Happy Holiday Wishes From DieTrollDie – Multi-Topic Post

As we get closer to the end of 2015, I want to wish everyone a great end of year and ask that you spend some extra time sharing your love with family, friends, and those you might not otherwise socialize with. It will do your heart and soul good, as well as possibly lifting someone up from their despair. My life has taken an abrupt change on a personal side and some in my professional. I haven’t had the opportunity to do as much writing here, but I will continue as best I can for the time being. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/DieTrollDie) Saying this, I would like to talk about the general state of BT Copyright Trolling, as well as highlight some interesting stories, cases, and documents.

Elf_Shelf_Box1

State Of The BT Copyright Troll

In very general terms we have three types BT Copyright Trolls in the US

  1. Bottom Feeders
  2. Mass-Doe Cases
  3. Single-Doe cases. Note: some of the Trolls/Plaintiffs (Voltage Pictures, etc.) generally file Mass-Doe cases, with some single Doe cases in select jurisdictions.

Bottom Feeder Trolls (CEG-TEK & Rightscorp)

Late Addition – See the last part of this post (“BMG Rights Management awarded $25 Million v. Cox”) – The bottom feeder Trolls are CEG-TEK and Rightscorp. These Trolls monitor BT network activity and record IP addresses sharing content owned by their clients. They then send bastardized Digital Millennia Copyright Act (DMCA) notices to the ISPs that own the IP addresses they recorded. With these notices they try to get the ISP subscriber to respond and pay a settlement. CEG-TEK has been seeking $300 per infringement and Rightscorp seeks $20. For the most part, the copyright owners who employ these bottom feeders do not want the financial risks and negative publicity that filing a “real” copyright infringement law suit entails. My suggestion for dealing with this is to:

  1. Stop the BT activity that is occurring on your network
  2. Do not call or otherwise respond to the Troll
  3. Contact your ISP and tell them you have taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again (No details on how it occurred).
  4. Move on with your life.

Mass-Doe Cases

These are the mainstay of the BT Copyright Troll business model. It is the most efficient way for them to make money. It only costs $400 to file a Federal copyright infringement case based off of a template – simply add IP addresses and dates/times of infringement. File a case with 26 Does/IP addresses and they have a really good chance of making a profit. If only 50% of the Does pay a settlement of $4K, they take in $52K. Most courts don’t like to see cases with 100 plus Does in them, so the numbers will not likely go up per case. For a vast majority of these Mass-Doe cases, the Troll has no intention of taking anyone who fights back to trial. There will be case-by-case exceptions to this, but the overwhelming history shows that the Trolls will milk each case for as long as a court allows it. I have seen multiple Mass-Doe cases that were kept open for up to a year plus without naming/serving any of the Defendants. In the few cases where people are named/served, the case is eventually voluntarily dismissed by the Troll (possible walk-away deal between the parties) or a defendant defaults (does not show up or otherwise fight back) and the Troll is awarded damages. Even if they are unable to collect their damages, they use default judgments as a way to scare other Does (“See, we will sue you!”) and claim that they are not afraid of going to trial – Total BS.

My suggestion for dealing with this is to:

  1. Stop the BT activity that is occurring on your network
  2. Resecure the WiFi (new password)
  3. Determine if unknown/unauthorized computers were connected to your network (take screenshots/write details down)
  4. Do not call or otherwise respond to the Troll
  5. Contact your ISP and tell them you have taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again (Don’t provide details on who or what caused this)
  6. Find an attorney in your jurisdiction who knows the Trolls and obtain a consult. I personally do not recommend settling with the Trolls, but each situation/case is different. Also each person/family handles the stress of this differently.

Single-Doe Cases

For the most part, the single-doe cases are the realm of Troll Keith Lipscomb/Malibu Media/X-Art. Some other single-doe cases are filed by other Troll/Plaintiffs, but it is a small number and most likely only done on specific facts that lead the Trolls to believe they can force a settlement. The single-doe cases are a more serious matter, as Malibu Media has fine-tuned their operation. They target IP addresses (only in limited jurisdictions) in which the monitoring service has recorded multiple Malibu Media/X-Art movies (10+) being shared via BT over a longer time frame (30+ days). They generally record multiple date/time periods of the same IP address/BT client sharing Plaintiff’s movies. They also record ALL of the other (non-Plaintiff) files that are also available from the BT client. They use this list to claim the offender is a “prolific” downloader (not an accident – should have known it was illegal, etc.) AND it can possibly give some insight into WHO the offender is. Such a list of files generally describes what the BT user likes (movies, TV, music, games, eBooks, software), their interests, and maybe even what their job/profession is. It also gives them things to look for IF they go as far as a forensic examination by the infamous, “Never Convicted” computer examiner, Patrick Page.

