Category Archives: Copyright Troll Attorneys

WHAT I KNOW ABOUT RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT

This is what I know so far about RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (rightsenforcement.com) and the clients they are representing.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is a reverse-engineered ‘evil twin’ of CEG-TEK.  I assume they are even a more advanced version of CEG-TEK (2.0), where they have likely taken CEG-TEK’s system and improved it to gain insight into the accused downloaders by using unethical malware, website scripts, and even illegal methods — “anything to gain an advantage.” (I do have reasons for saying this.)

Carl Crowell is behind the company.  He is a known copyright troll and is apparently the puppet master behind most of the movie-based “John Doe” copyright infringement lawsuits filed across the US by his team of local counsel.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT clients include both adult film companies, movie companies, (and with the recent contract to Rightscorp, now music artists as well).

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is the pre-lawsuit settlement arm of his copyright enforcement machine.  This pre-lawsuit mechanism uses automated DMCA abuse / copyright infringement notices to send settlement requests directly to subscribers through their ISPs.

WHAT ISPs ARE KNOWN TO BE WORKING WITH RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT?

ISPs known to be working with RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT are:

  1. AT&T,
  2. CenturyLink,
  3. Charter,
  4. Comcast,
  5. COX,
  6. Frontier,
  7. Hawaiian Telecom,
  8. Optimum Online,
  9. Time Warner Cable,
  10. Verizon, and
  11. Windstream.

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT settlement demand letters require that accused recipients visit his rightsenforcement.com website and pay $300 per instance of infringement, per title (this can be negotiated down by an attorney).

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR ISP AND RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT?

Click here for a detailed answer.

Quick Answer: There are three reasons an ISP will work with a copyright enforcement company such as RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT:

1) BECAUSE THEY ARE THREATENED TO COMPLY with the DMCA statutes,

2) BECAUSE THEY PROFIT FROM THE RELATIONSHIP, and

3) BECAUSE BOTH HOLD HANDS to reduce piracy on their networks.

Most likely, the relationship between Carl Crowell and the ISPs is 1) a relationship of force, threats, and control.

Again, click here for the full answer.

WHAT ARE THE MOVIE TITLES FOR WHICH RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT HAS LICENSED TO SUE?

Click here for RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT’s list of known movie titles from which they have and will likely sue.

I have listed the list of titles in the linked article (click here) based on the the list of movies listed on the RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com website.  I even took screenshots from that website so that you can view the images of the movies — that way, you’ll have a ‘heads up’ to learn which lawsuits will be filed for which movies in the coming months (they are methodically going through that list).

WHAT IF I ALREADY RECEIVED A DMCA NOTICE AND IT EXPIRED?

*IT IS NOT TOO LATE.*  Click here for an answer.

Hint: The copyright holders are given a 3-year statute of limitations to sue individuals for copyright infringement.  However, pretty quickly after your 30-day deadline expires (or however long RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT will allow you to settle before taking down the ability to settle), you will probably receive a second letter — this time addressed from one of their lawyers — indicating that “because you did not settle, now we want more money.”  That second-tier settlement amount will probably be significantly higher.

Again, click that link to get a more detailed answer.

SHOULD I IGNORE THE RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT DMCA VIOLATION NOTICE?

Click here for an answer.

Short answer: Because there are MANY ‘COPYRIGHT TROLL’ ATTORNEYS filing lawsuits across the US and working for Carl Crowell (the owner of the RIGHTS ENFORCRMENT website and likely puppet master for all of the movie-based copyright infringement lawsuits across the US), it is likely a VERY BAD IDEA to ignore this.

Again, click that link to get a more detailed answer.

IS IT SAFE TO LOG IN WITH MY CASE NUMBER AND IP ADDRESS ON THE RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM WEBSITE?

Click here for a detailed answer.

Short Answer: Absolutely not.  Logging into Carl Crowell’s RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT website will not only create a record that you were given the chance to settle for $XYZ amount, but there are also likely trackers and barbs built into the website which can dig into your computer and determine private things, such as what IP address you are coming from, where you are physically located (based on the geolocation of your IP address), what the MAC address is of your computer, what your operating system is, etc.

***And, if you do not have your javascript off and Adobe Flash capability turned off, RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT can dig deeper into your computer to determine what files you have installed on your computer, what software programs you have installed on your machine (e.g., do you have bittorrent installed?), and their website can run scripts (akin to apps or mini-programs) in your browser to reveal many other private things about you.

WHY DO YOU KNOW ALL THIS?

RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is a reverse-engineered clone of the CEG-TEK website and DMCA abuse / copyright violation system.  I spent close to FIVE YEARS digging deep into the mechanics of their website, learning what tricks or systems were put in place, and I am generally knowledgeable about privacy and anonymity to the point that would make even someone wearing a tin hat cower in a corner.

