WELCOME TO THE TORRENTLAWYER BLOG.

STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR LAWSUIT

Welcome to the TorrentLawyer Blog, a Cashman Law Firm, PLLC resource.  The purpose of this sticky post is to be simplistic and help you to navigate this site (which has 200+ articles on copyright cases we have worked on since 2010).  In short, if you arrived at this site, you are facing one of three paths:

1) COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT “JOHN DOE” LAWSUITS

  • You have been implicated as a “John Doe” defendant in a federal copyright infringement lawsuit (or worse, you have been served as a named defendant in one of these lawsuits).
  • WHAT TO DO NEXT: Click the “Cases We Are Working On” menu option (above), and select the name of your case and/or movie allegedly downloaded.

To make things easier for you, these are the primary lawsuits we are actively working on:

2) DMCA SETTLEMENT NOTICE

  • You received a DMCA notice (“Digital Millennium Copyright Act”) accusing you of downloading one or more copyrighted videos or music songs, and they have demanded a settlement claiming that if you do not pay, they will sue you for copyright infringement.
  • WHAT TO DO NEXT: Click on the “Cases We Are Working On” menu option (above) and select which company has sent you the DMCA Notice:

3) YOU ARE LOST

  • You are lost, or you do not know where to start. Relax, we are here to help you understand what it is you received from your ISP or in the mail, who sent it, and what is happening to you. Once you have an idea of exactly what is happening, we can then discuss how to respond.
  • WHAT TO DO NEXT: Fill out the Contact form to the right, or e-mail us, text us your question (713-364-3476), or simply schedule a time for us to call you.   >  >  >  >

STEP 2: BOOK A PHONE CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

THIS PAGE IS MERELY AN OVERVIEW. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

IGNORE route representation empowers a defendant to say “NO” to extortion.

Why I love the IGNORE route for our innocent clients.

I wanted to take a moment to share a revelation I had regarding the IGNORE route — a strategy we often discuss with clients who did not do the download and do not wish to settle.

NOTE: The word “ignore” is actually a misnomer, as we do anything but ignore. Traditionally, there are three options an accused John Doe Defendant accused of downloading a movie has:

1 — “fight” or “litigate” the case on the merits;
2 — settle the claims by negotiating a settlement payment;
3 — resolve the claims WITHOUT paying a settlement payment.

IGNORE ROUTE REPRESENTATION is a legal alternative to not hiring an attorney at all — just “ignoring” the case and hoping for the best.  Hiring an attorney in the “ignore” route will allow him to navigate your John Doe entity through the lawsuit and its pitfalls… to its eventual dismissal. 

The stated goal in the IGNORE route is NOT to pay a settlement.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

IGNORE route allows us to shoulder the burdens of no-settlement representation.

IGNORE route representation simply employs the strategy of hiring an attorney for the purpose of having that attorney shoulder the burdens a John Doe defendant would experience when analyzing and managing the risks involved in defending against a “copyright troll” copyright infringement case.

We simply have been here many times before with many past copyright holders and their attorneys, so we have seen how various plaintiff attorneys react to what are common scenarios or “story lines” that occur in these cases, and how judges act to move the case forward.

We have also defended against attorneys who broke the law and ended up losing their law license and going to prison, and we have defended against skilled attorneys who truly believe in taking the plaintiff’s side of a copyright infringement lawsuit.

I don’t know how to say this more clearly — we have seen many tactics and strategies arise, succeed, and fail over the years, and this has provided us an arsenal of tools that we can use when defending the interests of each client.

What are the FACTORS involved in analyzing a case for our client?

Involved in the analysis of representing a client in IGNORE route representation are:

1) reviewing or being aware of OTHER CASES in THAT specific FEDERAL COURT,

2) understanding the PAST RULINGS AND PROCLIVITIES of THAT FEDERAL JUDGE,

3) understanding the proclivities, talents, and skills of THAT PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY who sued on behalf of a particular copyright holder, and

4) making educated decisions based on OUR OWN PAST EXPERIENCES of each of the above to properly decide how to proceed at each stage of the lawsuit.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

IGNORE route deprives the copyright holder of the settlement they wish to extort.

