Within 48 hours of initiating a copyright infringement suit against FJerry LLC, Elliot Tebele, Jerry Media and Tebele’s tequila venture JAJA Spirits for allegedly stealing a meme and posting it on the popular @fuckjerry Instagram, legal counsel for “content creator” Olorunfemi Coker filed to voluntarily dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning that Coker could, at least in theory, file suit against the defendants on the same grounds again at a later date.
While Coker’s motion to dismiss, which was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, does not specify why the case is being put to an abrupt end, counsel for Jerry Media says it is because the plaintiff is not the original creator of the meme.
According to a statement from legal counsel for Jerry Media, Mr. Coker “was almost certainly not the original creator” of the content at issue in the case, and thus, did not have the grounds to file suit int he first place. “We are pleased to see that this lawsuit has been dismissed — only two days after it was filed.” Advertising-centric publication AdAge revealed on Friday that “Coker and [his] attorney Scott Burroughs dismissed the suit after Jerry Media's investigation revealed Coker was not the original creator of the content, and as such could not lay claim to its copyright.”
Jason P.W. Halperin, an attorney representing Jerry Media, told AdAge that his clients “are now considering taking their own legal actions, including for defamation, against the responsible parties," said Jason P.W. Halperin. “If there are any future lawsuits, Jerry Media will ‘defend itself vigorously,’” he further noted, seemingly sending a message to any parties toying with the idea of filing a similar suit.
AdAge’s Ilyse Liffreing concludes that even if the lawsuit has been dropped, “The situation does nothing to help Jerry Media's image, which has continued to deteriorate ever since the company gained notoriety for planning social media for the catastrophic Fyre Festival. Netflix and Hulu documentaries about the festival, and Jerry Media's involvement in it, were released in January.”
*The case is Olorunfemi Coker v. FJERRY, LLC d/b/a “@fuckjerry” and “Jerry Media;” Elliot Tebele, Jaja Spirits, et al., 1:19-cv-02456 (SDNY).