PHE v. Does 1-122, Case No. 13-786 (N.D. Ill. May 7, 2014)(Darrah)
Despite asking for $7500 per Doe, PHE was merely awarded damages of $1500 per Doe for a total of $6000. In addition, PHE was awarded $2573.22 in costs and attorneys fees (total), as well as a permanent injunction against the defaulted defendants. Interestingly, Judge Darrah did not find the defendants infringement to be willful, despite the default.
[S]ome commentators have urged courts to not find defendant’s infringing conduct to be “willful” and eligible for enhanced statutory damages solely based on a default judgment, without additional, independent evidence of egregious conduct.
While the affected Does will obviously have to pay something to PHE (for copying the movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer XXX”), it could have gone a lot worse!
Instant Technology v. Defazio, Case No. 12-491 (N.D. Ill. May 2, 2014)(Holderman)
Following a growing trend in Illinois Appellate Courts, Judge Holderman determined that three employees of Instant Technology that were employed for less than 2 years could not be bound by restrictive covenants that were contained in their employment agreements. In particular, the Court held:
Bauer, Marker, and Rehn were all employed by Instant for less than two years. At the trial, Instant did not prove—or even aruge—that Bauer, Marker, and Rehn received any additional compensation (other than their employment) in exchange for the Restrictive Covenants. Consequently, under Illinois Law, the Restrictive Covenants are not enforceable against Bauer, Marker, or Rehn.
Interestingly, the restrictive covenants included a non-compete, a non-solicitation agreement, and a non-disclosure agreement. Generally, while non-compete agreements and to a lesser extent non-solicitation agreements are routinely struck down, non-disclosure agreements are generally upheld. However, recent trends in Illinois law tend toward requiring at least two years of employment to enforce any restrictive covenant.
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC Files Fifth Round of Cases, Sues Another 127 Does in the Northern District of Illinois
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC filed five more cases against another 127 Does. These cases seek to enforce the copyright in the film “Dallas Buyers Club,” and will likely result in another round of ISP subpoena letters going out in 6 – 10 weeks. The individual cases are:
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v. Does 1-27 (Case No. 2014-CV-3504)
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v. Does 1-32 (Case No. 2014-CV-3511)
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2014-CV-3517)
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v. Does 1-24 (Case No. 2014-CV-3521)
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v. Does 1-19 (Case No. 2014-CV-3522)
This brings the total number of Does sued in the Northern District of Illinois to 845.
TorrentFreak, a site devoted to Torrent users, published this article on the various lawsuits filed by Dallas Buyers Club, LLC.
If you are identified by your ISP as the Doe in a file sharing lawsuit, the following article contains some helpful tips on how to deal with these kinds of suits:
Atty Ad: The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC with offices in Naperville and Chicago, has successfully defended numerous file sharing cases alleging the use of Bit Torrent to copy movies, music, software and other content other the Internet. Call (630) 318-2606 or (312) 981-5004 today for a free consultation if you have received a subpoena letter from your ISP.