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Jules Jordan's $2.6M Verdict Appealed for 2nd Time

Jules Jordan's $2.6M Verdict Appealed for 2nd Time
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Jul 28, 2011 5:15 PM PDT    Text size: 

SAN FRANCISCO — Canadian distributor Kaytel has filed court papers with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to pare a $2.6 million copyright infringement verdict in favor of Jules Jordan Video and Jules Jordan.

It is the second time that Kaytel, along with owner Alain Elmaleh and Leisure Time Canada subsidiary, has appealed the verdict to the 9th Circuit on various issues.

A federal judge in June gave the green light for Jules Jordan Video to collect after the 9th Circuit went along with the jury's verdict in the case.

U.S. Judge James Otero, in moving the verdict along, said that defendants had run out of motions for a new trial or to amend the outcome.

The case stems from a jury verdict in 2007 that determined the defendants pirated 31 Evil Angel movies and 13 movies from Jules Jordan, when he was a member of the Evil Angel directing roster. Evil Angel separately was awarded $11.2 million.

Jordan also claimed the defendants violated his right of publicity. The court rejected Kaytel defendants claim that Jordan’s right of publicity claim was preempted by copyright law. The court also ruled that neither Jordan or Jules Jordan Video had standing to assert copyright claims.

The 9th Circuit disagreed, concluding that Jordan’s right of publicity claim is preempted by the Copyright Act and that Jordan and Jules Jordan Video had standing to assert the copyright claims in question.

Evil Angel and Jules Jordan uncovered the piracy ring after East Coast distributors reported knock-off copies of Evil Angel DVDs.

In the latest appeal to the 9th Circuit, Kaytel is asking whether the lower court erred in failing to determine whether Jordan was the author of the films at question.

It also asks whether separate awards of damages against each of the defendants is appropriate, or are plaintiffs entitled to a single award against the defendants jointly.

Further, with the separate awards, the defendants ask whether the award of $200,000 per work as statutory damages for copyright infringement violate the maximum set forth of the copyright act.

The defendants claim in the appeal that Elmaleh had been "near alter ego" with the two companies — Kaytel and Leisure Time — and that the damages against three entities should form the basis of only one award. Copyright awards generally amount to $150,000 per work.

The 9th Circuit, which received papers for the second appeal on Monday, has not decided whether it will take the case.

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