Pirate IPTV service Nitro IPTV asks court to dismiss Hollywood lawsuit * TorrentFreak
In April 2020, companies owned by Columbia, Amazon, Disney, Paramount, Warner and Universal (all members of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment) filed a complaint in the United States against the operators of Nitro TV.
The complaint alleged that operator Alejandro “Alex” Galindo had engaged in a “massive and flagrant violation” of the plaintiffs’ copyrighted works. These included blockbuster movies and TV shows including The Office, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Toy Story 3, Star Trek Beyond, and Joker.
In May 2020, the studios obtained an injunction to shut down Nitro but as the case progressed Galindo was accused of destroying evidence in an attempt to obstruct the plaintiffs.
The trial then expanded to name other defendants, including Galindo’s wife, Anna Galindo, and popular YouTuber ‘Touchtone’, who was reportedly awarded $ 500,000 to promote and market Nitro TV.
Problems related to the destruction of evidence
In response to the studios lawsuit, Alejandro Galindo claimed innocent copyright infringement and, as his attorney later explained, it was felt that there was no need for his client to plead the Fifth amendment but during the discovery process, that is exactly what he did, much to the chagrin of the plaintiffs.
According to Galindo, research into MPA’s Jan Van Voorn (who is involved in the case) has revealed that he is “strongly advocating” for criminal penalties for IPTV operators.
“[I]It became clear that the plaintiffs were not only seeking a judgment, but were accusing the defendant of a crime of destroying evidence. This theme has persisted for most of this litigation ever since, ”reads a summer defense brief.
Galindo’s team cited a number of instances where the MPA has indicated criminal prosecution is extremely important to them, including aggressive lobbying for the Covid-19 relief bill, which has spread of copyrighted content a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. As a result, Galindo asserted his right not to self-incriminate, an act which his lawyer said is not a discovery abuse worthy of punishment.
Complainants refuse to exclude criminal prosecution
Galindo’s attorney said that in the spirit of cooperating with the discovery in good faith, the attorney asked the plaintiffs for assurances that no criminal reference would be made. Although it has been confirmed that no reference has been made, the studios will not commit to not filing one in the future.
“For these reasons, it is not difficult to see the writing on the wall. The MPAA is looking for another conviction and wants Mr. Galindo to incriminate himself in any way possible, literally opening a potential case against him if he can find him, ”Galindo’s lawyer told the court.
On this basis, Galindo should not be subject to monetary penalties for his discovery strategy, according to his team.
The studios strongly disagree
Not surprisingly, the complainants took an entirely different position.
“According to the defendant, he should be allowed to withhold all the tapes of Nitro TV’s multi-million dollar operation in violation of this court’s order and destroy the evidence, while being able to assert that his offense was “innocent” and that he did not infringe the works alleged in the [second amended complaint] thanks to its exploitation of Nitro TV ”, they informed the court.
The studios said the Fifth Amendment does not apply here and that by engaging in massive copyright infringement, Galindo still risks criminal prosecution.
“The after-the-fact, conspiratorial apologies of the accused cannot change this fundamental fact. Nor can his alleged belief convince a trier of fact that his offense was “innocent” – notably, a position he asserted after already engaging in mass destruction of emails and while asserting (falsely) that no Nitro TV document existed, ”they added.
“In short, the defendant’s explanations do not match; his assertion of the Fifth Amendment is simply a tactic to avoid his discovery obligations. The Court should not condone this conduct.
Due to the lack of cooperation in finding and deteriorating evidence, the plaintiffs said they should be granted a default judgment. In the absence of this, the studios requested imaging of electronic devices in Galindo’s possession.
Applicants demand substantial fees and costs
In a follow-up file, the plaintiffs filed a request for costs as part of their request for sanctions, noting that Galindo had failed to meet its discovery obligations, looted evidence and violated the court order to provide documents. and information. They noted that without Galinddo’s leadership, additional costs could have been avoided.
In fact, filing the petition for penalties cost the plaintiffs over $ 93,000, an amount they asked the court to award against Galindo. Details of what happened during the interim period are not clear as documents have been filed under seal with the court. However, this week the record revealed a defense objection to another case.
Galindo asks court to dismiss lawsuit
Martha Galindo (Alejandro Galindo’s mother), along with other defendants, is accused of playing a key role in Nitro TV’s finances, including the processing of “millions of dollars” through payment processors and Bank accounts. According to the defense, the plaintiffs now want more time to serve her. It would mean yet another delay in the case constituting an unreasonable failure to pursue action, they say.
Galindo’s lawyer points out that the original complaint was filed over 17 months ago and since then there has been “little activity” other than the discovery against Alejandro, a settlement mediation, the service of several subpoenas and a motion to demand evidence. On this basis, a further delay would be unjustified.
“The plaintiff has had several attorneys working on this case for over 17 months. It seems that the whole point now is to drag this out, respectfully, ”the file read.
“The Plaintiff, despite being a leading law firm in the country, with several attorneys billing the case… they have provided no valid reason for their inability to serve Defendant Martha Galindo within a reasonable time. Now they want to expand the business even further to accomplish this several months later.
“It seems objectively obvious, that there is no real effort to pursue this matter within the parameters of what one should expect in [a] case that had very little opposition and assertions from the 5th Amendment.
Alejandro Galindo apparently agreed to withdraw his response and accept a default judgment but this was not accepted by the studios. The defense says that given all of the above, the court should dismiss the case.
“The plaintiff has an unlimited budget and number of legal team members and is not faithfully pursuing this action, and instead seeks to prolong and delay the case unreasonably. The court should dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice and dismiss the motion for an extension of the time limit for serving the summons ”, concludes Galindo’s lawyer.
Supporting documents can be found here 1,2,3,4, pdf