The proprietors of a muscle car restoration business, Dan and Gary Pronman, were liable for the attorney fees incurred by the operators of a complaint website in successfully defending against frivolous copyright infringement claims based on the website operators’ allegedly unlawful reproduction and publication of copyrighted photographs owned by the Pronmans, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta has decided. According to the court, the law of the case doctrine probably barred the Pronmans’ challenge of the fee award, but even if the doctrine were inapplicable, the federal district court in West Palm Beach, Florida, did not abuse its discretion in awarding the website operators’ fees under Section 505 of the Copyright Act. The Pronmans had sought millions of dollars in statutory and actual damages in connection with the alleged infringement, even though they produced no evidence of actual damages, and statutory damages were plainly unavailable (Pronman v. Styles , January 18, 2017, per curiam).

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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