Oron Seeks to Obtain $375,000 in Emergency Motion

Rhett Pardon

LAS VEGAS — In an emergency motion, Oron's newly appointed attorneys have asked a federal judge to partially lift its temporary restraining order so that it can transfer $375,000 to a trust fund.

The $375,000, which would come from its PayPal account, would be used for legal fees and business expenses to keep the file-trading site afloat.  

"Oron must pay its hosting providers by the end of this month in order to avoid termination of those hosting services," the emergency motion said. "If Oron's servers are shut down for non-payment of those monthly hosting fees, it will effectively be out of business, and its users — 99.9 percent of whom have no connection to this litigation — will lose its access to their data."

Oron attorneys, who said the bill to the site's hosting providers is due June 30, also will have to get paid.

Oron has tapped three law firms to defend against Gay adult studio Corbin Fisher's $34.8 million copyright infringement suit — Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edleman and Dicker of Las Vegas; Krief, Keller, Sloan, Reilley and Roman of San Francisco; and Greenberg and Lieberman of Washington.

Corbin Fisher last week sued Oron and other defendants, alleging they had knowledge of and induced the trading of pirated porn on its site.  

Shortly after the suit was filed, U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ordered Oron's bank accounts frozen until a July 3 hearing.

PayPal, AlertPay and CCBill were ordered to freeze Oron accounts; VeriSign also was ordered to freeze the Oron.com domain name from any transfers.

In addition, Navarro ordered Oron to preserve and restore financial documents key to the case.

At the same time, Corbin Fisher served Oron in Hong Kong with an injunction prohibiting disposal of assets in Hong Kong.

In the Hong Kong order, Oron operators were enjoined from disposing or diminishing in value of its assets up to $3 million.

With today's emergency motion, Oron attorneys asked Navarro for a one-week extension of time for briefing deadlines, arguing there's no reason for restraining orders.

"Oron believes there are ample grounds to deny [Corbin Fisher's] request for a preliminary injunction freezing its assets and intends to fully address those grounds ...," Oron attorneys said.

Oron contends that it needs the extra time to research issues surrounding alleged copyright infringement claims because Oron, contrary to the complaint, is immune from civil liability because it has complied with DMCA safe-harbor provisions.

"Here the evidence will establish that defendants do not actively promote their service to commit copyright infringement, or that the service has no other legitimate use," the motion said.

Oron attorneys said one of the case's key issues is personal jurisdiction and whether it should proceed in the U.S. or Hong Kong, where they contend the company is located.

"Oron ... is a Hong Kong corporation, which receives the majority of its income from customers in Europe, Asia and Russia," the motion said. "Contrary to the allegations of the complaint, less than 14 percent of Oron's online traffic is from the U.S.

"Moreover, the allegation that [Oron's] Maxim Bochenko is a resident of Florida and Colorado and is the 'director /controlling party for Oron' is also false. None of Oron's employees or officers is a U.S. resident."

Oron attorneys, as a result, said that Bochenko, said to be Oron's chief executive in Corbin Fisher's complaint, was improperly served on Friday evening at his Jacksonville, Fla., townhome in the Villages of Summer Lakes community. 

They also said that the order to freeze assets was predicated on the allegation that Oron was attempting to transfer funds out of the U.S., a charge they say was a result of misconduct.

"Plaintiff offers no details as to how it obtained a private email between Oron and its payment service, PayPal, and provides no foundation for that inadmissible document," Oron counsel said.

Oron attorneys said that it appears the email in question was improperly obtained by hacking into Oron's email account and are seeking relief based upon plaintiff's "unclean hands."

Oron attorney Stevan Lieberman and Corbin Fisher counsel did not immediately respond for XBIZ comment on today's emergency motion, which hasn't yet been ruled on.

View Oron's emergency motion