In my opinion these cases are much more serious to a Doe. Troll Lipscomb/Malibu Media have a well-designed playbook on running these cases. Their efforts will follow a general path (my opinion); 1) Obtain a settlement ($750 per movie – 15 movies = $11,250, etc.); 2) Name/serve a non-responsive Defendant in hopes it brings a settlement; 3) Run up a Defendant’s legal bills and stress in hope it brings a settlement; 4) Convince Defendant to accept a walk-away deal (cover their own legal bills); 5) Obtain a default judgment from non-responsive Defendant. The effort of such a course of actions is to make it extremely clear to any Defense attorney/Defendant, that fighting back is going to cost more than simply settling at the onset.

My suggestion for dealing with this is to:

  1. Stop the BT activity that is occurring on your network
  2. Resecure the WiFi (new password)
  3. Determine if unknown/unauthorized computers were connected to your network (take screenshots/write details down)
  4. Do not call or otherwise respond to the Troll
  5. Contact your ISP and tell them you have taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again (Don’t provide details on who or what caused this)
  6. Make sure ALL your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are not open for ANYONE to view – The Troll will do this
  7. Find an attorney in your jurisdiction who knows the Trolls (Malibu Media) and obtain a consult.

I’m sorry to say but even if you are innocent, Malibu Media DOES NOT CARE. For them to admit that even one person is innocent, jeopardizes their operation. It will start a chink in their armor that will cause them trouble. It will establish a precedent of what Defense strategy will work. We are still waiting for the Malibu Media case in which the court awards reasonable costs/fees to a prevailing Defendant. This is best highlighted by the WA Elf-Man case ((WAED 13-cv-00395) Fightcopyrighttrolls Article), in which the Defendant was awarded approximately $100K. Troll Lipscomb knows this will eventually happen. It is just a matter of time.

8th Circuit Court of Appeal – L. Leverton Case

Here is the 8th Circuit Court of Appeal opinion on the Killer Joe NV case v. Leigh Leverton, 14-3274.   14-3274_Opinion

I’m sad to report that the 8th Circuit said the district court did not error as it considered
the parties’ submissions on the attorney’s fee issue. The court said that “Nothing more was required by Rule 54.” Because Leaverton had an opportunity to make a record, the district court did not abuse its discretion.

So the case will not be sent back to the lower court and there will be no award of fees/costs. This of course is specific to the lower court/judge, and in NO way says a Troll Defendant is not entitled to them if a judge so decides so. I still think the lower court judge was foolish for not seeing how Troll/Plaintiff was abusing the court to pressure people into settling. You win some and you lose some. A different judge may see things differently the next time. The Troll knows the next time may not work out so well. This was a great effort by Attorney Ray Johnson, Johnson Law Firm, West De Moines, IA. Well done Sir.

ILND Mass-Doe Cases – Change Is In The Wind – ILND Case Dismissal (17 Dec 15)

In my previous post (Veterans Double Feature), I mentioned that the ILND Chief Justice, the Honorable Ruben Castillo had Sue Sponte dismissed a Cobbler Nevada case that was barely 11 days old. The judge still allowed the Troll to issue the ISP subpoena for the 20 Does, but said that they were “Gently” reminded that joinder of Defendants needed to be based on real facts, not BS (My emphasis below).  Judge_Castillo_CaseDismissed_08398(IL)

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Ruben Castillo:After careful review of this recently filed complaint, said Doe complaint is dismissed without prejudice to the filing of any amended complaint which expressly names any appropriate defendant(s). Plaintiff’s counsel is hereby authorized to proceed and issue subpoena(s) to determine the identity of the Doe defendant(s). All discovery and third party subpoena(s) must be complied with even though the initial Doe complaint is dismissed without prejudice. Finally, plaintiff’s counsel is gently reminded that the joinder of multiple defendants in one lawsuit must be supported by concerted action of the defendants.Mailed notice(rao, )

Joinder is a key issue to the Troll’s business model. It allows them to run a case cheaper ($400 to file) and gives them multiple settlements opportunities. Again, at the 50% settlement rate (est. $4K settlement average), they could recoup $40K from 10 Does.