Personally, the “ignore” route has always been one of my favorite strategies because not only does it deprive the plaintiff attorney and his client of a settlement when a settlement is not warranted, but it empowers my client to understand what is happening throughout the lawsuit so that they could see the case as I see it with my own eyes — based on my understanding of the circumstances and factors influencing the outcome of the case.

My favorite part about the IGNORE route representation strategy is that it gives my clients an authoritative way to say “NO!” to what would otherwise be a settlement extortion scheme.

Why the IGNORE route works.

IGNORE route representation is a well crafted strategy which analyzes and predicts deadlines, and it has correctly predicted the trends with very few surprises or accidental occurrences (e.g., without clients getting named and served or suffering some other complication due to attorney inexperience or inattention), and it accomplishes this goal simply because I take the time to do my research and watch the cases.

I hate to say this, but too many attorneys fail their clients simply because they do not do their homework.  They do not research their case, and they approach the lawsuit without understanding how a bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuit is litigated.  They approach the opposing counsel blindly without understanding who they are (with no knowledge of their past activities, proclivities, or personalities), and they approach the case itself thinking it is merely “just another copyright case” without understanding the motivations of the copyright holder or the nuances of how bittorrent-based “copyright troll” cases differ from traditional “copyright infringement” cases.  In the end, their ego and their unpreparedness only hurts their client.  And if they file a pro hac appearance with the court and they enter the court without researching what rulings have been made in the past in THAT district, or without knowing the personality of THAT judge presiding over the case, I have nothing to say except that they caused the results they achieved for their client.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

There are also a number of settlement factories and copycat attorneys who claim to do everything that we do, but cheaper.  These are often settlement factories who load their websites with advertising trash and repetitive articles designed to overwhelm you so that you end up calling one of their call centers. I hate to say this — while there will be many attorneys who offer the “ignore” route after reading this article, be aware that the ignore route is not merely keeping an open line of communication with the plaintiff attorney — it is doing what attorneys call “due diligence” in analyzing a case and coming up with conclusions and strategies that are very particular to each client’s PERSONAL NEEDS, the FACTS as to what actually happened, the client’s FINANCIAL ABILITIES and social pressures, AND all of the FACTORS I mentioned above (e.g., analyzing THAT plaintiff attorney, THAT copyright holder, THAT judge, THAT court, THAT federal court’s rulings, and the physical TIMING and ENVIRONMENT surrounding THAT particular case on THAT day or moment). You really can’t copy that, and “THAT” is exactly what you pay for with our law firm.

This method of representing clients is one of the “products” I have been proud to offer clients for the last SEVEN (7) YEARS as an alternative to the options they are often provided by other attorneys — who either push them to settle the claims against them, or leave them helpless to deal with the matter on their own — and I am happy to shoulder the burden and to be their eyes and ears of the case, protecting them with privileges an attorney is granted by the law.  There is so much more to say here, but I believe I have more than made my point.


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the ISP subpoena you received and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your case), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your copyright infringement case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number / SMS].

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.

WHY COPYRIGHT TROLL NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES SHOULD NOT BENEFIT FROM COPYRIGHT LAWS.

Who is the “Real Party in Interest” in the Strike Three Holdings movie lawsuits?

Last night, I set out to explain the differences between the recent Strike Three Holdings ISP subpoena lawsuits and the Malibu Media lawsuits, but the similarities ended up haunting me.  Seeing yet again the makings of another copyright holder who is playing what is starting to look like a “corporate shell game,” I am again weighed down in wondering whether Strike 3 Holdings movie lawsuits (think, “Tushy.com [NSFW],” “Blacked.com [NSFW],” and “Vixen.com [NSFW]”) is really the old wolf — Malibu Media LLC — in sheep’s clothing.

