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.

Kerry Culpepper uses 512(h) to subpoena verizon to discover hunter killer movie downloaders.

Kerry Culpepper of Hawaii-based Culpepper IP LLLC has taken a roundabout way of uncovering the identities of Verizon Wireless subscribers who downloaded the Hunter Killer movie using their cell phones. I wanted to spend a moment on how Culpepper did this, because it provides a good follow-up on my 5/3 article about the Hunter Killer Productions Inc. lawsuits.

Hunter Killer Inc v. John Does as a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Ordinarily the case would show up on my radar because the plaintiff attorney would file a Hunter Killer Productions Inc. v. John Does copyright infringement lawsuit in a particular federal court (here, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii).

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

Kerry Culpepper would then ask the court for what is referred to as “expedited discovery,” meaning, he would ask the court to authorize Culpepper to send a subpoena to the ISP. I described this process in detail just days ago in the “How Paul Beik Has Malibu Media LLC Defendants Served” section of the linked article.

This ISP subpoena would ordinarily then force the Hawaii-based ISP to hand over the name of the John Doe defendant(s) accused of infringing the Hunter Killer Productions Inc. copyright holder’s “Hunter Killer” movie.

Judges are aware of the “copyright troll” problem.

I had to ask myself, “why would Kerry Culpepper go through such loops to disclose the identity of the alleged downloaders? Couldn’t he have just filed a Hunter Killer Productions Inc. v. Does 1-20 copyright infringement lawsuit against 20 downloaders like any other plaintiff attorney / copyright holder?

Then it occurred to me: In the list of Hunter Killer Productions Inc. lawsuits filed against defendants, I did not see *any* cases filed in the Hawaii District Court. (Rather, I only saw a few Hunter Killer Productions Inc. cases filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois).

Could it be that the Hawaii District Court has outlawed Rule 26 “expedited discovery” bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases in their case holdings? If Kerry Culpepper cannot get a federal judge to grant an “expedited discovery” to allow him to send a subpoena to the ISPs [to discover the identity of the would-be John Doe defendants], then the plaintiff attorney has a copyright infringement lawsuit without any known defendants.

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

Judges across the US have become aware of the problem we refer to as “copyright trolling,” where a copyright holder uses the federal courts to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against a set of unknown defendants. They use the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 26) “expedited discovery” tool to unmask the identities of the defendants sued in the lawsuits.

As a result of much abuse and harassment by a number of plaintiff attorneys, some judges have taken proactive steps to DENY the plaintiff attorney’s FRCP Rule 26 “expedited discovery” requests. If this is what is happening in Hawaii, this would in theory prevent Kerry Culpepper from forcing the ISP to hand over the names of the account subscribers (hence, no known defendants to sue).

What is a “MISCELLANEOUS CASE”?

What a BORING name for such an abused type of lawsuit!!!

I have seen lawsuits that look something like “Case No. 1:19-mc-00123” which differ from the civil cases [which look like “Case No. 1:19-cv-00123”]. These “miscellaneous” cases do not formally accuse the defendant of copyright infringement in the form of a complaint, but rather, they function more as a “motion to compel” [to force] a third party (here, Verizon Wireless) to disclose the identity of a would-be defendant.

From a non-lawyer’s eye, who cares whether the plaintiff attorney used a “1:19-cv-12345″ (a “civil” case) to file their lawsuit, or a “1:19-mc-12345″ (“miscellaneous” case) to discover the identity of the alleged infringer. It is the same result — the plaintiff attorney (here, Kerry Culpepper of Hawaii-based Culpepper IP LLLC) acquires the name of the alleged infringer and contacts him or her with the intention of accusing them of copyright infringement.

However it is the BACKHANDED WAY the plaintiff attorney gets his defendants that simply irks me.

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

I saw these same “miscellaneous case” filings in Florida state courts in 2010-2012.

This is not the first time I have seen “miscellaneous cases (mc)” rather than the typical “civil cases (cv)”.

Keith Lipscomb, the attorney [at the time] behind all of the Malibu Media LLC cases (and formerly, the Patrick Collins Inc. cases from 2010-2012) used to use a similar mechanism in the Florida state courts to achieve these same ends. As an attorney myself who operates in the FEDERAL COURTS, a “mc” case filed in a state court would not show up on my radar.

What Kerry Culpepper did in Hawaii to force the clerk to issue 512(h) subpoenas to Verizon Wireless

Kerry Culpepper in my opinion is one of the smarter plaintiff attorneys. I have always known this, as his copyright infringement lawsuits were always out-of-the-box.

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

When dealing with him, Culpepper rarely asked for a settlement outright — rather, he had a roundabout way of explaining that, “…since my client accessed the bittorrent file 530 times over a two-day (26 hour) period to download a full copy of the movie, and that bittorrent swarm shared the movie with 2,930 other bittorrent users over those same 26 hours, judging the discounted cost of a movie at Wal*Mart is $2.99 (in a clearance bin, not $19.99 retail on the shelf), multiply the $2.99 x 2,930 to arrive at a settlement price of $8,760.70.”

