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August 06, 2020

Sargon of Akkad Wins Attorney's Fees from Leftwing Troll Who Sued Him Over a Meritless Copyright Infringement Claim

He won $38,000 in attorneys fees.

Also, he had actually run a GoFundMe campaign to pay his legal expenses defending himself, so actually, he comes out of this ahead.

(That assumes this Akillah Hughes specimen actually pays up -- I doubt that very much.)

Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) had taken Akkilah Hughes' video and edited it down and gave it a new title. She had called it something like "We Thought She [Hillary] Would Win," he called his edited version "SJW Levels of Awareness," or something.

She sued, claiming he had infringed her copyright. She also complained that he was using her video to make fun of her.

In a pre-trial conference, the judge warned her that by admitting that Sargon's edit was intended to make fun of her, she was also admitting his video was commentary, and therefore allowable fair use. He warned her that her claim had no merit and that she should desist.

She refused to do so. And she openly bragged on Twitter that her goal was not justice or restitution, but to take hundreds of thousands of dollars from this "white supremacist" and drive him to bankruptcy.

Courts do not look kindly on such improper motives. That may not lose a case for you, but in a later action to seek attorneys fees for a suit dismissed as meritless, that will count against you quite a bit.

And so it did here.

Almost 40 K, bitch. Pay up.

Comedian Akilah Hughes' lawsuit was objectively unreasonable and meant to "inflict financial harm on Benjamin and to raise her own profile in the process," the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said.

...

Hughes sued Benjamin for copyright infringement, and the court found in February that Benjamin's video made fair use of Hughes' video as transformative criticism and commentary.

The court awarded Benjamin over $38,000 in attorneys' fees Wednesday, finding Hughes' claims were objectively unreasonable, and that this was "clear from the face of the complaint and the videos at the heart of the dispute."

It was "unmistakable that the edited video was designed to highlight and critique Hughe'ss alleged lack of self-awareness, not to pass off her work as Benjamin's," the court said.

Hughes also brought the suit for an improper purpose, the court said. According to the court, Hughes admitted on Twitter and her website that she intended to bankrupt Benjamin and "use copyright laws to silence her political opponents and critics." Hughes’ social media posts about the case also suggested that she "intended to sensationalize the litigation to elevate her own public profile and achieve a secondary financial gain," the court said.

$38,000, bitch.

She's currently chain-slandering Sargon on Twitter, repeatedly calling him a "white supremacist."

He should sue her ass for that, too -- he's now playing with house money, after all.

She's also attacking the judge. The judge who repeatedly warned her she had no case and that if she pursued things, she was doomed to lose and might wind up having to pay the other party's attorney fees.

But she's an SJW -- she's special. She can ignore the law.

Or maybe not.

As Ya Boi Zach advises: "Ignore 'em when you can, sue 'em when you can't."

Relatedly: Sargon is also involved, I think, in another action against SJWs.

Patreon banned comedian Owen Benjamin from its services, in yet another purge of rightists from a social media platform.


Note that Owen Benjamin is not Carl Benjamin.

This was not just an action against Owen Benjamin, but against the hundreds of people who were pledging money to him each month via Patreon. Patreon interfered with their contractual relationships, too.

In Patreon's old terms and conditions, it said all users forfeited any right to sue or join a class actual lawsuit against Patreon, but instead had to go through an arbiter.

It also provided that anyone seeking legal redress through an arbiter would have to pay $250 to file a claim, but that all other costs would be paid by Patreon.

Big mistake.

Owen Benjamin realized that if a bunch of his supporters brought action against Patreon, Patreon would be on the hook for up to $10,000 per action.

And that doesn't include monetary awards the arbiters may hit Patreon with -- this is just for the costs of arbitration itself.

Hundreds of Benjamin's followers could drain millions from Patreon.

Patreon tried to change its rules to retroactively forbid this, but a judge just ruled against them, becuase -- I mean, duh, of course you can't change the terms of a contract when you feel like it to advantage yourself.

So Patreon is on the hook for millions.

Here's where Sargon comes in:

Sargon was also purged by Patreon.

So was Cassandra Fairbanks (if I'm remembering this right).

Tim Pool was saying for a couple of weeks that it could be lights out for Patreon if Carl "Sargon" Benjamin and Cassandra Fairbanks also asked their former supporters to file claims against Patreon, because they had even more supporters than Owen Benjamin.

Pool estimates that with Fairbanks' and Sargons' supporters also bringing action, that would make the liability to Patreon somewhere around $19 million, which the smallish company could not afford to pay.

They can drive Patreon bankrupt just by unleashing their supporters on an arrogant, free-speech squelching SJW tech company.

Here's the Tim Pool video about this.

It's time that they are Made to Care.

One Big Caveat: I don't think that each arbitration will cost anything like $10,000.

The first few might.

But after that, once earlier arbiters make rulings-- all subsequent arbitrations are going to be about an identical fact-pattern.

Later arbiters might just start taking earlier arbitration decisions as binding. Thus making all the arbitrations past the first dozen very cheap, taking little time, just enough time to ask "Is this claim any different than these prior 12?" and if not, hitting them with the same ruling.

That assumes that an arbitration panel can use a different panel as precedent. I don't know if they can. I assume they can -- and will -- but I don't know that.

So this might not work.


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posted by Ace at 03:51 PM

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