'Disney porn' allowed while Mickey goes after family-friendly VidAngel

by Michael Foust |

(Disney)

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – A prominent pro-family leader says Disney has a double standard on copyright issues and has virtually allowed porn websites that use its cartoon characters to remain on the Internet.

Donna Rice Hughes, president and CEO of Enough Is Enough, says she has tried unsuccessfully for more than a decade to get Disney to shut down websites that use its famous characters in pornographic videos. Her organization fights to make the Internet safer for families and children.

Hughes wrote in a Washington Examiner column that she went public about her communication with Disney only after the company filed a lawsuit to try and shut down VidAngel, a streaming service that filters out objectionable content in movies. Disney says VidAngel is violating copyright laws.

"I brought the [porn] issue to Disney's attention in 1999," Hughes wrote, noting that at first it was only one website. "I later brought it to the attention of Disney's policy leaders in Washington, D.C. ... A few years later, I showed the website to top Disney executives in a Burbank, Calif., meeting. I asked them to take action against the misuses of their beloved Disney characters and the abuse of dozens of copyright and trademark infringements.

The website shows famous characters such as Betty Boop, Snow White and Cinderella in "graphic sexual acts," Hughes wrote.

"I hoped that Disney would have taken aggressive action to enforce their copyrights," Hughes wrote. "But today, sadly, this website has not been taken down and has only grown to incorporate the newest Disney characters. The problem has gotten much worse."

Hughes was astonished to learn of the VidAngel lawsuit in light of Disney's failure to act against the porn website, she wrote. Unsuspecting children and families, Hughes wrote, can easily stumble upon the porn website because it uses "deceptive marketing tactics to trick online users." That, in turn, can hook children on porn at a young age, she added.

"I plead with Disney again, in the most public way possible, to aggressively pursue the shutdown of [the website] and many other obscene porn sites using Disney's brand, for the sake of children and families in America and all over the world," she wrote. "While they're at it, they should find a reasonable, out-of-court solution with VidAngel. As the debacle with proliferation of Disney themed porn shows, VidAngel is providing a valuable service to further protect children in the digital age."

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