SAN FRANCISCO — Oron has settled with Falcon and Raging Stallion' s parent company, DataTech Enterprises, over the studios' long-running copyright infringement suit against the defunct file-locker website.
DataTech sued Oron for unspecified damages in August 2011 after it said it found at least 400 titles on the site that were involved in more than 40,000 separate acts of infringement.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer signed an order this month dismissing all of DataTech's claims in the case and releasing an untold amount of frozen funds in a CCBill account.
Terms of the settlement, as well as the amount of frozen funds released from the CCBill account, are confidential, adult industry attorney Gill Sperlein told XBIZ.
"The matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties," said Sperlein, who represented DataTech.
With the settlement struck between the parties, a pending appeal at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals won't be ruled on.
The 9th Circuit heard an appeal by Oron over claims that Breyer overreached his authority when he approved a preliminary injunction that froze all of the Oron's U.S. assets.
DataTech a month after filing the suit was able to convince Breyer to freeze Oron' s U.S. assets in its CCBill account, as well as other U.S. financial institution accounts.
Oron later requested the court to unfreeze some of the funds to pay attorneys fees and business expenses, but Breyer wouldn't budge, setting a showdown at the 9th Circuit.
A three-judge appeals court panel sounded inclined to uphold the preliminary injunction against Oron but suggested that Breyer may have overreached — or "overseized," as one judge put it — by freezing all of Oron's assets, rather than just some.
Oron's counsel, Evan Fray-Witzer, at the time said the preliminary injunction was inappropriate because the only dispute is over monetary damages under the Copyright Act, and that Breyer unfairly put the burden on Oron to prove how much of its profits did not come from DataTech content.
While Sperlein said that he and opposing counsel were happy about terms of the settlement, the appeal left an unanswered question over freezing assets.
"I think the lawyers for both sides had a strong intellectual interest in having that issued ruled upon, so in that way we were disappointed," Sperlein said.
Falcon's and Raging Stallion's settlement comes after other legal battles over similar infringement charges against Hong Kong-based Oron.
One of the cases involved another gay adult studio, Corbin Fisher, which received a $550,000 settlement after an appeal to the 9th Circuit. But that case lives on even without Oron, becoming a new source of controversy.
Oron's settlement funds were placed in a trust account held by Randazza Legal Group for the benefit of Corbin Fisher, but they have been sitting there since August 2012 and are now a source of friction between the law firm and Corbin Fisher because of allegations of unpaid attorneys fees.
Another gay adult studio, Flava Works, also has filed copyright infringement claims against Oron. That case is still pending.