This Porn Site May Be Forced to Reveal Thousands of Users

Some Pornhub users could soon find themselves in an embarrassing position as a result of a court order that requires the X-rated site to identify those who uploaded copyrighted videos.

The order, issued by a Los Angeles federal court in late March, comes in the form of a subpoena that requires Pornhub to disclose certain “names, email addresses, IP addresses, user history, posting history, physical addresses, telephone numbers, and any other identifying … information” to a studio known as

The subpoena doesn’t cover anyone who uploaded a video to PornHub, but rather targets approximately 2,000 clips (most of which have unprintable titles) that said were uploaded without permission.

Pornhub will have to comply by May 1 unless it chooses to challenge the subpoena, which relies on a rarely-used portion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The website did not respond to a request for comment as to whether it would appeal, or simply turn over the information.

It’s unclear for now what, which is owned by a Seychelles-based holding company called Foshan Ltd., wants to do with the information it seeks from Pornhub.

Sign up for Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

It’s possible the company could file copyright lawsuits against those who uploaded the videos. Or could send letters that demand the users pay a settlement fee to avoid seeing their name listed in public court filings along with a list of pornographic video titles. Such tactics—commonly known as copyright trolling—are controversial, and are considered by some to be a form of extortion.

But does not have a reputation for litigation and, as the website Consumerist notes, it’s possible the company is simply using the subpoena to identify who among its premium subscribers are sharing the videos in violation of the site’s terms of service.

A lawyer for told Fortune by telephone that the company did not wish to comment at this time.

For Pornhub, the subpoena poses a public relations challenge. While the site regularly engages in public marketing gimmicks, such as providing free snowplow service, it has steered clear of talking about more sensitive topics like privacy and intellectual property.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.

Read More

Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward