From the well,-there-goes-that-one dept
Welp, it looks like the quite long history of Perfect 10 filing frivolous copyright lawsuits and losing (while setting useful precedent) has finally come to a close. A court has now put Perfect 10’s assets into receivership to be sold off.
We’ve written a ton about Perfect 10 over the years. As we’ve noted, while the company officially styled itself as a porn magazine company, it was an early form of copyright troll, focusing on suing basically every large company imaginable for being somehow kinda partially related to any of Perfect 10’s pictures showing up online. As such, Perfect 10 was astoundingly useful in setting some really fantastic and useful precedents concerning intermediary liability protections, and making sure that third parties and platforms weren’t held liable for copyright infringement. The key, frequently cited, cases include:
All of them resulted in major losses by Perfect 10, and really useful, citable, opinions that are regularly raised in other cases. There are more such cases as well. In one famous case, a party laid out how Perfect 10 was apparently deliberately setting things up to have more companies to sue, rather than actually doing anything to limit copyright infringement.In the most recent Perfect 10 case, we noted that Perfect 10 lost big time earlier this year. It had sued Usenet provider Giganews, but the court found that Perfect 10’s legal arguments made no sense at all, and sided completely with Giganews. Most importantly, the court upheld the multimillion fee award that the court had dumped on Perfect 10 for filing such a bogus lawsuit. It turns out that Perfect 10 doesn’t seem to have that kind of money, so all of its assets are now controlled by a court-appointed receiver.
Pursuant to the terms of the enclosed Order, I am hereby taking possession of all of your “intellectual property,” which specifically includes but is not limited to domain names, copyrights and copyright interests, trademarks, trademark interests, and associated goodwill, and related interests, as well as all royalties, rents, issues, profits and income (including any cash) resulting from or generated by such intellectual property.
This reminds me of another famous copyright trolling case, Righthaven (the company that was spun off from newspaper company Stephens Media to shake down bloggers reposting snippets from news stories). In that case, lawyer Marc Randazza beat back Righthaven in court so many times in so many ways that it was just getting silly. Eventually, the court handed over Righthaven’s IP and it was eventually “sold” back to Stephens Media as a way to pay the outstanding legal fees.
Feel free to speculate what will be done with Perfect 10’s assets.
In the meantime, though, it truly is the end of an era. Perfect 10 has been filing lawsuits going back at least until 2002 (possibly longer…). And it’s set so many useful precedents, even as each new filing seemed more pointless than the previous one. So long Perfect 10, and thanks for all those useful rulings in cases you lost.