The phenomenon of BitTorrent Copyright Trolling is something that moves like a snake through the grass. The Trolls adjust their actions as needed to best generate settlements, while maintaining the Fear Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) of their claims and evidence. One recent snake is “Queen of the Desert,” (QOTD FILM INVESTMENT LTD.) an otherwise forgettable film that according to limited reporting, made less than $2 Million at the box office and had a production cost of at least $15 Million (One report claimed $30 Million). We call that a LOSS.
So what do you do with a flop??? You turn it into a reason to Copyright Troll and hopefully recoup some of your losses. I don’t know how many cases have been filed or total John Does, but I would assume at least a couple hundred John Does.
Now as you take a look at the US Copyright Office records, there are six records for “QOTD FILM INVESTMENT LTD.” The copyright records are for the following: Blue-ray disc, printed material (screenplay), two Security Agreements, and two Copyright mortgage and assignment and power of attorney. The Troll of course only lists the copyright for the Blue-ray disc (movie). I would sure love you see what the mortgage/assignment and power of attorney documents have to say. 6_QOTD_Copyrights
Looking at one of the QOTD cases disclosed nothing new in the way of the BT Copyright Trolls. The attached documents are the same general template based crap we have seen for some time – not too surprising.
What I did get a good laugh from was in the supporting declaration for Early Discovery by Daniel Macek, MAVERICKEYE UG (a German company – go figure! – AKA: Guardaley, IPP, & Excipio). If you don’t know who Daniel Macek is, then read one of my articles concerning the Australian Dallas Buyers Club case. Daniel Macek / AU DBC
The bottom line (my opinion) is that Daniel Macek is a clueless stooge when it comes to Maverickeye. Here is what Attorney Morgan Pietz had to say about the German investigators in a MD Malibu Media/X-Art case.
Recent proceedings in Elf-Man, LLC v. Lamberson, E.D. Wa. No. 2:13-cv-395-TOR, ECF No. 50, 5/20/14, at 7:26 (attached to the Pietz Reply Decl. as Exhibit AA) corroborate Movant’s arguments that Guardaley, IPP and Excipio is run by the same group of people playing a global shell game. In ElfMan, Michael Patzer and Daniel Macek—the very same computer witnesses Malibu talks about in the instant opposition—were caught red handed trying to hide behind yet another series of phony shell companies. In addition, the proceedings also show how Patzer and Macek are trying to use the Hague Convention so as to avoid being hailed into American courts to be deposed about their supposed evidence of infringement. (Case 1:14-cv-00223-MJG, Document 27, Filed 05/31/14) Germans_Macek_27-main
Also, Daniel Macek was mentioned by name in the Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC) presentation on Prezi. In the presentation notes section, the author states that Daniel Macek will provide the declarations (just like in this case) and they hope the judge “won’t question his qualifications too much.”
So things haven’t changed that much for the BT Copyright Trolls. So according to the docket in this case, the Troll was granted early discovery of the ISP subscriber data and sent out his settlement demands. *** If you are a recipient of such settlement demand letters, please email me a copy – email@example.com. ***
In doing some QOTD research I came across some documents from a Doe. It appears that Copyright Troll attorney Charles Rainey, Rainey Legal Group PLLC, Las Vegas, NV, has requested $6,000 to settle this allegation (AKA: Pay to make it go away!). Now the amount is in the range of what I currently see as a “starting” amount of approx. $5-8K.
Well this Doe didn’t like what he was reading and fired off a response to Troll Rainey. Now I generally don’t recommend corresponding with the Trolls, as there is a risk of saying something that could be misconstrued or just sounding so nervous the Troll increases the threats to force a settlement. The Doe denied the downloading by him or family members and even told Troll Rainey that until recently they had an OPEN WiFi. The Troll Rainey of course told the Doe was he was still responsible and unless he paid the $6K, Troll/Plaintiff would seek the maximum damages. Troll Rainey claims that the Doe’s ISP “contract” and “contributory and vicarious” copyright law make the Doe responsible. What a load of crap. Take a read and tell me what you think. Oh, and you have to LOVE that “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” footnote. LOL! As soon as the Troll sent the email, he voluntarily released control (AKA: consented) to the recipients (The Doe). If the Doe then released it and it made its way to the general public/Internet, it is gone for good. emails_Redacted
I am in receipt of your email dated June 18, 2016. Despite the arguments made in your email, my client QOTD Film Investment Ltd. (the “Plaintiff”) is proceeding with its case against you and, in the absence of a settlement, will seek the highest possible award of damages allowable under the law. The subpoenaed information provided by your ISP, coupled with the data gathered from our third-party investigator, conclusively proves that your Internet access point was utilized to illegally download and disseminate the Plaintiff’s motion picture entitled QUEEN OF THE DESERT.
