Judge rules law firm exploited copyrights for pornography

May 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM

LOS ANGELES, May 7 (UPI) -- A federal judge in California ruled that a law firm had been buying copyrights to pornographic movies to cash in on lawsuits the films generated.

"Plaintiffs do have a right to assert their intellectual property rights, so long as they do it right," the Los Angeles Times quoted U.S. District Judge Otis Wright II as saying.

"But plaintiffs' filing of cases using the same boilerplate complaint against dozens of defendants raised the court's alert," he said.

The judge said that Prenda Law Inc. had purchased copyrights to pornographic movies for the opportunity of taking viewers who didn't pay to court.

The law firm was counting on defendants being too embarrassed to show up in court. They exploited that predicament by offering to settle out of court for less than what it would cost a defendant in attorney fees, the newspaper said.

That would amount to a quick cash settlement of about $4,000.

"Copyright laws originally designed to compensate starving artists allow starving attorneys in this electronic media era to plunder the citizenry," Wright said.

The judge ruled against the law firm, its attorneys and its owners and ordered payment of $81,320 to be paid to one of the defendants they had sued, the newspaper said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Pepsi to release 'Back to the Future Part II' inspired Pepsi Perfect
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to parasitic disease scientists
Womb transplants begin in U.K. after Sweden's success
Gay Vatican priest comes out day before Pope Francis begins synod on family issues
Scientists find roadmap that may lead to 'exercise pill'