This case was last updated from PACER on 09/21/2021 at 05:25:39 (UTC).

BackGrid USA, Inc. v. IMDB.com Inc. et al

Case Summary

On September 17, 2021, Backgrid USA, Inc., (“Plaintiff”), represented by Joanna Ardalan, filed an intellectual property lawsuit against IMDB.com Inc. and Does 1-10 (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief and disgorgement of all profits derived by Defendants for the alleged infringement of United States Copyright owned by the Plaintiff. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.

 

The Plaintiff filed this complaint for the alleged infringement of United States Copyright i.e., the photographs of Emma Watson, Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Wyatt Russell, Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gal Gadot, Chris Evans, and Brie Larson, among many more (hereinafter the “Celebrity Photographs”), owned by the Plaintiff.

 

In the complaint the Plaintiff alleged that, “Defendant IMDB provides a database of information about movies and television shows, providing credit information, reviews, trivia, and summaries of the works, and of the cast and crew. For a paid upgrade to IMDBPro.com, users can get access to additional features, such as contact information for talent agents and managers of the credited cast and crew. On information and belief, IMDB currently has around 83 million registered users. In spite of being a sophisticated publisher of content, IMDB is a repeat and notorious infringer of copyright. On information and belief, IMDB has been sued a number of times for copyright infringement, and as such, is aware of the basic structures of copyright law and the need for licensing the content from which it handsomely profits.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that, “IMDB has reproduced, distributed, displayed, and created unauthorized derivative works of the Celebrity Photographs on its Website without consent or license. IMDB violated federal law by willfully infringing at least 39 photographs on, at least, the IMDB Website that are owned by Backgrid. Moreover, IMDB induced, caused, or materially contributed to the reproduction, distribution and public display of the Celebrity Photographs, and derivatives thereof, all while knowing or having reason to know of the infringement on the Website was without permission, consent, or license.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that, “IMDB failed to license the Backgrid Photographs even after it had express notice that it had infringed Backgrid photos before. Finding a new set of infringement, the infringement at issue in this litigation, Backgrid sent a demand letter in an attempt to resolve this dispute. The multiple e-mail messages from Backgrid were substantively ignored. When the Backgrid Photographs are published by legitimate licensees, the photographs are published with Backgrid’s credit. The photographed infringed by IMDB had no such credit. On information and belief, Defendant IMDB’s infringement of at least 39 of Plaintiff’s photographs, and derivatives thereof, continues unabated to this very day.”

 

There is only one claim for relief laid down by the Plaintiff which deals with the alleged Copyright Infringement, 17 U.S.C. § 501.

 

In its prayer for relief the Plaintiff has requested the court that the Defendants, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, be permanently enjoined from copying, reproducing, advertising, distributing, or selling, or any other form of dealing or transaction in, any and all Photographs of Backgrid. Plaintiff further requested the court for actual damages and disgorgement of all profits derived by Defendants from their acts of copyright infringement and for statutory damages for copyright infringement, including willful infringement along with such other and further relief as the court may deem just and appropriate.

 

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Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    2:21-CV-07476

  • Filing Date:

    09/17/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Intellectual Property - Copyright

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

BackGrid USA, Inc.

Defendants

IMDB.COM, INC.

DOES 1-10, inclusive,

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Joanna Ardalan

One Llp, 9301 Wilshire Boulevard Penthouse Suite

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/17/2021
  • Docket(#6) REPORT ON THE FILING OF AN ACTION regarding a copyright (Initial Notification) filed by BackGrid USA, Inc.. (Ardalan, Joanna) (Entered: 09/17/2021)

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  • 09/17/2021
  • Docket(#5) CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT filed by Plaintiff BackGrid USA, Inc. (Ardalan, Joanna) (Entered: 09/17/2021)

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  • 09/17/2021
  • Docket(#4) NOTICE of Interested Parties filed by Plaintiff BackGrid USA, Inc., (Ardalan, Joanna) (Entered: 09/17/2021)

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  • 09/17/2021
  • Docket(#3) Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening) #1 filed by Plaintiff BackGrid USA, Inc.. (Ardalan, Joanna) (Entered: 09/17/2021)

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  • 09/17/2021
  • Docket(#2) CIVIL COVER SHEET filed by Plaintiff BackGrid USA, Inc.. (Ardalan, Joanna) (Entered: 09/17/2021)

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  • 09/17/2021
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT Receipt No: ACACDC-32004707 - Fee: $402, filed by Plaintiff BackGrid USA, Inc.. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit, #2 Exhibit) (Attorney Joanna Ardalan added to party BackGrid USA, Inc.(pty:pla))(Ardalan, Joanna) (Entered: 09/17/2021)

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