Another Richard Bell Copyright Suit

Richard Bell is suing another website for allegedly using an unauthorized copy of his photograph of downtown Indianapolis. In a previous ruling against Mr. Bell (more here), the court was less than pleased with shortcomings in his complaint:

While providing specific facts is not necessary in a complaint, Mr. Bell is required to do more than recite legal conclusions of conduct with generic applicability to various defendants. . . . Legal conclusions are not afforded the assumption of truth. . . . [T]he Court will not afford the assumption of truth to the legal conclusions in Mr. Bell’s complaint. Neither does the Court find any factual allegations that are not legal conclusions, which could entitle him to relief and satisfy the standard of review.

Bell v. McCann, No. 1:13-CV-00799-TWP, 2014 WL 900961, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 7, 2014)

Mr. Bell did offer more than legal conclusions in this most recent Complaint (see below) by adding a factual allegation. And although he needed to allege “only enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face,” Mr. Bell decided to unnecessarily add proof of these alleged facts. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). He included a link to a screenshot of the alleged infringement, although the link just resolves to a blank page.

In any case, don’t use pictures you find on the internet without authorization. Just don’t.

Richard N. Bell v. Proact Search LLC

Court Case Number: 1:15-cv-01005-JMS-DKL
File Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015
Plaintiff: Richard N. Bell
Plaintiff Counsel: Richard N. Bell of Bell Law Firm
Defendant: Proact Search LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Bell v. Find Tickets

Richard Bell is once again alleging copyright infringement for unauthorized use of a photograph of the downtown Indianapolis skyline. This complaint is nearly identical to complaints he has previously filed. In some of those cases, the court has awarded Mr. Bell statutory damages of $2,500. However, the ruling in each of those cases was a default judgment because the defendants failed to answer and defend the allegations. On multiple occasions the court has granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. District Judge Tanya Pratt has, on multiple occasions, called out Mr. Bell for improper practice:

In his pleadings, Mr. Bell has alleged, but has not shown, that he is entitled to relief. His complaint contains formulaic labels and conclusions, but not facts. For example, the complaint under his copyright claim generically alleges that all-originally, twenty-two in total-Defendants: downloaded the Indianapolis Photo; willfully, recklessly, and falsely claimed that it owned the copyright to the photograph; published the photograph for commercial use; engaged in unfair trade practices and competition; and willfully engaged in these acts with oppression, fraud, and malice. . . . While providing specific facts is not necessary in a complaint, Mr. Bell is required to do more than recite legal conclusions of conduct with generic applicability to various defendants. . . . Legal conclusions are not afforded the assumption of truth. . . . [T]he Court will not afford the assumption of truth to the legal conclusions in Mr. Bell’s complaint. Neither does the Court find any factual allegations that are not legal conclusions, which could entitle him to relief and satisfy the standard of review.

Bell v. McCann, No. 1:13-CV-00799-TWP, 2014 WL 900961, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 7, 2014)

When looking to Mr. Bell’s motivation for filing this action, the Court finds that Mr. Bell’s motivation is questionable. Mr. Bell has filed a multiplicity of suits in this Court, each involving the same or similar infringement allegations. In many of these copyright infringement suits, Mr. Bell has improperly joined several defendants, thereby saving him extensive filing fees. In this case alone, Mr. Bell sued forty-seven defendants and then quickly offered settlements to defendants who were unwilling to pay for a legal defense. In some of Mr. Bell’s lawsuits, the district court determined that the improperly joined defendants should be severed, and severance was granted. Further, in this case, Mr. Bell lacked any evidentiary support for his claims against Mr. Lantz. The Court is persuaded by Mr. Lantz’s argument that the motivation of Mr. Bell in filing this action appears to be an attempt to extract quick, small settlements from many defendants instead of using the judicial process to protect his copyright against legitimate infringing actors. . . . In this case, Mr. Lantz took a stand against a plaintiff who was using his knowledge and status as a practicing attorney to file meritless suits and to attempt to outmaneuver the legal system.

