Bassett v. Carter et al. (18-cv-10576).

In one of the more salacious intellectual property filings I have seen, Martha’s Vineyard-based artist Leah Bassett filed suit against Mile High Media and a number of individuals associated with the company for copyright infringement,  breach of contract, trespass, civil conspiracy, RICO violations, and a number of additional claims relating to the defendants’ alleged use of her Aquinnah house to shoot pornographic movies.  Ms. Bassett designed the house, and decorated it with numerous works of art that she created, including paintings, sculptures, and the like.  She alleges that one of the defendants rented the house during the winter of 2014 – 2015 for the purpose of making porn, without telling her of the planned use of the property and in violation of the lease agreement.  When he vacated the premises before the expiration of the lease, she discovered considerable damage to the house.  Subsequent investigations revealed that the house had been used as the set of a number of porn films made and distributed by Mile High Media, in which her artwork is visible – according to the complaint, some of her art was moved from room to room “in order to ‘aesthetically enhance’ their porn scenes…”  She asserts willful copyright infringement, based on the defendants’ knowledge that she was a professional artist whose work would be protected by copyright law from the unauthorized reproduction of the same in the films.  Ms. Bassett seeks monetary damages as well as injunctive relief to prevent further dissemination of films that include her copyrighted works of art.  Judge Saris is the lucky winner of this case.

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