What bothers me about each of these movie (or here, “adult film”) cases is the slick non-transparency between who the copyright holder is, who is actually the party filing the lawsuit (legally, the “real party in interest,”) and who the interested parties are in the lawsuit.

Attorney “Kidneys”

From a lawyer’s perspective (my own attorney “kidneys”), it really bothers me that lawyers LIE to judges and courts now when they file lawsuits.  Maybe this has always been the case, and what do I know — I’ve only been a lawyer active in my field for ten years now — but law school took SO MANY STEPS to teach us to be moral and ethical.

In order to be eligible to take the New York bar exam, we not only had to pass a [frankly, invasive] character and fitness review, but we needed to pass an ethics exam (the MPRE).  In that ethics exam, almost every answer to the exam was, “be ethical, turn that lawyer in to the authorities.”  This is what caused me to delve quite early into the legal malpractice field.

Our Legal System is BROKEN by attorneys who represent unethical clients.

But our legal system breaks when a small few attorneys allow their clients to engage in deception, distortion, and outright lies, as I suspect is already happening with the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits. 

Looking at the selection of each of the new lawyers that have been chosen to file cases, I can already see the outcome and how each of the cases will play out based on that particular lawyer’s proclivities and skillset.

Some of these lawyers are “new guys,” or “fresh meat” (as I jokingly call them) — not because I can take advantage of their ignorance of the law (or at least the ignorance of how copyright law is applied differently in each of the federal courts across the US), but because I know that they are local counsel to a centralized (and likely criminal) enterprise.

Thus, they will act as “empty shells” who follow the dictates of their client masters…  as we have seen before, possibly at the peril of their own law licenses.

SIDE NOTE: Kudos to those local counsel who chose the ethical path, eventually.

Unrelated but relevant, I must note that a number of former “copyright troll” attorneys who have been local counsel to other attorneys are no longer “in the game,” so to speak.  They no longer file copyright infringement lawsuits for their masters, and they stood up and said “no” when their copyright troll clients asked them to take part in activities that would have cost them their law licenses.  I do take pride in commending these attorneys in taking a stand against their morally corrupt clients, and in a few cases, I know personally of a few attorneys who backed out of being local counsel and who likely saved their law licenses as a result.

Because many of these local counsel at one point were “fresh meat,” they took the copyright monetization (NPE) client [I’ll describe the “NPE” term later] thinking that this would bring in needed revenue to their law firm.  They thought they would learn a lot, and they rationalized that they were on the “right side of the law.”  This continued until they realized that they were representing a corrupted client, and then they were in too deep to drop them as a client.

Eventually, the copyright monetization (NPE) client turned on them (think, “honor among thieves,“)  and told them to do something unethical.  Risking loss of what became their entire law firm’s focus, they were forced to continue on their path hoping that they would never be caught by the state bar.  Eventually, in one particular case, their client stopped paying them their own commissions and they were left working for a client who was cheating them.

I have spoken attorneys such as these on a number of occasions (many of these attorneys are the subject of past articles), and I hope to have contributed to their decision to leave their masters as a battered wife would leave her husband.

I am also happy to share that I have been screamed at by a number of attorneys who direct lawsuits (most notably, John Steele of Prenda Law Inc., now disbarred, and who is pictured at the top of this article) “for speaking to and advising his local counsel” as to their rights when their own client (Steele) put them in a precarious position.

In sum (and this was supposed to be a side note), not all local counsel are bad people.  However, at the moment while they are still suing defendants, they know I believe they are on the wrong side of the law, and here is why.

Why the law requires the ENFORCEMENT OF TRANSPARENCY in copyright infringement / bittorrent-based lawsuits.

