Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 | 12:45 p.m.
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.