RIGHTSENFORCEMENT (New MPAA Movies Gone Copyright Troll)

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’).

JULY, 2017 –UPDATE– : Carl Crowell’s Rights Enforcement client list is growing.  New RightsEnforcement Movie Clients for Future Copyright Lawsuits as of July, 2017 have now been posted here.

Also, to learn more about RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT and everything I know about them to date, click here.

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | Screenshot 1

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)
  • Rage
  • Rumble
  • Undisputed 4
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | Screenshot 2

  • Bedeviled
  • Christmas All Over Again
  • Killer Joe
  • Lady Bloodfight
  • Maximum Conviction
  • Navy Seals: The Battle For New Orleans
  • Playing Cool
  • The Company You Keep

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | wwe-studios-finance-corp-eliminators-movie-lawsuit

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | me2-mechanic-resurrection-lawsuit

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | Screenshot 5 | salt-and-fire | cook-productions-mr.-church

  • The Humbling
  • Salt and Fire
  • Queen of the Desert
  • Close Range

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | Screenshot 6

  • Good Kill
  • Charlie Countryman
  • Sniper: Special Ops
  • Life on the Line
  • Cabin Fever Reboot
  • Return to Sender

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com | Screenshot 7

  • Countdown
  • 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.

ME2 Utah Subpoenas from CenturyLink Are Coming Due.

Subpoenas Sent to CenturyLink to expose identities of ME2 Utah Defendants due 4/28.

ME2 Utah cases have been blazing since they were filed early in March, and now the subpoenas for those cases are coming due this week.

Who is the attorney for the ME2 Utah cases?

The ‘copyright troll’ attorney in Utah who filed these cases is Todd Zenger (“Todd E. Zenger”), and he works for Kirton McConkie in Salt Lake City, Utah. Any e-mails coming from “[email protected],” or calls from his “801-328-3600” phone number (or any 801-328-XXXX phone number should cause you to be wary that you have a Utah ME2 copyright troll trying to scare you into settling with him for thousands of dollars.

Are Utah ME2 Productions, Inc. cases any different from those filed in other states?

Really, no.  I have already written much about the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases, and the Utah ME2 cases are no different from the cases filed in other states. The following articles should be helpful in understanding the ME2 Utah cases as well:

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ONE PAGE ABOUT YOUR ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC. “MECHANIC:RESURRECTION” LAWSUIT AND ISP SUBPOENA.

Just like the other cases, the Utah ME2 Productions, Inc. cases are suing for copyright infringement based on the the illegal download of the Mechanic: Resurrection movie, starring Jason Statham and Jessica Alba. The lawsuits are all copyright infringement lawsuits filed in the Federal Courts, and each lawsuit sues for statutory damages of $150,000 (but don’t let that large number scare you, because baked into copyright infringement law is the concept of ‘minimum statutory damages’ as well).

Accused ME2 Utah-based internet users are made aware of these cases when they are sent a letter from their ISP (CenturyLink), which informs them 1) they are implicated as a “John Doe” Defendant in this case, and 2) the ISP is bound by a subpoena to share the account holder’s contact information (and relevant information about their IP address’ involvement in the case) on a certain due date unless the subscriber files an objection with the court (referring to a “motion to quash”).

Why is this article relevant now (and for the next week or so)?

The reason why I am writing this article is because starting THIS FRIDAY (and continuing for the next week), the ME2 Utah-based subpoenas sent to CenturyLink demanding that they turn over the identities of the Utah ME2 John Doe Defendants are coming due. Most relevant, the next deadline is this Friday, 4/28.

What should I expect after 4/28 once CenturyLink complies with the subpoenas?

The expectation following this 4/28 deadline is that Todd Zenger will start sending out settlement demand letters to Utah ME2 John Doe Defendants, explaining that they have been sued for $150,000, and that their ISP has identified them as being the downloader. That their ISP identified them as the infringer is actually not true, as the ISP will have only identified that their IP address was ‘in the room’ when bittorrent downloading was happening.