I recently looked into how Judge Castillo’s Minute Entry has affected ILND Troll filings. What I found was not too much of a surprise. Note: If I missed any cases, please tell me. Here is a snapshot of the Mass-Doe BT copyright infringement cases filed in the ILND after the 5 Oct 15, dismissal/Minute Entry.

Survivor Productions

  • 1:15-cv-09851, Does 1-30, 3 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-09852, Does 1-34, 3 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-09855, Does 1-20, 3 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-09858, Does 1-30, 3 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-09860, Does 1-19, 3 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-09861, Does 1-23, 3 Nov 15

Here are some other postings on this Troll/Plaintiff – Troll Defense & Antonelli Law

STTN Capitol LLC

  • 1:15-cv-10113, Does 1-20, 6 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-10115, Does 1-34, 6 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-10116, Does 1-28, 6 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-10118, Does 1-12, 6 Nov 15
  • 1:15-cv-10120, Does 1-17, 6 Nov 15

Here is another post on this Troll/Plaintiff – Antonelli Law

So upon closer inspection of one of these cases (Survivor, 1:15-cv-09851), it becomes clear What Troll Michael Hierl and the Plaintiff are doing.   Docket_11Dec15_09851(IL)   Complaint_09851(IL)   Complaint_EXA_09851(IL)   Min_Entry_Joinder_Doc7_09851(IL)   SupportForJoinder_Doc11_09851(IL)   StatusRpt_Doc13_09851(IL)   

These few cases filed approximately one month after Judge Castillo’s Minute Entry are a test. Three days after filing the initial case, the judge in this case told Troll/Plaintiff that NLT 23 Nov 15, they had to file a brief showing why joinder of the Does was proper. The Troll of course filed their brief on the last day. The Troll has filed an initial case status report and the court has set a conference date of 17 Dec 15, to address Troll/Plaintiff’s Motion for early discovery of ISP information on the Does. Please take a look at the Troll MFR and see that even with the multiple pages, there is not a single instance/statement/fact that claims that ANY of the Does in this case shares ANY of Plaintiff’s movie with ANY other Doe in the case. WHY??? Because their system of BT monitoring does not have the ability to track who the data IS shared between I can only hope the court is aware of the previous work done by a Mr. Delvan Neville, Amaragh Associates, LLC, regarding the unlikely possibility that joinder happens.  I don’t know what the probability estimate is for this case, but in a previous one, Mr. Neville declared the chances  were roughly 1 in 300 Million (Article – DBC Joinder of Does Is Unjustified – 1 in 300 Million Chance)   D_Neville_Decl_03517(IL)

Well the 17 Dec 15, hearing DIDN’T go well for the Troll

From what I have heard (Thank you!), the court relied on the DC Circuit’s previous ruling that the downloads in the swarm were NOT necessarily part of the same series of occurrences.  The judge even brought up the EFF example of different people playing blackjack at the same table at different times in the day not being related. For joinder to be proper, the downloads would need to happen “somewhat contemporaneously” and the 3 days that they currently spanned did not qualify.

The court dismissed Does 2-30, but granted the discovery motion for Doe 1. He did tell the Troll Todd Parkhurst that IF they could show that other Does were sharing at the same time, they could amend the complaint.  Troll/Plaintiff has 28 days to amend their complaint.

This essentially means now that in the ILND, multi-Doe/mass-Doe cases should be the exception and not the rule.

Dallas Buyers Club – Still Chomping At The Australian Apple FAILED

Late Addition – On 16 Dec 15, the justice in the AU Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) case essentially killed the case.  Theguardian Article

Justice Nye Perram on Wednesday made an order to terminate the proceedings on 11 February after rejecting the latest proposed method by Voltage Pictures to deal with the more than 4,700 internet users it claimed had pirated the 2013 film. The studio can appeal the decision before then.

