Have you received a demand letter from or been sued by Minden Pictures, Inc. based on an allegation of copyright infringement? If so, count yourself among the many who have become the target of this plaintiff, often represented by Global Rights Control before oftentimes being handed off to law firm Copycat Legal. Minden Pictures is one of the more aggressive copyright plaintiffs (also sometimes referred to as “trolls”) out there, so you do not want to ignore its letters and/or lawsuits.
If you have received a letter from or on behalf of Minden Pictures or you have been named as a defendant in one of the many proceedings involving Minden Pictures, then feel free to contact us about your particular issue. We keep all communications confidential, pride ourselves on quick and active responses, and do not charge for initial consultations.
As of writing this post, all the matters that we have had with Minden Pictures (and there have been many) settled prior to litigation, but that is certainly not true for all Minden Pictures matters. In fact, Minden Pictures is one of the most litigious copyright trolls out there, having brought more than 60 cases in federal court as of this post being published. The takeaway is that you should ignore Minden Pictures demands from Global Rights Control, Copycat Legal, and others at your own risk. Stated differently, don’t ignore Minden Pictures letters!
Once a matter is put into suit, it becomes much more expensive to defend and your leverage to negotiate a reasonable settlement agreement dissipates. But not all hope is lost upon Minden Pictures initiating an action and a recent court decision (at least it was recent when this post was first published) serves as perfect proof of same.
On October 27, 2023, Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams, sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted a defendant’s (Complex Media, Inc.) motion to dismiss the Complaint brought by Minden Pictures on the grounds that the claim was barred by the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations.
The judge’s opinion is not just notable for the holding, but also for the dicta such as the finding that Minden Pictures is a frequent litigant that has filed more than 100 cases against purported copyright infringers. Yet, despite its troll-like behavior and super-aggressive activity, it allegedly took Minden Pictures 10 years from the defendant posting the photo for Minden Pictures to realize it and initiate the action.
Minden Pictures sought to rely on the “discovery rule” for the proposition that the three-year statute of limitations should only begin running on the date that it discovered the photograph on the defendant’s website as opposed to when the photograph was originally published by the defendant.
The Court took interest in the fact that Minden Pictures is a “seasoned litigator,” it uses sophisticated methods to detect infringing images and works diligently to detect online infringements of its works, and that it was not plausible that it, in exercising reasonable diligence, would not have discovered the alleged infringing use here until nearly 10 years after the infringement occurred.
A statute of limitations defense is but one defense that a seasoned defense litigator, like Heitner Legal, may bring up if retained to defend against a seasoned troll litigator like Minden Pictures. If you receive a demand or find yourself sued by them, then feel free to reach out to us for guidance.