I 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.
“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]