RightsEnforcement.com (Carl Crowell and his ilk) have been quiet lately as far as the DMCA notices go, but the movie lawsuits press on. Now they have NEW MOVIE TITLES that they will be suing on in the coming weeks and months. It is worth mentioning that since I began writing about RIGHTSENFORCEMENT (I have to put their name in caps since it just looks awkward when writing it out), the company got quiet — not because of me or anything I wrote on the topic — but now I understand that they were spending their time continuing the Voltage Pictures business model and obtaining new contracts with new movie companies with the intent of ‘enforcing’ or suing John Doe Defendants who download those films (and as always, recruiting new ISPs to send their DMCA notices, whether by force or by ‘carrot and stick’).
RIGHTSENFORCEMENT represents a ‘common troll’ entity which enforces the copyright rights of other companies who contract with it.
QUICK BACKGROUND: HOW THE SCHEME WORKS.
How I understand this works (source: Dallas Buyers Club lawsuit against copyright trolls Voltage Pictures, Inc., a.k.a., Dallas Buyers Club, LLC). A common troll entity (e.g., Voltage Pictures, Guardaley, MPAA, whoever) contacts the production company for some failed movie that did not make expected profits in the theater. They license the rights to enforce the copyright owned by that movie company. This “common troll” entity would then set up shell entities masquerading as the movie company. These shell entities are LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES, which means that if there is a lawsuit against them, or if they get hit for damages, the damages are limited to the limited liability company itself, and not the criminals ‘behind the veil’ of these companies.
This shell entity files multiple “John Doe” lawsuits across the US using German Company Guardaley (and it’s US shell company counterparts) to provide “expert evidence” that copyright infringement happened via the bittorrent networks. They ask the federal judges to unmask the identities of the ISP subscribers who were assigned the IP address which was involved in the bittorrent lawsuit, and they contact that defendant and ask for a multi-thousand dollar settlement for the ‘loss’ they suffered because of their download.
What movies will this ‘common troll’ sue for in the future?
Some of the new movies on the RIGHTSENFORCEMENT Client List are:
- Larceny (with Dolph Lundgren, “I will break you.”)
- I Am Wrath (with John Travolta)
- Vengeance (with Nicolas Cage)
- USS Indianapolis (with Nicolas Cage)
- Undisputed 4
- A Tale of Love and Darkness
- Christmas All Over Again
- Killer Joe
- Lady Bloodfight
- Maximum Conviction
- Navy Seals: The Battle For New Orleans
- Playing Cool
- The Company You Keep
- The Journey is the Destination
- The Secret Scripture
- The Zero Theorem (see SJD’s Tweet on this movie being included in the list)
- Once Upon a Time in Venice
- The Humbling
- Salt and Fire
- Queen of the Desert
- Close Range
- Good Kill
- Charlie Countryman
- Sniper: Special Ops
- Life on the Line
- Cabin Fever Reboot
- Return to Sender
- Blunt Force Trauma, and
- Wild Horses
Are these famous actors or producers involved in the copyright trolling scheme?
Likely not. It has become apparent that the actors in the movie have absolutely nothing to do with RIGHTSENFORCEMENT, or the copyright trolling that the production company has chosen as their alternate path to making money from the film (their primary method of selling movie tickets flopped). In fact, the actors are usually the victims of both the piracy and the lawsuit, as they benefit from NEITHER.
Is Carl Crowell (the figurehead of RIGHTSENFORCEMENT) behind these lawsuits?
Again, likely not. It is also now apparent that Carl Crowell alone (the ‘owner’ of RIGHTSENFORCEMENT and the RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com website) is likely not the businessman / entrepreneur behind the acquisition of the movie titles. Rather, he and his RIGHTSENFORCEMENT company are most logically patsy figureheads, as was Keith Lipscomb and his now defunct law firm. (On a side note, after all the years we thought that Lipscomb was the villain for the Malibu website, I wonder if he feels like a patsy as well — used and abused by the more powerful copyright trolls, or did Lipscomb make out with windfall profits? It would be interesting to speak to him and have him give his side of the story to ‘spill the guts’ of who these guys behind the RIGHTSENFORCEMENT company and actually are.)
So as much as that was ‘tongue in cheek’ (cliche which has a different meaning if you knew anything about the Malibu lawsuits Lipscomb was filing), realistically Lipscomb is bound by a number of strong contracts where he could probably lose his law license for breach of attorney-client privilege if he disclosed the identity of his ‘client’ — the one who has been filing all of these lawsuits.
If not him, then who? (think, “who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?”)
We don’t need Lipscomb to see who is actually behind these lawsuits. It is becoming apparent (at least in my observation) that the entity behind Carl Crowell’s RIGHTSENFORCEMENT organization is none other than the MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (MPAA) and their lobbyists.
I laugh at myself whenever I say this out loud because the idea that such an apparent ‘legitimate’ organization would engage in such banal legal tactics to monetize their copyrights to compensate for having made failed movies (“floppers”) in the theaters makes me just shake my head in disgust. Then, having learned over the last two years that the same organization is affiliated with OR HAS DIRECTED the pornography lawsuits across the US since 2012 just makes me cringe. “It is just too horrible.”
Why I believe the MPAA/RIAA are behind the movie lawsuits.
I covered why I actually think the MPAA and RIAA are behind the movie lawsuits in depth here, but I’ll quickly recap.
Look at the evidence. The RIAA (a similar but very related organization) was involved in so many lawsuits prior to 2010. They sued and sued, and then all of a sudden in 2010, they went SILENT. The MPAA also sued, my best understanding is using Voltage Pictures, and a bunch of other companies with The Expendables lawsuits, etc., all using the law firm Dunlap Grubb, & Weaver, LLC to file their lawsuit. When those mass bittorrent lawsuits failed, it appears to me (based on the fact that the same Guardaley company was involved in both the movie AND porn lawsuits) that the MPAA and RIAA then encouraged the pornography industry to file lawsuits on their behalf to make headway in the court system to change or break copyright.
I know I wrote “break” copyright, but I have had some time to think about it, and while I am still befuddled by the thought that the MPAA would scheme to have the porn companies file lawsuits for their own benefit to change copyright law, I wonder if they did so because they wanted to create change in the courts because they couldn’t get it done in an ineffective lame Congress.
Anyway, this is still a mystery to me, and it is bigger than me, and I am not the one with authority or power to break the story, expose the MPAA, or investigate the MPAA or the RIAA with any credibility other than my best guesses based on what I see come out in the lawsuit filings and disclosures. It simply must be noted that with the exodus of Lipscomb from the adult film lawsuits and the merging of the RIAA (now embodied in Rightscorp) and the MPAA (with the movie titles) all coming together in Carl Crowell’s RIGHTSENFORCEMENT entity (which is growing in power and in licenses to movie production companies who have signed on with them), I must assume legitimately that there must be a REASON why these movie companies are obediently ‘falling in line’ and signing up with Crowell’s organization. That reason cannot be that there are so many greedy movie production companies in Hollywood who have all of a sudden embraced copyright trolling as a legitimate copyright monetization business strategy. Rather, I believe that reason is that THE RIGHTSENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION AND ITS MOVIE COMPANY CONTRACT DOES NOT BELONG TO CARL CROWELL, BUT TO THE MPAA/RIAA ENTITIES.