What makes me good at this is because I understand not only what CEG-TEK did with their website, but I also understand how their system can be misused, and I have every expectation that the RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM website will be an improved version of the CEG-TEK website, complete with advanced tracking, and malicious scripts and content to provide the attorneys evidence against you which they will use to gain an advantage over you.

Plus, this is all fun for me (I am not a hacker), but I enjoy uncovering what pitfalls the bad guys have set up on their sites, and how to get around those pitfalls in a way that keeps my clients anonymous, that protects their wallet, their credit cards, and their peace of mind, and that keeps them legally out of trouble.

CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

The Great MPAA/RIAA Scheme to Defraud Copyright Law.

On 3/3, I wrote the article entitled, “THE EVOLUTION OF PIRACY AND THE ‘COINCIDENCE’ THAT EARLY COPYRIGHT CASES WERE ROOTED IN PORNOGRAPHY-BASED CONTENT.

In that article, I suggested in a joking, conspiratorial way that “it was probably the plan of the MPAA / RIAA movie industry to sit back and let the porn industry file lawsuits across the US.”

Why? Because what individual “John Doe” defendant accused of downloading pornography would destroy their reputation by fighting back against those lawsuits?  What individual would allow his reputation to be destroyed where by doing so, he would allow the porn companies to expose that not only did he downloaded porn, but they would expose his personal sexual addictions and sexual preferences (and sometimes based on the title of the infringed video, his secret fetishes) to the public record for all to see?? Thus, the porn cases were a perfect test subject to blaze the courts to create new case law on copyright infringement cases using bittorrent, because accused defendants as a general rule would not fight back.

At first, I gave the movie industry the benefit of the doubt that they were separate and apart from the porn lawsuits, namely, that they were merely sitting back and watching the lawsuits while the porn companies made case law for them. I even referred to them as “the Sleeping Dog.”  When there was a good ruling, they would say nothing, and when there was a bad ruling, they would write articles and scream, “the evil porn companies are ruining the copyright laws for all of us!”

MPAA/RIAA “HYPOCRITES”

A while ago, I started noticing that the same Guardaley entity that was filing the porn lawsuits were also filing the movie lawsuits. Specifically, I heard about this when representing clients accused of downloading the Dallas Buyers Club movie, but I could not believe that legitimate movie companies were the same corporate entities behind the scenes as those who were filing porn lawsuits — it just didn’t make sense to me.

But now I’m learning that the same Guardaley / IPP / Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC) entity that is behind the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits across the US appears to be the same entity who is also filing lawsuits for legitimate movies. For example, I am told that Paul Nicoletti filed cases for both Voltage Pictures, Inc. and for Malibu Media, LLC.  Same attorney, same clients… but this is not my evidence.

(NOTE: In a previous version of this article in the above paragraph, I used the example of Keith Vogt filing for both Dallas Buyers Club and Malibu Media, LLC.  This was in error.  However, I used his lawsuits to show how the same attorney was filing for both movie companies who have been known to license the rights to enforce copyrights and for the adult-film Malibu Media, LLC client, both Guardaley-linked.  Remember, there was a point that I believed that Voltage Pictures was that Guardaley-linked movie company, however, I’m told they were sold so they are not likely the ones behind the movie lawsuits.)  

We also recently learned that Carl Crowell is now having ISPs send out DMCA notices demanding $300 settlements for each instance of infringement; he is sending the accused subscribers to his RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT website (RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com) in order to facilitate the payment of these settlement demands under a threat that if they do not pay him, he will file a lawsuit to uncover their real identity so that he can sue them for copyright infringement (statutory damages of $150,000) under the copyright laws.

I can now confirm based on the search engine searches that are coming to my website that the nature of the DMCA notices are for pornographic films allegedly downloaded by bittorrent. Further, I compared some of those names of the porn companies, and it not only seems as if RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT is a knock-off of CEG-TEK’s DMCA notice system, but that Crowell has also ‘stolen’ the clients of CEG-TEK. I know this because the titles of the alleged infringing adult films correlate almost exactly to CEG-TEK’s client list, as I exposed them in 2014.

But if you dig further into the RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT website, you’ll find that their client list includes MAINSTREAM MOVIES. Thus, the connection between the movie industry and the adult film industry is strengthened.

Then, to make the connection even stronger, I recently learned that Carl Crowell (the apparent puppet master behind all of the Guardaley-based ‘John Doe’ movie lawsuits across the US) is also in contract with RightsCorp, who has been sending notices to Internet Subscribers the same was CEG-TEK used to, but their methods of tracking and harassing defendants is different from CEG-TEK’s. At one time, I was even so certain of the differences between them [based on how they operated and knowing the fight that CEG-TEK used to have with the Guardaley entity in their bittorrent tracking methods] that I wrote an article claiming that “CEG-TEK and RightsCorp are different animals.”  Point being, at the time, I did not understand the nature of RightsCorp (they were always the bastard child of the copyright infringement issues), but all I knew at the time were that those at Rightscorp were spending millions of dollars on a failing business model, and because they were so loudly representing the MPAA/RIAA in this failing venture, I never thought to look whether the porn industry lawsuits and the traditional movie lawsuits were somehow related.

