Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Seth Abrahams v. Hard Drive Productions heats up

This is an interesting copyright infringement case. If you haven't heard, this case is part of an ever-increasing battle brewing between the porn-industry copyright crusades and the getting-tired-of-it public. Here is some background on the cases:

HDP v. Does 1-118 [4:11-cv-01567] Filed Mar. 31, 2011

First, Hard Drive Productions filed another one of the many lawsuits against Does 1-118 for copyright infringement of, no surprise, a pornographic movie. The allegation was that the Does were sharing the movie "Amateur Allure" among themselves and others using the bittorrent protocol.
HDP got early discovery and uncovered the name of one of the Does, IP, who was identified as Seth Abrahams. HDP tried to extort a settlement out of Mr. Abarahams just like it has so many others. Unfortunately for HDP, Mr. Abrahams fought back and got himself dismissed from the case. This case was ultimately terminated on January 19, 2012.

HDP v. John Doe [4:11-cv-05634] Filed Nov. 21, 2011

In apparent retaliation for Mr. Abrahams failure to pay the blood money, HDP brought a suit against one Doe only, and it named Mr. Abrahams as the person HDP believed to be that Doe. It appears that HDP wanted to make an example of Mr. Abrahams to persuade others not to follow in his footsteps.

Abrahams v. HDP [3:12-cv-01006] Filed Feb. 28, 2012

As my colleague Phill Mann so often says, sometimes when the schoolyard bully picks on a little kid, it turns out he knows karate. Seth Abrahams didn't take being sued so kindly, so he, counseled by Steven Yuen, filed a counter-suit back against HDP.
It's On! I look forward to seeing how this plays out.
Now, I should mention that this counter-suit sounds like a great idea, but the Abrahams complaint only asks for a declaration that HDP's copyrights are invalid or unenforceable, and asks for an award of his attorneys' fees. Abrahams doesn't even ask for any monetary damages. Given that an award of attorney's fees is never guaranteed under almost any circumstances, one has to ask what is the motivating factor in this case? It may be just the principle of it. Either way, it will be fun to watch this unfold.