The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Nita L. Stormes U.S. Magistrate Judge
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION [Doc. No. 28]
Before this Court is defendants/counterclaimants' motion for a preliminary injunction.*fn1 The Court heard oral argument on May 21, 2007. Defendants sought to enjoin plaintiff and those acting on his behalf from, either directly or indirectly:
(a) Posting disparaging comments on the internet that relate to or reference Mr. Turner or this litigation, including postings on message boards, on websites or to email addresses;
(b) Making disparaging comments, either orally or in writing, to third parties that relate to or reference Mr. Turner or this litigation, including but not limited to over the phone, at tradeshows, at conventions, through advertising mediums or on the internet;
(c) Initiating contact or causing contact to be made, including through any third party, with any customer of Mr. Turner or the Ghoulish Gallery for any reason; and
(d) Advertising that plaintiff originated the changing portrait.
The Court limited oral argument to the issues of prior restraint and damages to defendants. Having considered the parties' arguments, the Court DENIES defendants' motion in its entirety.
Plaintiff/counterdefendant Edward Allen filed this copyright action on February 16, 2006. Defendants/counterclaimants Tim Turner, individually and doing business as The Ghoulish Gallery, and April Turner answered and filed their counterclaims on April 3, 2006. After the Court held an Early Neutral Evaluation Conference in May 2006, the parties spent the next several months trying to negotiate a stipulated preliminary injunction to avoid causing damage to each other's reputations. See Mem. P. & A. 13:24-16:4. While the parties specifically identified each other's objectionable conduct, they never agreed to a stipulated injunction. Defendants finally filed this motion on March 20, 2007.
Defendants allege the following facts to support their motion.*fn2
Tim Turner is a Hollywood effects artist working in the "haunt industry." In the early 1990s he created a changing portrait through lenticular lens array technology, which allows a viewer to perceive, from the same portrait, both an antique photographic portrait and a gruesome, ...