Author Archives: Hypatia

Denmark – Court Awards Damages In Denmark BitTorrent Action

NJORD Law firm has just received the first favorable decision from the Danish courts in a bittorrent action for the download of their client’s motion picture.

The judgement for the Rights Holder was granted “based on the case as presented including the evidence submitted”.

The reasoning is short but strong. NJORD Law firm included in their submission all correspondence with the defendant containing the arguments and defenses as well as factual circumstances of the case.

The damages of the claim were set at DKK 5,000 (€ 667) being only a part of a potential bigger claim. The Rights Holder has been granted the full amount as well as interest and also awarded cost of DKK 1,560 (€ 208). The cost alone being higher than NJORDS settlement offer of € 200 and considered high in Danish court practice.

 

TCYK Case To Proceed in UK; Lawdit Billing Questioned

Defendant’s motion to strike out TCYK’s Claim for Bittorrent downloading denied, Judge ruled for the Claim to proceed to be argued in Court, and summoned Defendant to file their defence.

TCYK LLC brought claims against a wide array of individuals for infringing their copyrights by downloading their motion picture, The Company You Keep. The Defendant of the first case brought to Court, Michael Coyle of Lawdit Solicitors, filed an Application to strike out the Claim out of court, and deemed TCYK’s activities as “speculative invoicing”. The Judge however ended up questioning Mr Coyle on their invoicing.

As part of the Application to strike out the Claimant’s Claim out, Lawdit Solicitors submitted a Statement of Costs for £12,387. However, as the Judge pointed out, Lawdit Solicitors openly advertise their legal services for copyright infringement cases for the sum of £90. Michael Coyle explained that the firm has been funding their efforts against TCYK LLC from donations, yet they were still looking to ‘double dip’. After further questions, the Judge enquired if Mr. Coyle’s client was going to pay the £12,387 cost if the application got was denied. To this, Mr. Coyle failed to answer.

As much as one must appreciate the charitable legal work, be that volunteering or the use solicit of donations to cover costs, we would even should not look past the fact that Lawdit Solicitors are representing pirates, who illegally download content – more simplistically or more simply put, steal films. Nevertheless, one might find it rather ironic that their method of invoicing is being questioned in Court. It is also alarming, that while the service is publically advertised for £90, they are claiming £12,387 in fees. One might therefore wonder if the donations Lawdit has obtained would be handed over to their clients in any assessment of costs should they lose.

We must applaud Lawdit Solicitors for their clever business model. They raise money from donations, only ask for £90 from their clients, however yet claim £12,387 from their opponent. Should they lose, the cost will not be charged to the client – even though there is no legal agreement between Lawdit and their clients in this matter, as Mr. Coyle stated in Court. We would not, however, go as far as to call their invoicing methods speculative, although they are questionable at best.

 

Judge Orders Defendant To Stop All Piracy

Judge Anna J. Brown recently ordered a Defendant to stop all use of “BitTorrent or the Internet for copying or downloading content in violation of U.S. copyright law.” Other findings included the defendant, “willful, intentional, and in disregard of and indifference to Plaintiff’s rights, and such conduct caused harm to Plaintiff and deprived Plaintiff of income.”

In addition to the order and injunction, the Judge also awarded the Plaintiff $7,500 “to compensate the Plaintiff and to provide notice to others as a deterrent.”

Case: PTG Nevada v. Wilson, 3:15-cv-2017-BR (D.Or. Sept. 15, 2016).

3:15-cv-2017-BR Order and Judgment

Malibu Media v. Tashiro, et al. : $21,000 Damages, $199,000 In Costs And Fees

The long running case of Malibu Media v. Tashiro is one step closer to being closed today with Malibu Media being awarded $199,040.53 in costs and fees. Previously Malibu Media was awarded $21,000 in damages.

The case involves the BitTorrent download of 28 Malibu Media films. After long denying any involvement, the Tashio’s were revealed to have committed perjury and spoliation, the destruction of evidence. As per the Findings and Recommendations:

Here, the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that Defendants have engaged in a similar pattern of misconduct. Defendants spoiled evidence, committed perjury, and failed to discharge their duties to conduct discovery reasonably and in good faith. They lied to the opposing party; they withheld the existence of material evidence; and they deleted potentially damaging computer files the very night before they were to relinquish such files for discovery. Just as in the cases cited above, this extensive pattern of conduct warrants the harshest of sanctions, and the Magistrate Judge accordingly recommends that the Court enter default judgment against both Defendants.

May, 18, 2015 Findings and Recommendations.

The Court then entered a default judgment in favor of Malibu Media in the amount of $21,000 on November 24, 2015.

After significant further briefing and opposition by the Tashiro’s, on August 2, 2016, the Court went on to award Malibu Media and additional $199,040.53 in costs and fees.

The relevant documents:

13-cv-00205 Malibu Media v. Tashiro Sanctions Order

13-cv-00205 Malibu Media v. Tashiro $21,000 Judgment

13-cv-00205 Malibu Media v. Tashiro $199,040.53 Fee Award