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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 1 of 11 Page ID #:1

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Stephen M. Doniger (SBN 179314)
stephen@donigerlawfirm.com
2 Scott Alan Burroughs (SBN 235718)
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scott@donigerlawfirm.com
Trevor W. Barrett (SBN 287174)
4 tbarrett@donigerlawfirm.com
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DONIGER / BURROUGHS
603 Rose Avenue
6 Venice, California 90291
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Telephone: (310) 590-1820
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
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9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
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11 Osho International Foundation, a Swiss Case No.:


12 Corporation; and Michael Hilow, an Plaintiffs’ Complaint for:
individual,
13 1. Copyright Infringement;
14 Plaintiffs, 2. Vicarious and/or Contributory
Copyright Infringement;
15 v.
3. Violation of the Digital
16 Millennium Copyright Act (17
Chapman Way, an individual; Maclain U.S.C. §1202)
17 Way, an individual, Duplass Brothers
18 Productions, a Texas Corporation; Netflix, Jury Trial Demanded
Inc, a Delaware Corporation; and Does 1-
19 10,
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Defendants.
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COMPLAINT
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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 2 of 11 Page ID #:2

1 Plaintiffs Osho International Foundation and Michael Hilow hereby allege as


2 follows:
3 Jurisdiction & Venue
4 1. This action arises under the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101, et seq.
5 2. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,
6 1338(a) and (b), & 1367(a).
7 3. Venue in this judicial district is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (c) and §
8 1400(a).
9 The Parties
10 4. Plaintiff Osho International Foundation is a Swiss corporation.
11 5. Plaintiff Michael Hilow is an individual residing in Los Angeles, California.
12 6. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereupon allege, that Defendant
13 Chapman Way is an individual residing in Los Angeles, California.
14 7. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereupon allege, that Defendant
15 Maclain Way is an individual residing in Thousand Oaks, California.
16 8. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereupon allege, that Defendant
17 Duplass Brothers Productions is a Texas corporation with its principal place of
18 business located at 199 E. Oakridge Park, Metairie, LA 70005, and is doing business
19 in and with California.
20 9. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereon allege, that Defendant Netflix,
21 Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business located at 100
22 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, California 95032.
23 10. Defendants Does 1 through 10, inclusive, are other parties not yet identified
24 who have infringed Plaintiffs’ copyrights, have contributed to the infringement of
25 Plaintiffs’ copyrights, or have engaged in one or more of the wrongful practices
26 alleged herein. The true names, whether corporate, individual or otherwise, of
27 Defendants 1 through 10, inclusive, are presently unknown to Plaintiff, which
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COMPLAINT
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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 3 of 11 Page ID #:3

1 therefore sue said Defendants by such fictitious names, and will seek leave to amend
2 this Complaint to show their true names and capacities when same have been
3 ascertained.
4 11. Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that at all times relevant
5 hereto each of the Defendants was the agent, affiliate, officer, director, manager,
6 principal, alter-ego, and/or employee of the remaining Defendants and was at all
7 times acting within the scope of such agency, affiliation, alter-ego relationship and/or
8 employment; and actively participated in or subsequently ratified and adopted, or
9 both, each and all of the acts or conduct alleged, with full knowledge of all the facts
10 and circumstances, including, but not limited to, full knowledge of each and every
11 violation of Plaintiffs’ rights and the damages to Plaintiffs proximately caused
12 thereby.
13 Factual Background
14 Osho International’s Works
15 12. Osho International promotes, publishes, licenses, and archives the teachings
16 and other work of the author and mediation teacher Osho (formerly known as
17 Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh 1931-1990) and has done so since the 1970’s.
18 13. Osho International is the sole and exclusive owner of, inter alia, copyrighted
19 lecture materials, photographic works, and video works documenting the life and
20 teachings of Osho. These works have been registered or submitted for registration
21 with all formalities satisfied. These works include, without limitation:
22 a. “I Leave You My Dream”;
23 b. “Rajneeshpuram: The First Year”; and
24 c. “OSHO 1931-1990.”
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COMPLAINT
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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 4 of 11 Page ID #:4

