Judge Denies Oron Request for Additional Funds

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—U.S. Judge Gloria M. Navarro this afternoon denied a request filed by Oron.com yesterday seeking the release of additional funds it says it needed to make large advance payments on monthly hosting fees. Navarro did grant a request by Oron that PayPal be allowed to continue processing payments for Oron.com, as long as Oron not be allowed to withdraw any of the funds while the court's TRO remains in effect.

"Defendant asks this Court to release EUR 71.736,22 before July 1, 2012 from its PayPal account and to release EUR 277.109,07 before July 9, 2012 from its PayPal account in order to pay its third party provider LeaseWeb B.V," wrote Navarro. "Defendant claims that these amounts must be paid to LeaseWeb B.V. by the above dates otherwise it will not be able to continue its business."

Navarro continued, "Defendant argues that it cannot withdraw the money from its Hong Kong account pursuant to the Hong Kong Court’s prior order because that bank refuses to release funds until the Hong Kong Court holds a hearing on the Hong Kong asset order on July 7, 2012.

"Defendant provides absolutely no explanation as to whether or not it attempted to obtain relief from the Hong Kong Court," she added. "Also troubling is the fact that Defendant is asking this Court to release EUR 277.109,07 that needs to be paid by July 9 when that amount can be asked of the Hong Kong Court at the July 7 hearing. The remaining amount, EUR 71.736,22 should be able to be paid from the $100,000 this Court released earlier this week. Defendant did not provide any explanation or evidence to demonstrate that the money was already used to pay other costs or expenses."

For those reasons, the court denied the motion for additional funds, while also stating, "Furthermore, any future requests must be accompanied by a full accounting of Defendants accounts and presented with appropriate documentation and any future requests for additional funds shall state the amount requested in U.S. dollars."

Earlier today, Corbin Fisher attorney Marc Randazza also filed a motion, in opposition to Oron's request for additional funds, in which he accused LeaseWeb of either colluding with or extorting Oron by asking for upfront payment. The preponderance of his argument was weighted to the former theory.

"Oron claims that LeaseWeb seeks a 'pre-payment' from Oron of approximately $280,000 by July 9, 2012," he wrote. "LeaseWeb’s allegedly demanded 'pre-payment' is not only inexplicably high but has no parallels in any industry standard, considering that payment for hosting services is typically a monthly fee."

He continued, "LeaseWeb’s demand for pre-payment is particularly suspect given that is a known haven for copyright infringers and other purveyors of pirated material. In fact, LeaseWeb regularly refuses to respond affirmatively to legitimate notices issued pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the 'DMCA') and actively attempts to hinder enforcement of the rights of copyright owners. Assuming that Oron has not fabricated this 'request' out of thin air, then it follows that LeaseWeb is in collusion with Oron and has dishonestly provided them with a bill to aid in its quest to siphon funds out of the Court’s control.

"Something," he concluded, "is amiss."

The court apparently agreed.

Oron's Request for Additional Funds may be accessed here.

Liberty's Opposition to Oron's request may be accessed here.

The judge's order denying the requesy may be accessed here.