[UPDATED] Logo’s Robert Sepulveda Jr. Files Copyright Claim Against Str8UpGayPorn For Posting Rentboy Photos

Posted October 12, 2016 by with 102 comments

robertUpdate 10/12/16: This story has been updated below.

On September 7th, male prostitute and reality television star Robert Sepulveda Jr. sent a letter to Str8UpGayPorn asking me to “remove all posts concerning Robert Sepulveda.” Despite the letter’s request (which came from Alan S. Clarke of The Entertainment Law Group), Str8UpGayPorn declined to remove any posts—all of which were reporting and commenting on the intersection of Sepulveda’s work as a prostitute and his leading role on a romance-themed reality show, a newsworthy item he’s been discussing publicly for the past six weeks.

Realizing the letter had failed to achieve his goals, Sepulveda Jr. (via his attorney, Clarke) then sent another letter in the form of an email to Str8UpGayPorn’s hosting company, National Net, on September 8th. Here is that email:

ac1 ac2While this email appears to be attempting to give notice of copyright infringement, it is not an actual or proper DMCA notice (which would require image removal), and once again, Sepulveda Jr. failed at having content removed from Str8UpGayPorn.

Today, however, Sepulveda Jr. and his attorney finally sent a DMCA notice in the proper format to Str8UpGayPorn’s hosting company, which identified the alleged copyrighted images found in four posts:

Image Identifications:


All photographs of the dark haired male on the page excluding the ads on the right, photographs in the comments section, and the photos above the “str8upgayporn” heading.


All photographs.


All photographs and videos of the dark haired male on the page excluding the ads on the right, photographs in the comments section, and the photos above the “str8upgayporn” heading.


All photographs and videos of the dark haired male on the page excluding the ads on the right, photographs in the comments section, and the photos above the “str8upgayporn” heading.


All photographs and videos on the page of the dark haired male excluding the ads on the right, photographs in the comments section, and the photos above the “str8upgayporn” heading.

Even if Sepulveda Jr. doesn’t hold copyright claims on all of the images in those posts (and I don’t believe he does), National Net is legally required to act on all DMCA notices, and Str8UpGayPorn had to remove the images from those posts—temporarily. So, which images were removed?

While several of Sepulveda Jr.’s Instagram photos and two gifs from XTube videos purportedly featuring Sepulveda Jr. were removed from posts, the focal point of Sepulveda’s DMCA notice seems to be an image “collage”—specified in his DMCA as https://str8upgayporn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/logo1—that contained three photos: Two from Sepulveda Jr.’s Rentboy profile (one showing his face, the other showing his penis), which are watermarked with Rentboy.com, and one from Logo’s Finding Prince Charming reality show, which is a headshot of Sepulveda Jr. This collage is still available for viewing here, for anyone who has not yet seen it. Sepulveda Jr.’s Rentboy photos are also available for viewing on “Party With Brandon,” which is where I first found them, and where they were originally uploaded back in 2006. Even more of Sepulveda Jr.’s Rentboy photos and one of his masturbation videos are additionally available for viewing on QueerClick. (QueerClick has even gone so far as to put their own watermark on the photos and video—which suggests that they hold the copyrights to the photos and video?)

When Robert Sepulveda Jr. worked as a prostitute, he publicly advertised his services by sending the nude photos of himself to the escort service Rentboy, which in turn watermarked the images with their web address, “Rentboy.com,” and posted them to their site. If anyone has a copyright claim to the images, it would be Rentboy. The other part of the image collage is Sepulveda Jr.’s Finding Prince Charming headshot, which was produced by Logo. So, Logo clearly holds the copyright to that image, not Sepulveda Jr.

Even if the actual copyright owners of the images in question—whom I believe to be the now defunct Rentboy.com and Logo—filed DMCA claims against Str8UpGayPorn, their efforts would still ultimately fail, as the images clearly fall under the fair use provision of copyright law. Str8UpGayPorn’s use of these images in conjunction with commentary and reporting on Robert Sepulveda Jr.—a public figure who has spoken on television shows and in print publications about his life as a prostitute and a reality show star—is perfectly legal, and because these images were used legally, Str8UpGayPorn has sent a DMCA Counter Notification to Robert Sepulveda Jr. and his attorney.

Here is an excerpt of the DMCA Counter Notification that Str8UpGayPorn sent to Robert Sepulveda Jr., via National Net:

This letter is written in response to your notification to me of a complaint received about the images and videos on my web pages. My response to this complaint is as follows:

The claims of copyright violation should be rejected because:

The complainant does not hold the copyright to the material in question, is not the designated representative of the copyright holder, and therefore lacks standing to assert that my use of the material is a violation of any of the owner’s rights.

My use of the material is legally protected because it falls within the “fair use” provision of the copyright regulations, as defined in 17 USC 107. If the complainant disagrees that this is fair use, they are free to take up the matter with me directly, in the courts. You, the ISP, are under no obligation to settle this dispute, or to take any action to restrict my speech at the behest of this complainant. This communication to you is a DMCA counter notification letter as defined in 17 USC 512(g)(3).

I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I have a good faith belief that the complaint of copyright violation is based on mistaken information, misidentification of the material in question, or deliberate misreading of the law. I hereby consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which I reside. I agree to accept service of process from the complainant.

Having received this counter notification, you are now obligated under 17 USC 512(g)(2)(B) to advise the complainant of this notice, and to restore the material in dispute (or not take the material down in the first place), unless the complainant files suit against me within 10 days.

Robert Sepulveda Jr. now has 10 days to petition a court for an injunction to prevent Str8UpGayPorn from restoring the images. Then, if this does actually go to trial, he’ll have to show proof that he holds the copyrights on the images in question, and that the images don’t fall under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. If Sepulveda Jr. doesn’t file an injunction by October 7th, Str8UpGayPorn will restore the images.

Update 10/12/16:

Because he does not hold the copyright(s) and/or he realizes that use of the Rentboy and Logo images clearly falls under fair use, Robert Sepulveda Jr. did not file an injunction within 10 days of Str8UpGayPorn’s counter notification, which would’ve restrained Str8UpGayPorn from restoring the images. Therefore, the images have now been restored to all of the posts where they originally appeared, and I’ve posted the image collage below one more time, just for reference.

Str8UpGayPorn is currently determining whether or not we’ll file a lawsuit against Robert Sepulveda Jr. and his attorney for filing a false DMCA with our hosting company and attempting to disrupt our business.


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