Just a short post to show you how some BitTrorrent Copyright Troll cases run. Now I’m in NO way saying that all of them end up like this. Each Troll/Plaintiff is different, as well as the local Troll who is running them. Malibu Media LLC/Troll Lipscomb runs their operation differently than say a Voltage Pictures case. BUT the following example points out that the Troll/Plaintiffs are doing this to generate settlements and the claims of cracking down on piracy is pure BS in my opinion.
Case At Hand
This case is brought to us by Voltage Picture (Nicolas Chartier) and the local Troll attorney Scott Kannady, Brown & Kannady, LLC, Denver, CO. Case is Countryman Nevada, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (12 Does), Colorado, 1:14-cv-01149. Complaint_01149(CO)
The case was filed on 22 Apr 14, to include a motion for expedited discovery of ISP subscriber information. The expedited discovery was rubber-stamped the next day and there after the Troll received the ISP subscriber information. The case followed the usual path of working settlements and monthly status reports to the court. Almost three months after filing, Troll/Plaintiff dismissed Doe (#6) after settling. Approximately one month later (20 Aug 14), Troll Kannady voluntarily dismissed the entire case (11 remaining Does) without prejudice. Doc_18_VolDismiss_01149(CO)
So one out of 12 Does apparently paid the settlement. That is an 8.333% settlement rate – piss-poor settlement rate IMO. But still, how much time, effort, or money did they really have to put out? $400 and some electronic case filing based off pre-made templates is what I’m guessing – not much. Assuming Troll/Plaintiff obtained $4,500 for this settlement; that leaves $4,100 to be split between the parties. So even with one Doe settling, the business model is profitable.
Why Dismiss – Why Not Serve The Does?
This business model is purely designed to extract settlement from ISP subscribers. The fact that these Troll/Plaintiffs could take these Does to trial does not figure into their plan. The claims that they are only trying to reduce piracy and recoup lost revenue is another sad joke supported by the facts that –
- The Troll/Plaintiffs do not send out DMCA take-down notices to the ISPs of the public IP addresses they observe. Many of the Troll/Plaintiffs do send out DMCA take-down notices, BUT they are usually only sent to Internet Search engines or Tube sites. As the Troll/Plaintiffs use these DMCA take-down notices in this fashion, I assume they are working – not perfect, but still working. So why can’t work with the ISPs and their subscribers???
- They only file cases in the jurisdictions they deem friendly enough for them and where they can find an attorney willing to tarnish their name by handling these cases. The reason why some jurisdictions look down on these cases is because many of the past ones were questionable (at best) when you looked beyond the threadbare claims. As far as the tarnished reputation for handling these cases; the attorneys will have to fix that on their own – you reap what you sow.
The main reason you don’t see as many Does named/served with a summons/complaint is because this step significantly increases the risk that some ISP subscriber is going to fight back. We saw this gross mistake made by the Troll Maureen Vandermay in Washington when her client decided to name/serve the Does who refused to settle in case 2:13-cv-00115 (WAED). This of course led to Elf-Man LLC v. Lamberson case, 2:13-cv-00395, with motions for approximately $200K in attorney fees/costs and sanctions against the Troll/Plaintiff. Even Malibu Media LLC, is feeling pressure from its efforts to name/served non-settling ISP subscribers. It is only a matter of time before they cannot cut and run and lose a case.
So based on what I have seen in the Troll Kannady CO cases, I wouldn’t rush off to pay a settlement demand from him. I expect that if CO court didn’t require monthly status reports from the Troll, these cases would stay open much longer and possibly get more people to pay up. Judge Hegarty may be making it harder for the Troll/Plaintiffs, but CO is still a BT Copyright Troll haven in need of some reform. Now as this information makes it into the public view, Troll Kannady and his Plaintiffs may be forced to start naming/serving people in small numbers. This of course increases their risks and possibly lowers their profit.
DieTrollDie 🙂 “That’s how you’re gonna beat ’em, Butch. They keep underestimating you.” – Butch Coolidge, Pulp Fiction