Well, zoom to 2017, and now we learn that the entity behind RightsCorp is also working with Carl Crowell to enforce their copyrights claiming infringement for the download of network TV shows, and most frequently, music downloaded via bittorrent.

In my “Evolution of Piracy” article, I wrote:

“It would be a huge scandal if one set of masters [MPAA/RIAA] planned the pornography-based bittorrent ‘copyright troll’ lawsuits for the purpose of later giving credibility to real-movie lawsuits when they stepped in place of the porn lawsuits and made the same filings… I don’t want to connect the dots because I do not want to notice that perhaps the same entities behind the Dallas Buyers Club, LLC movies were the same entities behind the Patrick Collins… Malibu Media, LLC cases. THAT WOULD BE JUST TOO HORRIBLE.” (emphasis added)

Well, as the veil of secrecy is unraveling between the porn industry and the movie / radio industry, we are seeing that these apparently separate entities are not only in cahoots with one another, but that they are all using ONE AND THE SAME ENTITY (Guardaley) to commit fraud upon the US copyright law system.

“NO, HE DID NOT JUST SCREAM FRAUD.” Yes, I did.  Here is why.

In my understanding, having the movie industry (MPAA/RIAA) collude with the porn industry and PLAN to have the porn cases blaze through the courts (where those defendants as a general rule do not fight back) and create what we now call “bittorrent law,” only to NOW have the mainstream media step back in and file those same lawsuits using the porn cases as “case law” to legally support their movie-based bittorrent lawsuits, well, that’s a scam. Why? BECAUSE THE MPAA/RIAA BROKE COPYRIGHT LAW BY USING PORNOGRAPHY CASES TO CREATE THE LAW TO SUPPORT THE CASES THEY ARE NOW FILING.

“But haven’t the porn cases also created ‘bad law’ for the movie companies?” You might think so, and in some courts, the answer is absolutely, yes.  But let’s look at the developments of what is now considered “normal” in a bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuit BECAUSE OF the porn-based copyright infringement lawsuits.

WHAT IS NOW CONSIDERED ‘NORMAL’ IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT

1) Judges now regularly rubber-stamp “expedited discovery” requests allowing copyright holders to send subpoenas to internet providers, forcing the ISPs to unclothe the identities of the account holders who are accused of copyright infringement.  These identities are provided directly to the plaintiffs (not to the court) to allow the plaintiff attorney to use and misuse that sensitive and private information.

2) Judges allow the copyright holders to solicit settlements, sometimes in the amounts of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, with ABSOLUTELY NO OVERSIGHT of the plaintiff attorney’s activities, or how many settlements that attorney has brought in for his client.

3) Judges regularly pretend that bittorrent-based cases are ‘regular’ copyright infringement lawsuits, but they ignore the fact that bittorrent-based copyright holders have CONSISTENTLY FAILED TO STATE A CLAIM with any certainty that the account holder is the accused “John Doe” Defendant, when at best, this is at most a circumstantial connection which is not researched by the judge or the plaintiff attorney before the judge allows the lawsuit to proceed.  According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “failure to state a claim” SHOULD prevent the case from proceeding.  The plaintiff copyright holders do not have the evidence to proceed with a lawsuit, yet judges close their eyes to this fact and allow them to proceed anyway.

In sum, the pornography cases have caused judges to fudge (think, “run their finger through melted chocolate”) what used to be firm principles of copyright infringement law, and because of the porn cases, the result is that judges now regularly allow copyright holders to get away with things that in the past, would have barred them from filing the lawsuit or getting access to the identities of John Doe Defendants in the first place.

And if this was their plan all along, well, that’s just too horrible…

Honestly, judges should reverse and overrule practices and case law established by the porn-based lawsuits, and they should revert to holding movie companies (AND porn companies) to the standard of law they used to adhere to before the mass onslaught of cases began to burden the courts from 2010 and on. In my opinion, bittorrent cases are nothing but sloppy copyright cases, and judges use sloppy law to allow copyright holders to abuse the copyright system and extort millions of hard-earned dollars from the public.  Years from now, people will look back and wonder how judges allowed these lawsuits to proceed.

