Category Archives: Venice PI LLC

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

NY Copyright Troll Bryan DeMatteo and His Split Court.

Bryan DeMatteo is the attorney suing John Doe Defendants in the 2017 bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits in New York.  These New York bittorrent lawsuits involve “copyright trolls” such as ME2 Productions, Inc. (NY) (a.k.a. the Mechanic: Resurrection movie lawsuits), UN4 Productions, Inc. (NY) (the Boyka: Undisputed 4 movie lawsuits), Venice PI, LLC (NY) (the Once Upon a Time in Venice movie lawsuits), and more recently, Headhunter LLC (NY) (the “A Family Man” movie lawsuits).

As a NY Licensed Attorney for 10 Years, My Thoughts on Bryan DeMatteo and His Lawsuits.

Bryan DeMatteo runs DeMatteo Law, PLLC from the 5th Floor of 830 3rd Avenue in New York City (Midtown).  I have dealt with him before, and he is anything but an “empty shell” attorney that I poke fun at on this blog.  It was suggested that his cases are “just like any other bittorrent case” which is true as far as who his clients are, but Bryan fights his case differently from other plaintiff attorneys I have faced before.  In short, be careful when hiring counsel to oppose this attorney, because he separates apart his lawsuits into different kinds of copyright infringement, and any “settlement factory” attorney will be caught off guard by this.

I became an attorney over ten years ago in New York, and I have been practicing law and representing New York clients for ten years.

While our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC was formed in Texas in 2010, our law firm continues to represent New York clients.  [Why?  Because New York is where I was born, and where I grew up playing stickball on the streets of Brooklyn.  It is where I went to law school, and where I have all my roots as a New York licensed attorney.]

Bryan DeMatteo and the New York “Movie” Bittorrent Lawsuits

For the recent “movie” cases, Carl Crowell has an attorney who I have dealt with before — Bryan DeMatteo.

Bryan DeMatteo (also a patent attorney) is now suing defendants in the US District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.  Bryan DeMatteo is suing for the same four copyright holders I have discussed before in other articles:

Bryan DeMatteo Cases - A Family Man, Headhunter LLC | Mechanic: Resurrection ME2 Productions | Once Upon a Time in Venice, Venice PI | Boyka: Undisputed 4, UN4 Productions

What do I need to know about New York Attorney Bryan DeMatteo?

In representing a New York client, there are a few things to understand about Bryan N. DeMatteo of DeMatteo Law, PLLC:

1) Be sure to understand the innuendos of bittorrent technology.  He does.

Bryan DeMatteo believes in the validity of these bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits, which separates him from what I refer to as the “empty shell” local counsel plaintiff attorneys who I have seen read scripts provided to them by their copyright holder clients. In speaking to him (obviously it is best to have an attorney speak to him on your behalf), be sure you understand the innuendos of bittorrent technology, because he does. Show your incompetence, and he’ll likely plow right over your ignorance.

2) Bryan DeMatteo is on a mission to rectify a split in the NY Southern District Court.

Second. Bryan DeMatteo is faced with a SPLIT IN THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT COURT which he is fighting an uphill battle to rectify.

This split happened in 2012, when our law firm (Cashman Law Firm, PLLC) was representing clients against Mike Meier (the plaintiff attorney at the time) in the Digital Sin[s] v. John Does 1-234 (Case No. 1:11-cv-08170) case.  This case [into which all other NY bittorrent cases were combined] caused the controversy Bryan DeMatteo is looking to rectify.

Digital Sin New York Bittorrent Cases affecting Bryan DeMatteo
Remember the Digital Sin, Inc. (NY) cases from 2012?

While the details of the split are not relevant, in 2012, many things happened.

1) We were successful in having the judges consolidate and freeze all of the smaller bittorrent cases in New York into one case.

See:
2012 Article #1, “New York Judge consolidates and freezes SMALLER BITTORRENT CASES for plaintiff attorney.
2012 Article #2, “More of Mike Meier NY bittorrent cases consolidated.
2012 Article #3, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? New York’s split Southern District Court

2) Because the New York bittorrent cases were facing joinder problems (which the judges recognized as a valid problem in most of the New York bittorrent cases at the time), the John Doe Defendants in the New York bittorrent cases were severed and dismissed.

