I hope everyone and their families are having a good holiday season. I’m sorry this took so long to get out – holidays are hectic to say the least. As the various Copyright Trolls have little concern for the people they squeeze money out of, I hope they get a visit from Krampus. Here are a few cases/topics that are interesting.
- Malibu Media v. Butler 1:13-cv-02707 (CO)
- Dallas Buyers Club v. Doe (IP 22.214.171.124), Case 1:14-cv-07129 (IL)
- Dallas Buyers Club Goes To Finland (Approx. $800 Settlement)
- Elf-Man v. Lamberson, 2:13-cv-00395 (WAED)
- Keith Lipscomb (and crew) File BT Copyright Troll Cases For Non-Porn Movies
- New Copyright Infringement Cases Filed Against John Does for illegal Activation/Use Of Software
- Prenda Law Saga – OR – Where Is The Missing $5 Million Dollars?
Malibu Media v. Butler, 1:13-cv-02707 (CO) – *** 29 Dec 14 Update – I guess they came to an agreement and dismissed Mr. Butler - Butler_Dismiss_02707(CO) Butler_Min_02707(CO) The wording is different from what we normally see.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, Plaintiff, Malibu Media, LLC, has settled this matter with Defendant, John Butler, subscriber assigned IP address 126.96.36.199 (“Defendant”). Upon satisfaction of the terms of the parties’ settlement agreement, to which Defendant still has executor obligations, Plaintiff will dismiss Defendant from this action with prejudice.
So Butler still is required to do “something” to make the dismissal final. Interesting.***
No new case filing since 16 Sep 14. Archive Docket Troll/Plaintiff previously was given more time to provide their expert’s report concerning the evidence they have against Mr. Butler. To date I haven’t seen any report filed with the court. As the computer used during the alleged date of infringement is gone, the Troll has to try and come up with some evidence to show that Mr. Butler is the infringer. I would expect them to try and show is that Mr. Butler either hid or destroyed the computer OR that something in his Social Media persona links him to Malibu Media/X-Art or other files in their “Expanded Surveillance” (AKA: Exhibit C) of the non-Malibu Media files that were shared via the BT client using Mr. Butler’s public IP address. As they haven’t filed such a report, I think Troll/Plaintiff is trying to improve their tap dance routine for when the court finally tells them put up or shut up. There could also be discussions between the parties to dismiss the case. The main sticking point is likely to be how much money Plaintiff is willing to pay to cover Mr. Butler’s legal bills. I suspect Keith Lipscomb doesn’t want it to get out that without a computer/hard drive and/or clear indication of spoliation (destroyed evidence), their case is markedly harder. I find this funny, as even when their forensic analysis come back with NO direct evidence, they make up some excuse as to the reason and still claim the ISP subscriber is the offender.
Dallas Buyers Club v. Doe (IP 188.8.131.52), Case 1:14-cv-07129 (IL) Archive Docket This is the case where attorney Ross Drath made a very good motion to sever and dismiss his client from the original case – 1:14-cv-04940 (Formerly Doe No. 22). My previous article. Troll/Plaintiff opened a new single-Doe case against the Doe and he was eventually dismissed on 31 Oct 14. Dismiss_Doe22_07129(IL)
No details are available as to settlement, except the dismissal was WITH prejudice and both parties would cover their own legal bills. The agreement to dismissal is disappointing to me and others, but often times it is the right thing to do for the Defendant, regardless of culpability. Fighting a BT Copyright Troll is not a cheap decision to make. I understand and thank those Defendants for fighting back on any level. The motion filed by attorney Drath was a good one and will likely be bench-marked in future motions. The IL courts are becoming more open to severing mass-Doe cases. I also assume there was some sort of non-disclosure agreement built into this dismissal. Troll/Plaintiff does not want the details to get out, as it points to their motivations and fears, as well as the best way to fight them. Even with no defined statement, the fact DBC was willing to back down is telling. Couple that with any/very limited naming/serving of Defendants and you will come to the conclusion that taking the wait and see approach is still viable (For THIS Plaintiff – even in IL). Their BUSINESS MODEL does not remain profitable for the Trolls if they actually spend time/money on cases. Last Note: The Troll was sloppy and made a goof in the dismissal document – I guess he forgot what Plaintiff he was working for… DBC or TCYK???
