XPays’ ‘1 Night in Paris’ Suit Is Settled

Sep 9, 2009 11:45 AM PST
LOS ANGELES — Climaxing to a fizzle, XPays three-year-old copyright infringement case over the Paris Hilton sex tape "1 Night in Paris" has come to an end, XBIZ has learned.

XPays and Internet Commerce Group (ICG), as well as all co-defendants, have reached terms of a confidential agreement, ICG attorney David S. Gringas told XBIZ.

“The parties are happy with the settlement,” Gringas said. “That’s all I can say.”

The settlement, which comes just one week before the case was to go to a jury trial, was signed off by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson and the case has formally been dismissed.

Other co-defendants included SK Intertainment, which operates Mr. Skin and AdultWhosWho.com; AdultProfit; Web Traffic Inc.; Tarasant; and Verotel Merchant Services.

This case involved a video depicting Hilton and her ex-boyfriend, Rick Salomon, engaged in sexual relations. The video started circulating on the Internet in 2003.

The case honed-in on allegations that ICG displayed an image from the Hilton sex tape on the front public landing page of an ICG-owned website, in addition to six other digital images and video clips on other pages, all in violation of XPays copyright.

XPays attorney Paul Berra, who also could not discuss terms of the settlement, told XBIZ two months ago that ICG used images from the video to convince web surfers that they could access the video upon becoming a paid member, but the only thing they received were links to another website that was offering to sell the DVD.

“Not only did XPays lose sales, but this caused damaging confusion in the marketplace,” he said at the time.

ICG has been contending all along that exploitation of the images and clips constitutes "fair use," and that it obtained permission from Red Light District or Salomon to use the clips and images to promote sales of the DVD.

XPays had been seeking damages up to $150,000 per infringement.

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