His thinking style was also visible when he decided to sue a group of individuals who I presume were profiting off of the ad sales of a movie app which shares pirated movies. Rather than “shake down” the end user (the downloader), he went after the “big bucks,” here I assume the ad revenue, as the Showbox app was actively being used [and ads shown] by literally millions of users.

In sum, Kerry Culpepper a good mind which he uses to discover methods of suing defendants for profit.

Kerry Culpepper ip-hawaii-hunter-killer-productions

Hunter Killer Productions Inc. and their new defendants.

This brings us to Kerry Culpepper’s latest feat — getting the Hawaii Federal Court to force Verizon Wireless to hand over the names of several defendants WITHOUT EVER FILING A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT.

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

In his application to the US District Court for the District of Hawaii entitled “In re Subpoena to Verizon Wireless” (Case No. 1:19-mc-00125), he invokes 17 USC 512(h) to ask the *CLERK* (not a judge, and WITHOUT a lawsuit filed) to issue a subpoena to disclose the identity of an alleged copyright infringer.

Let me say that again. Kerry Culpepper just succeeded in getting the CLERK to issue a subpoena WITHOUT ANY JUDGE ruling on the motion, and WITHOUT NEEDING TO FILE ANY COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT.

Literally, the entire “miscellaneous” lawsuit was:

  • Doc 1) Application for a 512(h) subpoena,
  • Doc 2) Judge assigns the case to a magistrate judge (in my opinion, in an “I’m not touching this one,” way),
  • Doc 3) Clerk issues subpoena.
    [CASE CLOSED]

KERRY CULPEPPER’S ARGUMENT TO THE HAWAII DISTRICT COURT

Kerry Culpepper’s argument was simple. I am laying it out in points below:

1) DC Circuit said that a 512(h) subpoena can only be issued to an ISP engaged in storing infringing copyrighted materials on their servers. (351 F.3d 1229, 1233 (D.C. Cir. 2003)).

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

2) Eighth circuit said that a 512(h) subpoena only applies to an ISP that directly stores, caches, or provides links to infringing materials. (393 F.3d 771, 776-77 (8th Cir. 2005)).

Kerry Culpepper noted that neither court mentioned anything about whether a subpoena can be issued to an ISP that acts as a CONDUIT [to allow their subscribers to pass copyrighted content through their servers].

Here is where Kerry Culpepper shows his talents:

Culpepper then commented that the 9th Circuit (which is a higher court which includes and is binding upon the Hawaii District) has not ruled on whether a copyright holder can use a 512(h) subpoena to an ISP that acts as a CONDUIT [to allow their subscribers to infringe copyrighted materials].

He then invoked the recent BMG Rights Management (US) LLC v. Cox Communications Inc., 881 F.3d 293, 300 (4th Cir. 2018) case to conclude that the 9th Circuit (including the Hawaii District Court) would allow such a 512(h) subpoena.

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

PERSONAL NOTE:

There are some people who operate at such a high level that I get a headache when listening to them. I could strain to understand them, but I wonder whether I would understand them better if I too were high on drugs.

I read the arguments and looked up the references, but I don’t get the jump in logic.

Personally, I think Culpepper confused the court with a logic-based argument, but I believe he jumped to a conclusion that his facts did not support.

However, I’ve heard Culpepper speak — he is a smart dude and he thinks very quickly. Sometimes it is difficult to understand him because he is thinking at levels higher than the average person (here, the average judge) can comprehend.

However, I still think that the judge dropped the ball and did not have the caffeine to oppose Culpepper (NOTE: there was no “defense” counsel to oppose him), and the Hawaii court capitulated.

This is how I see it after reading what happened.

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

THE END RESULT: CULPEPPER KNOWS WHO YOU ARE.

The end result is that now Verizon Wireless will be complying with the subpoena and providing Culpepper here, a list of 20 defendants who allegedly used their cell phones to view, stream, or download copies of his client’s Hunter Killer movie, and the settlement demands will likely ensue.

If you are an attorney and have the desire to see exactly what Kerry Culpepper did, here is the link to his application to the court.

If you are a defendant (or you received a letter from Kerry Culpepper asking for settlement money for the download of the Hunter Killer movie using your cell phone), at least now you will understand how he got your name.

kerry-culpepper-ip-hunter-killer-settlement-hawaii-hi
Perlinator / Pixabay

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


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Hunter Killer Productions Inc. 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 Hunter Killer Productions Inc. case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

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.

HOW IT HAPPENS – HOW PAUL BEIK HAS MALIBU MEDIA DEFENDANTS IN TEXAS FEDERAL COURTS NAMED AND SERVED.

Paul Beik (Paul S. Beik of the Beik Law Firm PLLC) is a Texas-based plaintiff attorney who has “served” many defendants in Texas lawsuits for his Malibu Media LLC client (“served” as in someone knocking on a defendant’s door in a bittorrent copyright litigation lawsuit and handing the former John Doe Defendant a copy of the complaint; not “served” as in “thousands served” in a McDonald’s hamburger way). [Sorry for the play on words — that came out when editing this article.]