1 14. Osho International’s films were widely screened and available for viewing,
2 purchase, and streaming, including via VHS tape and DVD/optical disc, or via
3 internet and streaming distribution platforms.
4 Hilow’s Films
5 15. Hilow is a documentarian and director of the 1993 documentary film
6 “Rajneeshpuram an Experiment to Provoke God,” which documents the development
7 of the movement between 1981-1985 in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon.
8 16. Hilow is the sole and exclusive owner of “Rajneeshpuram an Experiment to
9 Provoke God,” which was registered with the United States Copyright Office and
10 allocated Registration No. PA0002125666.
11 17. “Rajneeshpuram an Experiment to Provoke God” was widely screened and
12 available for viewing, purchase, and streaming, including in theatres, at film festivals,
13 on VHS tape and DVD/optical disc, or via internet/streaming distribution platforms.
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“Wild Wild Country”
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18. Defendants Chapman Way, Maclain Way, Duplass Bros., and Netflix, have
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infringed and continue to infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works by (and without
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Plaintiffs’ permission) producing, distributing, and streaming their six-episode series
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“Wild Wild Country.”
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19. Defendants appropriated substantial portions of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works
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throughout duration of “Wild Wild Country” (such portions referred to herein as
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“appropriated footage”). For instance, the first episode of the series alone includes
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roughly 88 discrete instances of appropriation, covering a total duration of at least
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over 12 minutes, or roughly a quarter of the episode’s total duration.
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20. A footage log documenting certain instances of appropriated footage in “Wild
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Wild Country,” including its duration and source, is attached as Exhibit A. This
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representative log is not intended to be an exclusive, exhaustive, or final accounting
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COMPLAINT
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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 5 of 11 Page ID #:5

1 of Defendants’ appropriation of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted films and the claims made


