LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for Pink Visual and Inter-Avid Productions are gearing up for settlement conference proceedings on Thursday.
The two adult companies' horns continue to be locked over ownership rights of 1,300 online videos that Inter-Avid's Andrew Stoddard, a former contract employee of PinkVisual, claims are his.
But Pink Visual, which filed in August a counterclaim against Inter-Avid, said that Stoddard's claims of ownership didn't "come out of the blue."
"Rather, Stoddard had fallen on hard times," the counterclaim said. "Just months before, he had approached [Pink Visual] seeking a $200,000 'investment' in his new business in order to help him get it off the ground.
"When [Pink Visual] refused, Stoddard attempted to claim rights in the content he had filmed years before in order to convince [Pink Visual] to invest in his company.
"When [Pink Visual] still refused, he retaliated by concocting a baseless theory that [Pink Visual] was subject to unilateral 'termination' by Stoddard or Inter-Avid," referring to a letter Stoddard sent to the adult company purporting to "terminate" Pink Visual's exclusive rights in the videos.
In its initial complaint, Inter-Avid said that of the 1,300 videos it owns, 233 have received copyright registrations, 87 that it has applied registrations for and 980 more videos it has not yet sought to register.
Pink Visual, which is seeking a counterclaim to dismiss the case and a declaration of non-infringement made by the court, said that Stoddard had made "millions of dollars" within four years with the company and that he acknowledged Pink Visual owned the copyrights that he made for it while he created content for one of its divisions, TopBucks.
Counsel for both companies meet on Thursday with a magistrate judge at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for the mandatory settlement conference.
In related news, the companies on Monday filed a protective order over trade secret information disseminated during discovery proceedings. A judge has yet to sign off on the filing.
Inter-Avid's attorney, Lawrence Ecoff, did not respond to XBIZ for comment by post time. Pink Visual declined comment.