Tuesday, June 11, 2013

$112,500 Verdict For Copyright Infringement in Bellwether Case

So the so-called bellwether trial started and ended today. It really was sort of a bust after essentially everyone settled before trial and all the defendants stipulated to judgments. End of the day, the case was a huge disappointment.

All that said, the judge entered a verdict against the one final Doe (Brian White, I think was his name) for his role in the matter. I should point out that Mr. White made the monumental mistake of lying under oath and forcing Lipscomb to prove it. The judge really, really didn't like that. I've said it many times before, if you lie in federal litigation, someone will eventually prove it and you will be in much deeper trouble than before.

Back to the verdict. Judge Baylson entered a verdict against Mr. White for $112,500. Here's how the judge got at that number:

$750 is the statutory minimum.

He trebled that number based on essentially the nature of the infringement (kind of willful) for $2,250 per infringement.

Mr. White was charged with five infringements for a total of $11,250.

But here's the kicker: Judge Baylson multiplied that number by ten because Mr. White lied under oath about the infringement. So his perjury turned an $11,250 verdict into a $112,500 verdict.

What is the moral of this story? Well, first, don't infringe someone's copyrights! That should be the first lesson. The second lesson? Don't lie under oath!

I'm really embarrassed that I even have to say that last part, but really? What was Mr. White thinking? Breaking Bad, maybe?

I may try to make the audio recordings available, but it's late and I don't have the energy right now.