Paul Beik has been naming and serving Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe defendants since 3/28/2018 (or at least 3/28/18 was the first time I contacted him before having a client served; prior to this, his predecessors Andrew Kumar and Michael Lowenberg of the Lowenberg Law Firm PLLC filed Malibu lawsuits in TX since 10/27/2016), but unlike Beik’s cases, their John Doe defendants were not regularly named and served.

More generally, Malibu Media LLC has likely filed over ten thousand copyright infringement lawsuits against anonymous John Doe defendants since 2012 (I stopped counting in 2016, when Malibu temporarily stopped filing lawsuits, and even then, there were already 6,000+ cases filed across the US).

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

Prior to Paul Beik taking over as Texas local counsel for Malibu Media LLC, while some Texas John Doe defendants were named and served here and there, most of them historically were never served. The reason for this is that Malibu Media LLC’s general counsel (currently represented by the Lomnitzer Law Firm in Florida) always let the local copyright attorneys (here, Paul Beik) decide how far into litigation they are willing to go — specifically whether they are willing to have the John Doe Defendants named and served.

How Malibu Media LLC lets their attorneys “grow” on the job.

[Again, the header is not to be taken out of context given the subject matter of the Malibu Media LLC adult film cases.]

Malibu Media LLC’s general counsel often hires lawyers in each state who know federal procedure [but who do not necessarily know any copyright law]. They often let that attorney “learn on the job” by following instructions, templates, and scripts I believe are provided to every new Malibu Media LLC local counsel. I have referred to these new plaintiff attorneys in the past as “fresh meat,” because the filings in every Malibu Media LLC case look exactly the same as the filings I have seen in thousands of Malibu cases over the years filed in federal courts in California, New York, Michigan, and across the US.

I have always called Malibu Media LLC cases “a settlement extortion scheme.” For years (prior to Paul Beik taking over the Texas Malibu Media cases, Malibu Media LLC cases were filed against anonymous John Doe Defendants, and they were dismissed as John Does (in my opinion, because of the squeamishness of previous Texas-based Malibu Media LLC attorneys to name and serve defendants and move forward against them in litigation). Not so with Paul Beik of Beik Law Firm PLLC.

Paul Beik has served Malibu Media LLC Texas defendants in the US District ,Court for the Southern District of Texas with regularity. In filing the lawsuit, he uses the same (identical) wording that other Malibu Media LLC cases use in other federal courts making an attorney who is not paying attention think he is inexperienced [that link (above) merely goes to a reference to “settlement factories,” described below]. Even if you look at Paul Beik’s case dockets, his Texas-based Malibu Media LLC cases appear to be nearly identical to every other Malibu Media LLC case filed across the US.

However, unlike many other “copyright troll” plaintiff attorneys, Paul Beik is not afraid to name and serve a defendant.

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

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on naming and serving a defendant (the 90-day rule).

The reason this is relevant is because 90 days after a complaint is filed in a federal court, FRCP Rule 4(m) gives a plaintiff attorney (here, Paul Beik) 90 days to amend the complaint and “name and serve” a John Doe defendant.

Beik could also dismiss the case before the 90 days have elapsed [which almost never happens], or he can ask the court for an extension of time to have that Texas defendant named and served [that happens].

The point here is that Paul Beik is under a procedural deadline to name and serve a defendant. Thus, whatever so-called “anonymous” settlement he can pull from the Malibu Media LLC John Doe defendant before the 90 days have elapsed, his client wants him to take.

Unfortunately for some John Doe Defendants, when they do not respond to his requests for settlement or they do not hire an attorney to represent them in this case, as a matter of procedure, instead of dismissing the case without prejudice and saying to the accused defendant “just kidding,” Paul Beik moves forward with litigation and has that Texas defendant named and served .

This is relevant because in litigation, there will become a time where the question of “whether the named and served Texas defendant actually downloaded Malibu Media’s copyrighted titles” becomes relevant. This happens in a deposition, where the defendant is placed under oath in front of a court reporter and the plaintiff attorney takes his testimony. *THIS* is where Paul Beik succeeds in forcing a settlement from a named and served Texas defendant who did not previously settle the claims against him.

NOTE: *THIS* (deposition) is also the moment where the named and served Texas John Doe Defendant is dismissed from liability [to avoid having his client pay the defendant’s attorney fees].

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

Paul Beik Malibu Media Texas settlement scheme
Perlinator / Pixabay

HOW PAUL BEIK HAS MALIBU MEDIA LLC DEFENDANTS SERVED.

The complaint and request to disclose identity of subscriber.

First, Beik files the complaint alleging copyright infringement of Malibu Media’s copyright adult film titles. He files the lawsuit against ONE anonymous “John Doe” defendant (who lives in the Texas state, so there is no motion to quash to file [the court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant]). Beik mentions to the court that he does not yet know the identity of the defendant, and he asks the court to provide him an order to command the Comcast ISP (or AT&T ISP) to disclose the identity of the alleged downloader of Malibu Media LLC’s copyrighted titles.

