The world-leading online gambling company that was one of the world’s first to open up to the public in 2007 has closed its doors.
On Wednesday the company announced it had lost $150 million in a lawsuit filed by its founder, Paul Dolan, which accused it of violating copyright by selling intellectual property to his business partners.
The case was brought by a group of copyright holders including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of Britain (RIAB) and several other parties including the MPAA.
It said the company had created a “digital entertainment ecosystem” and had allowed its partners to profit from its IP.
The company’s stock has plummeted from $2.50 in May to $1.50 at the close on Wednesday, and analysts said it was unlikely to survive the legal battle.
“The legal action from the MPCC, the RIAB and the other parties is a blow to the company and a setback for the company,” said Neil McGovern, senior partner at research firm Ovum.
“It is disappointing to see a major technology company lose money.”
If anything, it makes the case that the company is in danger of being bought by a major media company, which would likely have a better legal position to make money off of intellectual property.
“Mr Dolan was accused of using the intellectual property of other companies including PokerStars, which was shut down by US authorities last year, and others including the gambling portal, to make a profit.
The lawsuit also claimed that the site was “a venue for gambling activities by third parties, such as actors, musicians, and journalists” and that it was the “subject of an unfair competition claim by the MPCA”.
The lawsuit, which had been lodged in April this year, said the MPC had not notified it of its copyright concerns about the site’s IP and had not informed the company of the possible legal implications.”
As a result of the MPMC’s actions, Paul and his partners have had to close the site and discontinue their use of the intellectual content that is now available for sale,” the company said in a statement.”
We will now pursue our long-standing position that it is against the law for third parties to use our intellectual property for their own commercial gain.
“In a statement, the MPTC said: “We believe that it has been the right decision for Paul and the MPMA to shut down the site, as it has provided a forum for the industry to continue to flourish and has given us a way to make revenue from the digital content that we have acquired.
“The MPTC had asked the court for a judgment of default, but the judge ruled in favour of the company.
Mr Dlan, whose name was not mentioned in the complaint, has also been the subject of a separate case.
The MPCC’s ruling in May in favour the company was seen as a significant victory for the entertainment industry.”
This is a win for the MPIA, which is seeking to protect copyright by enforcing its rights, and for the public, who have been looking for a legal mechanism to protect the entertainment industries’ intellectual property from piracy and other abuse,” the MPAAA said in an emailed statement.
The movie industry is increasingly using online poker and online poker sites to make cash, but there are still concerns about whether they are being sufficiently protected by copyright.
Online poker has long been used by Hollywood studios, who use it to fund their productions and to help boost the profits of their biggest films.”
Online poker, while popular, is still very new and its use is not as widespread as other forms of gambling,” said Steve Janssens, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).”
If it continues to grow at this rate, it’s going to become more and more of a monopoly and we’re going to have to do something about that.
“The company behind PokerStars said it “strongly disagrees” with the MPACT’s ruling.”
Paul’s company, MPCC PokerStars is very much committed to the protection of copyright and we have no plans to change our position at this time,” it said.”
While the MPCT’s ruling does not apply to MPCC and MPCC is now a publicly traded company, we remain committed to vigorously defending our IP rights in court.
“It is unclear what other companies Mr Dolan could be suing.”
There’s a lot of money being made in online poker now, so it’s a big problem.””
I’m sure he’s going after the MPICA, the recording industry, and other other media companies.”
There’s a lot of money being made in online poker now, so it’s a big problem.