CHICAGO — Flava Works in the past two weeks has been awarded two $1.5 million judgments over copyright infringement claims against paying website members who allegedly downloaded rightful copies but disseminated them later on BitTorrent networks.
The two defendants — Kywan Fisher and Cormelian Brown — originally were defendants in a case filed in 2011 against 13 defendants; however, the case was severed into separate ones after one of them asked a judge to break them apart.
Both Fisher and Brown in the two suits failed to defend against Flava Works' claims waged against them and two federal judges signed default judgment orders for the maximum penalties of $150,000 per movie for allegedly trading 10 Flava Works movies.
The two judgments at U.S. District Court in Chicago figure to be the largest ever for BitTorrent cases.
Flava Works, which operates a string of gay adult websites featuring black and Latino models and performers, decided to sue the 13 website members for allegedly posting its videos on the peer-to-peer sites.
All were accused of violating Flava Works terms and conditions as paid members of either CocoDorm.com, Thugboy.com, PapiCock.com, MixItUpBoy.com or RawRods.com, and all were fingered apparently using tracking technology pinpointing their alleged involvement.
Flava Work, in court papers, said that it was able to employ proprietary software that assigns a unique encrypted code to each member of its paid websites. Every time the defendants downloaded a copy of a copyrighted video from Flava Works site, it inserts an encrypted code that is only assigned to defendant.
"Now that the cases have all been split up, we have been able to focus on them individually," Flava Works CEO Phillip Bleicher told XBIZ.
Bleicher noted that seven cases relative to the original suit continue, including two that may be signed off shortly as default judgments.
"We intend to take each of these cases to trial," Bleicher said. "Although these judgments are financially large, they're a wake-up call to the pirates and thieves who continue to steal content from copyright owners."