MY FINAL POINT

I started the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC in 2010, just as the MPAA/RIAA lawsuits became quiet. I always wondered where they went, and why they stopped suing defendants. Now I am starting to understand that they never did stop their activities; rather, they just devised a clever scheme to get the porn industry to file lawsuits and blaze the trail to create case law across the US (because most pornography-based defendants do not fight back, and judges laugh when they see the titles sued upon, they undermine their legal sense and allow the ‘repressed, stigma-based industry to proceed with protecting their rights to sue “just like everyone else.”).  As a result of having the porn companies file the lawsuits across the US, what is unfolding to be the MPAA/RIAA plan broke copyright infringement law so that they can come back seven years later and start filing lawsuits, but now, with a “lower bar” and relaxed legal standards.

Why bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits are questionable.

[This will be the first in a number of ‘simple, to the point’ educational topics.  Over the past seven years, our law firm has explained and taught these concepts in the context of discussing one lawsuit or another, but here I am distilling the topic down to the subject alone.]

WHY BITTORRENT-BASED COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUITS ARE BASED ON CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Copyright infringement lawsuits based on bittorrent activity accuses a defendant of a crime without that defendant being there ‘at the scene of the crime.’  The infringement happens at a computer, and the ‘crime’ occurs in cyberspace (over the internet).  Any evidence linking the defendant is circumstantial, meaning that plaintiff attorneys need to use technology to prove that the defendant’s computer or phone connected to a particular server or some virtual ‘room’ where multiple computers got together to share a copyrighted file.  Even proving this does not mean that it was the accused defendant who was at the keyboard when the ‘crime’ was committed.

Because there is only a murky and circumstantial connection between the ‘scene of the crime’ and the accused defendant, it is easy for an unscrupulous attorney to accuse someone of copyright infringement without having done research to prove that it was the defendant who actually did the download.

HOW CAN A DEFENDANT BE ACCUSED OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WHEN HE DID NOT DO THE INFRINGING ACTIVITY (E.G., HE DID NOT DO THE DOWNLOAD)?

Technology can be misused by savvy internet users to mask their identity, or to make their activity look as if it was being done by another person or another computer connection (e.g., changing the MAC address of a computer, or spoofing the IP address to look as if your computer has someone else’s IP address).  These individuals have more of a proclivity to commit crimes, and often it is the individual having that actual IP address assigned to him that gets accused of the crime committed by the individual who spoofed his IP address.

WHEN ARE SETTLEMENTS ETHICAL, AND WHEN ARE THEY CONSIDERED EXTORTION-BASED COPYRIGHT TROLL ACTIVITIES?

Going back to the plaintiff attorneys, the copyright infringement attorneys know that it will cost them many tens of thousands of dollars (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars) to take the lawsuit all the way to a trial.  For this reason, they ask the defendant to settle the claims against them for multiple-thousands of dollars claiming it will also save the defendant multiples of that amount to fight the case.  There is nothing wrong with this, and this sort of settlement activity happens all the time.  A REASONABLE SETTLEMENT is the amount the copyright holder should expect to get if they proceeded with the lawsuit balanced with the time saved by settling without the need or expense of costly litigation.

An attorney becomes called a “copyright troll” when they unethically start eliciting settlements not knowing or caring whether the individual they accused of copyright infringement actually did the ‘crime’ or not.  That attorney will often threaten that he will run up litigation fees and destroy the financial life of the defendant (“I will take your house or force you into bankruptcy”) if they do not pay the exorbitant amount the plaintiff attorney is asking for.

It is also the belief of the author that filing “John Doe” copyright infringement lawsuits against individual bittorrent users is unethical in itself.  The attorney filing the lawsuit is not doing so in order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, nor does that attorney have an intent to bring the lawsuit to trial.  Rather, they file the lawsuits to ‘monetize’ the copyrights (meaning, they take money from the bittorrent users as a model of rewarding the copyright holders).

This would be fair if the accused downloader were asked for the ACTUAL DAMAGES they caused the copyright holder (ACTUAL DAMAGES is the measurement of the actual loss to the copyright holder based on the defendant’s unlawful activities, for example, the loss of a sale of a movie ticket or DVD, plus the costs of the copyright holder in recovering the lost sale, e.g., the $400 filing fee for the lawsuit plus the attorney fees involved in recouping the losses), but this is not what copyright holders ask for.  Instead, they ask for exorbitant settlement amounts — sometimes thousands or tens of thousands of dollars — under the threat of pursuing the downloader for the full $150,000 statutory damages it is entitled to ask for in a lawsuit. (STATUTORY DAMAGES are damages determined by law which are awarded to copyright owner who proves copyright infringement, regardless whether actual damages occurred).

This activity is commonly called “copyright trolling,” and consequently, attorneys who file serial copyright infringement lawsuits and their copyright holder movie companies are called “copyright trolls.”


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

TX Judge Hughes Disallows I.T. Productions From ‘Suing Does’

Pictographic of the interaction between Gary Fischman and Judge Hughes

I.T. Productions, “Judge, I’m filing this lawsuit against Does 1-10.”

Judge Hughes, “No you are not.  You may not sue Does.”

