I will try to keep this as short as I can, but excuse me if I run on a bit. ;) This post will cover recent Dallas Buyers Club LLC activity AND the “Never Convicted” explanation of Malibu Media/X-Art/Lipscomb’s forensic expert, Patrick Paige.
Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) Activities Abroad And In The US
The people behind the BT Copyright Trolling of “Dallas Buyers Club,” are still going strong and trying to milk this operation for as much as they can in as many countries as possible. In a recent Australian court ruling, DBC will be allowed to obtain the personal details of over 4700 ISP subscribers accused of downloading/sharing DBC via BT. The Australian court at least said that prior to sending out settlement demand letters to the ISP subscribers, DBC would have to get prior approval (from the court). This means DBC is unlikely to be able to use their standard format letter we saw in the US. Examples of the settlement demand letters can be found here – Settlement Letters.
I doubt DBC will want the court to see what amount they are trying to “legally extort” (My opinion) from the ISP subscribers. DBC/Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC) may also try the “Name Your Own Price,” ploy that was recently reported happening in Singapore.
Money Money Money
Here is a simple (and likely low-ball) money breakdown of the DBC efforts in Australia. In the US we simply call it BT Copyright Trolling; In the UK and Australia it is known as Speculative Invoicing. Let’s say DBC starts with a settlement demand of $4,000.00 (likely a low amount). Multiply it by the number of ISP subscribers (4700). 4700 X $4,000 = $18,800,000.
Now there is no way in hell DBC is going to get settlements from all 4700 ISP subscribers – so let’s start at the low end – 25%. 4700 X .25 = 1175 ISP subscribers. 1175 X $4,000 = $4,700,000. 50% of 4700 subscribers = $9,400,000. Can you smell the profits??? The Trolls do.
Even if the ISPs are able to charge DBC a research/look-up fee of $100 per subscriber (an excessive amount), the bill is still only $117,500 for 1175 (all 4700 = $470,000). Let’s estimate the legal costs for DBC/APMC in Australia are $500,000 (yes it is also excessive). Even if DBC’s total costs/fees were $1,000,000, the profit potential (minimum) is $3,700,000.00 for a 25% success rate. This means if APMC/DBC can make this work in Australia, BT copyright trolling may have found a new home “down under.” Australians need to take a stand against this business model that tries to justify its actions by claiming they are simply fighting piracy. Yes, the illegal downloading/sharing of copyright protected media by individuals is wrong. Still, that does NOT justify the actions of the Trolls.
DBC – Back In The USA!
Well, DBC never really left the USA. For the month of April, DBC has so far filed cases in multiple States. RFC Express shows 245 DBC cases filed (over 3800 Does affected). (LINK to PIC)
One case in Colorado caught my attention as DBC is still using the Crystal Bay Corporation (CBC) and Daniel Macek, in their motions for Early Discovery (ED) of the ISP subscriber information. The case is Dallas Buyers Club LLC v. Does 1-9, 1:15-cv-00716 (CO). Complaint_EXAB_00716(CO) Corp_Disclos_00716(CO) ED_Motion_00716(CO) Daniel_Macek_Decl_00716(CO) ED_Granted_00716(CO)
The CBC is the South Dakota “Shelf-Company” (Front Company run out of mail-drop) used by the APMC to hide their actions from people (such as myself) and the courts. Crystal Bay Corporation/Darren Griffin Article. Daniel Macek is the German citizen allegedly employed by CBC. Mr. Macek was also mentioned by-name in an APMC presentation in which they hope “the judge will not question his qualifications too much.” That much was made readily apparent in an Australian court recently.
As this is a CO case, the ED was approved (rubber stamped) by the court. The ED portion of these BT copyright troll cases is key to fighting them. The Trolls that file mass-Doe cases do so to run things as cheaply as possible. If they had to file individual cases for each Doe, the profit potential is greatly reduced. By obtaining the ISP subscriber information in a mass-Doe case, it only costs the Troll $400 for all the Does involved.
The reason it is so hard to fight ED is in most cases, there is no opposition. The court simply goes on the claims of the Troll/Plaintiff and grants the ED. A few courts have started to question the Trolls claims, but most are simply are too busy to care. With cases such as this one in CO, the chance of quashing the ED is better, as the qualifications (lack of them) of Macek and the fraudulent nature of CBC are readily apparent. Too bad it will first require a Defendant to pay thousands of dollars to just get a court to consider the issue. The Copyright Trolls know this and that is why they do not even bother to change the names of the people and organizations that are part of this business model of greed.
