WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court this week dashed Perfect 10 Inc.’s hope for a review of its long-running copyright infringement battle against Giganews Inc. and Livewire Services Inc.
On Monday U.S. justices denied an August petition for a writ of certiorari that claimed the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal’s earlier ruling had “effectively immunized” the Usenet service providers’ "staggering misappropriation of the creative efforts of others.”
As a result of the denial, Perfect 10 must pay $5.64 million in attorneys’ fees to Giganews and Livewire.
The legal battle has its roots going back to 2011, when Perfect 10 filed a $25 million lawsuit against the service providers alleging direct and indirect copyright infringement claims involving Perfect 10’s softcore adult images.
Perfect 10 and its owner, Norm Zada, claimed that Giganews and Livewire employees neglected to remove more than 165,000 images when notified; however, the two companies prevailed in the lawsuit and Perfect 10 was ordered to pay their legal bills.
Giganews and Livewire charged in a separate lawsuit earlier this year that Zada and Perfect 10 hadn’t paid up the $5.64 million award and that $1.75 million was illegally transferred into his bank account within weeks of the award in an attempt to evade paying the judgment.
Giganews and Livewire said that the “illegal and fraudulent” transfers began back in 2014, when Perfect 10 began to realize that the legal fight against the companies was souring.
As a result, the two companies, claiming actual and constructive fraud, were seeking $20 million in punitive damages, along with the $1.75 million allegedly transferred, against Zada and Perfect 10.
Last week, however, U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. granted Zada’s motion to dismiss as to Giganews and Livewire’s constructive fraudulent transfer claim. But Birotte allowed the Usenet service provider to cure deficiencies in the suit and refile the case within the next two weeks.