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September 18, 2014

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Las Vegas company sues 109 defendants over adult movie downloads

Another Las Vegas company is engaging in mass copyright infringement lawsuit litigation -- this time over unauthorized downloads of an adult movie.

Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas since March has sued at least 196 website operators on an individual basis over alleged infringements of newspaper material.

Now, an unrelated Las Vegas company, Serious Bidness LLC, is suing 109 "Doe" defendants in a single lawsuit charging they unlawfully reproduced Serious Bidness's movie "Kayla Kleevage."

This was accomplished using BitTorrent file transfer technology, the copyright infringement lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Dallas says.

"Defendants’ infringements allow them and others to unlawfully obtain and distribute unauthorized copies of plaintiff’s work for which plaintiff spent a substantial amount of time, money and effort to produce, market and distribute," charges the lawsuit, which seeks a total of $650,000 in damages. "A defendant’s distribution of even one unlawful digital copy of a motion picture via the Internet, particularly through the BitTorrent protocol, can result in worldwide distribution of that single copy to a limitless number of people in a matter of hours. Plaintiff now seeks redress for this rampant infringement of its exclusive rights in the motion picture 'Kayla Kleevage.'"

The lawsuit says the identities of the Doe defendants is unknown, but that Serious Bidness will be able to track them down because Serious Bidness has obtained the Internet Protocol address of each defendant.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring further unauthorized copying of the movie as well as financial damages.

This type of mass copyright infringement litigation is being opposed by the digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation of San Francisco, which is also fighting Righthaven over its newspaper lawsuits.

In similar porn downloading cases involving Denton, Texas, attorney Evan Stone, who filed the suit for Serious Bidness, the EFF has said many defendants may settle the lawsuits because they don't want to be publicly identified -- even if they have meritorious defenses.

Defendants are also vulnerable to these "cookie-cutter" litigation tactics because they may have to defend themselves in courts thousands of miles from home, they are afraid of getting hit with steep financial damages and they can't afford attorneys fees, the EFF said in a Dec. 21 report on Righthaven and other "copyright trolls."

"To be clear, no one is arguing that copyright owners don’t have a legal right to protect their works. But it’s quite another thing to game the legal system — and waste judicial resources, i.e., your tax dollars — to make a profit," EFF said in the report.

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  1. Unauthorized downloads of music, movies, photography, etc. is stealing. It is taking the end product of an artist's work without paying for it and that's wrong. Even if it is porn.

    Righthaven on the other hand I just don't get. It's content is widely available for free and contains links to share it via email, or social networking. It practically begs you to share it.

  2. ??There is not even one named defendant? Just 109 "Does"??? So, essentially, this is a sort of inverse Class Action. How economical of the plaintiff. That is quite a bargain: A Federal Court hunting license for the price of one filing fee.

    Serious Bidness, LLC could allege that I did this, or Righthaven did this, or the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints did this, or the Queen of England did this, and we would each be faced with the costs of defense of a federal court action -- and be faced with the choice to either pay up something to settle or to pay far more to fight. (Even though Serious Bidness, LLC might have adequate capital to pay for our Attorneys fees and costs under Rule 9, each defendant would still have to front the costs and fees to bring the case to a successful conclusion before a claim under Rule 9 could be heard -- and the chances of a Nevada LLC being adequately capitalized to pay off the Rule 9 Orders would seem to be the Proverbial slim and none.)

    On the positive side, the District of Nevada is going to need another full-time Federal Judge, just for this one action and its inevitable imitators.

  3. As soon as they are forced to play the porn films for the jury they will lose their case because

    A. those jurors against porn won't feel sympathetic with those who produce it

    B those jurors who like it will be too distracted.

    I'm not sure there is anything wrong with music file sharing- big corps just have more attorneys.

  4. Steve: Thanks for the insight on the intellect of Nevada juries. I sure hope you get some of those people on your jury if you're ever sued or accused of a crime. I'm sure your perception of their intellect will ingratiate you to them.

  5. Don't want to pay. Don't steal.

  6. I agree, unauthorized downloads is stealing. However, when someone puts material in a position where it may be downloaded, they need to at least take partial responsability. Sort of like when a criminal case gets thrown out of court because the evidence was obtained illegally, even though the evidebnce is true.