Zaiger Motion for Attorney Fees Denied

Trolls, such as inhabit Encyclopedia Dramatica

Zaiger Motion for Attorney Fees Denied
by Susan Basko, esq.

Chief Judge Patti Saris has denied Brian Zaiger's Motion for Attorney Fees against Jonathan Monsarrat. Monsarrat sued Encyclopedia Dramatica and Brian Zaiger, as its owner, for copyright infringement.  That cause was dismissed as being time-barred by the statute of limitations for copyright claims.

In denying the motion, the Court stated that Monsarrat's claim was not frivolous or brought for unmerited reasons.  In addition, the Court stated that Zaiger was "unduly nasty." The order states that Zaiger's defense counsel "informed the Court that as soon as the litigation concluded, his client intended to re-post the photograph at issue."  That "defense counsel" would be either Mark Randazza or Jay Wolman, who is with Randazza Legal Group.  Jonathan Monsarrat's lawyer in this case is Richard Goren.  In addition, the Court stated that defense counsel filed, in open court records, the questionable photograph, before the Court was able to rule on Monsarrat's objections to the filing. 

The "photograph at issue" refers to a photograph posted on Encyclopedia Dramatica that was photoshopped to imply or state falsely that Monsarrat is a "pedophile."  Encyclopedia Dramatica is a website that routinely defames and stalks people.  Jonathan Monsarrat had struggled for years to get the website and its owners to remove the defamatory photo and article.  At one point, those items had been removed, and were replaced onto the site later.  From the sounds of things, Encyclopedia Dramatica and its owner thought they would be allowed to play that game ad infinitum.  Defense Counsel was even using the lawsuit court filings to play that same nasty game, as the Court has noted:

"Finally, the defense has been unduly nasty. See Lotus Dev.
Corp. v. Borland Int’l, Inc., 140 F.3d 70, 76 n.5 (1st Cir.
1998) (observing that “courts have exercised their discretion to
tailor fee awards in light of the behavior of the parties during
litigation”). For example, defense counsel informed the Court
that as soon as the litigation concluded, his client intended to
re-post the photograph at issue, see Dkt. No. 74 at 3-9, and
defense counsel filed in the public record the offensive and
allegedly defamatory “Jonmon” page before the Court could rule
on Plaintiff’s known objections, see Dkt. Nos. 45, 47-5, 56.
 Accordingly, Defendant’s motion (Dkt. No. 116) is DENIED."

This long-running lawsuit is not over yet! As stated in the Order, the Court has not yet ruled on Defendant's Counterclaim.  The lawsuit was filed March 2, 2017, making it over a year old, with 124 docket entries thus far.

The denial of this motion leaves Zaiger with a rumored $100,000 in legal fees.  All of that could have been avoided if Encyclopedia Dramatica were run in a responsible manner.  The site is a cesspool of hate and defamation and obscenity, dished up to harm reputations and cause distress on its victims. Basic respect for the reputations and rights of others, coupled with providing an easy contact method as well as registering a DMCA agent, and intelligent responses to takedown notices, would have avoided this situation.

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