2 herein are made as to all unauthorized uses by Defendants, and each of them, of any
3 of Plaintiff’s content.
4 21. In each instance, the appropriated footage in “Wild Wild Country” is identical
5 or virtually identical to Plaintiffs’ source works, or is a slightly modified derivative of
6 said work.
7 22. “Wild Wild Country” was nominated for five Primetime Emmys and won the
8 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.
9 23. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and thereupon allege, that “Wild Wild
10 Country” has been a commercial success for Defendants, including as a means of
11 driving revenues, awareness, and subscriber growth for Netflix.
12 24. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and now allege, that Defendants yielded
13 substantial revenue from their production, distribution, and streaming of “Wild Wild
14 Country,” including by way of subscriber payments and licensing fees.
15 25. Plaintiffs are informed and believe, and now allege that Defendants’ conduct
16 was willful, given the substantial breadth of Defendants’ infringement, as
17 documented in Exhibit A, the lack of obtainment of a license or other transfer, and
18 the continued exploitation of Plaintiffs’ work after notice that Plaintiff’s owned the
19 work and objected to is exploitation without consent.
20 26. Plaintiffs notified Defendants of their allegations of infringement in February,
21 2018, yet Defendants failed to meaningfully respond and Netflix continues to
22 broadcast, stream, display, and distribute “Wild Wild Country.”
23 First Claim for Relief
24 (For Copyright Infringement–Against all Defendants, and Each)
25 27. Plaintiffs repeat, re-allege, and incorporate by reference all preceding
26 paragraphs of this Complaint.
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COMPLAINT
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1 28. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, and each
2 of them, had access to Plaintiffs’ copyrighted films through VHS tape, DVD, or
3 online streaming platforms. Additionally, access is also established by the striking
4 similarity (they are identical or virtually identical) of the infringing scenes.
5 29. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that, without Plaintiffs’
6 authorization, Defendants, and each of them, distributed, marketed, and published
7 “Wild Wild Country” bearing appropriated footage that is identical to, or
8 substantially similar to, excerpts from or complete copies of Plaintiffs’ works.
9 30. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereon allege that Defendants, and
10 each of them, infringed Plaintiffs’ copyrights by creating “Wild Wild Country” and
11 then marketing, distributing, and publishing it to the public.
12 31. Defendants, and each of them, infringed Plaintiffs’ rights by extracting
13 footage from Plaintiffs’ works, incorporating the appropriated works in new and
14 different combinations into “Wild Wild Country,” and then publishing it without
15 Plaintiffs’ authorization or consent.
16 32. Due to Defendants’, and each of their, acts of infringement, Plaintiffs’ have
17 suffered actual, general and special damages in an amount to be established at trial,
18 including but not limited a reasonable license fee for Defendants’ use of the works.
19 33. Due to Defendants’ acts of copyright infringement as alleged herein,
20 Defendants, and each of them, have obtained direct and indirect profits they would
21 not otherwise have realized but for their infringement of Plaintiffs’ rights in
22 Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works. As such, Plaintiffs are entitled to disgorgement of
23 Defendants’ profits directly and indirectly attributable to Defendants’ infringements
24 of their rights in the works in an amount to be established at trial.
25 34. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, and each
26 of their, conduct as alleged herein was willful, reckless, and/or with knowledge,
27 subjecting Defendants, and each of them, to enhanced statutory damages, claims for
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COMPLAINT
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1 costs and attorneys’ fees, and/or a preclusion from deducting certain costs when
2 calculating disgorgeable profits.
3 Second Claim for Relief
4 (For Vicarious and/or Contributory Copyright Infringement–Against all Defendants,
5 and Each)
6 35. Plaintiffs repeat, re-allege, and incorporate by reference all preceding
7 paragraphs of this Complaint.
8 36. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants knowingly
9 induced, participated in, aided and abetted in and profited from the illegal
10 reproduction, distribution, and publication of “Wild Wild Country” as alleged above.
11 Specifically, the producers of the film (Netflix and Duplass Bros.) underwrote and
12 participated in Ways’ illegal copying during the creation of “Wild Wild Country.”
13 Defendants, and each of them, realized profits through their respective obtainment,
14 distribution, and publication of the “Wild Wild Country.”
15 37. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, and each
16 of them, are vicariously liable for the infringement alleged herein because they had
17 the right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct and because they had a direct
18 financial interest in the infringing conduct. Specifically, each Defendant in the
19 involved in the infringement had the ability to oversee the publication and
20 distribution of the Infringing Scenes. And, Defendants, and each of them, realized
21 profits through their respective obtainment, distribution, and publication of the “Wild
22 Wild Country” featuring the appropriated works.
23 38. By reason of Defendants’, and each of their, acts of contributory and vicarious
24 infringement as alleged above, Plaintiffs have suffered and will continue to suffer
25 substantial damages to their businesses in an amount to be established at trial, as well
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COMPLAINT
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1 as additional actual, general and special damages in an amount to be established at