Dallas Buyers Club Goes To Finland (Approx. $800 Settlement) Recently (December 2014) a number of people in Finland have started to receive Settlement Demand letters (see attached file) for allegedly downloading/sharing Dallas Buyers Club. FIN_DBC_Settle_LTR_Dec2014 The letter comes from Marcus Kevin, MK Law, Helsinki, Finland. A simple translation of the letter claims that BT monitoring recorded the ISP subscriber’s IP address on a date/time sharing DBC. After a verdict in a “court of market,” the ISP was required to disclose ISP subscriber information. Troll Kevin will gladly accept 650 Euros (approx. $796) to avoid further legal action and additional costs. The letter also tells the recipient that they have to pay before the end of 2014.
I don’t know Finish Copyright Law, so I’m unable to determine how serious this is. Many factors will come into play – like is an ISP subscriber (in Finland) accountable for activity on his network he didn’t do? As the settlement demand is low in comparison to US settlement demands (approx. $4-8K), I doubt it. Still, I would suggest anyone affected should consult with a knowledgeable Intellectual Property/Copyright attorney as to what the law actually states.
Additionally, the program allegedly used to do the BT monitoring was “MaveriMonitor.” The Finish court also came to it decision to order the release of ISP subscriber information based on declarations from Simone Richter and Daniel Macek concerning the trustworthiness (A word that a Copyright Troll scum don’t understand) of the monitoring software.
Elf-Man V. Lamberson, Case #2:13-cv-00395 (WAED) Archive Docket *** 29 Dec 14 Update – Here is the very last filing for this case. Doc 108 Elf Man Reply re Motion to Strike 12-29-14 Troll Lowe just repeats what he already said concerning the filings by Lynch – “immaterial,” “impertinent,” “improper hearsay,” and an “untimely matter.” Blah Blah Blah. Now it is up to Judge Rice to determine the amount he will award in fees and costs. It would be very nice if he would double it, but I’m not holding my breath. ***
This case is in the last stages where attorney Lynch has submitted a more detail claim for attorney fees and costs. Troll/Plaintiff has responded to the request and attorney Lynch has replied to this. Lynch_SupReply_Doc_103_00395(WA) SupDecl_Lynch_Doc_104_00395(WA) Now Judge Rice previously decided not to sanction Plaintiff or their attorneys for the obvious games they have been playing at the behest of the Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC). Hopefully the judge will be more acceptable to the fees/costs Defendant Lamberson incurred to simply reach this far. I find it incredulous that Troll/Plaintiff could even have the gall to say the fees were excessive. Troll/Plaintiff would not back down without Lamberson paying them off. ONLY after all the details were uncovered and Plaintiff repeatedly delayed/refused to answer key questions, did they dismiss Lamberson. If we are lucky enough for a full award, I doubt the money will come easily. I could see something like a “Prenda 2.0,” claim of inability to pay – that or simple refusal to pay. Attorney Lynch sums up this Troll very well.
