Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Laguna Pacific v. David Carter legal
Bulk Dates: 1983-1985.
Collection number: Coll2008-013
Collection Size: 4 archive cartons.
1.4 linear feet.
ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.
Los Angeles, California 90007
Abstract: Photocopy legal records relating to the lawsuit
(1983-1985) brought by Laguna Pacific, the production company of gay adult
filmmaker George Fisher (aka William Higgins), against David Beckmann (aka
David Carter) for unauthorized selling of authentic copies, and selling
counterfeit copies, of the former's films. The materials include extensive
photocopies of the defendant's financial records, which illustrate the business
aspects of the gay adult film industry in the early 1980s.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection:
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in
writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner.
Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in
the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant
copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for
all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).
Laguna Pacific v. David Carter legal papers, Coll2008-013, ONE National
Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.
Date and method of acquisition unknown.
United Presbyterian Church Task Force to Study Homosexuality Packet 2,
dated July 1, 1977, found with the collection, appears to have no connection
with it, and was removed to the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives subject
Formerly housed in box 103-053. Collection processed by Michael P.
April 30, 2008.
Processing this collection has been funded
by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records
In late 1983, investigators for Laguna Pacific, the holder of copyrights
to several adult gay motion pictures, including all the films of director
William Higgins (real name: George Fisher), learned that David Carter (real
name: David Beckmann), through a mail-order firm he had set up called Malibu
Video, was selling counterfeit copies of Laguna Pacific's copyrighted films at
prices far lower than those charged by Laguna Pacific. In December 1983, Laguna
Pacific filed a lawsuit in US District Court for the Central District of
California, in Los Angeles, against Carter for violation of copyright, unfair
competition, trade libel, and racketeering. In January 1984, Carter agreed to a
preliminary injunction enjoining him from continued sales of Laguna Pacific
films pending the outcome of the trial; a month later, Laguna Pacific agreed to
permit Carter to recommence sales of authentic copies of Laguna Pacific films.
However, in May and July 1984, Laguna Pacific discovered that Carter had
continued to ship counterfeit Laguna Pacific tapes, and had established a new
business, Universal Video, which continued the practices of Malibu Video. In
September 1984, the judge hearing the case found Carter in contempt of the
injunction of January 1984, and in February 1985, ordered him to pay Laguna
Pacific $103,112.19 damages, $17,062.23 in attorneys fees, and $2,687.50 costs.
The outcome of the case is not apparent from the records on hand, the last of
which are a series of depositions by David Carter in September 1985.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection consists of photocopies of materials relating to the
lawsuit (1983-1985) brought by Laguna Pacific, the production company of gay
adult filmmaker George Fisher (aka William Higgins), against David Beckmann
(aka David Carter) for unauthorized selling of authentic copies, and selling
counterfeit copies, of the former's films. Approximately half the materials are
legal papers, including motions, briefs, and depositions; the remainder are
copies of the defendant's financial records. The records illustrate how gay
adult films were marketed and distributed in the early 1980s, the high
financial stakes, the ethically fluid business practices of the participants,
and their relationships with one another.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Carter, David (pseudonym for David
Gay erotic films
Gay erotic videos
Higgins, William (pseudonym for
Laguna Pacific v. David Carter