Judge Finds XonDemand Liable for Infringement

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — A judge has ruled that the operators of XonDemand.com are liable for infringement in a suit waged by Private Media Group.

The default judgment ruling sets in forth a motion for an award of up to $4.5 million.

The judge in the case, however, has asked for Private to put together a supplemental brief within 10 days relative to damages in the case, spokesman Jason Tucker told XBIZ. He will decide on the award in January.

The case began in August 2010 when Barcelona-based Private  said it discovered  that XonDemand was "committing over 30 separate instances of copyright infringement and over 1,000 separate and distinct instances of trademark infringement" by continuing to rent Private videos by the minute or flat rate after a 50 percent revenue-sharing deal between the two companies was terminated.

XonDemand contended it never received a termination letter, all the while paying commissions to Private, and that it removed content "immediately after someone at XonDemand learned of this lawsuit."

Later, industry attorney Clyde DeWitt told the court that he had difficulties with his client, XonDemand, because the company has only paid a fraction of its attorneys fees and that he'd been having difficulty communicating with the company, specifically company rep Frank Ryan, who didn't return messages.

At one point, a settlement deal was in the works to transfer XonDemand.com to Private, Tucker earlier told XBIZ.

"The settlement agreement was all there, but we never got the signature," he said at the time.