18 Apr 14 Update
I decided to look at all the Dallas Buyers Club cases that were filed and crunch some numbers. I was asked recently if BitTorrent Copyright Trolling is still a viable business model based on the many hits the Troll/Plaintiffs are taking of late. YES and here is why.
Profit – This is a business and it survives on making a profit. For the period of Feb – Apr 2014, Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) LLC, filed 18 federal Copyright Infringement cases in 3 States (TX, WI, & IL), against a total of 561 John Does. A $400 case filing fee works out to $7,200 for the 18 cases. A safe estimate that the Trolls will ask for approximately $5,000 per settlement. So here are the numbers.
- 100% settlement rate (unrealistic) – 561 Does X $5,000 = $ 2,805,000
- 75% settlement rate – 421 Does X $5,000 = $2,103,750
- 50% settlement rate – 281 Does X $5,000 = $1,405,000
- 25% settlement rate – 140 Does X $5,000 = $701,250
Now even if the Troll/Plaintiff only gets a 25% settlement rate (averaged out), they still have over $701,250. Lets say that each case cost Plaintiff approximately $3,000 in legal costs and fees, in addition to the $7,200 in filing fees. 18 cases X $3,000 = $54,000. $54,000 + $7,200 = $61,200. Now depending on what agreement (verbal or written) Troll/Plaintiff has with the BitTorrent technical monitoring crew, there is bound to be some additional costs. Even if these costs were $100K, that would still leave over $500K!
- $701,250 – $61,200 = $640,040
The old saying goes – “Money Talks.”
27 Mar 14 Update
Well today turned out to be the big day for Dallas Buyers Club, LLC, filing copyright troll law suits. A total of Nine mass-Doe (35o Does total) law suits were filed in the Northern District of Illinois, by Trolls Todd S. Parkhurst, Michael A. Hierl, Karyn L. Bass-Ehler of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym Ltd. Well, it isn’t surprising, but the douchebag actions still stinks.
- 1:14-cv-02153 – 39 Does
- 1:14-cv-02156 – 41 Does
- 1:14-cv-02158 – 39 Does
- 1:14-cv-02162 – 36 Does
- 1:14-cv-02163 – 45 Does
- 1:14-cv-02165 – 34 Does
- 1:14-cv-02168 – 46 Does
- 1:14-cv-02169 – 37 Does
- 1:14-cv-02170 -33 Does
10 Mar 14 Update
As expected, on 10 Mar 14, two new Dallas Buyers Club cases were opened in the Copyright Troll friendly jurisdictions of the Northern District of IL- total of 102 Does. I would expect more cases to follow as the academy award attention is bound to increase its popularity on BitTorrent. 52 Does 55 Does
*** Please see the ‘answer template’ in shared folder link below. ***
5 Mar 14 Update
In case you missed it, I have created an “Answer Template” for the Dallas Buyers Club LLC v, Does 1-31, case 4:14-cv-00248, Southern District of Texas. It is found in this shared folder along with some case documents. If you are going to use it, please edit it to reflect the specific Plaintiff, allegations, and YOUR answers – Don’t just slap you name on it.
3 Mar 14 Update
On 2 Mar 14, TorrentFreak posted the following article – “Dallas Buyers Club”Makers Censor COMCAST On Demand By Mistake. The part I found interesting was the DMCA take-down request was the ONLY one ever sent by Voltage Pictures (For ANY of their films) to Google. Of course the DMCA take-down request was only for the ‘search results.’ I seriously doubt Voltage Pictures has ever sent a DMCA take-down notice to the ISPs of IP addresses that were allegedly downloading/sharing Dallas Buyers Club via BitTorrent.
Also of note, is that this is the first and only DMCA request Voltage Pictures has ever sent to Google. This suggests that the company might not be too worried about appearing in search results. Instead, the takedown notice may have been a preemptive action related to the BitTorrent lawsuits we mentioned earlier.
With this DMCA notice Voltage can show the court that it took other anti-piracy efforts as well. Whether that is wise has yet to be seen though, since right now it mostly shows how weak the studio’s evidence gathering tools are.
It seems recently TCYK LLC, AKA: Voltage Pictures (owner Nicholas Chartier), has been having a hard time with various copyright troll cases throughout the US. Even with the various set-backs, the Voltage Pictures operation is still ongoing. In this dual-post, I will detail another TCYK LLC set-back, as well as a new case associated with Voltage Pictures.
Severed and Dismissed in Tennessee
This was your standard mass-Doe TCYK, LLC copyright infringement case (3:13-cv-00251, TCYK, LLC v. Does 1-98), originally opened on 6 May 13. Archive Docket Plaintiff requested and was granted early discovery to obtain the ISP subscriber information for the IP addresses in question. Following this, a few of the Does made motions to quash/dismiss and were subsequently dismissed by Plaintiff. I don’t know if Troll/Plaintiff dismissed these Does after a deal was made or if it was done simply to render their motions as “moot” (no longer relevant) because they were no long a party to this action (because they were dismissed). I have a sneaking suspicion that Troll/Plaintiff offered each of these Does a very cheap settlement offer that was hard not to accept. Doe #3’s attorney signed the joint notice of dismissal (with prejudice), so one deal was obviously made. Doe3_Dismissed_00251(TN) How cheap was the deal??? I do not know, but I would guess it was under $1,000. I haven’t read Doe #3’s motion, so I don’t know how good it was. If someone would like to confirm or refute this, please email me at email@example.com. I will not disclose the details.
