Treasure Island Media is in the midst of a legal battle with former employee Mitch Mason, whose real name is Jeffrey Smith, which I talked about the other month. It’s not exactly riveting drama, and basically it’s about the studio suing for huge damages all because Smith is trying to co-opt the ‘Mitch Mason’ persona for his own profit, for whatever that’s worth, and because he hijacked TIM’s Twitter account, which has been dead since February.
They’re also accusing Smith of cyberpiracy, breach of contract, trade secret appropriation, conversion, unjust enrichment, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This is all because he left the company abruptly after two years working for them and blogging for this I Am Mitch Mason Tumblr as this fictional character (a “go-go dancer-turned-business school student-turned-club promoter-turned adult blogger”), but not before registering MitchMason.com in his own name and changing passwords on the TIM and Mitch Mason Twitter accounts.
What’s funny in the latest update, though, is that Smith is trying to get the case transferred to a New York court, where he lives, claiming that it would cause “undue and extreme hardship” for him to have to travel back to San Francisco to fight it, as Xbiz reports. Meanwhile, he’s hopping back and forth to Palm Springs for White Party and posting about it on Facebook, so TIM took the Facebook posts to court to argue that he clearly has the means to fly to California.
“On April 24, 2014, defendant posted ‘Good morning LA!’ and tagged himself at Crunch Fitness — Sunset, a gym in Los Angeles,” Treasure Island Media lawyers said. “Also on April 24, 2014, defendant tagged himself at Kitchen 24, West Hollywood, a restaurant located in Los Angeles. The following day, April 25, 2014, defendant appeared in a photograph posted on his Facebook page and tagged ‘near Palm Springs.'”
Smith’s motion — premised on convenience – should be denied, Treasure Island Media attorneys said, because he has a “demonstrated ability to travel to California, and plaintiff is the master of its complaint.”
The biggest question I have is does this Mitch Mason name have such amazing name recognition that anyone should be fighting over it? Like, it’s worth it to Smith to go to court over this because he thinks MitchMason.com is going to make him his fortune? Like, I know a lot of people watch Treasure Island porn, but besides a handful of models are they really paying attention to the names?
Anyway, it looks like TIM will be coming after Smith for that $630,000 regardless, whether it’s in California or not, so he better start tricking, or something.