However, as a response to the dismissal, the plaintiff attorney would turn around and sue those same defendants as new John Doe Defendants in a second bittorrent case.  This angered the judges.

“Lest plaintiff’s counsel think he can simply put cases against the severed and dismissed John Doe defendants into the wheel for assignment to yet another judge, I remind him of Local Civil Rule 1.6(a) [which requires the plaintiff attorney to bring the existence of potentially related cases to the attention of the Court].”

In sum, we were successful in forcing the plaintiff attorney to disclose whether these John Does were sued before, and in which cases they were sued.

3) Judges suggested that the New York plaintiff attorney pay 244 filing fees for 244 defendants x $350 each, rather than allowing him to pay one $350 fee [the fee in 2012 to file a lawsuit] to sue them all.

“They are dismissed because the plaintiff has not paid the filing fee that is statutorily required to bring these 244 separate lawsuits.” (p.4)

This would have amounted to $85,400 in filing fees if Digital Sin, Inc. wanted to go after the dismissed defendants from this case.

Needless to say, every one of our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC clients in the case were dismissed, and they were never filed against again. Since then, the three-year statute of limitations has run, and the plaintiff has lost the opportunity to sue my clients. Congratulations once again on hard earned, good results.

Jump to 2017, Effects of 2012 on Bryan DeMatteo's NY Bittorrent Cases
geralt / Pixabay

Since 2012, FIVE YEARS have passed, and now we have Bryan DeMatteo to contend with.

To bring you up to speed, it has been five (5) years since the Southern District of New York fiasco happened. While the rulings happened to Mike Meier and his Digital Sin, Inc. client, the “law” created by these cases is still binding on Bryan DeMatteo, and his New York ME2 Productions, Inc., New York UN4 Productions, Inc., New York Venice PI, LLC and New York Headhunter LLC lawsuits. He knows this, and thus his job in proving the validity of his cases is a complicated job.

In Sum: Unintended Consequences from 2012 => Bryan DeMatteo.

Unfortunately, as exciting as was was when our New York Southern District Court went “belly-up” for copyright trolls, the unintended consequence of our activities from five years ago is that now we have Bryan DeMatteo who has taken on these cases with “something to prove.”

In sum, New York bittorrent lawsuits are not a place for the weak minded, nor are they a place for someone not intricately familiar with the innuendos of copyright infringement. For cases against Bryan DeMatteo, it is best to have someone who knows the New York courts, who knows many of the New York federal judges, and who has had experience in fighting bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases in New York. Obviously I am one of them, and I have been fighting these cases since they were first filed in 2010.

I want to point out that as a result of this case (and other events that surrounded this case), Mike Meier is no longer filing bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits in New York, and until recently (as Sophisticated Jane Doe properly put it), “Trolls are not welcome in the Southern District of New York anymore.

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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.

Bryan DeMatteo New York Southern & Eastern District Cases:

New York ME2 Productions Cases filed by Bryan DeMatteo (NY)

New York ME2 Productions, Inc. et al v. Doe-98.113.28.221 (Case No. 1:17-cv-02175)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-184.75.90.162 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-02645)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-24.193.144.240 (Case No. 1:17-cv-01456)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-67.245.46.234 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-03467)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-67.85.69.69 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05701)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-68.194.180.74 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-00929)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-69.125.223.48 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-01196)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-72.225.199.92 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-02284)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-72.226.55.88 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-01604)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-74.71.172.215 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-01049)
New York ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-98.14.173.58 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-02717)

New York Headhunter LLC Cases filed by Bryan DeMatteo (NY)

New York Headhunter LLC v. Doe-173.56.227.169 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05314)
New York Headhunter LLC v. Doe-69.124.0.132 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04155)
New York Headhunter LLC v. Doe-72.80.132.46 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05895)

New York UN4 Productions Cases filed by Bryan DeMatteo (NY)

New York UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-108.29.50.167 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-03698)
New York UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-173.68.177.95 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-03278)
New York UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-184.152.88.112 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04817)
New York UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-67.243.172.121 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-03621)
New York UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-72.89.251.15 (Case No. 1:17-cv-04400)
New York UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-74.88.64.129 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04887)

New York Venice PI Cases filed by Bryan DeMatteo (NY):

New York Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-24.187.92.79 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04904)
New York Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-24.44.143.124 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04249)
New York Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-66.108.113.178 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05594)
New York Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-68.173.101.58 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04076)