DBC Joinder of Does Is Unjustified – 1 in 300 Million Chance
This DBC case (1:14-cv-03517) was filed against 25 Does in the Northern District of IL (Copyright Troll hot spot) on 14 May 14. This case also used the CBC and Daniel Macek as justification for ED of ISP subscriber information. Macek_CBC_Decl_02682(CO) The case went the standard way of settlement demands and dismissing Does one by one. On 5 Jan 15, the court told Troll/Plaintiff that it had until 5 Mar 15, to amend the complaint with actual names of the defendants and move the case along. On the last possible day (5 Mar 15), Troll Michael Hierl motioned the court for more time to amend the complaint. The court granted this request, but only after stating, “The deadline is extended to 3/19/2015, but it will not be extended again for any reason whatsoever.” NoMoreTime_03517(IL)
The complaint was amended on 19 Mar 15 (The LAST possible day –shocking!) and summons were issued on 20 Mar 15, for four Defendants. FAC_03517(IL)
One of the Defendants (Bryan Narbert) then hired attorney Scott Kane, Kane Community Law, to represent him. On 13 Apr 15, Attorney Kane filed a motion to sever, as well as filing an answer to Troll/Plaintiff’s complaint. Motion_Sever_03517(IL) D_Neville_Decl_03517(IL)
The answer is a straight forward denial of the allegations, as well as the affirmative defenses of unclean hands and failing to mitigate damages. Def_Answer_03517(IL)
The motion to server filed by attorney Kane uses a declaration form Delvan Neville, Amaragh Associates, LLC. Mr. Neville makes it exceedingly clear the chance the four remaining named Defendants are properly joinded based on the chance they engaged in the same series of transactions is roughly 1 in 300 Million. Hell you have a better chance of winning the Powerball Lottery (1 in 175 Million)
The results outlined above show that BitTorrent joinder litigation based is not based upon any real likelihood that the joined peers have engaged in any series of transactions with each other. The 4 peers whom are alleged to be Defendants in this case were separated by a period of two weeks (March 9th, 2014 to March 23rd, 2014), indicating the swarm would be interconnected as in the two-week analysis of paragraph 11 at 0.05% (the average peer in the swarm would have contacted 0.05% of the swarm during 2 weeks). The likelihood that there is any series of peer-to-peer connections that could link all 4 peers to at least one other named peer is 0.000000337%, or roughly a 1 in 300 million chance.
Note: Attorney Kane previously represented a small business that was being targeted by DBC. In that case he used a declaration from Mr. Neville and his client was quickly dismissed.
Now I will say I have started to see a few more cases where the DBC has actually named and served some Defendants. It is still a very small number overall, but it shows Troll/Plaintiff is trying to push settlements even harder. I think this may be in response to some of the Does who are ignoring the Trolls. For one of these Defendants, the Troll even sent her a letter listing out all the “other” files that were being shared via BT (AKA: Malibu Media Exhibit C), stating “the forensic team” has correlated the “infringing” files to her online profile – Age, Job, Habits, Hobbies, Marital Status, and Living Standard. Troll/Plaintiff is simply running LexusNexus checks and online searches and then claiming they have a forensic team.
The “naming and severing” of a defendant in these cases is a risky proposition in my opinion. It may initially seem successful in getting reluctant Does to settle, but it will eventually fail. We saw this type Troll escalation with Prenda Law LLC, prior to its implosion. Troll John Steele even went so far as to thank us for forcing his hand to do so. Too bad for John Steele that his luck ran out. ;) This Troll/Plaintiff is so greedy they do not see what is going to happen. Eventually a Defendant is going to fight back, they will not be able to drop the case, and it will not end well. We saw this in the Elf-Man v. Lamberson case (2:13-cv-00395 (WA)), where Troll/Plaintiff has to pay Mr. Lamberson approx. $100,000.00 in legal fees.