Because courts are friendly to copyright holders, the Texas judges grant Paul Beik his request and order the ISPs to provide him the information that he needs.

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

The subpoena sent to the ISP ordering it to reveal the subscriber’s identity.

Paul Beik then forwards a subpoena to the Comcast (or whichever) ISP, ordering the ISP to turn over the identity (and whatever else is approved by the court) of the account holder who was assigned the IP address at the time that the downloading of Malibu Media LLC’s adult titles took place.

The ISP’s duty to protect their customer and steps they take.

The ISPs are under a duty [an order, signed by the federal judge] to hand over this information to the plaintiff attorney (here, Paul Beik). To protect their customer, the ISP sends over [what I call] an ISP Subpoena Letter informing the Texas account holder that he has been implicated as a defendant in the Malibu Media LLC lawsuit.

The ISP Subpoena Letter also informs the account subscriber that if they wish to stop them from handing over their information, they may file a motion to quash (they call it “an objection with the court”). A motion to quash, if successful, would prevent the ISP from handing over the account holder’s information to Beik Law Firm PLLC (the plaintiff attorney — Paul Beik’s office — NOT to the court).

You can read more into motions to quash here (this isn’t the place to discuss this topic), but the jist of a motion to quash is that it tells the US District Court that it does not have “personal jurisdiction” over the defendant. This primarily occurs if the defendant lives outside of the state in which they were sued.

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

Paul Beik is dangerous to John Doe defendants because he has them named and served.

Unlike many other Malibu Media LLC attorneys who are running a settlement extortion scheme (“settle whether you did it or not”), Paul Beik actually takes the additional step of having the defendant who did not settle the claims again him named and served.

In other words, if that Texas-based John Doe Defendant does not settle the claims against him or her, Paul Beik will amend the complaint and will add the actual ISP account subscriber’s name and address to the complaint. This forces the now “named and served” defendant into litigation, where they have 21 days to file an answer with the court or face a default judgement against them.

This is where Paul Beik takes the Malibu Media LLC cases (which for years, I considered nothing more than a “bluff”) one step further than many others — he actually has his Texas John Doe Defendants named and served, forcing them into litigation whether they like it or not.

Now obviously the purpose of this article was to identify Paul Beik as a Malibu Media LLC attorney, and to note that he DOES name and serve defendants. “Check.” This is not to say that he will not settle a case after a defendant is named and served — he will still settle a case, as this is the ultimate reason he has named and served the defendant [a settlement is more valuable to Malibu Media LLC than a judgement of $150,000 which they will never collect]. However, I simply want to point out that Paul Beik does name and serve defendants.

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

A quick note about out-of-state settlement factory attorneys.

Lastly, there are many out-of-state attorneys who are not licensed in Texas who are actively advertising and are trying to take as many Malibu Media LLC clients from across the US as they can. Among them are a few [what I call] “settlement factories” (settlement factories are attorneys who run a volume-based business; they try to scare every defendant into settling the claims against them, and in my opinion they cause far more problems for the defendant than they solve).

There used to be only a small handful of attorneys who I considered settlement factories, but unfortunately, with the younger crowd graduating law school and joining the ranks, I am seeing more and more inexperienced lawyers throw up a shingle and a blog and act as if they are a legitimate law practice, when really they are just another “settlement factory.” I have even had confrontational experiences with these attorneys — many of whom did not understand copyright law at all, and one who even thought these cases were criminal. “Umm, no.”

In short, if you are sued by Paul Beik, I strongly recommend that you hire a Texas-licensed attorney to handle your case. I don’t care if you hire my Cashman Law Firm PLLC (often I don’t even take clients, and here is why) or if you hire another Texas attorney who is competent to work in these cases (if I cannot represent you, I will happily refer you to an attorney in Texas who can assist you).

While it is impossible to know which Texas-based Malibu Media LLC John Doe Defendants will be named and served, based on my knowledge of Paul Beik and his timing, I will do my best to list cases which at the moment are at risk of being named and served. TBA.

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


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Texas 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 Malibu Media LLC case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

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.

HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. AND THEIR SORDID HISTORY

Doing a HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. COPYRIGHT TROLL WRITE-UP was not my initial purpose in searching PACER for documentation regarding last night’s Strike 3 Holdings LLC “turf war” article, but what I came across with Hunter Killer Productions Inc. is noteworthy because of my memories of this entity.

I have useful information on Hunter Killer Productions Inc. because I have background information [piecing my memories together] which provide a context for the new Hunter Killer Productions Inc. cases filed in the Northern District of Illinois by Michael Hierl and William Kalbac.

Looking up the most recent Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases last night on PACER, I couldn’t help but to notice that another small set of lawsuits popped up on my radar.

