I decided to take a look at RFC Express to see what copyright Infringement cases have been opened for approximately the last month (24 Jun – 25 Jul 2013). If I missed any please comment or send me an email. Spreadsheet endJulCpyTr
Even with only a month snapshot, I think it gives a good indication of the state of BitTorrent related copyright infringement cases. This is of course subject to change based on new Trolls, Plaintiffs, and any changes they make to their tactics.
Mass Does v. Single Doe Cases
The single Doe cases during this time frame were only associated Malibu Media LLC. Not a shock, as we do not expect them to return to the Mass Doe format. Malibu Media is sticking to the single Doe cases so as to avoid issues of joinder, severance, and subpoena quashing. They appear to be tailoring their efforts to those Does who have been recorded as downloading/sharing multiple Malibu Media movies, as well as doing it over a long time-frame. I expect with many of these new cases, they will have multiple recorded instance of such activity, as well as a listing of other apparent movies (and other media) being shared illegally.
The mass Doe cases still are being used by the Trolls and will likely continue to be used in various jurisdictions until the courts decide they don’t like having to deal with the number of cases and the associated motions that are likely to follow.
The IL Northern District is the favorite one during this time-period with five different Plaintiffs. The Western District of Tennessee appears to be a favorite with TCYK and Killer Joe Nevada. Malibu Media has also be busy with filing cases in Wisconsin. New jurisdictions may open up to the Trolls, but that will depend on Plaintiff/Troll finding a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction who is willing to dirty his/her reputation (my opinion) by filing these cases.
- Instinctive Film GmbH
- Sibling The Movie LLC
- Death Awaits Cinema Ltd.
I haven’t really looked into these Plaintiffs, but I’m willing to bet that they are filing the same boiler plate copyright troll cases that we have seen before. Please contact me if you find and unusual aspects or problems/errors in their filings.
I would expect that all the Trolls/Plaintiff are trying to find attorneys in new jurisdictions to file these cases. There is enough bad press out there concerning Troll attorneys who handle these cases to make this a difficult endeavor. I expect we will see some cases get filed in new jurisdictions, but it will be slow.
Malibu Media/Keith Lipscomb will continue to file single Doe cases for the immediate future. I also believe they will continue to collect as much information concerning the downloading/sharing of Malibu’s movies – long periods of BT sharing, to show this was not likely the result of one-time activity.
The use of these cases by more main-stream movies (some low-budget and/or box office failures) is likely to grow, especially if certain jurisdictions continue to allow mass Doe cases and grant subpoenas for ISP subscriber information. This business model was designed with this assumption – $400 filing fees and limited paperwork can return 10s if not 100s of thousands of dollars. With the apparent mortgage of a copyright to fund these cases, the TCYK cases may herald additional cases (and plaintiffs) if they can show it is profitable.
Example: 57 Doe case; 28 (50% Doe settlement rate) Does pay a settlement fee of $3500; Return of $98,000; Split the profits between Plaintiff and Troll; File new case (repeat).