However, Todd Zenger’s cases do not state that each John Doe Defendant is the actual infringer, nor does he provide evidence in the form of a PCAP file that any of the Utah ME2 defendants actually committed copyright infringement or downloaded a large enough piece of the movie to be considered “substantially similar” to the copyrighted film. However, it will have to be up to the judges (and us attorneys) to inform them that Todd Zenger is not in possession of the Guardaley evidence he allegedly claims to have.

Who are the federal judges assigned to the ME2 Utah Cases?

The Utah ME2 cases (thus far) are evenly spread between the following judges.  I wouldn’t be surprised if moving forward, one judge, e.g., Judge Evelyn Furse will take over the other cases to have uniform decisions across the Utah ME2 cases.

Judge David Nuffer:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00198)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-12 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00224)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-29 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00190)

Judge Paul M. Warner:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-26 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00199)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-14 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00225)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-22 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00189)

Judge Evelyn J Furse:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00179)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00169)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00178)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00158)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00157)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-26 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00168)

Judge Jill N. Parrish:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-22 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00200)

Judge Dustin B. Pead:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-27 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00191)

Judge Ted Stewart:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-24 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00223)

What are your options in defending or resolving claims in a ME2 Utah-based case?

If you have read this far, you are likely one of the John Doe Defendants in this case, and thus here are your options on how our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC (or any other competent copyright litigation attorney) can help you in this case.

OPTION 1: FIGHT

In this option, your attorney would fight this case on your behalf. Since the ME2 scam has been exposed, the inherent weaknesses in Todd Zenger’s case are now well known. This option is more expensive than the other options, but it is probably the most satisfying option when you win and ask for attorney fees from ME2 Productions.

OPTION 2: SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS

Settlement negotiations does not mean that you downloaded the movie or that you are guilty of copyright infringement. Rather, it simply means that you want to pay to have the plaintiff attorney dismiss you from the lawsuit. This option can be used by both ‘guilty’ and ‘innocent’ defendants. While I do not recommend an innocent defendant pay ANYTHING to settle the claims against him, I do not judge defendants when they choose this option.

OPTION 3: “NO SETTLEMENT REPRESENTATION”

This is the discounted “no settlement” representation route that I discussed here. In the span of 2-3 hours, I would consult with the client, send over a letter of representation to the plaintiff attorney (to stop him from contacting the client directly). I would then draft a letter to the plaintiff explaining that my client did not do the download, and that we are not interested in anything other than a walkaway settlement, meaning that my client pays no settlement. The purpose of this representation is to put Todd Zenger on notice that my client is not the infringer he is looking for.

OPTION 4: “IGNORE” ROUTE REPRESENTATION

The ignore route is best described as ‘playing chicken.’ I best described the “ignore” route, and how it differs from the “no settlement representation” route here. The assumption with the “ignore” route is that Todd Zenger is not yet naming and serving defendants in this case, so you would hire our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC to monitor the case for you. We would send over a letter of representation indicating that we are representing you in the case, but we would not engage in settlement negotiations.

The intended client for the ‘ignore’ route is the innocent client that wishes to have a more ‘hands on’ engagement with their case over the “no settlement” representation letter route, where their attorney is actively monitoring the case and having active discussions with the plaintiff attorney. Both ‘guilty’ and ‘non-guilty’ defendants can utilize the “ignore” route, as this option is adjustable based on the circumstances of the client. If Todd Zenger decides to start naming and serving defendants, a ‘guilty’ client would likely have me open up settlement negotiations on his behalf, whereas a non-guilty client would instruct me to not settle and adhere to the ‘ignore’ strategy. Obviously getting named and served while in this strategy would be cause to decide whether to shift strategies to the “fight” or “settle” strategy, which is fine.

OPTION 5: ARGUE “MINIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES” REPRESENTATION

I discussed the “argue minimum statutory damages” representation option last night in this article. The purpose of this option is to take the settlement negotiations away from a misbehaving plaintiff attorney. Instead of negotiating a settlement (where the plaintiff is asking for too much money), we would file an answer with the court admitting infringement, and we would then make the case for the judge to award minimum statutory damages of $750.