The point of this article is that the law requires transparency and disclosure when filing lawsuits, and judges tend to rely on the filings of the plaintiff attorneys (in an honest world, those representing the copyright holder).  However, when copyright monetization entities (e.g., RightsEnforcement, etc.) step as a buffer entity in between the copyright holder and the defendant, this creates a disparity in favor of the local “empty shell” attorney filing identical documents (serially, or over-and-over) on behalf of his “boss” (the attorney who is running the copyright troll lawsuit campaigns for each of his copyright holder clients). As a result, the individual accused John Doe Defendant is harmed by this disparity by being thrown into trying to defend against an elaborate copyright enforcement scheme which could ultimately cost him his entire life savings.

DISCLOSURE can lead to an equal playing field.

I feel strongly that a copyright monetization company should openly and honestly disclose exactly who they are, what benefit the actual copyright holder is getting from the lawsuit, and who else has an interest in the outcome of the litigation.  At least then, the judge could understand who else this monetization company is representing, and he could “tame” them and their tactics so that the accused downloaders (the “victims” of what will end up being a settlement extortion scheme) will at least have an equal playing field in order to defend themselves and the claims against them.

I don’t wear the pope hat.

And while writing this, I don’t want you to think that I am wearing the pope hat.  I started my law career on the wrong side of the law.  As a brand new attorney, I worked for an entity who ended up representing “Intellectual Ventures,” a prolific patent troll.  I observed the shell companies they used and the games they played to purchase patents (or at least the rights to enforce them), only to turn from a harmless company to a patent troll with sharp teeth.

Needless to say, Intellectual Ventures turned “evil” (so to speak), and started enforcing their patents to “force” (I want to use the word extort) companies almost-remotely-maybe-infringing that patent into accepting a license so that Intellectual Ventures could take a mafia-share royalty off of each of that company’s profits.  So long as Intellectual Ventures (under their RPX Corp entity) received “tribute payments” in the form of a “membership fee” for entrance into their patent troll organization, they would not be sued by the patent holder (or the “NPE” patent troll conglomerate organization who held the patents).

In short, I learned how to defend against copyright trolls by working on behalf a powerful patent troll [and if you want to read the articles I wrote on that topic and the RPX Corp (what Intellectual Ventures became), please feel free to visit my articles from 2008 on the topic].  I wasn’t very active at the time in blogging, but the articles are still interesting to read.

Why NON-PRACTICING ENTITY (NPE) STATUS should be applied to copyright trolls.

What is relevant to my experiences with Intellectual Ventures (and later, RPX Corp) was the concept of a “Non-Practicing Entity,” or an “NPE.”  In patent litigation, a non-practicing entity is a corporate entity who enforces patents which it did not create.  Shortly after patent trolls and NPEs made a killing in the federal courts, the rules changed to make these kinds of lawsuits unprofitable.

I believe that the same “Non-Practicing Entity (NPE)” status should be applied in the federal courts to copyright holders as well.

AND HERE IS WHY.

My point:  The copyright law gives copyright holders rights to enforce their copyrights.  The purpose of these rights are to benefit the copyright holders (to reward their creativity, their ingenuity, and their contribution to the arts).  When a slime and base organization comes in and purchases those copyright rights to benefit financially from the rights due the copyright holders, the law should not allow those entities to benefit as if they are the copyright holders.

WHY COPYRIGHT TROLL NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES SHOULD NOT BENEFIT FROM COPYRIGHT LAWS.

Copyright Troll NPEs never contributed anything to the arts.  They do not benefit society.  They do not benefit the copyright holders (who are often cheated by them or only receive a small piece of what could be theirs under the copyright laws).  They do not benefit the actors, writers, or artists who created the copyrighted work.  Rather, NPEs make their attorneys wealthy and they target and destroy the lives and the savings of thousands of households each year, separating the working class from their hard earned savings.

So I ask you — should NON-PRACTICING ENTITY (NPE) STATUS be applied to bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits who are deceptively managed by these NON-PRACTICING ENTITY (NPE) conglomerates who only serves to monetize the copyrights of others for their own benefit?

How similar are Strike 3 Holdings and Malibu Media lawsuits?

Malibu Media lawsuits paved the way for Strike 3 Holdings subpoenas.