There is now a new [apparent] “copyright troll” testing the waters named “Hunter Killer Productions Inc.” Hunter Killer Productions Inc. originally did not raise any flags for me — I remembered that they have a history in Hawaii with former-copyright-troll Kerry Culpepper, and I had nothing wrong with their activities… until now.

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

THE HUNTER KILLER MOVIE

Hunter Killer Productions Inc. is the shell company that owns the rights to the “Hunter Killer” movie. “Hunter killer” is an action, thriller movie directed by Donovan Marsh, and stars Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman (among others).

I mention their name merely for movie recognition — not because the actors themselves ever benefit from the copyright troll lawsuits their production companies file to monetize the piracy of their movies.

hunter-killer-productions-inc, Hunter Killer Productions ISP subpoena lawsuit | Notice of Subpoena For Records

Hunter Killer Productions Inc. was known to me to merely “consort” with known copyright trolls (more on this below), but I did not identify them as copyright trolls themselves… until now.

Copyright trolls are production companies and lawyers who file lawsuits against internet users who are accused of downloading copyrighted movies; these companies and lawyers seek to use the federal courts and the copyright infringement statutory damages to “extort” thousands of dollars from each accused defendant (through their John Doe entity).

Apparently, Hunter Killer Productions Inc. is now testing the waters with copyright troll bittorrent-based lawsuits filed in the Illinois Northern District federal court.

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

HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC HISTORY IN HAWAII

At first glance, when seeing the copyright infringement cases in Illinois, Hunter Killer Productions Inc. as the plaintiff did not raise any “red flags” except that 1) it is a production company, and 2) it filed multiple identical-looking lawsuits against a handful of John Doe Defendants in each case.

Delving deeper into the Hawaii case (and remembering that Kerry Culpepper was the plaintiff attorney who was filing all of the Hawaii copyright troll lawsuits in previous years), I was surprised by what I saw — the complaint was not only claiming copyright infringement, but also “…FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, CONTRIBUTORY COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, INDUCEMENT, FALSE ADVERTISING, UNFAIR COMPETITION, AND DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES.”

Thus, the Hawaii case (especially with what I remember Kerry Culpepper was doing) did not look like a copyright troll lawsuit to me.

KERRY CULPEPPER MOVED PAST COPYRIGHT TROLLING

I remember distinctly that Kerry Culpepper was getting into significantly more in-depth cases, namely going after the PROVIDERS of movies which are streamed online via the Show Box app (“Showbox”), which illegally provide pirated content to the web by advertising their app as a method of “watching free movies.”

I also remember not being so interested in the topic, as I had nothing wrong with Kerry Culpepper trying to stop Showbox or the flow of pirated movies.

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

As long as Kerry was not going after the end users (the internet users who actually downloaded the content) seeking thousands of dollars in settlements for each lawsuit, I had nothing wrong with his lawsuit against Showbox.  As far as I recall, the providers of Showbox were Indian companies such as Galbatross Technologies who were somehow benefiting financially (if I recall, by significant ad revenue) by providing copyrighted content to internet users in the US.

You could read the Adobe PDF link to Kerry Culpepper’s complaint against Showbox here.

Ernesto from Torrentfreak.com also wrote up the topic on the lawsuit here:

Showbox Sites Settle With Movie Companies, Warn Users of Lawsuits

I could be mistaken, but I also vaguely recall that Showbox sold set top boxes here in the US, and those set top boxes streamed copyrighted content to US customers which were acquired by using BitTorrent software on the back end. I remember this because a handful of past clients of mine got sued by Gary Fischman in Texas for using Showbox, but the lawsuits were for BitTorrent use.

HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS IS AN EXTENSION OF THE SHOWBOX LAWSUITS

I must admit that I was a bit surprised when I saw the in-depth lawsuit filed by Hunter Killer Productions Inc. against the few named defendants. What jogged my memory about the Showbox cases were the “group effort” of copyright troll plaintiffs who were involved as plaintiffs in the effort. Those companies include:

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

The similarity of plaintiffs in this Kerry Culpepper’s Hawaii-based Hunter Killer Productions Inc. case reminded me of Culpepper’s former Showbox lawsuit and its list of plaintiffs. They included companies such as:

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

REMEMBERING THE “COMMON THREAD” CONTROVERSY

NOTE: I want to point out the big “common thread” controversy from years ago when I claimed that all of the movie lawsuits were working behind the scenes together as a master settlement extortion scheme. So many people (and attorneys) told me that I was “full of it” when I noticed a common string between each of the lawsuits filed by each of these copyright troll production companies (via their “shell” companies).

Each of these companies COINCIDENTALLY hired the IDENTICAL SET OF ATTORNEYS in every state in which bittorrent based copyright infringement lawsuits were filed. This made no sense to me — either these attorneys were each masterful in acquiring the identical copyright troll clients, or there was a “kingpin” behind the scenes of each of these seemingly separate companies who were directing each of the hundreds of lawsuits filed across the US (please read my article yesterday on Strike 3 Holdings LLC and the need for a kingpin to manage and centralize multiple lawsuits filed by local attorneys in each state’s federal court).

