Oron Ordered To Settle In Copyright Lawsuit With Corbin Fisher
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Las Vegas: The gay adult movie company Corbin Fisher has a reason to celebrate as a federal judge ruled that the file-locker website Oron.com, along with its operators, must pay at least $550,000 plus attorney’s fees.
Back in June Corbin Fisher (part of the Liberty Media adult studio) sued the operators of Oron.com for $34.8 million in damages, as the former facilitated copyright infringement of Liberty Media’s materials. Representing Liberty Media, lawyer Marc Randazza called Oron’s staff “criminals” who don’t deserve DMCA’s safe harbor.
At the beginning of July both parts tried to reach a settlement, but failed as the studio asked for much more than Oron was willing to offer.
“Despite the overwhelming evidence that there was never an agreement as to a settlement between the parties, plaintiff nevertheless has the temerity to move to enforce this settlement agreement and to move for attorneys fees,” Oron’s lawyers said at the time.
Meanwhile, Oron’s counsel Stevan Lieberman, aided by Las Vegas counsel David Kahn, laid personal attacks on Randazza:
“A brief Internet search suggests that plaintiff and its counsel have engaged in this type of conduct repeatedly and without shame.”
“Indeed, their conduct here appears to be typical of their approach to ‘litigation’ — trump up baseless claims of infringement against companies or individuals, seek to freeze their corporate victim funds where possible so as to force them out of business or threaten draconian financial sanctions against individuals, seek to freeze their corporate victim funds where possible so as to force them out of business or threaten draconian financial sanctions against individuals who plainly cannot afford to fight back, and slander and defame (or threaten to do so) their victim to their customers, and the Internet community at large, so as to either force a settlement or destroy their victim’s business entirely.”
On Tuesday U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled:
“There is nothing in the Settlement Letter that indicates that Defendant did not intend to be presently bound by the proposed terms or that a future writing was required.”
“The requirement for the Plaintiff’s attorney to sign and return indicates that the parties do agree that all these terms are acceptable and binding. If this was only a proposal of terms there probably would not be a requirement for Plaintiff’s counsel to sign and return.”
“The Settlement Letter written by Defendant was an offer, accepted by Plaintiff when its counsel signed the letter. There was a meeting of the minds as to all material terms on July 5, 2012, when Plaintiff agreed that the settlement would include dismissal with prejudice of [alleged owner and operator of Oron] Mr. Bochenko,” the judge wrote.
“There settlement includes valuable consideration on the part of both Plaintiff and Defendant. In this case, the Court can compel compliance because there are no uncertain material terms that remain. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Settlement.”
The previous week Oron made a disappearing act after it received a temporary restraining order and had its assets seized, except for $100,000 for business expenses.
The settlement, as court papers show, looks like this:
1. Oron pays Liberty Media $550,000.
8. Once payment is received by both parties, both proceedings in NV and HK will be
dismissed with prejudice, and in the event that Oron breaks any part of the deal, the
claims may be reinstated via arbitration after a 30 day “notice and cure” period.
. . .
12. Liberty agree to announce publicly that after a careful review of the facts they
believe Oron is protected by the DMCA safe harbor and that a review of the actual files
shows that there never was any child porn on Oron’s site.
. . .
14. Liberty will immediately, once the terms of the agreement are agreed to issue a
letter asking that the HK bank accounts be unfrozen allowing the payment to the
Randazza Trust and then to [former Oron webhosting provider] Leaseweb as well as send a letter to Leaseweb asking them to allow Oron ten (10) days to pay as the settlement of the matter is imminent.
There are at least 19 points to the settlement agreement so as can be seen from the numbering scheme on the items above a significant number are missing from court papers. As previously revealed, Oron were prepared to hand over the identities of its allegedly copyright infringing customers to Liberty and help the studio take legal action against them.
But while the enforcement of the settlement allows Oron to continue with its business in theory, problems remain. Firstly, Oron’s parent company accounts are still frozen, “in order to satisfy any fee award, which may be sought by Plaintiff, but which must be brought within thirty (30) days of this Order.”