Porn BitTorrent Defendants Face $750 Default Judgments

Rhett Pardon

PHOENIX — A federal judge last week ordered two alleged porn BitTorrent defendants to cough up damages in a case involving K-Beech's "Virgin 4."

But the pair of defendants, who never responded to the suit, were ordered to pay only $750 a piece as a result of the default judgments.

The first and largest porn BitTorrent lawsuit to receive a default judgment involved Michael Lucas' "Kings of New York," where defendant Aaron Davis was ordered to pay $41,000 for allegedly trading on a P2P network.

Most of the porn BitTorrent cases against mass defendants through the past few years have yielded pre-trial settlements averaging $3,500 (one even was settled for $250,000 over six poached films) or whittled away altogether by judges who cite jurisdictional and other procedural problems.

At $750, the copyright infringement judgments at hand are at the lowest statutory amount, according to federal guidelines; statutory maximum judgments can go as high as $150,000 for willful occurrences.

Defendants Shana Schreiber and Catherine Valdez also were ordered to each be permanently restrained from directly, contributorily or indirectly infringing on K-Beech's intellectual property rights by distributing "Virgins 4."

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake in Phoenix set the judgment amount "with interest accruing from the date of judgment at 0.13 percent per annum."

The case against Schrieber and Valdez originally was filed against 54 John Does, including them, last year. Wake pared that number down to five, with three defendants responding to the suit.

Since Schrieber and Valdez did not respond, Wake ordered default judgments against them.

Arizona attorney Ryan Stevens, who represents K-Beech, did not respond to XBIZ on his reaction to the ruling by post time.

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