Evil Angel, Jules Jordan Win Over $16.6 Million In DVD Piracy Case
Largest figure ever awarded in an adult piracy case
Posted Aug 10th, 2007 03:40 PM by Mark Kernes
- After less than a day and a half of deliberations, a jury of nine federal jurors found in favor of Evil Angel Video, Jules Jordan Video and principals John Stagliano and Jules Jordan on all counts of video piracy, copyright and trademark infringement and violation of right of publicity against Canadian distributor Alain Elmaleh and his companies Kaytel Distribution and Leisure Time Canada, Inc..
"Evil Angel's share is $11.2 million," said Evil Angel's attorney Allan Gelbard. "[Jules Jordan's] share is $5.4 million. Evil Angel against Elmaleh alone got $3.5 million for the trademark claim. It basically breaks down to about $200,000 per title, plus some additional trademark recoveries against the various corporations. Collectively, I can't give you the exact figures; I just threw some numbers together on a sheet of paper. This is about making a statement, and it's been made today. A jury just gave two adult entertainment companies about $17.5 million for infringement of their intellectual property, and that says volumes about society's acceptance of adult entertainment, about the court's willingness to defend the rights of adult entertainment companies – this is huge."
"We won on every count; crushing," Gelbard said earlier. "We got verdicts against Kaytel, Leisure Time and individually against Elmaleh. It's crushing. [Jules] got a bunch of money for his right of publicity claim... I don't even know what the number is right now. I'm going to have to sit down with a huge jury form and add it all up, but it's huge."
"I know I got over a million dollars for the rights of publicity," Jordan added, "and the remainder was for copyright infringement. I didn't have any trademark claims."
It is believed that this case is the first time that an adult industry personality like Jordan has ever recovered damages for violation of his right to publicize his own image; that the $11.2 million award to Evil Angel is the biggest recovery that any single adult producer has ever been awarded for copyright and trademark infringement; and certainly, the total of $17.5 million is the biggest win the adult industry has had for claims against counterfeiters.
"Absolutely," agreed Jordan's attorney Sean Macias. "Even Disney doesn't get this amount of recovery. We're really happy that the jury sent a message and that justice prevailed, and that [Jules] can go back to his business feeling vindicated that the adult market wasn't a deterrent but that they saw that [Jules'] rights, not only as to his copyright but as to his right of publicity, were violated, and the jury focused on the facts and on the law, and not on who the plaintiffs or who the defendants were. It was nice."
"I'd just like to say, let this be a lesson to bootleggers all over the world that we enforce our copyrights and will prosecute," Jordan warned.
The decision, which was announced shortily after 2 o'clock this afternoon in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero, capped a trial that lasted less than one week, where the jury heard just eight witnesses between the two sides, some of whom testified via videotape rather than in person, but which included hundreds of documents, as well as real and counterfeit DVD packages and disks, for the jury to consider in its deliberations.
Plaintiffs had claimed that Elmaleh had purchased various hardcore titles through Evil Angel, and then had arranged for glass master discs, which are used as the template for manufacturing runs of commercial DVDs, to be produced from the products he had bought from the plaintiffs. Elmaleh then allegedly sold and caused to be sold the counterfeit copies, which had nearly perfectly duplicated packaging, but which contained inferior quality discs with non-working menus and missing footage.Pictured from left: Allan Gelbard, John Stagliano, Jules Jordan and Sean Macias.