Cafiero v. Custer

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

08/14/2008

Status: 

Pending

Location: 

Pennsylvania

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
John Cafiero, a rock musician and manager of punk bands The Ramones and The Misfits, filed suit against Doug Custer (a/k/a Doug Evil) alleging in his complaint that Custer infringed his copyright by posting an animated video featuring The Misfits... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Doug Custer a/k/a Doug Evil

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual

Location of Party: 

  • New York

Location of Party: 

  • Pennsylvania

Legal Counsel: 

Pro se
Description

John Cafiero, a rock musician and manager of punk bands The Ramones and The Misfits, filed suit against Doug Custer (a/k/a Doug Evil) alleging in his complaint that Custer infringed his copyright by posting an animated video featuring The Misfits on YouTube.com and other websites.  Cafiero also brought a claim of misrepresentation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, arguing that Custer lied on his DMCA counter-notification by claiming a copyright interest in the video.

Alongside the copyright allegations, Cafiero alleged defamation and false light arising from various Internet postings Custer allegedly made that criticized Cafiero.  Many of these arose from spoof site Osuka Papsmear, which Cafiero asserts is a Custer blog dedicated to defaming Cafiero and his band Osaka Popstar.

Early in the case, Cafiero received a default judgment against Custer after Custer did not appear or answer the complaint.  Appearing pro se, Custer successfully challenged the default judgment and filed his answer and counterclaims.  Custer's lengthy counterclaims, which discuss Cafiero's business dealings in depth, appear to bring claims of copyright infringement and defamation.  Custer's filings maintain that he himself authored most of the material appearing in the video and that Cafiero reneged on his promises regarding publication and use of the video.

On November 11, 2008, Cafiero filed a motion to dismiss Custer's counterclaims for failure to comply with rules of civil procedure, asking in the alternative for Custer to file a more definite statement.  Custer opposed the motion and filed a more definite statement.

On May 22, 2009, the parties agreed to submit the case to mediation proceedings, and the judge referred the case to mediation on June 1. The defendant consented to appointed counsel for the mediation process only.

On May 28, Cafiero moved to file an amended complaint that would add two more plaintiffs --  Jerry Caiafa (a/k/a Jerry Only), who composed music for the video; and Cyclopian Music, Inc., the owner of The Misfits trademarks. The motion also sought to add counts of copyright infringement arising from use of Caiafa's work; trademark infringement under  Section 32 of the Lanham Act; and false designation of origin and unfair competition under Section 43 of the Lanham Act. The defendant opposed the motion to amend the complaint, asserting that adding more plaintiffs would conflict with the purpose of mediation.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Text
  • Graphic

Publication Medium: 

Blog
Forum
Social Network
Website

Subject Area: 

  • Copyright
  • Defamation
  • DMCA
  • False Light
Court Information & Documents
CMLP Information (Private)

Priority: 

1-High

Threat Source: 

Westlaw Alert

CMLP Notes: 

Source: Dozier Internet Law

CMF - 6/8/2009