In sum, Culpepper took every copyright troll and sued the source of the piracy — something I had nothing wrong with, as my goal in defending copyright infringement lawsuits is not to encourage piracy, but to prevent the harassment of defendants accused of copyright infringement (and the extortion that inevitably comes with these copyright infringement lawsuits).

The Defendants in the Hawaii-based Hunter Killer Productions Inc. lawsuit didn’t interest me much either. To me, it seemed like Kerry Culpepper again trying to go after the source of the copyright infringement (foreign defendants) rather than the end users.

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

THE NEW HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. COPYRIGHT TROLL LAWSUITS

TWO DAYS AGO, Hunter Killer Productions Inc. jumped into the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and started suing John Doe Defendants in Illinois. Seeing the attorneys Michael Hierl and William Benjamin Kalbac (who I know as “Bill Kalbac”), this changed the story.

Now Hunter Killer Productions Inc. is suing John Doe defendants (all Comcast subscribers) for the download of the “Hunter Killer” movie, or more specifically, for the “Hunter.Killer.2018.KORSUB.HDRip.x264-STUTTERSHIT” movie which was shared on bittorrent networks in December 2018.Hunter Killer Productions Inc John Doe Lawsuits

In other words, Hunter Killer Productions Inc. is now suing defendants using the classic copyright troll model (and the same attorneys).

Pasted below are the small set of Hunter Killer Productions Inc. cases I’ve seen thus far.  As far as I can tell, they are only “dipping their toes” into the Illinois federal court to test the copyright trolling model, but with Michael Hierl and Bill Kalbac as plaintiff attorneys (in 2012, I called Michael Heirl a “baby copyright troll,” but now we are SIX YEARS LATER), their chances of successfully soliciting settlements from accused users is high.

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Case filed in the Hawaii District Court
Hunter Killer Productions Inc et al. v. Qazi Muhammad Zarlish et al. (1:19-cv-00168)

Cases Filed in the Illinois Northern District Court
HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. v. DOES 1-21 (1:19-cv-02926)
HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. v. DOES 1-23 (1:19-cv-02922)
HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. v. DOES 1-23 (1:19-cv-02924)
HUNTER KILLER PRODUCTIONS INC. v. DOES 1-17 (1:19-cv-02927)
Hunter Killer Productions Inc. v. DOES 1-21 (1:19-cv-02920)

SUMMARY

In sum, Hunter Killer Productions Inc. is a known entity with a history of taking legal steps to enforce its copyright rights.  Now they have “dipped their toes” into what I consider to be illegitimate copyright enforcement activities, namely, copyright trolling and soliciting multiple-thousand dollar settlements from each defendant.


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Hunter Killer Productions Inc. 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 Hunter Killer Productions Inc. case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

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 incorrect attorneys are listed on Strike 3 Holdings LLC case dockets.

There has been confusion in recent weeks as to which Strike 3 Holdings, LLC attorney has authority to represent the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client. Is Lincoln Bandlow in charge? Or John Atkin of The Atkin Firm, LLC?

Why do Strike 3 Holdings cases need a Kingpin?

In bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits, in order to run a multi-state set of cookie-cutter lawsuits, an attorney behind the scenes or “kingpin” is often needed (or, found). This “kingpin” attorney directs each of the other local attorneys who file Strike 3 Holdings copyright infringement lawsuits in federal courts across the US.

A central figure, or “kingpin” is also useful to keep the Strike 3 Holdings settlements uniform. That way, whether you are a John Doe Defendant dealing with New York Strike 3 Holdings cases or California Strike 3 Holdings cases, the settlements are generally* the same.

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  • NOTE: Strike 3 Holdings settlements are not uniform. Each case has its own list of titles allegedly infringed, and the settlement amount that the Strike 3 Holdings attorney asks for is some per-title settlement number multiplied by how many titles there are.

  • For example: If there are 20 titles and the plaintiff is asking for $750/title (they do go lower), they would be asking for a $15,000 settlement. Strike 3 Holdings settlement amounts, however, are not the subject of this article.

Returning to the concept of a “kingpin,” the Strike 3 Holdings cases have been run behind the scenes by Lincoln Bandlow, until now, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP. Thus, whether your plaintiff attorney was Shireen Nasir, [or, John Atkin, Jacqueline James, Andy Nikolopoulos, or David Grant Crooks (all local attorneys to Lincoln Bandlow working at Fox Rothschild LLP)], Lincoln was the attorney behind the scenes directing each of the Strike 3 Holdings lawsuits across the US.

The Strike 3 Holdings Attorney Shake-Up

Over the past few weeks, however, there has been a shake-up (perhaps a power struggle) between the attorneys at Fox Rothschild LLP. Rumors have been told to me that attorneys at Fox Rothschild and Lincoln Bandlow have been experiencing “tension.”

It wasn’t clear to me whether the issue was that Fox Rothschild LLP did not want to be known for suing thousands of bittorrent users in a copyright troll-like fashion, or whether there was a power struggle between Lincoln Bandlow, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, and the other @foxrothschild.com attorneys from other offices across the US who were filing bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases under Lincoln’s direction.

