Opinion In Few Words ===
In Venegas v Peermusic and Venegas v ACEMLA
(Case 01cv1215 Puerto Rico District Federal Court)
The opinion - pdf Detailed analysis-Over 200 more errors by Fusté
Version en Español
1. Fusté decision: Peermusic's request of assignments for songs from owners (heirs of composer Guillermo Venegas Lloveras) in 1997 was meaningless. Per Fusté the requested songs now belonged to Peermusic, owned by Ralph Peer II, without giving any explanation of his reasoning. Peermusic admitted at trial that Peermusic requested the songs from plaintiffs, as owners, in 1997 and that plaintiffs rejected the request and that as a consequence Peermusic could not license the requested songs. Fusté forgot what Peermusic itself said.
Interesting: A totaally different sentence from another judge, Aida Delgado Colon, in the same court.
Note: As a result of Fusté's aberration almost all of the many Peermusic's infringement ( licensing plaintiff's songs after 1997) disapeared.
2. Fusté decision: Lucecita did not sing the song Genesis, even though Fusté himself states that Banco Popular paid ACEMLA $43,000 for the performance and some additional money to Peermusic. All of puerto Rico saw the performance. No one, other than Fusté denied the performance took place.
Interesting: Another judge, Gustavo Gelpi, in the same court, on August 6, 2010 decided that the song was indeed performed, and awarded damages to Venegas heirs (See 8.). So, Fusté was patently wrong on such a simple matter.
Note: The recording of the 1993 special program was presented as evidence in the trial. Banco Popular paid ACEMLA $16,000 en royalties for the sale of the recording in stores.
3. Fusté decision: 10 songs belong to Peermusic because Peermusic "timely registered" the songs. Actually, no registrations were ever made by Peermusic and many were in fact registered by the Venegas heirs.
4. Fusté decision: The stolen and non Venegas song Borracho Sentimental belongs to Peermusic because Venegas assigned it to Peermusic, even though Venegas did not compose the song and Fuste saw the proof. Fusté forgot the proof he was shown that Venegas did not write the song.
5. Fusté decision: The state trial court also concluded that it had no jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ copyright claims. A made up fact. In fact the court did make a decision, that the music belonged to the Venegas heirs.
6. Fusté decision: The illegal licenses issued to Sonolux by ACEMLA and the millions of records illegally produced and the illegally collected (by ACEMLA) royalty money did not constitute infringement of plaintiffs (so as not to award actual damages of close to a million dollars to plaintiffs). Fusté forgot the proof and his own statements that ACEMLA was paid by Sonolux. Obviously Fusté wanted to award only $16,000 and not the aproximately $1,000,000 he should have awarded to plaintiffs just for the Sony/Sonolux infringement by ACEMLA.
7. Fusté decision: The appropiation of hundreds of songs by ACEMLA and their illegal copyright registration was not infringement.
8. Fusté decision: It was not necessary to order Peermusic and ACEMLA to unregister songs illegally registered at the Copyright Office, ASCAP, Harry Fox, sub-publishers, etc. As a result and example, ASCAP is still (late 2006) licensing Venegas songs illegally under authorization of Peermuic.
9. Fusté decision: To contradict fellow judge in deciding what is infringement, to decide against plaintiffs. Per fellow judge Perez Gimenez, having songs not owned in a catalog is infringement and damages must (and were) be awarded to the victim. Per Fuste it is not infringement and no award to plaintiffs is merited or given.
10. Fusté decision: No cease and desist orders against infringers ACEMLA and Peermusic (so nothing has changed since) is necessary. As of late 2006 Peermusic's infringements continue.
11. Fusté decision: No damages award is necessary against the widow of Venegas for her separate infringement of illegally transferring rights she did not own, and that belonged to plaintiffs, to ACEMLA.
12. Fusté decision: Peermusic paid royalties (to GVL) when in fact Peermusic did not pay GVL or heirs.
13. Fusté decision: That the illegal licensing by ACEMLA to radio stations did not infringe plaintiff's exclusive right to distribute its music.
14. Fusté decision: Three was no conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement by ACEMLA and Peermusic and awarded no damages for such acts.
15. Fusté decision: The Peermusic theft of songs "without the author suspecting" merited no consideration even though Fusté saw the letter by a Peermusic executive stating he wanted the Venegas songs for copyright registration "without the author suspecting". The letter was not even mentioned by Fusté in his opinion. Must haveforgotten.
16. Fusté decision: Award only $16,000 (money was paid by others) against ACEMLA when if fact ACEMLA stole all the Venegas songs from plaintiffs (and still has many of the stolen songs registered at the Copyright Office in their name as owners).
17. Fusté decision: Award only damages of $5,000 (money was paid by others) against Peermusic when in fact Peermusic earned much more money illegally from songs owned by plaintiffs and stole many songs "without the author suspecting".
16. Fusté decision: Award nothing for ACEMLA's and Permusic's destruction of plaintiff's ability to exploit their music for many year and to present, while plaintiff Venegas heirs have spent about $200,000 in legal expenses by three legal representations and countless sleepless nights.
17. Fusté decision: Forget about the award of over $7 million given to Glenn Monroig for the comparatively minor infringement of one song in his same court.
18. Fuste decision: Not to order Peer nor ACEMLA to return the money they collected illegally from Banco Popular, a bank, after issuing ilegal licenses to Banco Popular for the use of songs they could not legally license. Also, the judge did not report the incdent to the FBI for investigation of possible bank fraud.
19. Fuste decision: Puerto Rico courts inhibited themselves from deciding whow owned rights to 8 renewal period songs (Venegas children vis-a-vis Chavez) because it had no jurisdicrion. This lie repeated by Fuste was originally made to Fuste by ACEMLA lawyer Angel Caro Padilla and is the subject of a complaint against Caro Padilla in the Puerto rico Supreme court. The truth is another story, because Chavez actually claimed those rights (in renewal period songs) in the Puerto Rico courts through two Certiorari motions and both time the court rejected her claims. Thus Fuste violated the Rooker-Feldman doctrine established by the US Supreme Court, that no federal court other than the US Supreme Court may change any decision made by a state court.
A total failure in due process as in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments: No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law....
The opinion - pdf