This is another BitTorrent Copyright Troll case for the low-budget horror movie, “Skew.” For a low-budget horror film, the reviews were mixed, but not too bad. The case was filed on 16 May 13, by Alan Kan, Kan & Clark, LLP, Atlanta, GA. Plaintiff is Pounds (LBS) Pictures, Inc., but the registered copyright owners are Seve Schelenz, 1184 Richelieu Ave., Vancouver, Canada, AND Sleep Apnea Productions Inc., 1184 Richelieu Ave., Vancouver, Canada. complaint_01658(GA) complaint_EXA_01658(GA) complaint_EXB_01658(GA) Note: RFCExpress shows four separate LBS cases – two in Georgia Northern District (filed 16 May 13) & two in Tennessee Eastern District (filed 7 May 13).
The complaint is a standard copyright troll case for multiple Does, alleging direct and contributory copyright infringement of the movie, Skew,” SHA-1 hash # 364779F3E27BD380593C9CF4F6C724FE5C6CD51A. The movie was created in 2010, first published in 1 Oct 10, and finally received a copyright registration on 17 Jan 13. The DVD is available for purchase from Amazon UK and TESCO for no more than 4 UK pounds, as well as rental from Redbox.
The alleged BitTorrent activity of the 48 GA Does took place between 2 Mar 13 – 30 Apr 13. Soon after filing the case, Plaintiff made a motion for early discovery for the ISP subscriber information for the 48 public IP addresses. Here is the declaration of Darren M Griffin, Software Consultant, Crystal Bay Corporation (CBC), which conducted the BitTorrent monitoring. Decl_Griffin_2-1_01658(GA)
This case has some similarities to the previously reported TN copyright troll case for the movie, “Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection.” The thing that caught my eye in both of these cases is the technical monitoring company/person they used – Darren M Griffin, Software consultant, CBC, South Dakota.
A check of SD records disclosed CBC was incorporated in SD on 28 Mar 12, at the request of Corp 95, 32565B Golden Lantern Street, STE 140, Dana Point, CA 92629. CBC_Corp(SD) They list 110 E. Center Street, STE 2053, Madison, SD 57042, as their principle executive office address. Note: The SD register agent has the same address as CBC. David Deloach, 32565B Golden Lantern Street, STE 140, Dana Point, CA 92629, is listed as the person who incorporated CBC. I did find a Madvillie Times news article from 11 Jun 12, titled “Madison Home to More Shelf Corporations”, that was interesting. It appears people are using SD as a good place to create shell corporations. The article highlights CBC and 14 other corporation were created by Mr. Leoach during a 3.5 month period. Corp 95 is run out of Aim Mail Center #19 (32565B Golden Lantern Street, Dana Point, CA 92629
On 21 May 13, Judge Charles Pannell, Jr., issued and order that severed Does 2-48, while still allowing the troll to obtain the ISP subscriber data for Doe #1. DimissWOP_01658(GA) While reading this order, it becomes clear the Judge is not impressed with this case or the others filed by counsel for Plaintiff.
The court also notes that the plaintiff’s counsel has filed a number of nearly identical cases since March 2013 that are currently pending before this court, including three other cases currently pending before the undersigned.
The facts here demonstrate why the swarm joinder pleading tactic is not appropriate in this action. The differing dates and times of each defendant’s alleged sharing do not allow for an inference that they were acting in concert. While the defendants may have used the same peer-to-peer system, the complaint does not allege they were sharing with each other. For example, Doe 2, who is alleged to have been in the swarm on April 30, 2013, is unlikely to have been in the swarm at the same time as Doe 48, who is alleged to have been in the swarm on March 2, 2013—a sixty day span that is even longer than the six-week span in Hard Drive Productions. 809 F. Supp. 2d at 1163 (“In this age of instant digital gratification, it is difficult to imagine, let alone believe, that an alleged infringer of the copyrighted work would patiently wait six weeks to collect the bits of the work necessary to watch the work as a whole.”)
I took a quick look at the docket for the other GA case (1:13-cv-01660) , which is also for “Skew.” The judge appears to also have issued an order on the discovery request on 21 May 13. I assume he severed the Does in this case also. Sorry but I didn’t download the documents, as I’m trying to keep control my PACER bill. Please feel free to send me some of the court documents and I will post them.
I will again ask any interested people to help do some research into Mr. Griffin, CBC, Mr. Leoach, and the other “interesting” aspects of this case. Georgia may have killed the mass aspect of this case (and others), but that just means the Trolls will move to new untested jurisdictions. I would like to have as much information available when they decide to file again.
I would also like to hear from the copyright holder, Seve Schelenz, as to why his has decided to involve himself with copyright trolls. We will see what if anything he has to say. Here are some links to sites concerning Skew and LBS
- Twitter – @peelersthefilm