Now we will see what Troll Hierl and his masters do. It will cost them more money to fight the motion to sever, as well as they have NOTHING to refute Mr. Neville’s declaration. If they try to fight the declaration, more questions will be asked about CBC, Daniel Macek, and of course the APMC. I expect Troll/Plaintiff will try to work out some walk-away deal, where both sides pay for their own legal bills. I don’t think attorney Stuckel and Defendant Narbert are going to be too quick to accept such a deal. If they cannot work a walk-away deal, I expect DBC will motion the court to grant a dismissal. The problem for DBC is they will likely have to agree to dismiss the case WITH PREJUDICE, which then opens up a claim for attorney fees/costs for Defendant Narbert, as a prevailing party (Example: Elf-Man v. Lamberson, Case 2:13-cv-00395).
The “Never Convicted” Status of Patrick Paige
I recently came across some pretty funny documents in Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (David Ricupero), 2:14-cv-00821(OH). What caught my attention was a Motion to Strike portions of Defendants documents (Def_Sur_Reply_Doc30_00821(OH) – see bottom of page 3) that stated Troll/Plaintiff’s computer forensic expert was a convicted felon. Mot_Strike_and Exhib_Doc45_00821(OH) Paige_Decl_Exhib_A_Doc45_00821(OH) Exhib_B_Doc45_00821(OH)
In some of my past articles I have talked about the arrest & booking of Malibu Media/X-Art/Lipscomb’s computer forensic expert, Patrick Paige, on drug possession charges. Patrick Paige Article Based on what I can determine, Troll Yousef M Faroniya is correct – Patrick Paige is NOT a “Convicted” Felon. Troll Faroniya even goes on to claim that Mr. Paige is a National Hero (See Exhibit B above). For what I don’t know… Was he a Military Reservist???
It is interesting to see in the email correspondence that attorney Jonathon Phillips has copies of the Internal Affairs and employment termination documents concerning Mr. Paige. Attorney Sweet has his own pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the documents/Information. Attorney Sweet informs Troll Faroniya he will consent to a “clarification” of Paige’s activity (arrest/booking), but will NOT allow him to make total claim of innocence.
Now some people may say that it was just a victimless “drug” crime and there is no relevance to his work for Malibu Media. My issue was not specific to the drug possession, but what appears to be the possible abuse of power (as a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Officer (PBCSO)) and lack of professional ethics in illegally purchasing them, as well as the use of an official PBCSO post office box to take delivery of them. Please see what I wrote about this on 16 Jan 15, bottom half of this article – Copyright Trolls Love To Fish
Based on what can be found a Florida news site, Internet searches, Public documents, and what Mr. Paige has stated; here is what appears to have happened. Note: Mr. Paige, please contact me if anything is wrong and I will listen to what you have to say.
- Mr. Paige WAS “booked” in March 2011, by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, FL.
- The arrest of Mr. Paige appears to have occurred on 1 Dec 2010, according to the news article.
- The charge appears to have been possession of a controlled substance without a prescription – 70 hydrocodone pills
- The 70 pills were ordered online and mailed to an official PBCSO post office box. DOJ/DEA Website Mr. Paige decided not to read.
- According to the UPS manager, Mr. Paige had been calling to see if a package had arrived for him.
- Mr. Paige was NEVER convicted of this charge – or any other
- Attorney Jonathan Phillips has copies of the PBCSO Internal Affairs and employment termination documents for Mr. Paige.
- The record of the incident was EXPUNGED from Police records
So let’s make this clear to everyone out there concerning Patrick Paige. NEVER CONVICTED. YES arrested and booked for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. YES investigated by Internal Affairs. YES to some form of employment termination from PBCSO – exact details are unknown.
So in my view, the incident is still open because it raises the question of Mr. Paige’s ethics and credibility. Mr. Paige’s declaration says nothing about the incident that led to the arrest, how he used official position commit this criminal act, and why the local prosecutor did NOT pursue charges against Mr. Paige. EXPUNGED records… You don’t think the PBCSO and the city wanted to sweep this incident under the rug do you??? AND just because the police records were expunged, doesn’t mean he did NOT commit any criminal acts/offenses (State & Federal) – ALL it means is the local (and Federal) prosecutors did NOTHING.
Read the declaration for yourself and see how thin it is; It reminds me of the forensic reports Paige provides on Malibu Media cases.
Recruiter – “Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor? That’s robbery, rape, car theft, that sort of thing?”
John – “Convicted?”
Recruiter – “Yeah”
John – “No”
Russell – “Never convicted”