Over the course of several years, adult publisher Perfect 10 became less known for its love of women of a certain size and more for its desire to drag companies to court on dubious copyright grounds.
In fact, the company became so litigious that one of its main sources of ‘business’ was the suing of everyone from Google, Amazon, MasterCard and Visa, to RapidShare, Depositfiles and hosting providers LeaseWeb and OVH.
Like most copyright trolls Perfect 10 prefers private settlements since court wins are harder to come by. However, when the adult publisher took on Usenet provider Giganews, a company that was never likely to fold, things went from bad to worse.
In November 2014 a court found that Giganews was not liable for the infringing activities of its customers and in February this year Perfect 10 received its biggest mauling so far, with a court handing Giganews victory and slamming Perfect 10 for the way it conducted its case.
In March 2015 came the icing on the cake, when the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the publisher to pay Giganews $5.6m in attorney’s fees and costs. However, the battle is not over yet.
According to various court filings in recent weeks, Giganews is having trouble getting money out of Perfect 10. In a request for a writ of execution last month, Giganews’ attorney outlined the situation.
“Judgment for $5,637,352.53 was entered on March 24, 2015 on the docket of the above-entitled action in the U.S. District Court, District of California in favor of Giganews, Inc. and Livewire Services, Inc. as Judgment Creditor, and against Perfect 10, Inc. as Judgment Debtor,” the request reads.
While $5.6m is indeed a large amount, the attorney reveals that in the past eight months Perfect 10 hasn’t paid the Usenet provider a single penny.
Furthermore, as Perfect 10 persists with non-payment the company’s bill is increasing. Although in this case limited to a rate of just 0.25%, Perfect 10 already owes an additional $8,610.03 in accrued interest.
With Giganews running out of patience, on Wednesday District Court Judge Andre Birotte JR granted the company’s request to appoint a process-server to serve a writ of execution on Perfect 10. In the meantime the countdown to another important date begins.
Following an order issued by Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth, Perfect 10 is now ordered to appear before the court December 10 to “furnish information” to aid in enforcement of the money judgment the company is currently ignoring.
“If you fail to appear at the time and place specified in this order, you may be subject to arrest and punishment for contempt of court and the court may make an order requiring you to pay the reasonable attorney fees incurred by the judgment creditor in this proceeding,” the order reads.
Whether Perfect 10’s days as a going concern are numbered remains to be seen, but it’s trolling activities in the United States are certainly on life support following the company’s disastrous campaign against Giganews. Should the company launch a similar action in the future, Judge Andre Birotte Jr’s assessment of its business will almost certainly come back to haunt.
“Perfect 10’s undisputed conduct in this action has been inconsistent with a party interested in protecting its copyrights,” the Judge wrote.
“All of the evidence before the Court demonstrates that Perfect 10 is in the business of litigation, not protecting its copyrights or ‘stimulat[ing] artistic creativity for the general public good’.”
Then again, no one ever doubted that.