they are fucked legally and would lose in court.

As of post time, Brent Everett has not responded to my inquiry about having distribution rights to the Hoffman videos, but his manager/husband Steve Peña did release this statement (which doesn’t say anything about having distribution rights):

Steve Pena, Personnel Manager and Director of Public Relations for the company (and husband of Brent Everett) began discussions with Michael Hoffman in mid-December 2014 regarding possible collaboration with him to produce videos for the company. He made it clear that he was acting on behalf of the company and not as a private individual.

He offered Michael Hoffman $8,000 to $10,000 to act as model/performer in gay adult scenes for BrentEverett.com. Mr. Hoffman declined this offer. Steve Pena then offered to represent Michael Hoffman in order to obtain non-gay, non-adult nightclub appearances for him. Mr. Hoffman declined this offer as well.

Following this, Michael Hoffman offered to sell Steve Pena, acting for the company, 14 high definition videos of himself exercising and masturbating for $250. Steve Pena accepted this offer and the videos were paid for using PayPal. It is our understanding that Mr. Hoffman also offered to sell these videos to others.

Again, nothing about having permission to re-sell the videos. If it’s true that Hoffman knew he was dealing with an adult film producer (which is what Peña is), there could be an argument for implied consent. Even still, there’s another more troubling legal issue for Brent Everett and Steve Peña: 2257 documentation. Every adult film company that produces sexually explicit content is required to maintain proof of age records for the models they shoot. And while Everett and Peña didn’t shoot the Hoffman videos, they are still re-distributing them for profit, which makes them “secondary producers,” per the Department of Justice:

While the statute seemingly excluded from these record-keeping requirements anyone who is involved in activity that “does not involve hiring, contracting for, managing, or otherwise arranging for, the participation of the performers depicted,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) defined an entirely new class of producers known as “secondary producers.” According to the DOJ, a secondary producer is anyone who “publishes, reproduces, or reissues” explicit material.

Does this same standard apply to the hundreds of Tumblrs, social media sites, and other porn blogs that re-posted the Hoffman videos? I don’t know. It might depend on whether or not the other sites were charging people to view the videos. As we know, Brent Everett definitely was, and still is. What’s funny, of course, is that while Hoffman is upset with Everett for posting his videos, all the videos posted on Everett’s paysite were ripped and re-posted to free sites hours after they went live, so even Everett is getting screwed, so to speak.

If Michael Hoffman were smart (he isn’t), he’d hire a lawyer, identify all the websites re-selling his videos, and sue them. If those websites can’t provide proof that Hoffman gave them permission to sell and market his videos, he’d more than likely win. And even if he lost, he’d get more free publicity from dumb gay bloggers who love posting his gifs.


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