The alleged torrent movie pirate has won and will receive $17,000 in compensation
Written by Samuel O'Toole on 11 January 2017« Return to Reading Room
The alleged movie pirate in question is Thomas Gonzales, who runs an adult foster care home in which several people have access to the shared internet. Cobbler Nevada, the rights holders of the Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler, was aware that several people had access to the internet but decided to carry on with the case nonetheless.
This time the case in the US has not gone to plan for Cobbler Nevada. District Judge Michael Simon stated “The Court will issue a Judgement dismissing with prejudice Plaintiff’s indirect infringement claim and without prejudice Plaintiff’s direct infringement claim against Mr. Gonzales,”
The rights holder, Cobbler Nevada, is also ordered to pay $17,222 in fees and $255 in other expenses to Mr. Gonzales. The option to shift the legal fees to the rights holder is aimed to send a strong message to other rights holders that taking people to court without proper evidence is not without its consequences.
Judge Beckerman explained that “awarding fees to Gonzales should deter Plaintiff in the future from continuing its overaggressive pursuit of alleged infringers without a reasonable factual basis,”
The case rings bells to those in the UK; where usually the bill payer of the internet account will receive letters alleging that they are a movie pirate, notwithstanding the fact that other family members or even strangers could have connected to the internet, and unless a settlement figure is paid the rights holder will take the bill payer to court alleging copyright infringement.
This is a clear cut case where the risk to litigate and stand up to the rights holders has paid off, hopefully it should also send a strong message to other rights holders and alleged movie pirates.
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