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PERHAPS the Strike 3 Holdings local attorneys wanted to be compensated for the time they spent in filing the cases — for example, in their annual billable hours requirement that attorneys working for a law firm often face.

Or, PERHAPS there was a disagreement about MONEY, namely, which attorneys would be financially compensated when a Strike 3 Holdings settlement is paid. MAYBE one attorney “owned” the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client (my guess, Lincoln), and PERHAPS only he was compensated on a contingency basis for each of the clients who settled.

Who knows what was really going on behind the scenes.

THE FIRST DEFECTION: JOHN ATKIN.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that John Atkin (one of Lincoln Bandlow’s local counsel) broke away from Fox Rothschild and started his own law firm — The Atkin Firm, LLC.

Atkin then started filing Strike 3 Holdings LLC cases using his own law firm as the attorney representing Strike 3 Holdings, LLC. It occurred to me that PERHAPS John Atkin’s flight from Fox Rothschild LLP could be a defection because he was taking the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client with him.

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Alternatively, as many copyright troll attorneys have done in the past, they calculate how much money they could make in commissions (contingency fees) if they themselves take a percentage of every settlement amount paid by a Strike 3 Holdings John Doe Defendant.

They calculate how quickly they could “get rich” from collecting settlements and they decide to represent the “dark side” of copyright trolling; in representing the copyright troll, they become a copyright troll attorney themselves (a plaintiff attorney who files cookie-cutter lawsuits in federal court with the purpose of collecting settlements from each and every defendant who is sued, regardless of whether the defendant actually did the download or not).

With my potential apologies to John Atkin (for whom I do not yet know the circumstances behind his defection from Fox Rothschild LLP), my initial thought was “here is another copyright troll attorney who thinks he could get rich suing defendants.” However, to my surprise, a week ago, I saw a second defection from Fox Rothschild LLP which was a surprise to me.

THE SECOND DEFECTION: LINCOLN BANDLOW.

To my shock, this past week, Lincoln Bandlow (partner) left Fox Rothschild and started his own law firm — “Lincoln Balndlow Law (BandlowLaw.com),” or the “Law Offices of Lincoln Bandlow, P.C.”. The “kingpin” left the law firm which [presumably] he worked many years to climb the ladder and become a partner. Why?!?

The answer is that I simply don’t yet know. I could only assume that the other Fox Rothschild LLP partners did not allow him to run the Strike 3 Holdings cases the way he wanted to run them. Or, perhaps the other partners were taking a large share of the settlement profits, all of which Lincoln could take for himself if he was not tethered to a law firm who pays him a salary.

Thus, Lincoln Bandlow, partner of Fox Rothschild LLP defected too, and started his own law firm… and he took the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client with him (or so it seemed).

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CONFUSION: WHICH ATTORNEY HAS ACTUAL AUTHORITY TO REPRESENT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS?

The confusion as to which attorney had authority to represent Strike 3 Holdings, LLC became apparent on the court dockets of the hundreds of Strike 3 Holdings LLC cases across the US.

The new cases now list John Atkin of The Atkin Firm, LLC as the “lead attorney – attorney to be noticed” on the court dockets. This implies that JOHN ATKIN’S FIRM has authority to represent Strike 3 Holdings, LLC in these cases and NOT FOX ROTHSCHILD.

However, until now, Fox Rothschild LLP has been running ALL of the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases with with Lincoln Bandlow (partner) as the known “kingpin” of the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases.

Two sets of attorneys, each one claiming that they alone are representing the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client.

Then when Lincoln Bandlow left Fox Rothschild LLP, the problem compounded itself. Now on dockets across the US, names like Shireen Nasir of Fox Rothschild, or Andy Nikolopoulos and David Grant Crooks of Fox Rothschild, are STILL LISTED as the attorney of record, but their “kingpin boss” Lincoln Bandlow no longer works for the firm.

Lincoln presumably took the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client with him when he left, and even now, he is still representing the Strike 3 Holdings LLC client.

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With different attorneys claiming to each represent the same client, and apparently the “wrong” attorney is listed on the case dockets across the US, there was (and in some cases, still is) confusion as to which plaintiff attorney is authorized to represent Strike 3 Holdings LLC.

THE PROBLEM: THE WRONG ATTORNEYS ARE LISTED ON STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS DOCKETS

Honestly, I don’t care if attorneys have a “turf war” over a client, but there is a duty to properly list the attorney representing the client on the court docket. Otherwise, how would we know who to contact when sending over a letter of representation to the “other side”?

If the former attorney [of Fox Rothschild LLP] is no longer representing the client, that attorney needs to either withdraw as that client’s attorney, or they need to replace themselves with the attorney having actual authority to represent the Strike 3 Holdings, LLC client.

It is an confusing problem to have one attorney represent the Strike 3 Holdings client on the court docket, and to have another attorney claim to be Strike 3 Holdings’ attorney.