Here is the funny thing – I think the judge figured out these dismissals (14 Oct, 17 Oct, & 17 Nov) were more to kill the pending motions (not have to address the issues) than coming to a settlement over the copyright infringement allegation. On 18 Nov 13, Judge H. Bruce Guyton, Eastern District of Tennessee, issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R) for this case. RandR_00251(TN) The judge specifically mentions Doe #3’s motion to quash/dismiss and that he decided Sua Sponte (on his own) to recommended Does #2-98 be severed from the case (without prejudice) and Plaintiff be ordered to name and serve Doe #1 within 30 days.
On 23 Dec 13, Judge Thomas A. Varlan, accepted the R&R in whole and ordered it. OrderON_RandR_00251(TN) Well, even with this set-back, most Trolls would name and serve Doe #1 and start moving forward. Troll Van R. Irion decided instead not to do anything. On 4 Feb 14, Judge Varlan dismissed the case against Doe #1. Dismissed_00251(TN)
Here, Plaintiff has failed to serve the summons and complaint on Defendant Doe 1 within 120 days of filing the complaint and failed to serve Defendant Doe 1 within 30 days of the Court’s order entered December 23, 2013, indicating to the Court that Plaintiff has no interest in prosecuting this action.
Accordingly, the Court finds that this action shall be DISMISSED for failure to prosecute.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
As we have 12 other TCYK, LLC, cases in the Eastern District of Tennessee (per RFC Express), this R&R and dismissal could have a significant impact on the Trolls/Plaintiff here. Note: Troll Van R. Irion other similar mass-Doe cases in the district – Killer Joe Nevada, LLC & Pound Pictures Inc. My suggestion to any Does in these cases is to hold off settling and possibly inform the judge handling their case of the R&R.
On a side-note I want to add this little gem of an Order to Show Cause order issued to TCYK, LLC, in the District of Minnesota. Case 0:13-cv-02779, TCYK, LLC v. Does 1-24. TCYK_ShowC_02779(MN) Archive Docket It appears Troll Mark R. Anfinson, in all of his professional capability filed a duplicate case against 17 Does who’s IP addresses were already listed in case 0:13-cv-01727, TCYK, LLC v. Does 1-17. On 23 Dec 13, Troll/Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case – order followed on 27 Dec 13. Take note people, this is the type of Troll/Plaintiff you are dealing with. Amazing…
Dallas Buyers Club, LLC files in Texas
And now for something completely different.
No, not really. It is a new Plaintiff (Dallas Buyers Club, LLC) by “Name.” The BitTorrent copyright infringement case is Dallas Buyers Club, LLC v Does 1-31, 4:14-cv-00248, filed on 3 Feb 14, in the Southern District of Texas. Complaint_00248(TX) Complaint_IPs_00248(TX) Complaint_CpyR_00248(TX) The movie is “Dallas Buyers Club,” which was first released on 7 Sep 13. The main release to US audiences was on 1 Nov 13.
If you look a little deeper, you will see and smell the trolls. The IMDb Web site shows Voltage Pictures and Truth Entertainment are the production companies handling this movie. Voltage Pictures (Owner – Nicolas Chartier) is the person behind the BitTorrent copyright troll lawsuits for movies like “The Hurt Locker” and “The Company You Keep.” Fightcopyrighttrolls story
The “About” page for Truth Entertainment mentions Voltage Picture and Nicholas Chartier, as well as Joe Newcomb. A review of the California Business Search Database (CBSD) disclosed that Truth Entertainment’s status is “Cancelled.” The CBSD also disclosed Dallas Buyers Club, LLC has been active since 2 Aug 12. A search for Dallas Buyers Club, LLC, board members discloses Joe Newcomb (Truth Entertainment) and Anthony Notarglacomo. It looks like Nicolas Chartier has a new partner or two.
The case is the same tired old BitTorrent copyright infringement case they have been filing for some time. Prior to this case, the most recent copyright troll case in the Southern District of Texas was TCYK case, 4:13-cv-03082 (18 Oct 13). I expect this case to go the same way all the other BitTorrent mass-Doe cases have – obtain ISP subscriber information, issue demands under threat of a lawsuit, collect settlements, a small number of default judgments, and finally dismiss the case when the court tires of Troll/Plaintiff’s excuses and delays in prosecuting it.
Fortunately many courts around the US are starting to sever/dismiss most of the Defendants from the mass-Doe cases. They can see that the Troll/Plaintiff are clogging up the courts with their business model cases, not paying filing fees ($400 per mass-Doe v. $400 X 31 Does = $12,400), and show absolutely no intention of trying identify the actual infringer and prosecute. If you end up being part of this case (or others that are sure to follow), please comment and tell us what is happening to you.
DieTrollDie 🙂 “The Defendants have liable Plaintiff under the disguise of such childish and unsophisticated pseudonyms as ‘die troll die.’”