Saturday, November 7, 2009

Scribd moves to strike class allegations from copyright suit; warns of potential for 'horrendous, possibly annihilating punishment', the document storage site sued for copyright infringement by an author who alleged that her book was uploaded and displayed without her permission, has responded to the complaint, filing an answer and moving to strike the class allegations or, in the alternative, deny class certification.
Motion to Strike Class Allegations in Scott v. Scribd

Scribd's papers make clear that its primary defense will be the safe harbor found at Section 512(c) of the DMCA. It opposes class certification on various grounds, primarily that individual issues of knowledge, copyright registration, and infringement would predominate over questions common to all members of the purported class of copyright owners whose rights are alleged to have been violated by Scribd. Scribd also argues that certification of a class of plaintiffs seeking statutory damages would violate its due process rights, resulting in a "horrendous, possibly annihilating punishment" that could "bankrupt" Scribd for the "inconsequential infringement of one out-of-print book." Interestingly, plaintiff Elaine Scott's counsel Kiwi Camara has made similar arguments in defense of his client Jammie Thomas-Rasset, where a constitutional challenge to the jury's award of $1.92 million for Thomas-Rasset's infringement of 24 songs is fully briefed and awaits a decision by Judge Michael Davis in Minneapolis.

Scribd is represented by Barry Flynn of Gordon & Rees' Houston office.

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