The 2014 Round-Up – Why BT Copyright Trolling Will Continue

BT_TrollGreed1I decided to have a little fun and do some filtering of the 2014 BT Copyright Troll cases I recorded.  I will assume I have missed some cases and there may some other minor errors – so take this data with that note.  After saying that – even with any small number of errors, the sheer number of overall cases, the jurisdictions involved, and what Troll/Plaintiffs are involved, is telling.   2014 BT Copyright Troll Cases   2014 BT Copyright Troll Cases – Jurisdictions   2015 BT Copyright Troll Cases

So I have the total number of BT Copyright Troll cases filed in 2014 at 1828.  Number of John Does/Defendants in these cases is 6354.

At a cost of $400 per case, the filing fees paid by the Trolls were $731,200.  Note: Even if you remove the 10 cases I have on the “Misc Plaintiffs” Tab, 1818 BT Copyright Troll cases is substantial.  I don’t have the total numbers for 2013, so I cannot determine if we have seen an increased in cases and/or Does.

The single largest Troll/Plaintiff filer is Malibu Media LLC with 1449 cases – single John Does.  Filing fees of $579,600.

Next largest filer is Dallas Buyers Club LLC (AKA: Voltage Pictures) with 178 multi & single John Doe cases; Total of John Does/Defendants is 3719.  Filing fees of $71,200.

The remaining Troll/Plaintiffs numbers are smaller.

Good Man Productions, Inc., 99 single John Doe cases.  Filing fees of $39,600.

Countryman Nevada LLC, 26 cases (mostly multi-Doe) with 596 John Does/Defendants.  Filing fees of $10,400.

Poplar Oaks, Inc., 24 single John Doe cases.  Filing fees of $9,600.

The Company You Keep (TCYK), LLC, 13 cases (single & multi-Doe) with 85 John Doe/Defendants.  Filing fees of $5,200.

Millionaire Media, LLC, 11 single John Doe/Defendant cases.  Filing fees of $4,400.

Khumba Film Pty, Ltd., 4 multi-Doe cases with 160 John Does/Defendants.  Filing fees of $1,600.

The Misc Plaintiffs and RightsCorp are small but interesting aspects to this business model.

So What Does It All Mean???

As each Troll/Plaintiff and their local attorneys are different, it is hard to give definitive answers.  I believe Malibu Media/X-Art are the more serious of the Trolls.  Master Troll Keith Lipscomb has got his game-plan down fairly well.  They appear to target BT users who actively share Malibu Media content (as well as other content) for an extended period of time.  The settlement amounts Malibu Media receives is a well-kept secret, but I would still expect nothing less than $4,000 (some will be more) per case.  For the 1449 cases they filed in 2014, which is a good amount of profit.  With a 50% settlement rate at $4,000, they will make $2,896,000.  I previously said I believe Malibu Media tailors/filters their single-Doe cases to increase settlement percentages overall.  At a 75% settlement rate at $4,000, they will make $4,344,000.  As you can see, this business model isn’t going away.

Akin to Malibu Media is the cases filed for the direct-to-DVD movies, “Puncture Wounds” and “A Good Man” (Poplar Oak Inc., & Good Man Productions Inc.)  I expect these cases will be run with the same ruthlessness as the Malibu Media ones.  As they are single movies, I would expect at least a $3,000 settlement, but I’m sure they will adjust their greed as needed.

The next major player is Dallas Buyers Club (AKA: Nicolas Chartier).  BTW: Voltage Pictures is previewing their next movie, “Good Kill.”  I expect this will also be their next big BT Copyright Troll case for them.  Even with the large number of Does/Defendants, this Troll/Plaintiff does not appear as serious as Malibu Media/Lipscomb – as far naming/serving Defendant.  Note: there have been a small number of single-Doe cases, limited serving of summons/complaints, and the occasional default judgment against a non-responsive Defendant.  What you do NOT see is ANY cases going to trial.  The Trolls (All of them) in general try to avoid this at all costs, as it is not cost-effective for their business model.  For 2014, DBC had 3719 John Does.  If they only received settlements from 50% of the US John Does at $4,000, the amount of money is staggering (1859 Does * $4,000 = $7,436,000).  Also don’t forget the DBC cases that are taking place in Australia, Finland, Denmark, and Japan.

Millionaire Media, LLC, will be interesting to watch to see what comes of the 11 single-Doe cases against people who downloaded/shared documents concerning Penny stock investments.

Also of interest will be what Microsoft does with its three – 10 John Doe cases in WAWD.

I was a little surprised that Khumba Film Pty, Ltd., only filed four cases – 160 John Does.  BUT, if they were able to get a 50% settlement rate, then that is still some nice profit – 50% rate: est. settlement of $4,000 * 80 Does = $320,000!  Hell, even a 25% settlement rate is nice – $160,000.

As you can see, the ability to make a profit from these cases is still a big draw.  In the jurisdictions that are still friendly to multi-Does cases, this is the easiest way to make money.  The single-Doe cases do take some additional work, but I still think it is profitable based on what we saw in 2014 and at the start of 2015.