I am interested to see where this one goes.  One of the cases I am working on in the Southern District of Texas court is I.T. Productions, LLC v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00597).

In this case, Gary Fischman is the attorney, and he filed this case just as he does any of the others (he is currently filing lawsuits against John Doe Defendants for the ME2 Productions plaintiff, and the I.T. Productions plaintiff).  [And, together with Josh Wyde, Fischman is also representing the September Productions plaintiff, the Cell Productions plaintiff, and the Fathers & Daughters Nevada plaintiff.]

In his attempt to convince TX Judge Lynn Hughes to rubber-stamp an ‘early discovery’ authorization to allow Fischman to send subpoenas to AT&T in order to unmask the identities of the 10 subscribers who are John Doe (unnamed) defendants in this case, the judge responded with a prophetic slap across the face.

Judge Hughes I.T. Productions Order (TX)
Judge Hughes tells I.T. Productions attorney that I.T. may not sue Does.

“No you may not sue Does.”

Instead of allowing Fischman to sue the putative defendants as Does (e.g., Doe 1, Doe 2, etc.), it appears as if Judge Hughes wants Fischman to identify them by the last five digits of their [accused] IP addresses.

For example, Doe 1 with accused IP address 193.254.221.683 would likely be identified as “Subscriber 21683.”

What is the relevance?

Unknown.  Judge Hughes obviously titled the order as “Subscriber-Identity Subpoenas,” which means he has thought enough about this case to give it a title which links it to other (likely Malibu Media, LLC) cases he also has in his court.

Either way, a ‘copyright troll’ never likes a judge who questions him, alters his proposed order, or does anything other than rubber stamp his requests and allow him to do whatever he wants in (and out of) the judge’s courtroom.

No doubt, Judge Hughes will likely change all of that, somehow.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

Did ME2 Attorney Fischman disclose real Interested Parties?

In the Texas Federal District Court (as of 2017), I am working on defense research for five (5) copyright infringement / bittorrent “John Doe” lawsuits affiliated with the Guardaley / Carl Crowell.  In a ME2 case, ME2’s local counsel Gary Fischman was ordered by Judge Keith P. Ellison to disclose “all interested parties” to the lawsuit, and this is the subject of this article.

Texas cases I am actively working on (filed after 1/1/2017):
ME2 Productions, Inc. v DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00695)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00275)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00501)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-12 (Case No. 4:17-cv-00404)
I.T. Productions, LLC v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00597)
and, the Siemens PLM v. Does 1-100 software piracy case and multiple Malibu Media, LLC cases (both outside the scope of this article).

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHO HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT?

The reason it is important to know who has a financial interest in these lawsuits is because I need to know 1) whether the corporate entity that is suing has the authority to sue, and 2) whether the corporate entity filing the lawsuit is the same entity that holds the copyright to the movie allegedly infringed in the lawsuit.

If the corporate entity (here, ME2 Productions, Inc.) does not have the authority to sue, or if it is not the true copyright holder (but some entity that licensed the rights to make money for the copyright holder based on the copyright rights granted to the true copyright holder to the “Mechanic:Ressurection” movie), the plaintiff might lose the lawsuit or even get sanctioned for not disclosing the true parties who are interested in the outcome of the lawsuit by alleging in a document like this one (link) that they had the right to sue when in fact they did not.

WHY AM I SUSPECT THAT MAYBE THE PARTY SUING MIGHT NOT HAVE COPYRIGHT RIGHTS TO SUE?

The only way a plaintiff can sue for STATUTORY DAMAGES OF $150,000 FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT is if they have a valid copyright to the movie title allegedly being infringed (or, downloaded using bittorrent or Popcorn Time).  If they do not own the copyright but only the right to monetize, the plaintiff may only be entitled to ACTUAL DAMAGES, NOT STATUTORY DAMAGES.

In a bittorrent “John Doe” lawsuit, the actual damages are really the cost to purchase a copy of the infringed movie (~$30 for the DVD), or perhaps $8 for the movie ticket if the movie is still in theaters.  The law only gives STATUTORY DAMAGES OF $150,000 to plaintiffs who have a valid copyright at the time of the lawsuit.

So here is why I am suspect that maybe ME2 Productions, Inc. might not be the holder of a valid copyright:  We know from the Dallas Buyers Club, LLC lawsuits (when the real Dallas Buyers Club copyright holder sued Voltage Pictures, Inc. for not paying settlement moneys owed to them) that there was an entity (Voltage Pictures) that purchased the rights to monetize Dallas Buyer’s Club’s intellectual property (the right to use the Dallas Buyer’s Club name, the right to sue, etc.)  Voltage then turned around and set up an entity called “Dallas Buyers Club, LLC” and sued hundreds of John Doe Defendants using that name.

