Wrongly accused ‘pirate’ wins attorneys’ fees


Wrongly accused ‘pirate’ wins attorneys’ fees

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A wrongly accused online ‘pirate’ has been handed more than $17,000 in attorneys’ fees from a district judge.

Judge Michael Simon handed down the order (pdf) at the US District Court for the District of Oregon on Wednesday, January 4, in the case of Cobbler Nevada v Thomas Gonzales.

“The court will issue a judgment dismissing with prejudice plaintiff’s indirect infringement claim and without prejudice plaintiff’s direct infringement claim against Mr Gonzales,” said the order.

This follows a recommendation, issued (pdf) in early December by Magistrate Judge Stacie Beckerman, that awarding fees to Gonzales should deter film distribution company Cobbler Nevada from continuing its “overaggressive pursuit of alleged infringers without a reasonable factual basis”.

Beckerman recommended that the court issue a judgment dismissing all claims against Gonzales with prejudice and that his motion for attorneys’ fees and costs be granted.

In 2015, Cobbler Nevada filed a complaint against Gonzales, who was named as a subscriber to an internet protocol address which was found to have been distributing the company’s film, “The Cobbler”, via a public BitTorrent network.

Cobbler Nevada argued that Gonzales copied and distributed “The Cobbler” through a BitTorrent network.

“The Cobbler” premiered in the US in 2015 and starred comedian Adam Sandler and actors Dustin Hoffman and Steve Buscemi. 

In March last year, Beckerman granted Gonzales’ motion to dismiss the suit and dismissed Cobbler Nevada’s first and second claims for relief.

Then, in June, Judge Anna Brown adopted (pdf) Beckerman’s findings and recommendation, granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and dismissed with prejudice Cobbler Nevada’s second claim for direct infringement.

Brown also dismissed without prejudice the plaintiff’s first claim of direct infringement.

Simon has now awarded attorneys’ fees of just over $17,000 and costs of around $250.

Thomas Gonzales, Cobbler Nevada, copyright, copyright infringement, piracy, motion to dismiss, The Cobbler, BitTorrent, Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman,

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