In March of this year I suggested that the movie and music industry (MPAA / RIAA) used the porn industry to make way for the legitimacy of bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases we see legitimized today in a growing number of federal courts. Strike 3 Holdings, LLC is the most recent beneficiary of the path forged by Malibu Media LLC with their John Doe lawsuits filed against accused downloaders of their “Tushy.com [NSFW],” “Vixen.com [NSFW],” and “Blacked.com [NSFW]” popular adult themed videos and websites.

It is my opinion that Strike 3 Holdings LLC owes what will be their success to the Malibu Media LLC lawsuits. Malibu Media LLC, once seen as a roach of a company preying on its customers through its 6,000+ lawsuits filed nationwide now enjoys free reign in the federal courts, as will Strike 3 Holdings and the judges who blush at the adult themes they carry.

I expect that judges will rubber-stamp and approve Strike 3 Holdings ISP subpoenas just as they have been approving Malibu Media subpoena requests, knowing that they too will proceed on the merits of the lawsuit if their accused defendant does not settle the claims against him.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

Will the judges be as cooperative with Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits, and my idea about why.

[My personal wonder when sitting in court and looking at a judge keep a straight face when discussing the Malibu Media / X-Art.com cases is whether they themselves have watched these videos. The clerks and the court reporters are typically louder about them, but the judge that signs the order allowing discovery of defendants — is he doing so because he believes even pornographic films deserve copyright protection? Or is he hiding the fact that he has seen these videos himself? I further wonder whether the judges who adjudicate the “Tushy or Vixen” adult film movie lawsuits will be able to do so with similar stoic silence, as “Tushy” “Blacked” and “Vixen” videos have a viewership that makes Colette Pelissier’s Malibu Media / X-Art brand look like K-Mart in the shadow of Target.]

Strike-3-Holdings-Blacked-Tushy-Vixen

[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about either Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases or Malibu Media, LLC cases and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your case), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your Strike 3 Holdings or Malibu Media case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number)].

Did you possibly connect Malibu Media and Strike 3 Holdings as being the same entity?

I wouldn’t be the first to suspect that perhaps the same people behind the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits are the same as the people who are behind the upcoming Strike 3 Holdings LLC Tushy lawsuits, especially with the common thread between each of them being the Guardaley company each of them use to track the bittorrent networks to find victims for their next John Doe lawsuit.

Also unlike the recent movie lawsuits BUT EXACTLY LIKE MALIBU MEDIA CASES, it appears as if Strike Three Holdings cases sue for the copyright infringement of one adult film movie, however, when an accused defendant attempts to settle the claims against him, he is also asked to settle a list of titles he also downloaded.

While I could be wrong, although the two are similar in style and flare both in marketing techniques, lawsuit “troll” tactics, I understand from basic research that the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits and the coming “Tushy” Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits are owned, operated, and run by very different people.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised for an instant to learn that Strike Three Holdings lawsuits learned EXACTLY how to run their lawsuits by mirroring the Malibu Media lawsuits.  To be more direct, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Colette Pelissier and Brigham Field personally taught, mentored, and is possibly directly benefiting from Strike Three Holdings’ settlement tactics.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

Perhaps an investigation of where each is incorporated can shed some light.

While the people behind the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits are real estate brokers who live in lavish, overpriced homes (in which they have been observed illegally filming their content in violation of the local laws), Strike 3 Holdings LLC trademark registrations all point to a 2140 S. Dupont Hwy, Camden, Deleware address (right next to the Rite Aid, the Venetian Jewelers store, an Este Pharma skin care clinic, and two business development companies — Parasec Inc., SeoSamba, and Patton Vision).

However… no Strike 3 Holdings, LLC business presence or trace thereof.

Maybe not.

You know, after writing this, it occurred to me that the tax-sheltered Deleware address Strike 3 Holdings is using is FAKE, or that their lawyer, Anna Marie Vradenburgh of Thousand Oaks, CA rented them a mailbox on the corner of S. Dupont Highway and E. Camden Wyoming Ave. so that they can claim that their corporate entity is located in Deleware.