Bell v. Lantz, No. 1:13-CV-00035-TWP, 2015 WL 3604174, at *2 & *3 (S.D. Ind. June 8, 2015)

After a cursory search, it appears that Mr. Bell has been awarded statutory damages of $40,000 ($2,500 x 16) from default judgments. In Bell v. Lantz, quoted above, Mr. Bell had to pay Mr. Lantz’s attorney’s fees, totaling $33,974.65.

Richard N. Bell v. Find Tickets, LLC

Court Case Number: 1:15-cv-00973-JMS-MJD
File Date: Friday, June 19, 2015
Plaintiff: Richard N. Bell
Plaintiff Counsel: Richard N. Bell of Bell Law Firm
Defendant: Find Tickets, LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Philpot v. McLay, Philpot v. Manhattan Media

Larry G. Philpot v. Shannon McLay

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01283-JMS-DML
File Date: Friday, August 01, 2014
Plaintiff: Larry G. Philpot
Plaintiff Counsel: Larry G. Philpot – Pro Se
Defendant: Shannon McLay
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Larry G. Philpot v. Manhattan Media LLC

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01284-JMS-DML
File Date: Friday, August 01, 2014
Plaintiff: Larry G. Philpot
Plaintiff Counsel: Larry G. Philpot – Pro Se
Defendant: Manhattan Media LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

McLay Complaint

Manhattan Media Complaint

18 Malibu Media/X-Art Copyright Lawsuits filed in Southern District of Indiana

Plaintiff Malibu Media has filed 18 new BitTorrent copyright cases in the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of their client, “beautiful erotica”-provider X-Art. Each lawsuit is filed against a single John Doe with one claim of direct copyright infringement.

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.141.132.4
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00734-TWP-DML
File Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.141.132.4
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.151.109.205
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00735-TWP-DML
File Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.151.109.205
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 24.14.133.150
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00733-RLY-DML
File Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 24.14.133.150
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 24.13.26.28
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00732-SEB-DML
File Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 24.13.26.28
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.220.145.100
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00757
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.220.145.100
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Denise K. LaRue

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.220.129.105
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00755-JMS-DKL
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.220.129.105
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.213.184.255
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00754-JMS-MJD
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.213.184.255
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.212.56.174
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00753-SEB-TAB
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.212.56.174
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 68.51.71.237
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00752-SEB-DKL
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 68.51.71.237
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 67.163.85.215
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00740-TWP-MJD
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 67.163.85.215
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.165.234.83
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00739-WTL-DKL
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.165.234.83
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.151.212.213
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00738-SEB-MJD
File Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 50.151.212.213
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.253.168.90
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00763-TWP-DKL
File Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.253.168.90
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.253.11.177
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00762-SEB-DML
File Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.253.11.177
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.228.104.170
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00761-JMS-DKL
File Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.228.104.170
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.227.7.60
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00760-WTL-MJD
File Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.227.7.60
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.222.130.20
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00759-SEB-MJD
File Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.222.130.20
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.220.54.186
Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00758-JMS-DML
File Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe subscriber assigned IP address 98.220.54.186
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Representative Complaint:

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Roche Diagnostics GmbH v. Polymer Technology Systems

Plaintiff, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, has used the ACCU-CHEK trademark in connection with medical instruments and apparatus related to blood-glucose monitoring and diabetes management and education since as early as 1981. In March 2014, Defendant changed its company name to CHEK Diagnostics and began to promote a line of diabetes care products. Plaintiff maintains that the CHEK mark is confusingly similar to its ACCU-CHEK trademarks.

Roche Diagnostics GmbH et al v. Polymer Technology Systems Inc.

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00552-JMS-DKL
File Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Plaintiff: Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Roche Diagnostics Operations Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Jonathan P. Froemel, John R. Maley of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Defendant: Polymer Technology Systems Inc.
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition, Declaratory Judgment
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Union Hospital v. Attachmate Corporation

Plaintiff has been licensing software from Defendant for about 16 years. In response to claims by Defendant that Plaintiff has exceeded the terms of the license (and a corresponding demand for $2 million in compensatory fees/damages), Plaintiff brings this action for declaratory judgment of non-infringement.