2015_BT_CT_cases

DieTrollDie 🙂

“And our credo: “Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc.” We gladly feast on those who would subdue us. Not just pretty words.”  [Morticia Adams, The Adams Family]

About DieTrollDie

I'm one of the many 'John Does' (200,000+ & growing in the US) who Copyright Trolls have threatened with a civil law suit unless they are paid off. What is a Copyright Troll? Check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation link - http://www.eff.org/issues/copyright-trolls
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7 Responses to The 2014 Round-Up – Why BT Copyright Trolling Will Continue

  1. Anon E. Mous says:

    I agree with what you say. The trolls are playing the odds that so many will settle. Even though the trolls have to plunk down the filing fees, even at 25% they still make a killing.

    The trolls are doing with torrent lawsuits what Vegas does with the casino’s they run, they know they have to expend some cash but they know they will get it back because the odds are in their favor, the trolls know this with bit torrent lawsuits as well.

    The only way this will stop is when the courts and Judges handling these cases wise up to the fact that these bit torrent lawsuits are nothing more than legal blackmail and extortion in my opinion and the courts are being used to facilitate bye allowing the trolls endless continuances and furthering drawn out battles over how these cases proceed which is exactly what the trolls do to try and get the poor isp subscriber buried in legal fees or they cave into the pressure and settle.

    I have a hard time believing that the Judges that handle these cases don’t recognize these tactics by the trolls but yet continue to allow the trolls to use the courts to extort settlements, if the Judges set a time limit and not allow the troll endless extensions, I believe we’d see a lot less filings and wasting of the courts time and the trolls would be forced to decide if these cases were worth filing as they would only have a certain amount of time to try and weasel out a settlement before the clock ran out.

    One day the Judges and the courts will wake up to the fact they are a a pawn in the trolls extortion racket

  2. doe number 123456 says:

    as long as the trolls continue to “work” within the laws I don’t see the judges putting an end to this. the judges may not like what the trolls are doing but as long as it is within the law they will up hold the laws. this is no worse really then DA’s plea bargaining cases to something out of the blue to avoid a long court battle. it happens all the time even on traffic tickets. while it is really all about money and not the law, they are still after the money within the law.

  3. SJD says:

    I’m actually puzzled by Good Man Productions suits. Lipscomb found a bonanza in claiming damages for “copyrights-in-suit,” in which two dozen of cheap plotless porn flicks produced in a day “worth” more than a single movie with a multi-million budget — from the blind Mr. Copyright Law’s standpoint. This is undeniably a travesty and abuse, but it works fine for the troll so far. And, by the way, your 4,000 low estimate is too low: after the Bellweather farce demands went up dramatically, sometimes reaching tens of thousands if the victim is in a vulnerable position (government employer for instance).

    GMP, on the other hand, lists only a single copyright (funny: the complaints are apparently molded from the Malibu complaints). Given that Lipscomb stated on multiple occasions that a trebled $750 minimum is a fair ransom amount, it translates to $2,250 per GMP lawsuit — hardly a lucrative endeavor.

    I suspect that there is a substantial “dossier” on each defendant, and the settlement demand is still high. If some attempt to argue, he/she will be presented with a list of other alleged infringements. Lipscomb was caught in such scumbaggery in the past.

    So, I’m sure, there is a bag of trick in Lipscomb’s sleeves, but I don’t know anything about his new “magic.” Yet.

    • Andrew Tandrew says:

      Yep. Making a literal federal case out of two grand in potential recovery doesn’t add up economically. Two alternate hypotheses:

      1. Lipscomb’s gang is purchasing PR. “We aren’t just porn trolls. We troll for legitimate media, too.”

      2. Someone behind Good Man has a personal grudge against internet piracy and they’re willing to spend money to make a few token Torrent users (and, of course, their parents, neighbors with open wi-fi, etc.) suffer. Lipscomb is set up better than anyone else in the country to mass file these suits. Kicking in 1.5 billable hours per from the client’s side would make the difference between viable and not.

    • DieTrollDie says:

      Yes, $4K is low, but it shows that even at that level, the profits are crazy. I think these Good Man and Poplar Oaks cases may be used to lure some attorneys that wouldn’t touch a porn BT case. Using the Malibu Media target selection process will likely get them a higher settlement rate than the idiots at Voltage Pictures. With only one movie per cases (and the dossier) I suspect a larger amount.

      DTD 🙂

  4. J Roberts says:

    Don’t forget the default judgments worth tens of thousands of dollars each. Whether they are collectable is another matter.

  5. Bobby Fischer says:

    I have physically seen documents asking individuals for over $150,000. The said documents were part of a lawsuit involving 3,000 customers from an American based ISP. The party who shared this information refused response to their claim and changed providers. Except through court order, it is voluntary for ISPs to release customer information; those providers who volunteer customer information are doing so out of the same greed.

    Anyone involved in this type of lawsuit is urged to not respond, in any way, to these accusations unless you are the sole defendant in the case. It is not financially advisable for “trolls” to pursue individual parties; you are only one IP address in a very long list.

    As stated in the article, this is a numbers game.

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