Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 13 C 3648, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 9, 2014) (Kennelly, J.).
Judge Kennelly granted in part plaintiff Malibu Media’s motion to dismiss Doe defendant’s counterclaim and certain of its nineteen affirmative defenses in this BitTorrent copyright infringement case.
Doe’s counterclaim was not appropriate because it sought no affirmative relief, just a determination that its affirmative defenses were meritorious. The counterclaim was, therefore, dismissed.
Doe did not properly plead copyright misuse. Doe pled that Malibu made a business out of filing copyright litigations and that plaintiff Malibu Media seeded BitTorrent with its movies to generate copyright infringement. But those allegations are not using the limited copyright monopoly to control something outside the bounds of the monopoly.
Doe did not properly plead estoppel. The allegations that Malibu seeded its movies to encourage infringement does not meet the requirement that Malibu did something to mislead Doe into believing that Doe’s acts were condoned or otherwise legal.
Doe sufficiently pled unclean hands. Doe alleged that Malibu created child pornography which would not be patentable and should not be enforceable. While it was unclear from the law whether the claim could stand, the Court allowed it at the early stage of the case until it could be further developed.
Doe sufficiently pled an implied license based upon Malibu’s alleged seeding of its copyrighted material. It was not clear that the alleged seeding met each prong of an implied license defense, but at the early stage the Court allowed the defense to remain in the case.
Doe did not sufficiently plead the single satisfaction rule. There was no case law suggesting that Malibu could only recover a single statutory damages award for a copyrighted work. Rather, the law suggested Malibu could recover separately from each infringer.
Doe did not sufficiently plead mitigation of damages because it was irrelevant as Malibu had elected statutory damages.