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BOSTON – In an order issued Thursday, Judge Patti B. Saris, presiding over the case in which artist Leah Bassett has sued Mile High Distribution and a variety of people associated with the company on claims ranging from trespass to civil RICO violations, denied Bassett a sweeping injunction ostensibly designed to keep the company from continuing to distribute any videos or photographs which include her copyrighted-protected artworks.

In the order, Saris notes several weaknesses in the basis for Bassett’s injunction request, opining that these defects undermine the urgency the plaintiff asserted in moving for the injunction.

“Now, nearly a year and a half after first filing this lawsuit, Bassett asks the Court for a preliminary injunction enjoining Defendants from ‘continuing to display images of [her] copyright-protected artworks in any manner or form by any person, entity and/or Internet site that falls within their legal means to prevent such continued displays’,” Saris writes, followed by a footnote.

In the footnote, Saris observes that in her original motion, “Bassett also sought an injunction preventing ‘Defendants from creating, marketing, and/or selling adult entertainment/pornographic materials of any kind or description for commercial purposes within the United States…. during the pendency of this lawsuit.’ In her reply brief and at the hearing held on October 16, 2019, however, she waived that request for relief.”

The footnote may seem unremarkable on its face, but consider the request Saris has just described: Bassett wanted her to shut down Mile High’s U.S. operations entirely, for the duration of the case. While Bassett later amended the request and narrowed her request to cover just videos depicting her artwork, it’s clear the court still considered it an extraordinary level of relief to request, particularly in the form of a preliminary injunction.

Saris also noted that the copyright-protected works at issue are not works that are being commercially distributed or publicly displayed, further undermining the urgency of the plaintiff’s request.



Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of different pen names) since 2002.