On 8 Dec 15, Copyright Troll Dallas Buyers Club (DBC) was back in the AU court still trying to get the court to authorize them to claim/charge alleged pirates larger amounts than the court previously allowed. DBC wants cost of the film ($20), a single license fee for upload, and damages for its court costs. DBC told the court that the total for all three would be “modest.” The exact amount was confidential, but the Justice Perram described the amount as “not modest.” The ISP in question also stated that the difference in the amounts was “massive.” The court will rule on DBC’srequest for additional damages sometime in the future. On 16 Dec 15, the court is due to decide if DBC will be allowed to have the names of 472 (10%) of the 4726 ISP subscribers alleged to have pirated DBC.  They also asked that the security bond be reduced from the original $600K to $60K (10%).  

The simple fact of the matter is that IF the Troll can get at least half (236) of the 472 ISP subscribers to pay a $4K settlement, they will have recouped a huge profit. 236 X $4K (on average) = $944,000!  You can see why they are fighting so hard. GREED!  If 50% of the 4726 ISP subscriber pay $4K, then they could make $9,452,000!

News Articles on DBC in AU – Itnews & Zdnet

Last Minute News – BMG Rights Management awarded $25 Million v. Cox

Looks like BMG Rights Management was just awarded $25 Million
verdict against Cox Communications.  The BT Copyright Troll aspect is that
BMG hired Rightscorp to monitor and send Digital Millennium Copyright Act
(DMCA) take-down notices to the ISPs. Rightscorp was unhappy with Cox,
because the ISP did not forward the “Settlement” portion of the notices onto
the ISP subscriber. Many of the ISPs do forward the complete DMCA notices to
the subscribers, some who do pay a settlement. NOTE: There is nothing in the
DMCA that requires the “settlement” portion of a notice to be forwarded. The
judge in the case ruled that since Cox failed to implement a
repeat-infringer policy, it couldn’t have safe harbor status (protection
from being sued) under the DMCA. The decision is bound to make ALL the ISPs
rethink how they deal with subscribers who receive DMCA take-down notices.
I expect the ISPs will implement some sort of policy to suspend and/or
terminate service once a certain number of DMCA notices are reached. The key
point is the ISPs will have to actually show that they have terminated
repeat infringers (actually “alleged” infringers – there will not have been
any conviction). Failing to do this could lead to additional law suits
against ISPs from deep-pocket copyright owners. This is a win for Rightscorp
also, as the only reason it is able to survive is by getting ISP subscribers
to pay a settlement. Here is a fun idea the ISPs might want to consider.
Implement a “reasonable” graduated suspension/termination policy for repeat
DMCA notices; BUT only forward the portions of the notice required by the
DMCA – remove the settlements portion from the notices.

Hollywoord Report     Techdirt

DieTrollDie 🙂

“To solve a riddle older than the Sphinx. To answer the question which has plagued us since we first crawled from this Earth and stood erect in the sun. Is man, indeed, a walrus at heart?” {Howard Howe, Tusk (The Movie}

 

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 Happy Holiday Wishes From DieTrollDie – Multi-Topic Post

  1. that anonymous coward says:

    Oh hey, just to note Rightscorp raised the amount to $30 to deal with the fact for every $1 they make they are bleeding $4

  2. william921 says:

    Happy Holidays to you, from all of us at William R. Wohlsifer, PA.
    Regards,
    Bill Wohlsifer

    William R. Wohlsifer, Esq. – William R. Wohlsifer, PA
    1100 East Park Ave, Ste B – Tallahassee, FL 32301
    Tel: (850) 219-8888 – Fax: (866) 829-8174
    william@wohlsifer.comhttp://www.stopdefamation.com
    Find us on: [f] [t] [linkedin-small-icon] [gp]
    Mention us on Twitter @wohlsifer
    Skype Name: william.wohlsifer

  3. WDS says:

    DTD,
    Thanks for your continued efforts. I miss seeing your postings more frequently, but understand that life happens. May you have the happiest of Holidays, and a great New Year.

  4. Pingback: DieTrollDie Podcast (2016-1) – Troll David Lowe – “Voluntary Or ELSE!” | DieTrollDie

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