After such a long hiatus, I want to come out of the box with something that will set the standard for future posts; something that I can look back on and say to myself "Self, THAT'S what legal blogging is all about;" something I can be proud to show the kids and their grandparents.
Which means, of course, we're going to talk about porn.
Not just any porn, mind you. Ice cream porn.
I don't know about you, but regular porn bores me. I mean, I no matter how much of the stuff I watch, it all seems the same to me. I've tried, and tried, and tried but just don't get it; Part A plugs in to Part B and/or Part C, except for the occasional brush with Parts D, E, or F . . . blah, blah, blah. To quote Lilly von Schtupp: "I'm had my fill of love . . . from below and above."
The folks at Rodax Distributors and Caballero Videos apparently were aware of this growing sense of ennui among the porn cognoscenti. I can see the think tank in action now: "Okay folks, our sales are down. Pizza delivery guys showing up with extra pepperoni just aren't cutting it anymore. We need a gimmick; something to draw attention to . . . Spencer, what are you eating? Ice cream? Wait a minute . . . I've GOT IT!"
And thus, perhaps, was born the "Ben & Cherry's" line of porn films, complete with packaging uncomfortably reminiscent of "Ben & Jerry's" ice cream containers, and featuring cleverly titillating titles such as "Boston Cream Thigh," "Hairy Garcia," and "Peanut Butter D-Cup."
(Here is the point at which I step aside for a brief moment and allow the masters at the New York Post to tell you the rest of the juicy background stuff. I'll wait.)
Having read about the case, I naturally went looking for a copy of the complaint to share with you, my dear reader. This was completely in the interest of scholarly research, and had nothing to do with hoping that the complaint would include salacious images that could liven up my otherwise dull and dreary blog.
This is where things got a bit strange. I had the case number (thanks to Bloomberg, which left out all the interesting bits covered by the Post, but did list the case number). I went to the Southern District of New York Pacer site, but at least as of this morning the case number didn't yield any results at all. It was like the case didn't exist; and I presume the folks at Bloomberg don't just make up SDNY case numbers.
Things changed a bit later - the case appeared on the website, but even then, the complaint wasn't available. Later this afternoon, an order appeared on the site - Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry's (allowing the company founders, of course, to count their money and watch porn at their leisure), had secured a temporary restraining order against the defendants.
So that's good for the plaintiff, but where was the complaint?
Then, an order issued. I can only imagine how the complaint must have circulated around the clerk's office -- it's now probably all dog-eared, with pages stuck together -- before somebody thought to call the judge and bring the thing to his attention. At any rate, the judge, possibly in the interest of protecting the SDNY servers from crashing, has ordered as follows:
"1. Pending further order of the Court:
"a. The Clerk is directed to redact all images (including without limitation Exhibit 6 to the declaration of David Stever, Exhibits 6, 7 and 8 to the complaint, and the image contained in paragraph 54 ofthe complaint) from the electronic versions of documents filed or offered for filing in this case, but shall preserve and file in hard copy, under seal (available to counsel for all parties), all redacted material.
"b. The attorneys shall redact all images from electronic versions of documents filed on the CMlECF system, Such images shall be filed only in hard copy and under seal as above."
(Heheh . . . the order said "hard copy.")
Fortunately, the judge gives us legal voyeurs some cause for hope:
"3. The Court is mindful of the qualified right of public access to court documents and is prepared to reconsider this temporary measure upon application."
Did you know you had a 'qualified right' to look at dirty pictures filed with the court? Now you do. So call me if you want to make an application to look at the now-forbidden images . . . I will work for ice cream.