You might also notice that Strike Three Holdings LLC’s lawyer is in California and Malibu Media, LLC is in… California (not Deleware).  Why would a Deleware company hire an obscure California attorney to file their corporate papers and trademark filings for them, unless perhaps the Deleware address is a fake?  [Look at the Google Map and ask yourself if you see Strike 3 Holdings, LLC].

*UPDATE* Lawsuits now filed in DC

In sum, the Strike 3 Holdings LLC lawsuits are just beginning to warm up. And, while there are similarities between the adult film brands claimed in the Malibu Media lawsuits and the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits, they appear to be different entities headed by different people (although you must admit that similarities are suspect). Hopefully they act differently too in the lawsuits as to how they treat their own attorneys and their cases.

Strike 3 Holdings have even now started filing single John Doe lawsuits as well.

*New Cases* filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia:
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. DOE (Case No. 1:17-cv-02338, Case No. 1:17-cv-02344, 1:17-cv-02345, 1:17-cv-02346, 1:17-cv-02347, 1:17-cv-02342)

What I don’t like about each of these movie (or here, “adult film”) cases is the slick non-transparency between who the copyright holder is, who is actually the party filing the lawsuit, and who the interested parties are in the lawsuit.  Honestly, historically, the “patent troll” problem was solved by making the distinction between inventors and NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES (NPEs).  I wonder if NPE status should also be applied to copyright trolls as well.

BLOG POSTS:

Article(s) Written on the Strike 3 Holdings cases:
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC (“Blacked, Tushy, Vixen”) Adult Film Lawsuit FAQ,” on 11/5/2017
Everything you need to know in one page about your Strike 3 Holdings Movie Lawsuit and ISP subpoena,” on 11/5/2017
Just the Facts — Strike 3 Holdings, LLC,” on 11/5/2017
Should Copyright Trolls Be Considered Non-Practicing Entity (“NPE”)?,” on 11/15/2017

Revisiting Harvey for a moment, and turning our attention to Florida.

To the many of you who have been inquiring as to the safety of our family and our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC and its employees…
Thank you.  Our family is well, and our 4th Floor office was untouched by the storm (although it was inaccessible for a few days). However, I cannot say the same thing for family members and friends who had their homes flooded, where in some cases water covered half of the windows (meaning half of the houses were literally under water, both inside and out). I even saw pictures of streets not too far from me where water not only covered the streets, but almost covered the stop lights far above the street. This has chilled me to the core, because even though I have seen floods and hurricanes in Houston before (and we are known for surviving rough weather events), some of the things I saw, my eyes still do not believe.

I understand that we are only slightly above sea level, but walking the streets seeing the contents of the community’s home on each person’s front lawn, I still cannot imagine or picture in my mind’s eye how water can flood so high.  I know that we received five or six feet of rain, but Houston has an elaborate network of bayous and flood prevention mechanisms which would ordinarily drain heavy rains into the sea.  The bayous do function well, even if they flood a foot or so. With this storm, I expected them to flood with maybe an additional 1-3 feet of water (something I refer to as “car killers,” which friends have lost cars trying to drive through). But to see streets, mailboxes, and street lights under water, and to see houses just a few miles away from me covered literally just below the roofs — this was something I never imagined I would ever see.

In short, the news and the media are rightfully turning their attention to Florida, and those living there have my empathy and my support in whatever way I can help. Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC has donated to the hurricane relief funds and each of us personally has spent most of our week helping with disaster relief. My wife and kids spent countless hours preparing meals with the Houston community for those who have been displaced, and the work, the rebuilding, and the donations will need to continue long after the media has forgotten both Houston and Florida.

Motions to Quash ISP Subpoena Letters, Malibu Media Lawsuits, Rightscorp DMCA Settlement Notices, and Helping John Does.