Sweet Entertainment Wins $3M in Copyright Infringement Case

Steve Javors
ATLANTA — Sweet Entertainment Group, parent company of affiliate program SweetMoney and SweetErotica, has won its copyright infringement lawsuit against the Marin Group, DateApp (parent of Sickpuppy) and its principals Kenneth G. Farrar and John-Michael Cataldi, via summary judgment obtained by XBIZ.

Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta issued the default judgment against the defendants after they failed to show, or even respond to the charges.

Sweet Entertainment won $1,586,250 for statutory damages, an additional $1,586,250 for willful infringement, plus $12,717.71 in attorney fees, with interest, according to court documents.

The suit was filed Sept. 1 after Sweet Entertainment employees discovered its copyrighted images on the Sickpuppy affiliate network. According to a Sweet company representative, Sickpuppy continued to use Sweet’s images, even after being informed of the violation.

Multiple calls to Sweet and his attorney Stephen Yaklin requesting comment were not returned at press time.

In April 2004 Sweet was acquitted of 20 counts of distributing obscenity for combining explicit sex content with violence, torture and cruelty. He was arrested with three other employees from his company.

Three weeks into the trial, Judge R.R. Low determined based on the advent of the Internet since 1995, that the availability of sexually explicit material has become widespread, mainstream and requires a certain amount of participatory involvement from the viewer, which in effect would qualify as consensual involvement in the viewing of certain types of explicit or violent content. Based on that assessment and expert witnesses, the judge acquitted Sweet on all 20 counts.