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No normal peeping as porn giant forces to axe pirated scenes

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Paul Mescal and Daisy  Edgar-Jones in an intimate scene on Normal People

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in an intimate scene on Normal People

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in an intimate scene on Normal People

Normal People producers have forced a porn website to take down pirated sex scenes from the hit show.

They sent a warning to Pornhub to remove a compilation of explicit footage from the 12-part series which surfaced on the video-sharing platform last week.

The 22 minutes of clips have since been removed but the full video is still available on other sites.

The extensive sex scenes included those between the show's stars, Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, who play on-off lovers Connell and Marianne.

Bondage

They are also believed to show naked S&M bondage scenes filmed toward the end of the series where Marianne has submissive sex with other boyfriends, scenes which have still to air on RTE.

"We're hugely disappointed that excerpts from the series of Normal People have been used in this way," Normal People executive producer Ed Guiney told Variety.

"It's a violation of copyright, and more importantly, it's deeply disrespectful to the actors involved and to the wider creative team.

"We have taken appropriate steps to require that the content be removed from the platform with immediate effect."

Pornhub told the showbiz magazine that the video had been removed from its site.

"Pornhub is fully compliant with the law," said vice-president Corey Price.

"We respect all copyright requests and as soon as we become aware of the existence of these types of videos on our site, we have them removed."

Pornhub is one of the world's most prolific adult websites, averaging more than 100 billion video views a year.

Illegal copies of intimate scenes from Normal People are also circulating on other internet sites.

Variety said legitimate video-sharing sites based in the US and UK will comply with takedown requests.

However, it said it was much harder to deal with illegal platforms operating out of countries such as Russia.

"You can try to take down the sites, but the commercial reality is that it is expensive to do - and another site will quickly pop up in its place," one legal expert said.

The pirating and distribution of TV and sex scenes online has become a major issue with the growth of internet video-sharing platforms.

It is accepted practice for producers to engage anti-piracy companies to scan video-sharing platforms that may host copyrighted material, then issue takedown letters.

If a site does not comply, the producer would have to resort to other legal remedies, which may include seeking an injunction for material to be removed. However, this is a costly process.

"If scenes from Normal People were not being copied, edited and shared online, I'd be surprised," the legal expert added.

"It happens all the time, and there is not a lot you can do about it."

Complain

Full-frontal sex scenes between Mescal and Edgar-Jones were praised for their realism and for the consent shown by the characters when the first episodes were aired on RTE and the BBC last month.

However, they did spark controversy, with some viewers calling Joe Duffy's Liveline to complain that the programme was "porno" and "encouraged fornication".

The series tracks the couple's tender but complicated love affair over several years, from their last days at school in rural Sligo to life at Dublin's Trinity College.

The drama, based on Irish author Sally's Rooney's award- winning book of the same name, has received rave reviews all over the world and turned its stars into overnight sensations.

It has also shattered records on the BBC iPlayer and the RTE Player and gained huge audience figures on Hulu in the US.