Defendants Beating Copyright Infringement Actions Also Vindicate Purposes Of The Copyright Act, But Supplemental Fee Request Found Untimely.
In Perfect 10, Inc. v. Giganews, Inc., Case No. 15-55500 (9th Cir. Jan. 23, 2017) (published), defendants won summary judgments in a copyright infringement action involving Usenet, an international collection of organizations and individuals whose computers connect to each other and exchange messages posted by Usenet users. The district judge awarded prevailing defendants attorney’s fees totaling $5,213,117.06, although denying the defense request for supplemental fees.
Those determinations were affirmed on appeal.
Just as plaintiffs who win copyright infringement actions, defendants who beat them also vindicate the purposes of the Copyright Act in the right situation—triggering entitlement of fees under 17 U.S.C. § 505. The district judge did not abuse her discretion by finding the fees spent by plaintiff not probative under the circumstances or in denying a requested 50% across the board reduction.
However, another result occurred as to the defense request for supplemental fees. This request was made untimely, after the 14 days deadline specified in the FRCP following entry of judgment. The defense showed no good cause for the belated request, with an amorphous request failing to indicate the amount of involved supplemental fees not satisfying the requisite good cause standard.