22 Jan 14 – Update
On 21 Jan 14, Troll Paul J. Nicoletti, filed a Countryman Nevada LLC case (1:14-cv-00073 – 30 Does) in the Michigan Western District Court. As I previously said, I expect more of these cases to be filed so Plaintiff can pay off the mortgaged copyright.
I fully expected Malibu Media/X-Art to be the first Troll/Plaintiff to file a copyright infringement case in 2014 (database). Well, I was wrong – they were second to do that. The first copyright troll cases filed in 2014 was from what appears to be a new Plaintiff, Countryman Nevada LLC. The name is different, but the actors behind it are well-known.
On 3 Jan 14, two Countryman Nevada cases were filed in the Troll friendly Illinois Northern District. This was once the favorite stomping ground of John Steele/Prenda Law. Cases numbers 1:14-cv-00040 (32 Does) and 1:14-cv-00041 (34 Does). Here is the archive docket for 1:14-cv-00040. Complaint_00040(IL) Complaint_EX_A_B_00040(IL) As of writing this, I haven’t seen the request for early discovery from the ISPs, but it is bound to show up. I wonder why the local Trolls do not file the early discovery requests alongside the complaint. They already have all the information.
The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
These cases are the standard template mass-Doe BitTorrent copyright infringement cases for the movie, “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.” IMDB link I’m still looking for what it cost to produce the movie, but it looks like the box office take was lacking to say the least.
For case 1:14-cv-00040, the dates of infringement are 27 Nov – 8 Dec 2013. I assume for 1:14-cv-00041, the dates of infringement will coincide. The claim in the complaint is for one count of copyright infringement.
The only thing remotely interesting about this template based case is the copyright registration details. A search for the keywords of “Countryman Nevada” discloses 10 records. Screenshots of the records (as well as other LLC document) can be seen here.
The copyright appears to have been mortgaged to Voltage Pictures LLC and Countryman Nevada LLC. Some of the documents registered with the US Copyright Office are – movie copyrights (Video disc and electronic file); Security Interest – mortgage of copyright and assignment; Security Agreement; and short form quitclaim. The following entities are also listed on these documents – Picture Perfect Corporation LLC; Film Finances Inc,; Screen Actors Guild-American federation of television and Radio Artists; Matthew Drake; Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Big Beat Productions, Inc.; Scrim Productions, Inc.; Mandate Development II, LLC; Mandate Films, LLC; and Country Nevada, LLC.
Voltage Pictures LLC – Nicolas Chartier
Voltage Pictures LLC and its owner Nicolas Chartier are well-known for filing copyright troll law suits against thousands of Does for movies like The Hurt Locker and The Company You Keep (TCYK). Techdirt Article – Hurt Locker Case BoingBoing Article -Nicolas Chartier Letter Fight Copyright Trolls Articles – Voltage Pictures
If Countryman Nevada follows the example of TCYK LLC, I expect to see more copyright infringement law suits to filed in the following locations – Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Texas. I don’t know what they paid for/mortgaged to get the copyright assignment, but I bet it wasn’t cheap.
If you end up being one of the Does who gets a notice from your ISP, please contact me at email@example.com. All I expect out of these cases is for early discovery to be granted, ISP subscriber information released, settlement demands made to the Does, and eventually the cases will be closed. Now I will say with the TCYK cases, we have seen a small number of single Doe cases filed. These single Does appear to have been part of a previous mass Doe case. I do not know the exact reason for this, but it could be because the Doe filed a motion. I have not seen any of these single Doe TCYK cases with named and served defendants. Please correct me if I’m wrong. With a mortgaged copyright and possible “investment partners” in this operation, taking a defendant into the discovery phase or beyond is financially risky – it takes money away from the profit margin and doesn’t guarantee a defendant will be able to pay. Remember that money is the motivation in these cases.
DieTrollDie 🙂 “That’s how you’re gonna beat ’em, Butch. They keep underestimating you.” – Butch Coolidge, Pulp Fiction