Opinion Corp. et al. v. Roca Labs, Inc.

COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATION OF 17 U.S.C. §512(F) AND FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF

Ronald Coleman
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From the Complaint:

"This is a civil action seeking damages for misrepresentation of copyright claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), and a declaratory judgment that Plaintiffs have not defamed Defendant.

"On 29 October 2014 Defendant transmitted a DMCA takedown notice to Opinion Corp. regarding certain material lawfully found on the pissedconsumer.com website.

"Defendant’s conduct interfered with Opinion Corp.’s business and gave Opinion Corp. credible concern, especially considering Defendant’s well publicized history as a highly-litigious party, that if it continued to operate its website in the lawful manner in which it was but without complying with Defendant’s demand, Roca Labs would file a specious copyright infringement case against Opinion Corp.

"On 13 January 2015, Defendant sent an e-mail to Plaintiffs, purporting to be a statement made in compliance with Florida Statute §770, accusing Plaintiffs of making defamatory statements. See Exhibit 1.

"In the email attached as Exhibit 1, Defendant accused Plaintiffs of making the following statement about Defendant Roca Labs: “Specifically, statistics shown on the website include that there have been 52 complaints, $110k in claimed losses, $2.1k average loss, and 0 resolved.”

"Defendant also accused Plaintiffs of making the following statement about Defendant Roca Labs: “Roca Labs, through its chief attorney, Paul Berger, believes it can silence you through fear and intimidation directed at Pissed Consumer” and “Roca Labs first sued us.”

"Defendant demanded an immediate retraction of these statements.

"Based on the foregoing, Opinion Corp. seeks a resolution from this Court concerning its rights under Florida’s law of defamation and the First Amendment in order to avoid censoring itself and depriving itself of the ability to seek funding from customers and supporters to aid in its litigation efforts against Roca Labs in order, ironically, to avoid an imminent defamation claim, albeit one of questionable merit, by the same party, i.e., Defendant Roca Labs.

"Plaintiff Opinion Corp. contends that the statement, “Specifically, statistics shown on the website include that there have been 52 complaints, $110k in claimed losses, $2.1k average loss, and 0 resolved,” is an empirical compilation of factual information not amenable to a claim of defamation.

"Plaintiff Opinion Corp. bases this defense on the grounds that these statements are true or substantially true, both of which are absolute defenses to defamation.

"Plaintiff Opinion Corp. contends that the other statement made on the pissedconsumer.com website, “Roca Labs, through its chief attorney, Paul Berger, believes it can silence you through fear and intimidation directed at Pissed Consumer” and “Roca Labs first sued us,” are, respectively, opinion or truthful statements of fact that are cannot be defamatory.

"Defendant is a public figure.

"Roca Labs has thereby thrust itself into the public eye, as a result of which its legal burden of demonstrating actionable defamation is substantially greater.

"Defendant, therefore, could never prove by clear and convincing evidence that Plaintiff Opinion Corp. made any of the statements with actual malice, as required given Defendant’s status as a public figure."

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Reference Info: Pleadings | Federal, 11th Circuit, Florida | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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