Bobby Goldstein Productions successfully represented by Bragalone Olejko Saad PC
DALLAS – A U.S. district court jury in Dallas has awarded Bobby Goldstein Productions, Inc. (BGP), the creators of the long-running reality shows “Cheaters” and “Cheaters Uncensored” $390,000 in damages in a copyright infringement lawsuit against American Television Distribution (ATVD, LLC), a company owned by former “Cheaters” host Thomas Habeeb.
A 2005 agreement between Mr. Goldstein and Mr. Habeeb gave Mr. Habeeb the right to secure pay-per-view contracts for “Cheaters Uncensored,” and a supplemental agreement in 2006 reaffirmed Mr. Goldstein as the sole owner of “Cheaters” copyrights.
According to trial testimony, shortly after the supplemental agreement was reached, someone at ATVD created YouTube and Dailymotion accounts and began posting trailers based on “Cheaters” episodes without the knowledge or consent of BGP. Based on the defendant’s prior business dealings with BGP, the jury determined ATVD should have known that the episodes were copyrighted works of BGP.
“The agreement allowed Mr. Habeeb to secure pay-per-view contracts for ‘Cheaters Uncensored’ episodes,” said attorney Jeff Bragalone of Bragalone Olejko Saad, PC, who represents BGP. “But his company was never granted permission to post those copyrighted materials on any online video-sharing platform.
BGP sent a cease-and-desist letter to ATVD in April 2021 and the trailers were removed from all online platforms and the ATVD website by July 2021. The jury determined that ATVD committed copyright infringement and ordered it to pay $15,000 in statutory damages for each of the 26 episodes used in the trailers.
The case is Bobby Goldstein Productions, Inc. v. Thomas L. Habeeb et al, Case number 3:21-cv-01924-G, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
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Mark Annick 800-559-4534