In over 25 years of intellectual property litigation, I have never encountered the wholesale disregard for the facts, the law, the honor of the Court, or the obligations of counsel to abide by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as this case and its related cases have displayed. Ms. VanderMay admitted that “plaintiff’s representatives” were trying to force her into unlawful positions, yet Mr. Lowe perpetuates the pattern of evasion and deceit without ever acknowledging that there might be a problem. Plaintiff’s handlers have devised a scheme to abuse the federal courts as a necessary part of an unlawful extortion campaign. These unidentified handlers collect extorted monies from innocent people every day, but, when their scheme is revealed, they retreat, leaving only the unfortunate copyright holder and its counsel before the Court to face the consequences. I respectfully request that this Court award the full amount requested, doubled under equity, for immediate payment and that the matter be referred to the United States Attorney for investigation of the use of fraudulent declarations by Elf-Man LLC in connection with an unlawful extortion scheme. [ECF # 104, par #27] [My emphasis]
Late addition: I guess Troll/Plaintiff did not like the attorney Lynch’s request, as on 17 Dec 14, Troll Lowe filed the following Motion to Strike. Troll Lowe was butt-hurt and claimed the filings were “immaterial,” “impertinent,” “improper hearsay,” and an “untimely matter.” I think attorney Lynch hit the heart of the mater to get a whining response like this. Doc 105 Elf-Man’s Motion to Strike Lamberson’s Supplemental Reply filed… Doc 105-1 Appendix A to Motion to Strike filed 12-17-14
Late Late addition: Following the Troll/Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike, attorney Lynch filed theses documents. I know it is much to read, but the details on how the Trolls operate is plain to see. Doc 106 Opposition to Motion to Strike 12-19-14 Doc 107 Decl of JCL iso Opposition to Mot to Strike 12-19-14 Doc 107-6 Exhibit F – Chart 12-19-14 Doc 107-5 Exhibit E – Decl of Griffin 12-19-14 Doc 107-4 Exhibit D – Vision Films Complaint 12-19-14 Doc 107-3 Exhibit C – Australia Order 12-19-14 Doc 107-2 Exhibit B – Decl of Fieser 12-19-14 Doc 107-1 Exhibit A Decl of Macek
Keith Lipscomb (and crew) files BT Copyright Troll Cases For Non-Porn Movies – I previously wrote about (DTD Article) the initial non-porn BT Copyright Troll cases we started to see at the end of November 2014. The two movies in question are “A Good Man” (Steven Seagal) & “Puncture Wounds” (Chung Le). Even with well-known leading actors, the movies are not considered anything special. These movies were never released in a theater and went straight to DVD/Digital release. As of writing this, there have been 88 cases for these two movies filed in CO, DC, FL, MI, and PA (25 Nov – 12 Dec 2014). *** Plus six additional case in NJ.*** That works out to be approx. $37,000 in filing fees. As these are single movie cases, it will be interesting to see what Lipscomb wants from the ISP subscribers. I would expect a couple thousand at a minimum.
And YES, the image in the Twitter feed is a Parody of the Fishtown lawyers Web page. Check out the Twitter feed, as Rushie & Mulvihill both make comments that are interesting and telling. As I previously wrote, these Keith Lipscomb-ish cases are by-design a copy of the Malibu Media LLC/X-Art BT Copyright Trolling template. They use the same general case design and employ the same players to justify early discovery of ISP subscriber information. The only real difference is it only deals with ONE non-porn action direct-to-DVD movie and not multiple Internet porn short movies. I can only assume that the public IP addresses they are targeting has a long history of BT file sharing of copyright protected movies, software, eBook, etc. Lipscomb and crew with try to use this fact to motivate a settlement under fear that a court would see such activity as indicative of a serial-infringer and thus increase the award amount – like any of these cases are going to a full trial.
I’m also of the opinion that Lipscomb (to include others) does some sort of filtering of public IP addresses to try to narrow their Trolling efforts to areas which have a Mid-to-Upper level income ratios. To make this business model viable, Troll/Plaintiff cannot afford to target No-to-Low income/asset personnel. The ideal targets are those ISP subscribers (not necessarily the true offenders) who have some assets and/or income levels to afford a settlement, but not enough free cash to want to pay for an active defense. Combine this target selection criterion with a public IP address that has a long-term history of BT file sharing of copyright protected media, and the Troll effectively increases his chances of forcing a settlement.
As these are Lipscomb cases, I do not expect to see a settlement demand letter, but I could be wrong. If you find yourself part of one of these cases, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Copyright Infringement cases filed against John Does for illegal activation/use of software – Microsoft Corporation (WAWD) and HiTek Software (CACD) – These cases do not fit in exactly with what I normally track, but it is interesting regardless.
