- Triller has filed a new $50 million lawsuit against Ethan Klein’s “H3 Podcast.”
- Triller filed this lawsuit after a previous suit saw all defendants but one dismissed.
- The company claims that the podcast “illegally retransmitted the broadcast.”
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Triller’s event company has filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages from the “H3 Podcast,” claiming they unlawfully aired the company’s Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren boxing match on YouTube.
The “H3 Podcast,” which is hosted by Ethan and Hila Klein and published in video format on the “h3h3 productions” YouTube channel, featured one clip from the April 17 fight during an April 22 podcast episode. The episode showed footage from Paul’s knockout, streamed from an unlisted YouTube video uploaded on the Kleins’ channel, as Ethan offered commentary.
“They lumped me in here, for what I can only determine, is out of spite,” Ethan said on a May 7 episode of his podcast. “My coverage of the fight was totally fair use, I showed 45 seconds of Jake knocking out Ben and commenting non-stop.”
The suit comes after Triller Fight Club, the event branch of the short-form video app, previously filed a lawsuit in US District Court for the Central District of California on April 23 seeking $100 million in damages from other websites they accused of pirating the footage, including the Kleins’ podcast. That suit has since been amended, with the “H3 Podcast” no longer included as a defendant.
On Monday, Triller Fight Club filed the new lawsuit with the “H3 Podcast” as its only defendant. The complaint, reviewed by Insider, alleges copyright infringement, violations of the Federal Communications Act, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Triller said in the complaint that the podcast “illegally retransmitted the Broadcast” of the fight and that the “Defendant’s acts of infringement were willful, in blatant disregard of, and committed with indifference to Plaintiff’s rights.” The case was assigned to District Judge John A. Kronstadt on Tuesday.
“The argument here is going to be ‘we did it after the fight for news purposes, we didn’t use it in a way that would take viewers away from the fight’,” Emily D. Baker, a lawyer who has 112,000 subscribers on YouTube, said in a recent video. “They are not alleging that Ethan himself pirated the fight, but that they uploaded it to their YouTube channel and broadcast it.”
The previous lawsuit claimed several websites conspired to illegally stream the fight, calling them “cyber criminals” who “line their own pockets with monies that belong to” Triller, according to court documents reviewed by Insider.
Triller amended that lawsuit on April 29 to briefly include Ethan’s podcast, but the suit was changed by United States District Court Judge Percy Anderson on May 6, as Triller was unable to prove that eight websites and five YouTube channels included in the complaint were working together to stream the fight, citing it as a “misjoinder.” Only FilmDaily.com was left as a defendant.
It’s not Ethan’s first lawsuit related to copyright. In 2017, he won a lawsuit against YouTuber Matt Hoss, who claimed that the clips Klein used in his commentary videos infringed on his copyright. The judge ruled that the use of Hoss’ videos was fair use, setting a legal precedent for YouTube commentary videos.
“We are confident H3 will be settling and paying a substantial penalty (in the millions) in order to avoid the $50 million+ liability,” a Triller spokesperson said in a statement. “People can try to joke about it, but it is stealing, no ifs, ands or buts about it. “
Ethan Klein declined to comment.