THE SOLUTION: FRACTURED DECENTRALIZED AUTONOMY OF DIFFERENT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS ATTORNEYS

Just so that we are clear, I am pretty sure this “turf war” within the Strike 3 Holdings attorneys is probably still going on.

I think that at the moment, Lincoln Bandlow and John Atkin are negotiating with Emilie Kennedy, the General Counsel for Strike 3 Holdings, LLC (and former attorney to Keith Lipscomb, the former “kingpin” of the Malibu Media, LLC cases) to determine which of them have AUTONOMY to handle which Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases in which federal courts.

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I also assume that Jackie James (in NY, NJ, CT) also is in the process of (or has already negotiated) autonomy in deciding how to run the cases and how to be compensated for her efforts in the cases she has filed.

Thus, I suspect that we will soon be seeing multiple attorneys each with authority to negotiate the claims on behalf of Strike 3 Holdings, LLC.

RECENT STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS CASES (AS OF 4/1/2019)

Recent Cases filed in the Florida Middle District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. John Doe subscriber… (6:19-cv-00629), (6:19-cv-00631), (3:19-cv-00492), (3:19-cv-00495)
…IP address 172.5.54.85 (3:19-cv-00493)
…IP address 184.88.18.146 (5:19-cv-00216)
…IP address 184.89.213.178 (5:19-cv-00217)
…IP address 47.196.188.17 (8:19-cv-00779)
…IP address 47.199.238.60 (8:19-cv-00781)
…IP address 47.199.239.139 (8:19-cv-00782)
…IP address 47.199.247.145 (8:19-cv-00783)
…IP address 67.174.8.201 (5:19-cv-00215)
…IP address 67.190.196.212 (3:19-cv-00504)
…IP address 70.126.192.176 (8:19-cv-00784)
…IP address 71.199.255.8 (3:19-cv-00505)
…IP address 73.171.208.61 (3:19-cv-00506)
…IP address 73.224.41.91 (3:19-cv-00507)
…IP address 97.101.29.186, an individual (3:19-cv-00509)
…IP address 97.101.82.7 (5:19-cv-00218)
…IP address 98.231.74.245 (3:19-cv-00508)
…IP address 99.42.93.24 (3:19-cv-00496)
…IP address 99.5.68.72 (3:19-cv-00502)

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Recent Cases filed in the Michigan Eastern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. John Doe subscriber assigned IP Address 108.223.196.143 (2:19-cv-11251)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 162.228.98.144 (2:19-cv-11256)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 23.117.52.196 (2:19-cv-11257)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 75.38.255.135 (2:19-cv-11259)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 76.243.106.115 (2:19-cv-11260)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 99.120.227.28 (2:19-cv-11261)
…subscriber assigned IP Address 99.186.113.152 (2:19-cv-11263)

Recent Cases filed in the New Jersey District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 HOLDINGS, LLC v. JOHN DOE SUBSCRIBER ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 100.1.31.190 (2:19-cv-10239)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 100.8.22.2 (2:19-cv-10240)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.35.12.169 (2:19-cv-10242)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.35.139.176 (3:19-cv-10278)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.35.80.90 (2:19-cv-10244)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.53.110.45 (3:19-cv-10279)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 108.53.238.210 (2:19-cv-10246)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.54.58.54 (2:19-cv-10248)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.118.229 (2:19-cv-10249)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.201.22 (3:19-cv-10281)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 173.63.37.82 (3:19-cv-10282)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 24.0.8.134 (2:19-cv-10227)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.10.213.127 (2:19-cv-10229)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.194.88.76 (3:19-cv-10265)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.195.21.87 (3:19-cv-10270)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 73.80.191.41 (3:19-cv-10236)
…ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS 96.234.70.188 (2:19-cv-10258)

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Recent Cases filed in the New York Eastern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (2:19-cv-02469), (2:19-cv-02472), (2:19-cv-02473), (2:19-cv-02474), (2:19-cv-02476), (2:19-cv-02480), (2:19-cv-02481), (2:19-cv-02482), (2:19-cv-02483), (2:19-cv-02485)

Recent Cases filed in the New York Northern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (1:19-cv-00482), (1:19-cv-00483), (5:19-cv-00484), (5:19-cv-00485), (5:19-cv-00486)

Recent Cases filed in the New York Southern District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (1:19-cv-03713), (1:19-cv-03714), (1:19-cv-03715), (1:19-cv-03716), (1:19-cv-03717), (1:19-cv-03718), (1:19-cv-03719), (1:19-cv-03720), (1:19-cv-03721), (1:19-cv-03722), (1:19-cv-03723), (1:19-cv-03724), 7:19-cv-03725), (7:19-cv-03726), (7:19-cv-03727), (7:19-cv-03728), (7:19-cv-03729), (7:19-cv-03730)

Recent Cases filed in the New York Western District Court (as of 4/1/2019)
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC v. Doe (1:19-cv-00534), (1:19-cv-00535), (6:19-cv-06302)

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


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Strike 3 Holdings 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 LLC case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

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.

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