Little did we know at the time that the Dallas Buyer’s Club plaintiff was not the Dallas Buyer’s Club copyright holder, and the copyright troll plaintiff entity was merely masquerading as the Dallas Buyers Club copyright holder.

WHY ARE THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB LAWSUITS RELEVANT TO ME2 PRODUCTIONS CASES?

The common thread behind the Dallas Buyer’s Club lawsuits and most copyright infringement lawsuits filed today is a german company called Guardaley (a.k.a. IPP).  It is not relevant that Guardaley’s bittorrent tracking methods have been ruled not credible by the German courts; they have been wreaking havoc on US courts since 2012.  Guardaley (as far as I understand) has been behind the scenes of each and every ‘copyright troll’ lawsuit filed in the federal courts.  And, after April 2016, they have reportedly signed an agreement with Carl Crowell (a known copyright troll attorney, but more importantly, likely the mastermind behind each of the ‘copyright troll’ lawsuits filed by local attorneys across the US).

Carl Crowell’s connection to ME2 Productions, Inc. is that they are his client.  I can demonstrate this connection by looking at his new DMCA scare letter scheme entity, “Rights Enforcement”.  If you look at the Crowell’s client list (as described by Torrentfreak), you will see that Mechanic:Resurrection (the movie behind the ME2 lawsuits) is one of Carl Crowell’s clients.  (Carl Crowell himself is also a known ‘copyright troll’ where he has filed ME2 lawsuits against John Doe Defendants in Oregon.)

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com screenshot with ME2 outlined.
Screenshot from Carl Crowell’s RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com website, with Mechanic:Resurrection outlined.

Thus, naturally, I am suspect to each of ME2 Productions, Inc.’s other lawsuits in other states, here, Texas, because as the apparent puppetmaster behind the various ME2 Productions, Inc. lawsuits filed across the US, I must assume he has a financial interest in the outcome of this Texas lawsuit filed by Gary Fischman.

WHO DID ATTORNEY FISCHMAN SAY HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE ME2 BITTORRENT LAWSUITS?

In the filing, Gary Fischman noted that the following three entities has a financial interest in the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases:

  • ME2 Productions, Inc.
  • A&T IP, Inc., and
  • Fischman Law, PLLC

ME2 Productions, Inc. might be the actual copyright owner, or it is possible that they are an entity that was set up for the purpose of monetizing the copyright rights granted to the actual copyright holder, the owner of the Mechanic:Resurrection movie.

A&T IP, Inc. is an enigma to me.  I do not know who they are, where they are incorporated, and who the beneficiaries are of this entity.

UPDATE: DieTrollDie suggests that perhaps A&T IP, Inc. is actually the Anti-Piracy Management Co (APMC).

DTD Twitter Screenshot Suggesting A&T IP, Inc. is APMC.
DieTrollDie suspects that A&T IP, Inc. is really the Anti-Piracy Management Co. (APMC).

Fischman Law, PLLC is curious in and of itself for reasons outside the scope of this article.  Naturally, it could be explained that Gary Fischman as the attorney suing on behalf of ME2 will benefit (e.g., commissions from settlements received, possibly fees from the copyright holder or the Crowell / Guardaley entity itself for time spent prosecuting these cases).  However, I suspect the link goes slightly deeper, as his partner for a number of the Guardaley lawsuits, Joshua Wyde, listed himself as a witness in the lawsuit (something that is generally not done).  So there may be more to the eye here, but not relevant to this article.

Here is a link to the actual document filed with the court:

021017 ME2 417-cv-00404 – Doc6 – Certificate of Interested Parties by ME2

MY FINAL QUESTIONS

Looking at all of this information together, I am left with the following questions.

  1. WHERE IS GUARDALEY (IPP) AS AN INTERESTED PARTY IN THIS CASE?
  2. WHY IS CARL CROWELL NOT LISTED AS AN INTERESTED PARTY IN THIS CASE, OR IS HE [AND GUARDALEY] SOMEHOW WRAPPED UP IN THAT “A&T IP, INC” ENTITY?
  3. IS ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC. THE SAME LEGAL ENTITY THAT OWNS THE COPYRIGHT TO THE MECHANIC:RESURRECTION MOVIE, OR ARE THEY SOME OTHER ENTITY THAT IS MERELY MASQUERADING AS THE ME2 PRODUCTIONS / COPYRIGHT HOLDER UNDER SOME LICENSE TO MONETIZE THEIR COPYRIGHT RIGHTS?

Your thoughts and feedback are obviously welcome.


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

Which Lipscomb attorneys stayed with Malibu Media, LLC?

