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The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Dec. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

A Montreal-based company that runs a popular porn website is being sued by 40 women in California who claim it continues to profit from pornographic videos of them that were published without their full consent.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. district court alleges MindGeek, parent company of Pornhub, knew or should have known that one of its commercial partners regularly used fraud and coercion to get women to appear in videos.

It alleges MindGeek did not end its partnership with GirlsDoPorn until that company’s operators were indicted by U.S. authorities in 2019.

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The lawsuit also claims that MindGeek-owned websites did not remove videos when requested by the women who appeared in them.

While MindGeek is legally headquartered in Luxembourg, its main office is in Montreal. The company operates dozens of pornographic websites, including Pornhub, one of the most popular websites on the internet.

The lawsuit seeks more than US$40 million in damages. MindGeek did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

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