Main session on Tuzov’s case scheduled for May 11
Penza, 13 April 2016. PenzaNews. The main session on the lawsuit by “VolgaInterMedia” against the individual businessman Alexander Tuzov on recovery of compensation for 74 facts of illegal use of copyrighted work will take place on Wednesday, May 11, in the Penza region Arbitration Court.
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During the preliminary session that took place on Wednesday, April 13, the representative of the complainant fully confirmed the claims.
At the same time, the defendant requested to dismiss the lawsuit because, in his opinion, the case falls outside of the scope of the arbitration court.
After the representative of the complainant requested to introduce a number of witnesses into the case session, the judge Svetlana Novikova asked Alexander Tuzov whether he knows the people; in turn, he gave a brief description of each of them.
“[Tatyana Rezepova is] the press secretary of the [Penza] mayor Kuvaytsev, who, to put it mildly, does not like me for maintaining a critical stance on his activities. She is a press secretary who is devoted to him your honor. [Anastasiya] Bayazitova is the assistant general director of [the TV company] ‘Express’ whom I imputed for the photos of [Yuri] Schevchuk – the copyright [case] was reviewed yesterday. Also holds an apparent grudge. [Pavel] Arzamastsev [first secretary of the Penza region committee of the unregistered ‘United Communist Party’] is also one of the company. [Sergei] Padalkin [head of the Penza region CPRF press service] is the man who wrote on the PenzaNews website, represented by this lawyer, who wrote that I am, pardon my words, a piece of dung, and it is still there to this day, the screenshot from Twitter,” said the defendant, who also added that Georgy Kamnev [the first secretary of the CPRF regional committee, deputy of the Penza region Legislative Assembly] is a Communist and a target of critique from his media.
During the court session, Alexander Tuzov insisted that he did not use the photos that were produced by the staff of PenzaNews agency (founded by the company “VolgaInterMedia”), originally published on the website of the aforementioned news agency, and then copied on the website of the former’s online media source.
“I experience no guilt,” Alexander Tuzov said, practically making a public admission that he holds no responsibility for the information published on the website where he is the editor-in-chief.
At the same time, the representative of the complainant maintained that the defendant, who personally claims that he works in his own online media alone, had no rights to use the photos by PenzaNews agency without the right owner’s permission and so far provided no proof for doing otherwise.
The court session concluded with judge Svetlana Novikova announcing that the case is put on hold until May 11.
As PenzaNews reported earlier, in January 2016, “VolgaInterMedia” initiated a case in the Penza region Arbitration Court against the individual businessman Alexander Tuzov on recovery of compensation of 3 million rubles overall for illegal use of copyrighted photos on two websites.
The first preliminary court hearing took place on February 8. Even though the accused party had been addressed a hearing summons containing the date and time of the hearing, and a request of arbitration, neither he nor his representative appeared in the court. At the same time, the complainant presented a package of documents in confirmation of illegal use of copyrighted work by the accused party. As a result, the court postponed the preliminary hearing until March 2.
Alexander Tuzov petitioned to familiarize with materials of the case on February 9.
On the evening of the same day, the PenzaNews editor-in-chief Pavel Polosin, who earlier suggested that Alexander Tuzov was likely to play victim, received a text message on his personal mobile phone with an offer to “settle the issue out of court.”
On February 15, the president of “VolgaInterMedia” Ivan Malikov met with Alexander Tuzov on the latter’s initiative, and offered him to settle the issue out of court for half the amount, with an option to pay it in installments; however, Alexander Tuzov declined, saying he does not have the money.
On the next day, Ivan Malikov expressed an opinion that the failure of out-of-court settlement talks forced the administrator of “Alexander Tuzov’s Blog” to delete his LiveJournal account. The president of “VolgaInterMedia” said he welcomes the decision, although it will not help the blogger in question escape the liability.
In late February, the complainant updated the claims to Alexander Tuzov and listed 74 facts of illegal use of photos instead of 60, for the same expected compensation amount of 3 million rubles.
During the preliminary court session on March 2, Alexander Tuzov claimed that he is not the owner of “Alexander Tuzov’s Blog” in LiveJournal, which had been removed in February 2016. The aforementioned blog contained provocative information that concerned such people as some of the high-ranking officials of the Penza region.
On the evening of the same day, Sergei Padalkin, head of the press service in the CPRF Penza region committee, expressed his opinion over the court session by writing “Neighborhood fool shows himself in Arbitration Court today” in his Twitter.
On March 3, members of the media community discussed the wording and phrasing choices by Alexander Tuzov with their colleagues at PenzaNews. In particular, they pointed out that during the court hearing on March 2, Alexander Tuzov used such poorly-chosen phrases as “[people are] recording [rather than writing] in their newspaper” and “[I am] not laying [rather than ‘lying’].” According to certain journalists, these mistakes reveal the true literacy level of the person who is employed as an editor-in-chief of a registered online media and also poses himself as a local political analyst.
The next preliminary court session in the row took place on April 6, when 8 non-party intervenors confirmed that they produced the photos under their job agreements and the photos were first published on the website of PenzaNews agency.