Meanwhile, further data gathered by our investigators shows that this was not an isolated instance. Indeed, the subject IP address, accessing the Internet from your home, is associated with dozens of illegal downloads.
While you may argue that you were unaware of the infringing activity occurring at your address, that is not a satisfactory excuse. Pursuant to your contract with your ISP, as well as under the laws governing contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, you are responsible for reasonably policing your Internet access point. Even if you were not directly responsible for the infringing activity, your failure to implement reasonable precautions for securing your Internet connection has enabled the unlawful pirating of our client’s intellectual property.
Furthermore, I feel it necessary to explain that your threat to change Internet Service Providers holds no bearing on whether or not we move forward in prosecuting this case against you. The Plaintiff in this case is the producer of the above-referenced motion picture and has no affiliation with your ISP. The only reason that your ISP was contacted in this matter was to acquire data pertaining to the above-referenced IP address. Indeed, your ISP is legally obligated to cooperate with our investigation of this matter.
Consequently, the arguments set forth in your letter fail to provide any basis for dismissing my client’s claims against you; nor do those arguments provide any grounds for reducing our original demand of Six Thousand dollars (USD$6,000.00).
However, if you can prove a financial hardship or special circumstances to justify a reduction in our original demand, we are happy to work with you. For instance, we generally offer demand reductions for current or former members of the armed services. We also reduce our demand in cases where individuals can demonstrate (either through tax returns or W2 statements) that their household income is below the median income for the region.
My client’s goal is simple: to stop Internet piracy. To this end, we have structured our financial demands to be high enough so as to strongly discourage defendants from engaging in any future infringing activity, meanwhile encouraging those some defendants to implement reasonable precautions against future infringements utilizing their internet access points.
Industry estimates claim that Internet Piracy annually causes up to $250 billion dollars in damage to our nation’s entertainment industry and accounts for the loss of more than 750,000 jobs. While many groups dispute the exact extent of the economic damage caused by Internet Piracy, analysts, academics and policy experts generally agree that Internet Piracy is a net loss for our nation’s economy.
We strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney to review your rights and risk exposure in connection with this matter. If you fail to address this demand, we will proceed to name you as a defendant in the above-referenced case and seek the highest possible award of damages against you.
Chaz Rainey Esq./MBA/LL.M.
Licensed in California, New York, Nevada, Texas, and the District of Columbia RAINEY LEGAL GROUP PLLC
+1.415.578.4600 (ph) / +1.888.867.5734 (fax)
firstname.lastname@example.org < mailto:email@example.com >
San Francisco, CA – Las Vegas, NV – New York, NY
** Registered member of World Link for Law with over 70 law firms in 47 countries **
************PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL************
This transmission and any attached files are privileged, confidential or otherwise the exclusive property of the intended recipient and/or Rainey Legal Group, PLLC (“RLG”). If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of any of the information contained in or attached to this transmission is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please contact us immediately by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org < mailto: email@example.com > ) or telephone (844-730-5100) and promptly destroy the original transmission and its attachments. Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of RLG shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by RLG. Any U.S. federal tax advice or federal or state securities advice contained in this communication, including attachments, is not intended or written to be used and cannot be used to (1) avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, (2) avoid civil or criminal liability for securities related activities, (3) or to promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction, investment or other matter addressed herein.
So what should you do if you are a Doe in some of these newer cases??? I suggest (in a non-attorney manner) to do your research and proceed cautiously. As the NV jurisdiction is a newer one for the Trolls, we don’t know how the Troll attorney/Plaintiff and courts will handle this. With these multi-Doe cases, it is highly unlikely the Troll the name and serve all the non-settling Does. The risk Troll/Plaintiff faces is if they name/serve a Defendant that fights back, they may not be able to cut and run like in previous years. A prime example of this can be found at Fightcopyrighttrolls.com – Judge thwarts copyright troll’s sneaky practice of securing safe retreat from potentially meritless lawsuits. The Trolls are likely to think long and hard on who they actually go after (name & serve). IMO, it is simply easier and far less risky for them if they take whatever settlement they can scare out of people and move on to new cases. Greed is a powerful motivator, so we will have to wait and see what the Trolls do. If you receive any settlement demands from the Trolls, please email me a copy – firstname.lastname@example.org.
DieTrollDie 🙂 “I will accept the rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” [The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein]