Triller’s legal campaign against sites and other entities that allegedly streamed the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight on April 17 is fast becoming an entertainment product in its own right.
Triller began by filing a $100m complaint against several domains and individuals, describing them as “business entities” that breached its copyrights. On the heels of this complaint, Triller launched an amnesty program, advising people who watched the fight illegally to pay $49.99 to avoid being sucked into its litigation drive.
As reported last week, Triller asked the court for permission to subpoena YouTube and Google to obtain information against the defendants, so that it could build a more thorough case against them. Now, however, it’s clear the court isn’t happy with the way the lawsuit is being pursued.
Triller Fails To Convince Judge, Lawsuit in Peril
Previously, Judge Percy Anderson raised questions over Triller’s claims that the defendants in the lawsuit acted together to infringe the company’s rights. Noting that Triller had not presented any well-pleaded facts to support this allegation, the Judge put the company on notice, warning that he could drop one or more defendants from the lawsuit. Triller did file a response but completely failed to convince the court.
Triller previously insisted that the defendants acted jointly, noting that they were all connected due to each entity being involved in the illegal distribution of the Jake Paul fight. The Judge found this unconvincing and explained that Triller had offered no evidence to show anything other than the defendants acting independently.
“Put simply, the Court provided Plaintiff with an opportunity to provide the Court with some evidentiary basis to support its conclusory allegations supporting joinder of these Defendants. Plaintiff’s failure to provide any such evidence and Ex Parte Application for Expedited Discovery indicates that it currently lacks facts to support joinder and calls into question the adequacy of Plaintiff’s compliance with its pre-suit investigation obligations..,” Judge Anderson responded.
In respect of Triller’s demand to have Google and YouTube hand over information on the defendants as a matter of urgency, so that it could file for a preliminary injunction to prevent further infringement, the Judge said that would not be happening either.
“According to Plaintiff, a preliminary injunction is necessary to prevent the irreparable harm of Defendants continuing to offer the Broadcast without authorization. Plaintiff does not, however, explain what irreparable harm it continues to suffer from the availability of copies of a live sporting event that occurred weeks ago, the outcome of which is publicly available, and lasted less than two minutes,” he wrote.
Judge Guts Triller’s $100m Lawsuit
After denying Triller’s application for expedited discovery, the Judge has also gone ahead with his threat to dismiss several defendants from the lawsuit. AccessTVPro.co, Online2LiveStreams.us, CrackStreamsLive.com, Sports-Today.club, My-Sports.club, BilaSport.com, Trendy Clips, Mike, Your Extra, Eclipt Gaming, ItsLilBrandon, and the H3 Podcast were all dismissed, leaving FilmDaily.com as the sole defendant.
While the dismissed defendants may see this as a victory, the Judge clearly stated that Triller was not being prevented from filing additional lawsuits against these defendants in the future. The main problem was their joining in the same lawsuit as cooperating parties and the possibility that the illegal conduct of one defendant could be wrongly attributed to another independent defendant.
The big question, then, was whether Triller would simply focus on FilmDaily.com or if it would begin filing additional lawsuits. That question has now been answered after Triller filed an individual lawsuit targeting the H3 Podcast, demanding huge financial compensation.
Triller: H3 Podcast Alone Caused $50m in Damages
The new complaint against the H3 Podcast follows a similar format to Triller’s original lawsuit, albeit with some modifications. The claims for two types of copyright infringement, violations of the Federal Communications Act (FCA), conversion, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act stand, while claims for breach of contract and conspiracy have now been removed.
The claims center on the YouTube channel of the H3 Podcast, from where it’s alleged its operators “unlawfully uploaded, distributed, and publicly displayed” the fight in breach of Triller’s rights and from where infringement continues to this day.
“Defendant’s calculated and reprehensible infringement, theft, and other unlawful acts — committed in knowing violation of the law — has resulted in damages suffered by Plaintiff in excess of $50,000,000.00, by stealing and diverting upwards of 1,000,000 unique viewers of the illegal and unauthorized viewings of the Broadcast from Plaintiff,” the complaint reads.
Whether Triller will file additional lawsuits covering the other defendants dismissed from the original complaint is currently unclear. What is obvious, however, is that the mainstream visibility of the H3 Podcast and its hosts, Ethan and Hila Klein, has made that ‘business entity’ the easiest to pursue.