Feb 2015 Update
Since I last wrote about TaylorMadeClips and Mark Borghese, I started to get emails from people who were receiving a new batch of settlement demand letters. The letters started to come out in January – February 2015. Note:
I will post some redacted examples soon. TMC_Borghese_Ltr_Feb15 TMC_Borghese_Ltr1_Jan15 TMC_Borghese_Ltr2_Jan15 TMC_Borghese_Ltr3_Jan15 TMC_Borghese_Ltr4_Jan15
The settlement demand letters were signed by Mark Borghese (for TMC) and demanded at least $750+ per movie. I saw a couple of settlement demands for $20K+.
On 11 Feb 15, TorrentFreak reported (http://torrentfreak.com/torrent-site-copyright-troll-had-staff-access-to-member-data-150211/) “Copyright Troll Had Staff Access To Member Data.” Please see the TF article for details. What appears to have happened is somehow TMC/Borghese obtained the User Name/Password for one of the Empornium.me moderators. With this access, the unauthorized intruder was able to exfiltrate data concerning people who accessed various torrents of TMC movies, to include the email address associated with the Empornium.me account. Then what appears is Borghese (or others) conducted Internet searches on the emails address/user names and was able to locate some names mailing addresses associated with the emails. He then sent out the demand letters to the email addresses and physical addresses.
Once TF broke the story, Mark Borghese decided to respond to the article and stated the following.
“My clients handle policing copyright infringement of their videos. My firm only gets involved later if they want to take some type of legal action. These are a small businesses and most of the time they do not want to go through the expense of hiring a lawyer,” Borghese told TF
“The statement from Empornium says that the site was not hacked. Apparently whatever the accused admin[mod] may have done was not done with the approval of the entire Empornium staff. Maybe there is a split among the Empornium admins regarding copyright infringement. It’s a bit of mixed message as the official Empornium statement recommends its users not commit copyright infringement.”
You can see in his responses there is NO denial that he used the exfiltrated information. Not a big surprise. His last paragraph is the interesting bit, as it seems like he is saying that a staff member at Empornium may have had a change of heart when it comes to copyright infringement and decided to disclose the TMC torrent information. What is sounds like is the moderator either voluntarily sold TMC/Borghese the information OR TMC/Borghese was threatening to sue this person for copyright infringement unless they disclosed the internal data. Sounds like a Prenda-like move that could back-fire.
Bottom-line: If you received any of the letters, ignore them, send me a copy, and move on with your life. I believe the chance that TMC/Borghese would file real copyright infringement cases based off of the exfiltrated data is very very slight. Even if he is foolish enough to do this in a NV court, most of the recipients I have seen do NOT reside in the NV jurisdiction. The three previously filed cases by TMC/Borghese suffer from this fault.
I will also state that I in no way condone copyright infringement and suggest that if you are doing it, to please stop.
Normally the topic of copyright trolls here centers around file sharing via the BitTorrent protocol. A third-party recently provided me a copy of a settlement demand letter from Las Vegas, NV, attorney Mark Borghese. The alleged copyright infringement is for the distribution of a porn/fetish movie owned by TaylorMadeClips. TaylorMadeClips has, how shall we say it…… some “interesting” porn/fetish movies that are NSFW. For this letter, no BitTorrent activity took place – the movie appears to have been posted to some Web site. The details of the alleged activity have been redacted as it could identify who the recipient is. It is very similar to other demand letters, with the exception that there doesn’t appear to be a federal case associated with it. Borghese_SettleLtr_Aug2013
Now as the settlement demand letter was addressed to the alleged infringer, you have to ask how they were able to obtain this information. I believe the personal information came from either the Web site user account record, the file hosting site records, or from TaylorMadeClips. It is possible the Web site user account had certain information freely viewable (real name, city, State, email addresses, etc.). As most Web sites will not disclose personal/subscriber information without some type of legal paperwork, I’m thinking the movie in question might have been “watermarked” with a code to identify who purchased the movie from TaylorMadeClips. Couple that with any freely available information associated with the Web site user account and the content owner may believe they have the right person. That or they are simply going off the code that shows who purchased the movie.
As they now have a name and address, it is a simple process of having Mr. Borghese send a letter to demand payment to prevent a federal copyright infringement case. Mr. Borghese makes the same threat we have seen before – if they are forced to litigate, they will interview all personnel in the residence and forensically examine all hard drives and electronic storage devices.
The duty to preserve evidence section is overly large and covers any and all aspects (“Kitchen Sink”) of possible data/evidence. What I did find funny was the part that tells the recipient that they are required by law to suspend ANY practice (to include routine ones) that could purge or deleted possible evidence. So in other words, don’t bother to turn on your computer or try to use it.
I don’t know the recipients address, but unless he/she is in Nevada or Washington DC, Plaintiff/Borghese will have to hire local counsel in the proper jurisdiction to file a copyright infringement case on his client’s behalf.
- This was the first time I heard of Mark Borghese and TaylorMadeClips. I only found two items of interest on the Web.
A 2010 news article where Borghese represented a Texas Righthaven victim.
Wells is represented in the litigation by Las Vegas attorneys Mark Borghese and Ryan Gile of the law firm Weide & Miller Ltd.; as well as attorneys from the San Antonio firm Gunn, Lee & Cave P.C.
MN attorney Arron Hall mentions Borghese in his Web site.
Recently, attorney Mark Borghese from the law firm of Borghese Legal, LTD. in Las Vegas, Nevada has been sending demand letters. These letters have claimed copyright infringement for illegal download of the following movies: 5 Days of Service & Consumption: Day 1 Massive Up Close Blasts in Your Face Toilet Boys, 5 Days of Service & Consumption: Day 2: Floods of Farts, 5 Days of Service & Consumption: Day 3 You’re One Lucky Son-of-a-Bitch, Bound Face Crushing Point Blank Farts, Human Toilet Can, 5 Days of Service & Consumption: Day 1 Aren’t you Excited to Have me Home, 5 Days of Service & Consumption: Day 2 This toilet seat is your frame FARTFACE, 5 Days of Service & Consumption: Day 5 Up Close Asshole Action, I’m Sitting on a Mother Lode Right Now, and My Fart Sniffing Cushion. According to the letter, TaylorMadeClips owns the copyright to these porn movies.
I found approx. 295 movies registered to TaylorMadeClips, 5841 E. Charleston Bl. #230-216, Las Vegas, NV, email@example.com.
It appears they are well versed in registering their works, but anyone who receives one of these letters should verify that the movie is actually registered. A work that is not registered will prevent the Plaintiff from getting statutory damages and attorney’s fees – actual damages only. Not that Plaintiff/Borghese would likely tell any recipient of this fact.
A simple search on RFC Express failed to show any copyright cases with the parties being TaylorMadeClips. Note: Any such case(s) could be filed under a different Plaintiff name. If Plaintiff ever files a copyright infringement case in a Federal court, they are still going to have to show some sort of evidence that the defendant is the infringer. As these cases will have been delayed by the settlement efforts, there is the chance that any evidence maintained by a Web site(s) could be lost.