The intended client for the “minimum statutory damages” representation route is a client who did the download and either does not want to go through settlement negotiations, or who wants to take settlement negotiations out of the hands of the plaintiff attorney / copyright troll and leave the damages up to the judge to decide. Obviously since we are admitting guilt in this option, it is appropriate for the client to have done the download to use this strategy.

However you decide to proceed, if I can be of assistance or answer any questions about your ME2 Utah case, please let me know.

*UPDATE (APRIL, 2017)* ME2 PRODUCTIONS INC. (FAQ) PAGE NOW UP.

*UPDATE (JULY, 2017)* SECOND WAVE OF LAWSUIT SUBPOENAS sent to CenturyLink ISP subscribers, and are due on 7/14/2017.


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.

STRATEGY: Have attorney argue for Minimum Statutory Damages ($750+fees)

Asking for $750 Minimum Statutory Damages is not as scary as you might think.

Minimum statutory damages for copyright infringement is $750. Copyright trolls and their attorneys scare accused downloaders with the $150,000 number in EVERY SINGLE SETTLEMENT DEMAND LETTER. But baked into the copyright laws is that ‘minimum statutory damages’ number, which is $750.

If you think about it, if you are caught drunk driving (a dangerous act where you can kill people), in Texas, you can be fined a few hundred to two thousand dollars and spend between three and 180 days in jail. If you steal something or are caught shoplifting (or you are caught purchasing or accepting stolen property), in Texas you can be charged with larceny and would have to pay a fee as low as $50 or as high as a few thousand dollars depending on the cost of the goods stolen.

Minimum Statutory Damages | Strategy to Admit Guilt
succo / Pixabay

When you “steal” copyrighted content by downloading it via bittorrent or streaming it via some ‘tube’ website or using software such as Kodi, you are depriving the copyright holder of the cost of the movie ticket (~$12) for the movie you did not see in the theater, or the cost of the DVD (~$30) that you did not purchase on Amazon.com because instead you pirated the film. These are what are called “ACTUAL DAMAGES“.

STATUTORY DAMAGES are something else. The law says that the copyright holder does not need to prove actual damages, and can rely on damages that the law thinks he is entitled to under the copyright laws. Baked into statutory damages is the concept of “minimum damages” which easily includes the theft of a video or a movie via a bittorrent download.

So when a plaintiff attorney / copyright troll scares you with that $150,000 number, understand that if you simply hung up the phone with that copyright troll and hired our firm to ‘file an answer with the court admitting guilt and arguing for minimum statutory damages’, there is a strong case for your judge to award minimum statutory damages to the plaintiff attorney.

What an “Argue Minimum Statutory Damages” strategy would cost.

But what exactly would the minimum statutory damages look like? Obviously, add $750 for the minimum statutory damages itself.

+$750 minimum statutory damages

Then, copyright laws give the ‘winner’ of the lawsuit the right to collect their attorney fees from the ‘losing’ side. Since we would quickly and actively file an answer on your behalf admitting guilt, the plaintiff attorney would not have had any out of pocket costs except the $400 filing fee (which in most cases is split between 10-15 defendants), so add another $40.

+$40 filing fees and costs split among the ten ‘John Doe” defendants

Then, the plaintiff attorney spent “a few hours” filing the boilerplate complaint (he has done this probably 100+ times already, so it didn’t take him a long time to file your lawsuit) and providing the court the documents he has already done many times already. Thus, estimate another $750-$1500 for the attorney fees to the ‘prevailing party’ (the ‘winner’).

+$1,500 attorney fees to the prevailing party (assuming that much time was even spent on the case).

———————————————————–
Then add everything up.
———————————————————–

+ $750 minimum statutory damages
+ $40 filing fees split among defendants
+ $1,500 attorney fees (if even that much)
———————————————————–
Total Estimated Cost: $2,290 for having your attorney ‘plead guilty’ on your behalf.