Union Hospital, Inc. v. Attachmate Corporation

Court Case Number: 2:14-cv-00045-JMS-WGH
File Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Plaintiff: Union Hospital, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Stephen E. Reynolds, Michael A. Wukmer of Ice Miller LLP
Defendant: Attachmate Corporation
Cause: Declaratory Judgment on Copyright Infringement Claims, Declaratory Judgment on Copyright Infringement Claims for Unregistered Copyrights, Declaratory Judgment on Breach of Contract Claims
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr.

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Eli Lilly files 2 lawsuits over pet brands ELANCO, COMFORTIS, TRIFEXIS and PANORAMIS

Eli Lilly has filed two related cases involving its many lines of pet medicines, including ELANCO veterinary preparations, COMFORTIS flea-control preparations and TRIFEXIS and PANORAMIS pet medicines. The Defendants allegedly advertise and sell Australian and European version of the pet medicines branded with Eli Lilly’s trademarks through their respective websites.

Eli Lilly and Company v. Graham Nelson et al

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-01800-JMS-DML
File Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Plaintiff: Eli Lilly and Company
Plaintiff Counsel: Jan M. Carroll of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Defendant: Graham Nelson, Zoja Pty. Ltd.
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, False Advertising, State Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Eli Lilly and Company v. Sebastian Wiradharma et al

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-01802-RLY-TAB
File Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Plaintiff: Eli Lilly and Company
Plaintiff Counsel: Jan M. Carroll of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Defendant: Sebastian Wiradharma, Singpet Pte. Ltd.
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, False Advertising, State Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Australian Gold LLC v. Devoted Creations LLC

Australian Gold LLC v. Devoted Creations LLC

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00971-JMS-DML
File Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Plaintiff: Australian Gold LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Charles J. Meyer of Woodard Emhardt Moriarty McNett & Henry LLP
Defendant: Devoted Creations LLC
Cause: Federal and Common Law Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Leeway Media Group v. Laurence Joachim

Check out Bruce Lee’s first Hollywood screen test from 1965. Approximately 91 seconds of the over eight minute long video was used in the documentary, I Am Bruce Lee, which aired on Spike TV in February 2012. That July, Laurence Joachim contacted Leeway (which represents the deceased kung-fu star’s interests) and claimed to own the copyright to the screen test. Leeway has received a 1974 copyright registration but no evidence to the chain of title between the filming (1965) and the registration (1974). Mr. Joachim’s counsel, apparently, announced intentions to proceed with litigation unless Leeway paid a six figure settlement. “The demands and threats… have created and actual justiciable claim or controversy such that declaratory relief represents the appropriate remedy.”

Leeway wants the Court to declare both that Mr. Joachim has no copyright in the screen test and that Leeway has not infringed on any of Mr. Joachim’s rights. Stay tuned for updates.

Leeway Media Group LLC v. Laurence Joachim et al

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00822-JMS-TAB
File Date: Monday, May 20, 2013
Plaintiff: Leeway Media Group LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Theodore J. Minch of Sovich Minch LLP
Defendant: Laurence Joachim, Trans-National Film Corporation
Cause: Declaration of No Valid Copyright, Declaration of No Standing, Declaration of No Copyright Infringement, Declaration of No Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Master Cutlery v. Pacific Solution Marketing

Master Cutlery, Inc. v. Pacific Solution Marketing, Inc.

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00819-JMS-DML
File Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
Plaintiff: Master Cutlery, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Darlene R. Seymour Attorney at Law
Defendant: Pacific Solution Marketing, Inc.
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Copyright Infringement, Trademark Dilution, False Designation of Origin or Sponsorship, False Advertising, Trade Dress Infringement, Common Law Copyright Infringement, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Theft, Counterfeiting
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch