Titan Media, BearTrapping.com to Settle Piracy Suit

Rhett Pardon
SAN FRANCISCO — Titan Media's $6 million suit against BearTrapping.com operator Gary Niederhelman apparently will be settled, XBIZ has learned.

Both parties have scheduled a case management conference slated for tomorrow, where they will tell the judge that they are in the midst of executing a settlement agreement within 30 days.

XBIZ was unable to reach Niederhelman or Titan Media representatives late Thursday for comment or to learn terms of the settlement.

Titan’s parent, IO Group, filed suit against BearTrapping.com operator Gary Niederhelman in September, seeking an injunction and damages totaling $6 million over the alleged pirating through file-sharing of at least 40 Titan-branded videos.

Niederhelman has contened that all of the content on BearTrapping is user-generated and unmonitored, and that he is protected from liability on infringement claims through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe-harbor provisions.

Those provisions protect service providers from liability for hosting pirated clips uploaded by users.

Niederhelman, of New Jersey, further maintains that the infringing content was immediately removed from his servers upon hearing from Titan.

BearTrapping, a men’s social-networking site that includes uploaded video, has about 184,000 member accounts. Niederhelman said that only about 2,100 of those are subscribers.

The case was punctuated by a request made by Titan’s parent, IO Group, to order BearTrapping to reveal IP addresses of subscribers who may have had a part in the file sharing of the 40 videos.

U.S. Judge Jeffrey S. White gave the green light to the order, and Titan was allowed to serve Internet service providers subpoenas to obtain subscriber information.