- 5 Dec 14, Microsoft Corporation cases – 2:14-cv-01851, 2:14-cv-01851, & 2:14-cv-01852 (10 Does a piece)
- 12 Dec 14, HiTek Software LLC case – 2:14-cv-09552 (10 Does)
I haven’t had a chance to read any of the complaints yet, but I suspect the Plaintiffs were able to record the public IP addresses of systems using their software without paying for it. I’m not sure if these cases have anything to do with BitTorrent. Operating systems and other applications often require users to validate/register with them to fully use the software. Following the initial registration, many operating systems/applications communicate back to company servers to check for updates and also track various aspects of usage. During such communication, Plaintiffs are likely to determine if an activation key has been shared or if a “crack” has been used to gain full access without paying. The Plaintiffs will likely be able to obtain early discovery from the ISPs. Once that happens, we are likely to see some sort of settlement demand letters be sent to the ISP subscribers. Note: HiTek has previously file 4 John Doe (10 Does a piece) case in CACD on 27 Feb 14, 6 Feb 14, 11 Oct 13, and 21 Dec 10. I will also note that HiTek Software also appears to go after companies for copyright infringement. I assume all of the John Does in these cases have IP addresses that resolve back to the CACD and WA jurisdictions, but you never know. For anyone involved in these cases, please drop me an email and/or copy of the settlement letter once it arrives. We have seen previous filings of copyright infringement cases concerning software, but it hasn’t really been embraced by many companies. Here is a blog post concerning the HiTek case from Infringement Nation.
Prenda Law Saga – OR – Where is the missing $5 Million Dollars – In the ongoing drama that “was” Prenda Law, the three key personnel (John Steele, Paul Hansmeier, & Paul Duffy – idiots in my opinion), continue to claim they cannot pay the sanctions ($261,00252.11) issued against them (singularly & as a group) in Lightspeed MediaCorp., v. Smith, 3:12-cv-00889 (IL). In response to Prenda’s various attempts to hinder financial discovery of their assets, Booth Sweet LLP, filed the following this Motion for Reconsideration on 16 Dec 14. MFRecon_Prenda_Doc_189_00889(IL)
Funny thing, probably all of the trouble Prenda is experiencing could have been handled better if they simply paid as soon as possible and then crawled back under their respective rocks. I guess their egos are too big to allow such a loss and thus they invited further trouble by hindering the discovery efforts. Pay over $260K from a war chest of approx., $5 Million would have been the smart thing to do. I guess the old saying is not too far off (Especially for Prenda) – “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
While conceding that, from 2010 through October 2013, Plaintiff’s Counsel earned millions, they now claim to possess no assets at all, or to have lacked sufficient assets to pay the sanctions ordered in November 2013. See, e.g., Doc. 154 p. 6. Smith has demonstrated that Lightspeed’s Counsel collected online settlements in 2012 of $4.4 million and another $1.9 from checks. At the hearing, Lightspeed’s Counsel claimed Prenda didn’t make millions, the bulk of the money went to clients, employees, and business expenses. Yet, when added, the financial records for 2012 indicate otherwise:
3. 1099 Employees—$33,646.84
4. Freelancers—$75,891.80 (including reimbursement for filing fees, etc.)
5. Unidentified Employees—$286,012.14
This leaves nearly $5 million unaccounted for by Lightspeed’s Counsel. Yet, they cry poverty.
For those of you who are new to the Prenda Law saga, the shear level of douchebag activity is rather amazing. Booth Sweet does a wonderful job of informing the court on their hindering efforts and the results of financial analysis disclosed Prenda Law has not accounted for where $5 Million in assets went, as well as other efforts to hinder discovery. They also make it VERY CLEAR that at the time the Prenda fools were claiming they couldn’t pay, the records show they cashed-out/moved enough funds to easily cover the sanctions.
Take a read and see what the heart of a BT Copyright Troll, Troll attorney, and supporters looks like. Ethically challenged??? I cannot wait to hear what the judge thinks of this and hopefully further sanctions Prenda and allows collection efforts to begin. Merry Christmas Prenda Law!!!
DieTrollDie :) “Respect for the truth is the basis for all morality. Something cannot emerge from nothing.” — [Duke Leto Atreides, Frank Herbert’s Dune]