What about the fee to your own lawyer? Here is what you pay for:

STEPS YOUR ATTORNEY WOULD TAKE TO ARGUE “MINIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES”:

Here are the steps we would take on your behalf in order to implement the minimum statutory damages strategy.

1) We send a letter to your plaintiff attorney and file a notice of representation with the court.
2) We open up discussions with the plaintiff attorney. Discuss evidence. If relevant, discuss settlement.
3) If the attorney is being unreasonable in the settlement negotiations, we cut off settlement negotiations and file an answer with the court admitting guilt. In our answer, we make argument for minimum damages.

Who would benefit from an “argue minimum statutory damages” strategy?

Now obviously the “argue minimum statutory damages” strategy is best used with an accused downloader who has actually done the download and does not wish to defend against a copyright infringement lawsuit (e.g., he does not have a ‘clean’ hard drive, and/or the infringing file is still on his hard drive).  This strategy is also best used in the situation where the plaintiff attorney / copyright troll is being greedy, unreasonable, or abusive in the settlement negotiations.  There is no need to argue with an uncooperative copyright troll if you can get a comparable result by simply admitting guilt and arguing for minimum statutory damages.

Is this an effective strategy even if you did not do the download?

NO.  1) There is no reason to settle if you did not do the download.  2) This strategy involves admitting guilt.  The purpose of this strategy is simply to take the settlement negotiations out of the hands of the plaintiff attorney / copyright troll.

If you did NOT do the download, there are other less expensive strategies, such as the “no settlement” representation strategy or the “ignore” route.  Alternatively, your attorney can file a motion to dismiss and dispense of the lawsuit quickly based on the inherent weaknesses of the case.

Why would someone guilty of copyright infringement use the “argue minimum statutory damages” strategy?

Plaintiff attorneys / copyright trolls seem to have their own calculus as to who they ‘let off’ and who they ‘nail’ in a settlement negotiation.  In other words, if they like you (or your Cashman Law Firm, PLLC attorney has leverage over them), they’ll give you a good settlement deal.  If they don’t like you, or if you fit into a category which copyright trolls believe that you have a vulnerability exposed, they can and often *WILL* take advantage of you (e.g., if you are elderly, or if you are a war veteran, or if they believe you can pay a higher settlement, etc.).

The strategy of having your attorney argue for minimum statutory damages is a good way to take the power away from the copyright troll.  If the plaintiff attorney is taking advantage of your situation, you can take the settlement negotiations away from him.  In essence, it is forcing the copyright troll to accept a lower settlement amount than he would have proposed in a settlement negotiation.

To embarrass a troll.

Arguing for minimum statutory damages is the reason someone who did the bittorrent download would employ this strategy.  However, there is the additional nudge or motivation in doing this strategy — to expose the tactics of the copyright troll.  If a plaintiff attorney is using abusive tactics, or he is hiding his tactics behind a “FRE 408” header on his e-mail, you can use this strategy to expose his conduct to the judge.

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE 408), settlement negotiations are not admissible in court, unless they are brought into evidence to show bias, prejudice, or some other valid reason (e.g., abusive conduct or harassment in the context of settlement negotiations).  There is a lot of latitude for an attorney who is filing an answer admitting guilt and asking the court to grant him his wishes to quickly and efficiently terminate the proceedings.  Within this latitude is the ability for the attorney to share with the judge the contents of the settlement negotiations prior to filing the answer in order to help the judge understand that the plaintiff attorney was employing abusive settlement tactics in order to resolve his $12 lost movie ticket / $30 lost DVD sale claim.

Would our firm also argue the other inherent weaknesses of the plaintiff’s case in an “argue minimum statutory damages” strategy?

Honestly, it is not needed.  There are a number of additional strategies that can be employed to protect an accused defendant (especially since the plaintiff attorney likely does not have actual evidence of copyright infringement), but the goal in the “argue minimum statutory damages” strategy is simply to quickly dispose of the lawsuit with the minimal amount of costs to the defendant.