RECAP: MALIBU MEDIA, LLC APPEARS TO BE FOCUSING MOST OF THEIR FUNDS ON THREE OF THEIR ATTORNEYS WHO ARE FILING A MAJORITY OF THE LAWSUITS. THESE LAWSUITS ARE BEING FILED IN THE NEW YORK ‘TRI-STATE’ AREA (NY/NJ/CT) AND TEXAS. BUT, LAWSUITS FOR SOME NOTICEABLE “TERRITORIES” ARE STILL FILED BY OLDER MALIBU ATTORNEYS.  I CALL THESE ATTORNEYS MEMBERS OF THE ‘OLD GUARD’.

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: Click here for more general information about Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits, their tactics, and their strategies.  To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info@cashmanlawfirm.com, or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE ‘OLD GUARD’ ATTORNEYS LOYAL TO MALIBU MEDIA?

There are a few attorneys who stayed loyal to Malibu Media, LLC after they split from Keith Lipscomb. Jackie James, by the way, is one of them, and this is one of the reason she is likely being rewarded by Malibu Media giving her the ability to file over 300+ lawsuits, each lawsuit possibly pulling in $10,000-$25,000 in settlement dollars (of which she likely receives a ‘contingency fee’ in the form of commissions from each settlement). I estimate that in the past year, Jackie has made Malibu Media, LLC $4.5 Million Dollars in settlements, which means that she has likely grossed over $1 Million Dollars in commissions taken from the life savings hard-working New York (and now Connecticut) families in just ONE YEAR alone.

However, as horrible as that is for New York families who have paid settlement amounts to her, Jackie is a superstar for the Malibu Media brand.  Malibu Media has most recently allowed her to expand her territory to include all lawsuits in Connecticut, and to date, she has filed 38 cases in ONE MONTH alone.

As much as she apparently has the favor from the Malibu Media, LLC / X-Art copyright holders, there appears to be one state in her corner of the “tri-state” that Jackie has not been able to infiltrate — NEW JERSEY, and I think I know why.

PATRICK CERILLO (NJ)

In New Jersey resides Patrick Cerillo (“Pat Cerillo”), one of the “old guard” of attorneys who were with Malibu Media, LLC since they started filing lawsuits.  Pat has his law firm in New Jersey, and to date, he alone has personally filed 14% of all Malibu Media, LLC cases in 2017 (this amounts to 38 cases against John Doe Defendants). So as much as superstar Jackie would no doubt love to take over that lucrative territory, for now, she’s probably locked out of that territory.

Pat’s contact information is being listed here so that you can recognize his name as it is found on the subpoena area of the paperwork you receive from your ISP.  It is almost NEVER a good idea to contact your plaintiff attorney directly.

PATRICK JOSEPH CERILLO
4 WALTER FORAN BLVD., SUITE 402
FLEMINGTON, NJ 08822
Email: pjcerillolaw@comcast.net

JON HOPPE (MD)

There is one other name of someone I consider to be one of the upper ranks of the Malibu Media LLC “old guard,” and that is Jon Alexander Hoppe (“Jon Hoppe”).

Jon and I first spoke in March, 2012 when someone (possibly Jon, but my best guess with hindsight, Keith Lipscomb) filed an initial set of Malibu Media, LLC cases using his PACER account. It was this conversation that tipped me off that Lipscomb was likely filing the lawsuits using the PACER accounts of the various local attorneys, because when I first spoke to Jon and sent over a letter of representation for an early Malibu Media, LLC client, he did not even know that he filed my client’s case.

Jon Hoppe has since become one of the upper ranks of the Malibu Media attorneys.

At one point, I understood [from speaking to newer attorneys] that Jon Hoppe was the one “in charge” and “with authority to negotiate settlements for Malibu Media,” even though he had no connection to the lawsuits that were filed by other attorneys in the other states’ federal courts. In sum, Jon Hoppe still maintains control over the Maryland lawsuits, and to date, he has filed only seven (7) lawsuits.  This would be a big deal if there were more lawsuits (Jon only filed a mere 3% of all Malibu Media cases filed in 2017), especially since Maryland is so close to Washington, DC where he has his law office.

Jon Hoppe’s information can be found below:

Jon Alexander Hoppe
Law Offices of Jon A. Hoppe, Esquire
1050 Seventeenth Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Email: jhoppe@mhhhlawfirm.com

It would not do justice to end the article here, but that is exactly what I am doing because I have made my point.

SUMMARY

In sum, there are new attorneys who have only recently started filing lawsuits in 2016 and regardless of the high quantity of settlements they ‘extort’ from John Doe Defendants in the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits, older, more seasoned attorneys who were with Malibu Media, LLC since the beginning (in 2012) still keep their ‘territories’, even if they are not filing as many cases.

Thus, with the Malibu Media, LLC copyright holder, there appears to be an “old guard” and a “new guard” when it comes to ‘into which federal district courts a rising star can file John Doe lawsuits,’ and if there is a member of the “old guard” in place, the “new guard” may not enter his territory.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MALIBU MEDIA, LLC:  Click here for more general information about Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits, their tactics, and their strategies.

