Oron.com May Be Offline, But Lawyers Remain Active in Court

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Oron.com may be offline, but the copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by gay content studio Corbin Fisher continues unabated, with lawyers for both sides continuing to file motions, including one today by the defendant in opposition to a motion filed yesterday by Corbin parent Liberty Media Holdings requesting that "the August 9, 2012 hearing on Preliminary Injunction be designated as an evidentiary hearing."

"Both Parties in this case have submitted many documents, exhibits, and declarations," the Liberty motion continued. "The Plaintiff requests this designation so that it may present additional evidence and witness testimony in order to better elucidate its support and claims with regards to the relief sought by the Preliminary Injunction."

Oron cites two reasons for opposing Liberty's motion. "First, permitting Liberty Media to present new or additional evidence at the hearing would deprive Oron of a fair opportunity to oppose Liberty Media’s preliminary injunction motion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(a)(1) provides that no preliminary injunction may be issued without notice to the adverse party. Although the rule does not specify the amount of notice required, the United States Supreme Court has held that it 'implies a hearing in which the defendant is given a fair opportunity to oppose the application and to prepare for such opposition.' [Emphasis in the original]

"Second," it continues, "plaintiff Liberty Media’s request to present live testimony at the hearing should be denied. Although the Court has discretion to allow a motion for preliminary injunction to be heard on live testimony in appropriate circumstances, live testimony is rarely allowed."

Tuesday, Liberty filed another motion with the court asking it to schedule a "Case Management Conference, either telephonically or in person as soon as is reasonably possible, and prior to the deadlines for briefing in preparation for the upcoming hearing on August 9, 2012."

The purpose of the conference was to "allow the Court and the Parties to establish a reasonable schedule that will benefit all" in light of the fact that overlapping motions, and yet-to-filed motions are adding unnecessary costs on both sides. The motion points out that "currently pending before the Court is Liberty’s Motion to Enforce Settlement."

A settlement offer by Corbin Fisher and counter-offer by Oron were exchanged in the latter part of June. Corbin is currently trying to get the settlement enforced by the court, but Oron is arguing that it never agreed to the terms. The details of the offer and counter-offer were contained in supposedly confidential letters filed with the court, with the terms redacted, but non-redacted versions were subsequently obtained by the press and published online. Those versions are available here (Corbin offer) and here (Oron counter-offer).

"If the Motion to Enforce Settlement is granted it will render the need for the August 9, 2012 hearing moot," the plaintiff further argues in its July 31 motion. "Given the settlement agreement and the Plaintiff’s position thereupon, if the settlement agreement is enforced, Plaintiff will be compelled to dismiss this action (after payment is transferred) with respect to all identified Defendants, ending the case altogether."

The court did not respond to Corbin's request that the July 31 motion be dealt with within 24 hours, however, and other motions have been filed in the interim, including Oron's motion today in opposition to turning the August 9 hearing on the preliminary injunction into an evidentiary hearing. On the same day (July 31) that Liberty Media filed its motion seeking a case management conference, Oron filed a 30-page motion arguing that the court should "deny Plaintiff’s motion for entry of a preliminary injunction and appointment of a receiver," as well as another motion arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction over Oron, a Hong Kong-based company.

While all of this was taking place, Oron.com, as TorrentFreak put it today, "disappeared from the Internet. The site carries no message and the domains don’t work, but apparently Oron will return at some point after it has completed some major maintenance."

An email from Oron obtained by TorrentFreak read, “At this time we are in the process of moving Oron.com to another hosting provider. As soon as we finish this process we will post a notification on our site. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you.”

Though Oron's operations are shrouded in mystery, as is the exact amount of resources at its disposal, the company has asserted in motions filed in court that if money in frozen accounts was not released to it, it would lose its hosting because of extra fees being demanded of it by its provider, LeaseWeb. "Whether LeaseWeb have been paid or not remains unclear but it seems almost certain that Oron are now heading for a new home," TorrentFreak reported today.

Adding an element of mystery to the current situation, TF added in closing, "TorrentFreak has received information from two different sources who both claim to know why Oron has chosen to move its infrastructure. As yet we’ve been unable to back up the claims—we’ll report back when we can."

Stay tuned.