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Corbin Fisher Asks Model to Donate $5,400 to End Suit

Corbin Fisher Asks Model to Donate $5,400 to End Suit
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Dec 22, 2010 9:00 AM PST    Text size: 
SAN DIEGO — Corbin Fisher is making a public offer to former model Jake Lyons to end months of negotiations and legal wrangling regarding a copyright and trademark infringement case.

The company said it was recently awarded $54,000 by a Florida federal court in the matter but said it would drop all legal action if Lyons donates one tenth of the judgment amount ($5,400) to Equality Florida (EQFL), a St. Petersburg-based non-profit group that is working to help overturn Florida's ban on gay couples adopting children.

"It's important to understand this was never about money," Corbin Fisher CEO Jason Gibson said.

Gibson said the dispute centered around "keeping one's word and being honest" — qualities he maintained that Lyons lacks.

The legal battle between Lyons and Corbin Fisher began when Lyons attempted to impersonate the company as a prostitute on an escort site, according to the company.

"He tried to pass himself off as 'Corbin Fisher' on an escort site," Gibson said.

"That isn't right. Despite our never expecting or even really wanting any money out of this case, it was still vital our contracts were enforced, name protected and Mr. Lyons made aware there are actions that are simply unacceptable and cannot pass without consequence."

Corbin Fisher said it initially tried to resolve the case without suing Lyons.

"I initially set up a settlement with him which required him to pay nothing," said Marc Randazza, Corbin Fisher general counsel.

"All we wanted him to do was tell us how the images wound up on that website (since he insisted that he did not do it) and to promise not to try and impersonate Corbin Fisher ever again. I'd call that a pretty generous deal. Unfortunately, Lyons didn't want to resolve it that easily, continued to impersonate Corbin Fisher to promote his prostitution services, and we were forced to file suit in order to put a stop to it. We didn't want to do it that way, but we were left with no choice."

Randazza added, "Even after we filed the suit, we were willing to drop it if Lyons acted reasonably. But, his behavior only got worse — he kept making appointments to meet with us, and then would flake out on them. He kept agreeing to resolve the thing, and then would change his mind at the last minute."

Randazza said that Lyons is "a pathological liar" who created the mess the company faces today.

"He would blame and name other individuals, business, producers and industry parties as being responsible for posting the pictures and being behind some conspiracy against him, but then would change his story when we would simply ask for information about how he alleged the images ended up being used improperly."

The attorney also said Lyons claimed that his escorting was netting him millions of dollars a year, and would re-post images and escort ads we were getting removed and taken down.

"At every opportunity leading up to our filing suit, he had countless opportunities to resolve the issue amicably and easily, yet went out of his way to aggravate things and escalate matters, leaving us with no alternative but to file suit to stop him," Randazza said.

Corbin Fisher stated that it has taken a leadership role in protecting intellectual property rights online and donates significant amounts of money to Equality Florida and Equality California as well as non-profit organizations working on behalf of gay rights and civil rights.

Although the company feels it would not likely recover the total judgment amount from Lyons (whose real name is Justin Krueger, aka "Justin Lyons" and "Greg"), it feels he should bear some responsibility for his actions and donate to the gay community.

"The company has issued an open challenge to Lyons (and anyone else for that matter) by making its proposed settlement terms with Mr. Lyons into a public challenge for support for gay rights," the company stated.

Gibson said the $5,400 donation would end the legal battle."Let's turn this into lemonade," he said.

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