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info@cashmanlawfirm.com, or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

CONTACT FORM: Alternatively, sometimes people just like to contact me using one of these forms.  If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

Cases Filed in the Maryland District Court (7)
Attorney: Jon Alexander Hoppe (“Jon Hoppe”) of the Law Office of Jon a Hoppe, Esquire

Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 8:17-cv-00397)
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 8:17-cv-00396)
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 1:17-cv-00402)
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 8:17-cv-00401)
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 1:17-cv-00398)
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 1:17-cv-00399)
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 8:17-cv-00400)

Cases Filed in the New Jersey District Court (38)
Attorney: Patrick Joseph Cerillo (“Pat Cerillo”)

MALIBU MEDIA , LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 24.0.207.93 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01239)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE (Case No. 2:17-cv-01246)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE (Case No. 2:17-cv-01251)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 100.1.206.172 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01172)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.167.50 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01185)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.5.52.134 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01182)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.53.147.136 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01183)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.53.252.54 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01193)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.3.124.255 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01228)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.3.54.44 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01232)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.249.136 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01233)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.70.197.251 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01234)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.70.93.127 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01236)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 67.82.37.90 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01252)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 67.83.64.114 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01271)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 67.83.77.86 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01272)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 69.117.66.98 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01261)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 69.118.248.215 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01273)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 69.122.18.0 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01275)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 69.141.237.206 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01262)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 72.82.239.77 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01265)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 72.88.211.121 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01279)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.10.138.235 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01266)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE subscriber assigned IP address 73.199.240.186 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01229)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE subscriber assigned IP address 96.248.95.37 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01268)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER IP ADDRESS 108.35.167.198 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01180)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER IP ADDRESS 108.53.193.228 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01188)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC v. JOHN DOE, SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 100.8.116.23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01179)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE (Case No. 2:17-cv-01237)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE (Case No. 2:17-cv-01240)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 69.124.120.156 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01276)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 71.172.15.229 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01277)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.160.218.175 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01307)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.194.168.244 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01310)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.197.106.118 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01315)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.248.226.136 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01317)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 76.116.108.250 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01319)
MALIBU MEDIA, LLC. v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 96.57.99.138 (Case No. 2:17-cv-01321)


CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

Confirmed: Malibu Media invests $400 filing fees @$20K/month

Malibu Media, LLC (“X-Art”) would not continue filing lawsuits (and paying a filing fee of $400 per lawsuit) unless the settlement numbers were staggeringly higher to justify that upfront outlay of cash. In the last three months alone, I viewed at least 204 cases filed which @$400/case, cost Malibu Media, LLC at least $81,600 in filing fees alone.

This $81,600 number itself is a bit interesting to me because in December, I wrote an article expressing my suspicions that “MALIBU MEDIA, LLC APPEARS TO BE ON A $20,000/MONTH FILING BUDGET.” In that article, I estimated that every 90 days, Malibu Media, LLC files roughly 100 new lawsuits, “like the breath of a dragon, or in in the spirit of their name, like the ebb and flow of the waves that crash across the Malibu shores.”

Since the last set of Malibu Media filings were in October 2016 and we have seen NO FILINGS from Malibu in the recent months of November, December, and January (90 days of SILENCE), it only makes sense that in February of 2017, we had a whole slew of lawsuits that flooded the courts.

How did I estimate Malibu Media would spend $20,000/month?

July = 75 filings x $400 per filing = $30,000
August = 59 filings x $400 per filing = $23,600 (-16 cases)
September = ZERO FILINGS. (-75 cases)
October = 109 filings x $400 per filing = $43.600
November = ZERO FILINGS. (-75 cases)
December = ZERO FILINGS. (-75 cases)
January = ZERO FILINGS. (-75 cases)
February = 204 filings x $400 per filing = $81,600

Two items to note:

1) Malibu Media is SLIGHTLY UNDER BUDGET (which means that we should expect to see roughly 20 more cases in their next batch of filings).

2) Since the April 2016 breakup of Malibu Media, LLC and their former ‘mastermind’ Keith Lipscomb (who they sued for not sharing the settlement funds he ‘extorted’ from John Doe Defendants [harsh words, yes, but not the point of this article]), understanding how much money Malibu Media, LLC is spending can help us understand how much they expect to receive for that money.

For the purposes of this short article, it appears as if months later, Malibu Media still appears to be keeping close to a $20,000 monthly budget of filing new cases.  It also appears as if Malibu Media is allocating their funds to file new cases along the NY/NJ/CT Tri-State area, and Texas.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MALIBU MEDIA, LLC:  Click here for more general information about Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits, their tactics, and their strategies.

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info@cashmanlawfirm.com, or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

CONTACT FORM: Alternatively, sometimes people just like to contact me using one of these forms.  If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.