2 trial.
3 39. Due to Defendants’ acts of copyright infringement as alleged herein,
4 Defendants, and each of them, have obtained direct and indirect profits they would
5 not otherwise have realized but for their infringement of Plaintiffs’ rights in. As such,
6 Plaintiffs are entitled to disgorgement of Defendants’ profits directly and indirectly
7 attributable to Defendants’ infringement of Plaintiffs’ rights in their copyrighted
8 works in an amount to be established at trial.
9 40. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, and each
10 of their, conduct as alleged herein was willful, reckless, and/or with knowledge,
11 subjecting Defendants, and each of them, to enhanced statutory damages, claims for
12 costs and attorneys’ fees, and/or a preclusion from deducting certain costs when
13 calculating disgorgeable profits.
14 Third Claim for Relief
15 (For Violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. §1202 – Against
16 all Defendants, and Each))
17 41. Plaintiffs repeat, re-allege, and incorporate by reference all preceding
18 paragraphs of this Complaint.
19 42. Plaintiffs’ films, as distributed on VHS, DVD/optical disk, and streaming
20 platforms, contained Content Management Information (“CMI”), including but not
21 limited to the inclusion of their names as authors of, and copyright holders for, the
22 works at issue, titles, DVD and/or other metadata, and other indicia identifying the
23 works or Plaintiffs as authors of the works.
24 43. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, in the
25 course of extracting footage from Plaintiffs’ films and recompiling that footage into
26 “Wild Wild Country,” violated 17 U.S.C. §1202 by intentionally removing and/or
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COMPLAINT
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1 altering the CMI on the copy of one or more infringing scenes from Plaintiffs’ films,
2 and then by distributing the scenes with knowledge that the CMI had been removed
3 or altered without authority of the copyright owner or the law.
4 44. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, and each
5 of them, distributed false CMI in connection with their distribution of “Wild Wild
6 Country,” including false CMI identifying Defendants and/or their agents or
7 collaborators as the author and/or owner of certain material that was in fact owned by
8 authored and/or owned by one or more of the Plaintiffs.
9 45. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants distributed
10 and publicly displayed the extracted footage containing mislabeled and/or fraudulent
11 CMI, knowing that the CMI had been removed or altered without authority of the
12 copyright owner or the law, and knowing, or, with respect to civil remedies under
13 section 1203, having reasonable grounds to know, that the conduct would induce,
14 enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of any right under this title.
15 46. The above conduct is in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and
16 exposes Defendants, and each of them, to additional and enhanced common law and
17 statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and penalties pursuant to 17 USC § 1203 and
18 other applicable law.
19 47. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and now allege that Defendants, and each
20 of their, conduct as alleged herein was willful, reckless, and/or with knowledge, and
21 Plaintiffs resultantly seek enhanced damage and penalties.
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COMPLAINT
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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 10 of 11 Page ID #:10

1 Prayer for Relief


2 (Against All Defendants)
3 With Respect to Each Claim for Relief, Plaintiffs demand judgment against
4 Defendants as follows:
5 a. That Defendants, their affiliates, agents, and employees be enjoined
6 from infringing Plaintiffs’ copyrights in and to Plaintiffs’ copyrighted
7 works;
8 b. Granting an injunction permanently restraining and enjoining
9 Defendants, their officers, agents employees, and attorneys, and all those
10 persons or entities in active concert or participation with them, or any of
11 them, from further infringing Plaintiff’s copyrights in and to Plaintiffs’
12 copyrighted works;
13 c. For a constructive trust to be entered over any scenes, recordings,
14 reproductions, files, online programs, and other material in connection
15 with “Wild Wild Country,” and all revenues resulting from the
16 exploitation of same, for the benefit of Plaintiffs;
17 d. That Plaintiffs be awarded all profits of Defendants, and each, plus all
18 losses of Plaintiff, plus any other monetary advantage gained by the
19 Defendants through their infringement, the exact sum to be proven at the
20 time of trial;
21 e. That Defendants pay damages equal to Plaintiffs’ actual damages and
22 lost profits;
23 f. That Plaintiffs be awarded statutory damages and attorneys’ fees as
24 available under 17 U.S.C. § 505 and 17 U.S.C. § 1203;
25 g. That Plaintiffs be awarded pre-judgment interest as allowed by law;
26 h. That Plaintiffs be awarded the costs of this action; and
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COMPLAINT
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Case 2:19-cv-00753 Document 1 Filed 01/31/19 Page 11 of 11 Page ID #:11

1 i. That Plaintiffs be awarded such further legal and equitable relief as the
2 Court deems proper.
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Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues so triable pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
38 and the 7th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
5

6 Respectfully submitted,
7

8 Dated: January 31, 2019 By: /s/ Scott Alan Burroughs


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Scott Alan Burroughs, Esq.
Trevor W. Barrett, Esq.
10 DONIGER / BURROUGHS
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Attorneys for Plaintiffs

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COMPLAINT
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