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Xcentric Ventures, LLC v. Scaminformer.com (Karsen, Ltd.) - Motion to Determine Sufficiency of Service

Xcentric Ventures, LLC v. Scaminformer.com (Karsen, Ltd.) - Motion to Determine Sufficiency of Service

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Published by David S. Gingras

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Published by: David S. Gingras on Jun 22, 2011
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MOTION TO DETERMINE SUFFICIENCY OF SERVICE
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David S. Gingras, #021097
Gingras Law Office, PLLC
3941 E. Chandler Blvd., #106-243Phoenix, AZ 85048Tel.: (480) 668-3623Fax: (480) 248-3196David@GingrasLaw.com Attorney for Plaintiff Xcentric Ventures, LLC
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF ARIZONA
XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, anArizona limited liability company,Plaintiff,vs.KARSEN, LTD., a foreign entity of unknown origin d/b/a Scaminformer.com;DOES 1-10, inclusive,Defendants.Case No: 11-cv-1055-FJM
MOTION TO DETERMINESUFFICIENCY OF SERVICEOR FOR LEAVE TO PERFORMALTERNATIVE SERVICE
Plaintiff Xcentric Ventures, LLC (“Xcentric”) respectfully moves this HonorableCourt for an order determining whether Xcentric has effectively accomplished service of  process upon the Defendant Karsen, Ltd. (“Karsen”) in this matter and, if not, Xcentricrespectfully seeks leave of Court to perform service via alternative means. The basis for this request is explained fully herein.
I.
 
INTRODUCTION
This is a relatively straightforward action seeking monetary damages andinjunctive relief for various acts of copyright infringement under the copyright laws of the United States (17 U.S.C. § 101
et seq
.) and for various acts of trademark infringementin violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051,
et seq
., and related state law claims. Inshort, Xcentric is the operator of a consumer complaint website located at
Case 2:11-cv-01055-FJM Document 6 Filed 06/22/11 Page 1 of 11
 
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www.RipoffReport.com(the “Ripoff Report”) which was founded in December 1998.During more than a decade in operation, the Ripoff Report has grown to become one of the most popular and frequently visited sites of its kind.Just as Facebook’s popularity arises from its vast membership of more than 500million active users, the Ripoff Report’s popularity and high levels of traffic are largely based on the massive volume of information contained on the site. As of June 2011, theRipoff Report site has in excess of 600,000 original consumer complaints, and manymillions upon millions of responses/rebuttals/replies. Over the past decade, Xcentric hasspent millions of dollars compiling and defending this vast database of valuable content,and in recent years Xcentric has been the victim of various forms of piracy bycompetitors who have copied vast amounts of information from the Ripoff Reportwebsite in an effort to “pre-populate” their competing sites with content.For example, in 2008 Xcentric discovered that a new competing website – www.ComplaintsBoard.com– had stolen large amounts of content from the Ripoff Report site, including not only user-submitted complaints, but also material generated byXcentric such as the site’s Terms of Service and various related trademarks. Thisresulted in Xcentric commencing a federal copyright and trademark infringement actionin this court in
 Xcentric Ventures, LLC v. Elizabeth Arden d/b/a ComplaintsBoard.com
,Case No. 08-cv-2299 (D.Ariz. 2008) which eventually resulted in a judgment awardingdamages in favor of Xcentric and a permanent injunction against the defendant.In the spring of 2011, Xcentric discovered yet another competing website – www.ScamInformer.com(“Scam Informer”) which is allegedly owned and operated bythe defendant in this matter—Karsen, Ltd. Although the Scam Informer site was firstrecently created on January 31, 2011, Xcentric discovered that the site contains tens of thousands of unlawfully copied pages pirated from the Ripoff Report website, many of which include Xcentric’s registered trademarks and registered copyrighted works.
1
 
1
As alleged in Paragraphs 16 & 20 the Complaint filed in this matter on May 26, 2011,Xcentric is the owner of two registered copyrights for material appearing on the Ripoff Report website.
Case 2:11-cv-01055-FJM Document 6 Filed 06/22/11 Page 2 of 11
 
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Immediately upon discovering this, Xcentric attempted to remedy the unlawfulconduct by sending a series of take-down notices to non-party Google, Inc., pursuant tothe Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512,
et seq
. (the “DCMA”).
See
Exhibit A, Declaration of David S. Gingras (“Gingras Decl.”) submitted herewith. Inshort, these notices informed Google that Defendant Karsen was infringing Xcentric’sexclusive rights under the Copyright Act, and the notices demanded that Google removethe infringing content from its search index as required by 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(i)(C). OnMay 11, 2011, Google responded by stating that it had substantially complied withXcentric’s notices by disabling access to each infringing page located on the ScamInformer site as identified in the notices.
See
Gingras Decl. Exhibit B.Shortly thereafter, on May 24, 2011, Google contacted Xcentric and stated that pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3), it had received a DMCA counter-notice fromDefendant Karsen.
See
Gingras Decl. Exhibit C. Although it listed an address in St.Petersburg, Russia, the counter-notice was written in English and signed on behalf of Defendant Karsen by an individual using the name “Irakly Brodskih”.For the Court’s information, when a copyright owner demands that a third party(such as Google) remove or disable infringing material under the provisions of theDMCA, the responding party (generally the alleged infringer) may serve a
counter 
-noticeon the third party which contests the accuracy of the initial notice. In order to beeffective, 17 U.S.C. § 512(g)(3) requires that counter-notice must contain each of thefollowing things:
(A)
A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.
(B)
Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has beendisabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
(C)
A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
Case 2:11-cv-01055-FJM Document 6 Filed 06/22/11 Page 3 of 11

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