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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

File-Hosting Service Lost Lawsuit against Adult Movie Label

The gay adult movie label Corbin Fisher is happy with federal judge decision saying that the file-hosting service Oron.com and its operators have to pay $550,000 in damages plus attorney’s fees.

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Corbin Fisher, part of the Liberty Media adult studio, started a lawsuit against the operators of Oron.com for $34.8 million in damages two months ago. The plaintiffs claimed that the file-locker facilitated copyright violation of their content and called Oron’s operators “criminals” who do not deserve DMCA’s safe harbor. In response, Oron pointed out that a brief online search indicates that the plaintiffs have engaged in this type of conduct repeatedly and without shame. So-called “commercial invoicing” scheme is a usual thing for today – trump up baseless claims of violation against companies or individuals, seek to freeze their corporate funds to force them out of business or threaten draconian penalties against people who simply can’t afford to fight back.

A month ago both parts were trying to reach a settlement but failed, because the label asked for much more than the cyberlocker was ready to offer. Finally, last Tuesday U.S. District Judge ruled that there was nothing in the parties’ settlement letter indicating that Oron didn’t intend to be presently bound by the proposed terms or that a future writing was required. The judge pointed out that there was a requirement for the plaintiff’s attorney to sign and return, which means that the parties did agree that all the terms are acceptable and binding. If it was just a proposal of terms there probably would not be a requirement to sign and return. In other words, the Judge confirmed that the settlement letter from the defendant was an offer, accepted by plaintiff by signing the letter.

The Judge added that the settlement included valuable consideration on the part of both parties of the lawsuit. In this event, the court could compel compliance since there was no uncertain material terms remaining. Accordingly, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to enforce settlement.

Last week Oron made a disappearing act after getting a temporary restraining order and thus had its assets seized, except for $100,000 left for business expenses.

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