QOTD Film Investment Ltd., which holds copyrights to the yet-unreleased Werner Herzog epic “Queen of the Desert,” has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal court in Oregon. This appears to be the first such lawsuit in the U.S., outside of another suit in Arizona, according to Antonelli Law. Queen of the Desert stars James Franco, Nicole Kidman and Robert Pattinson.
The new lawsuit in Oregon alleges copyright infringement by 7 separate “Doe” parties through their use of BitTorrent file-sharing software. Along with generic allegations of BitTorrent-based copyright infringement, the suits also state that “The defendants’ IP addresses have been observed as associated with the peer-to-peer exchange of a large number of copyrighted titles through the BitTorrent network with over 6,000
acts of distribution of content in violation of U.S. copyright law associated with these IP addresses alone, as such the defendants’ conduct is clearly willful and persistent.” The case seeks statutory damages pursuant to the Copyright Act, attorney’s fees and costs, and an injunction against further infringement.
The Oregon complaint also alleges that “QOTD is an affiliate of Benaroya Pictures, a production company with a notable catalog of major motion pictures.” According to a 2012 piece in The Wrap, Benaroya Pictures was founded by “Michael Benaroya, scion of a prominent Seattle real-estate family,” who began backing films in 2009, including past titles such as “New York, I Love You,” “The Romantics,” “Catch .44,” “Margin Call” and “The Words.” According to IMDb, Benaroya Pictures has several other unreleased titles in production or development, and Troll Defense would not be surprised to see more of its titles in BitTorrent litigation in the future.
Like many other similar lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, the QOTD case was filed by Salem, OR attorney Carl D. Crowell and Crowell Law. A case listing with link to the complaint is below.
UPDATE (8/10/16): Several additional single-Doe matters were filed by QOTD. This follows a handful of decisions from this Court which each concluded that BitTorrent cases were not appropriate for permissive joinder of several defendants.
Parties and subscribers receiving ISP notices of the case can contact attorney Benjamin Justus for a free consultation regarding possible options.
Case No: 3:16-cv-00246
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. BITTORRENT USERS: DOE-220.127.116.11, et al.
Case No. 3:16-cv-00523
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-18.104.22.168
Case No. 3:16-cv-00524
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-22.214.171.124
Case No. 3:16-cv-00525
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-126.96.36.199
Case No. 3:16-cv-00715
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-188.8.131.52
Case No. 3:16-cv-00930
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-184.108.40.206
Case No. 3:16-cv-01081
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-220.127.116.11
Case No. 3:16-cv-01761
QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe-18.104.22.168