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Textbook Publishers Demanded Payback From Counterfeiters Get Amazon Accounts & Fees

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 19 – Textbook publishers led by Pearson Education, Inc. have sued and moved for default judgment against those they claim sell counterfeits of their textbooks on Amazon, Ebay and other platforms. 

 On November 20, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Ronnie Abrams held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it - and identified itself when asked.  

 Two of the defendants appeared, albeit without lawyers. They were each given thirty days to respond. One of them stayed on the line to give his email address and get the contact information for NYLAG. 

 Judge Abrams to her credit questioning the high monetary awards the textbook publishers were asking for against these pro se defendants.  

 The publishers responded with the example of two apparently related defendants -- Madhu Gupta and Sourabh Gupta -- one of whom had signed a $400,000 consent decree and then just kept on selling counterfeit textbooks.

There was talk of the the need for deterrence, of counterfeiting rings in Jordan and publishers in China. 

  Ultimately the publishers, who cut in just as Judge Abrams was assessing each defendant or violation $50,000 ($30,000 for copyright and $20,000 for trademark), said they will submit more detailed information about each defendant by "tomorrow" (Saturday) or by next week, or after Thanksgiving.  They want asset freezes.

 Among those suing are also Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing Group, LLC, Cengage Learning, Inc., Elsevier Inc. and McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC.   

 Nazir Yakub Belim is already known to the court; Michael Charles McKee apologized for failing to respond, not opening his father's email to see the notices from Amazon and Ebay.

On December 4, the plaintiffs' lawyer filed a letter specifying the damages sought, including $30,000 per copyright infringed and $200,000 per trademark infringed against Mayloud Ascarate, Bronislav Teplitskiy, Leonard Johnson and others (Guptas, "maximum statutory damages").

  Now, this Order: "FINAL JUDGMENT AND INJUNCTION AS TO DEFENDANTS DESPOT DESPOTOVIC AND LIGHT PULSATIONS: It is hereby: I. ORDERED that final judgment is ENTERED for Plaintiffs against Defendants. Each party shall bear its own costs and expenses, including its attorney's fees. II. ORDERED that a permanent injunction is ENTERED in this action as follow: Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, their personal representatives, heirs, executors, administrators, agents, and assigns, and all those in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this injunction are enjoined from: as further set forth herein. ORDERED that the following amounts in the accounts listed below shall be disbursed to Plaintiffs through their counsel Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP: a) Amazon (A12T2FZ6WW0S4B): $29,000.00 b) Amazon (A2Z86LZAVS7S0A): $28,000.00 c) Amazon (AFHHHBZYHV23T): $16,000.00 d) Bank of America (Account No. ********4296): $7,900.00 e) Chase (Account No. ******2652): $22,250.00. FURTHER ORDERED ORDERED that the Defendants shall pay Plaintiffs, through their counsel Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP, $336,600.00. FURTHER ORDERED that this Order replaces the Courts Preliminary Injunction issued in this matter as to Defendants Despot Despotovic and Light Pulsations only. SO ORDERED. Despot Despotovic and Light Pulsations LLC terminated. (Signed by Judge Ronnie Abrams on 12/16/2020)."

The case is Pearson Education, Inc. et al v. Doe 1 et al., 19-cv-7642 (Abrams)


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