Obviously there *are* inherent weaknesses in the copyright troll’s case which can be addressed in a more comprehensive defense strategy (e.g., by filing a motion to dismiss with the court) and then if that fails, filing an answer admitting guilt and arguing for statutory damages.  However, this is not the purpose of this strategy.  (As to the motion to dismiss because of the other issues inherent to the case, e.g., improper joinder, no evidence, improper pleadings, etc., I will be writing about these weaknesses in coming articles.)

IN SUMMARY, CONSIDER ARGUING FOR MINIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES (IF YOUR TROLL IS MISBEHAVING).

If your copyright troll is being unreasonable in settlement negotiations, consider having your attorney (us, or whoever you use) file an answer with the court admitting guilt and argue for minimum statutory damages. Even if you were caught doing the download, you don’t need to give in to a ransom settlement. Copyright law has already anticipated your infringement, and there is a strong likelihood that a judge (especially one who sees many ‘copyright troll’ lawsuits from this same plaintiff) knows the scam these copyright holders are running, and they will be sympathetic to a defendant who employs this strategy.  Why?  This is a quick resolution to a copyright troll who is taking advantage of a downloader and asking for more than he should, and judges love ‘judicial economy’.

Obviously if you have any questions about what I have written here, please feel free to SPEAK TO ME and ask me questions about your case. There are many ways to take care of the claims against you without giving in to the settlement demands of the plaintiff copyright troll. Also, each defendant has different circumstances, so this article (or more generally, ANYTHING I write in this blog) is not meant to be legal advice or magical pills for you to get out of this lawsuit scott free. Trust that I have spent literally SEVEN YEARS fighting copyright trolls, and so there are many ways to approach your case. Admitting guilt and making the argument for minimum statutory damages is simply one more tool we have at our disposal to handle a plaintiff attorney who is not ‘playing nice.’

“No Settlement” vs. “Ignore” Route Representation

Tweaking an old strategy for a more effective one.

For those of you who speak to me on Twitter, I am working on implementing a new strategy based on Matthew Sag’s “Defense Against The Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper.  Most relevant to this is finding representation for John Doe Defendants who did not do the download and who rightfully do not want to pay settle the claims against them.

Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC for years has represented clients in what we called “ignore” route representation, where we would not settle the claims against the John Doe clients (unlike settlement factories who did).  While the “ignore” route representation strategy was very effective for many years, in recent years where plaintiff attorneys name and serve defendants, it has lost some of its effectiveness.

The need for a low-cost strategy to represent innocent defendants.

Come Matthew Sag’s “Defense Against The Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper, where he suggests that attorney provide a low cost service to innocent defendants to “call the copyright troll’s bluff,” so to speak.  Our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC is working on how to implement the strategy, and we are looking to focus it on those who did not do the download.

THE PROPOSED “NO SETTLEMENT” REPRESENTATION STRATEGY

COMPARING IT TO OUR FORMER “IGNORE” ROUTE REPRESENTATION STRATEGY

WE ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT

A strategy is only as good as those who implement the strategy.  While we may develop the strategy further, we ask for your support in publicizing the existence of this strategy.  We also ask for support from other attorneys to provide their clients a strategy such as this one.

Should you find in our community of attorneys an attorney who is taking clients at a low cost and sending the ‘innocence’ letters as we propose in this strategy, but clients taken are not innocent, this could ruin the credibility of the strategy.  Similarly, we ask attorneys to adhere to the ‘no settlement’ stance, and not to give in to ‘nuisance’ settlement payments.  Although a nuisance settlement can be a few hundred or a few thousand dollars here or there, this is exactly what will perpetuate the copyright troll scheme, and will keep the copyright trolls in business and thriving.

CREDIT GIVEN WHERE CREDIT DUE.

We credit Matthew Sag and his”Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper for exposing to the world the problems with the copyright troll lawsuits, and we look forward to seeing an end to copyright trolling once and for all.

-Rob Cashman, Author of the TorrentLawyer blog, and owner of the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC