October 5, 2022

Late final week, streaming big Netflix answered a criticism filed by Hollywood Improvements Group LLC (HIG), a California film studio who claimed that Netflix alongside a number of South Korean film producers infringed its copyright to a pandemic-themed movement image. The reply comes after Netflix’s movement to dismiss failed to achieve traction and after the courtroom ordered private jurisdiction-related discovery in relation to the South Korean producer defendants.

As beforehand reported, two movies, #Alive launched by Netflix and HIG’s Alone are on the coronary heart of the case. HIG had the rights to Alone, initially a Korean-language and Koren produced movie, however claimed that the South Korean producers and Netflix usurped its rights to the screenplay, bringing #Alive, a translated and dubbed model of the Korean movie, to market a month earlier than Alone’s launch. Consequently, Alone tanked due to nearly-identical #Alive’s launch and circulation. 

In response to HIG’s lawsuit, the South Korean producers moved to dismiss for lack of non-public jurisdiction and Netflix for failure to affix an indispensable social gathering, for discussion board non conveniens, and failure to state a declare.

Choose Terry J. Hatter, Jr.’s August-issued opinion stated that HIG failed to ascertain that the South Korean producers purposely directed their suit-related conduct at California, but the courtroom granted HIG permission to conduct jurisdictional discovery in regards to the overseas defendants.

Choose Hatter declined Netflix’s movement on all of its proffered three grounds. As to discussion board non conveniens, the courtroom stated that Netflix “did not fulfill its heavy burden of displaying that this case could be inconvenient to strive on this Court docket.” Moreover, the opinion stated Netflix didn’t give the courtroom sufficient context in regards to the operation of South Korean regulation for it to ascertain that HIG did not state a copyright infringement declare.

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In its reply to the criticism, Netflix asserted ten affirmative defenses together with failure to state a declare, statute of limitations, unclean arms, and equitable estoppel. The related events will conduct jurisdictional-related discovery till November 21.

HIG is represented by One LLP and Bay Advocacy PLLC. The South Korean Producers are represented by Mandavia Ephraim & Burg LLP and Netflix by Munger, Tolles & Olson.