FUNimation Sues Retailers of Counterfeit Anime DVDs

Mike Ferreira (Editor) — November 1st, 2008 — 01:00
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According to Anime News Network, FUNimation has filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles against entrepeneur Hae Yon Ro and four retailers, for copyright and trademark infringement. The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Ro's four businesses:, Discount Anime DVD, DOES, and N Trading Inc., have knowingly and willingly sold bootleg anime DVDs since March 2002.

According to FUNimation, Navarre's lawyers issued cease-and-desist letters to all four retail outlets in February. All four outlets failed to respond favorably, which prompted Navarre to file suit in August.

FUNimation seeks the seizure and/or destruction of all counterfeit DVDs and the materials used to make them. Also, FUNimation is suing for $23.7 million in damages from the sale of counterfeit goods, $80,000 in legal fees, and $5.005 million in fees for violation of copyrights held by Square-Enix, Shueisha, and TV Tokyo.

In addition to property seizure and monetary damages, FUNimation seeks to have the court issue an order that would require the retailers to notify all customers who purchased a counterfeit DVD that the purchased DVD is an illegal copy. This copy would be returnable for a full refund, shipping included.

The defendants claim that their actions are protected by the fair-use doctrine and the statute of limitations, and that the companies' actions were done under the good-faith assumption that the products were legally-authorized titles.