What is AGENCY? Can an entity enforce a copyright they do not own? (Think, CEG-TEK.)

Can an agency copyright entity enforce a copyright that they do not own? There was a point where someone raised the question, “should I be afraid that a copyright troll might try to sue or collect money for copyrights they don’t own?” That is an interesting question and certainly this could happen, but apparently CEG-TEK took it seriously since they represent so many copyright holders, and they have altered some of the DMCA letters that they send to accused internet users through their ISPs.

As a response to this question (which I suppose was asked enough times to inspire them to take action upon it), in the most recent versions of the CEG-TEK DMCA letters, there is now often a link to a “certification page” which affirms that CEG-TEK is authorized to collect settlements on behalf of a particular copyright holder.

I clicked on a few of the links, and while a few of them were innocuous (containing only the certification from the copyright holder’s website), some of them were pretty explicit as far as the graphics they show on their websites. I thought it would be a good idea to take a few screenshots and post them here, but after seeing a few of the sites, posting the screenshots here would put our website into the “Not Safe For Work (‘NSFW’)” category (as if it is not already in that category from its content).  I have pasted one below just to show an example of what they look like:

Reality Kings

For some of their other clients, below are some of the links I have collected over the past few weeks (and by NO MEANS is this a complete list of CEG-TEK’s client list. I tried to create such a “List of CEG-TEK clients” in June, 2014, and it backfired because immediately afterwards, so many of the copyright holders scattered and changed their name completely confusing the issue of who is a copyright troll and who is not a copyright troll.) I am merely providing this list as a quick sample to prove the existence of an AGENCY AGREEMENT between CEG-TEK and various copyright holders:

Digital Sin Inc. (a known copyright troll which carries the following brands: Digital Sin Inc, Greedy, Hot Boxxx, Lesbian Provocateur, New Sensations Inc*, The Romance Series, Vengeance XXX, X-Play)

MG Premium Ltd DBA Mofos (formerly, “Froytal Services Ltd.” which carries the following brands: Canshetakeit, Iknowthatgirl, Ingangwebang, Latinasextapes, Letstryanal, Milfslikeitblack, Mofos, Mofosnetwork, Mofosoldschool, Mofosworldwide, Pervsonpatrol, Publicpickups Realslutparty, Shesafreak, Teensatwork)

Porn Pros [also seen as AMA Multimedia, LLC] (which carries the following brands: Drive Shaft, Gay Castings, Gay Room, Man Royale, Men POV, Porn Pros, Pure Passion, Thick and Big, Tiny4K)

MG Premium Ltd DBA Brazzers (formerly, “Froytal Services Ltd.” which carries the following brands: Asses In Public, Baby Got Boobs, Big Butts Like It Big, Big Tits At School, Big Tits At Work, Big Tits In Sports, Big Tits In Uniform, Big Wet Butts, Brazzers, Brazzers Vault, Brazzers Network, Busty And Real, Bustyz, Butts And Black, Day With A Pornstar, Dirty Masseur, Doctor Adventures, Hot And Mean, Hot Chicks Big Asses, HQ Honeys, Jizz On My Juggs, Jugfuckers, Milfs Like It Big, Mommy Got Boobs, Pornstars Like It Big, Racks And Blacks, Real Wife Stories, Sex Pro Adventures, Shes Gonna Squirt, Teens Li)

MG Content RK Limited DBA Reality Kings (formerly, “Manwin Content RK Ltd.” which carries the following brands: 40inchplus, 8thStreetLatinas, Bignaturals, BigTitsBoss, Bikini Crashers, CaptainStabbin, CFNM Secret, Cum Girls, CumFiesta, Cumfu, Dangerous Dongs, EuroSexParties, Extreme Asses, Extreme Naturals, FirstTimeAuditions, FlowerTucci, Footville, Girls of Naked, Happy Tugs, Hot Bush, InTheVip, Itsreal, Kingdong, Kristinslife, Manueluncut, MegaCockCravers, MikeInBrazil, MikesApartment, MilfHunter, MilfNextDoor, Mollyslife, Moms Bang Teens, MoneyTalks, MonsterCurves, Muffia, Mysexylife, Nakedmovie, etc.)

MG Content DP Limited DBA Digital Playground (formerly, “Manwin DP Corp.”)

E.A. Productions / Evil Angel

Addicted 2 Girls

New Sensations Inc. (a known copyright troll which carries the following brands: Digital Sin Inc*, Greedy, Hot Boxxx, Lesbian Provocateur, New Sensations Inc, The Romance Series, Vengeance XXX, X-Play)

MG Cyprus Ltd DBA Men

*[UNRELATED, BUT FUN TO NOTICE: Note the overlap between these companies as far as which brands are owned by which companies. Many of the popular names have the same parent company, e.g., MG Content, MG Premium, or more plainly, Manwin.  Also notice that some “brands” which market themselves to be separate and apart from one another are actually owned by the same entity, e.g., New Sensations, Inc. and Digital Sin, Inc.; as much as they tried to pretend that they were different entities when suing in the federal courts, we now know that they are the same entity. It is also interesting to see what a “small world” the adult industry is, and who the power players are behind the scenes of the “large” brand names. Unrelated to this article, when defending clients in federal court and in settlement negotiations, I have often found it funny to find that “old man grandpa” or “innocuous family woman grandma” is the CEO or power behind a large multi-million dollar adult company.]

What to take away from this article is simply that CEG-TEK’s role is as an “Intellectual Property Monetization” company, where the copyright holders hire them to track instances of copyright infringement using the bittorrent networks (hence the “CEG” portion of their name stands for “Copyright Enforcement Group,”), to collect and record the IP addresses of the accused infringers, identify the internet service providers (ISPs) associated with those IP addresses (and yes, they now contact ISPs not only in the U.S., but also in Canada and Australia), and request, pay, pressure, or threaten the ISPs to forward their copyright infringement notices to the subscribers which invites the accused internet user to visit their CopyrightSettlements.com website in order to view the claims against them and to pay a settlement fee to avoid potential legal action that may be taken against the internet users.

What is also important to note is that the legal role CEG-TEK plays is the authorized AGENT of the copyright holder. This means that whatever CEG-TEK agrees to (e.g., when an attorney negotiates a settlement on behalf of a client, or when CEG-TEK agrees to make one or more cases “go away” as part of a settlement negotiation), all of their activities are binding on their client, the copyright holder. Thus, if you pay CEG-TEK*, it is as if you paid the copyright holder. I am obviously simplifying the law of Agency here (where there are nuances), but what to take away is that anything CEG-TEK does, they do on behalf of their client and with the implicit [and in many cases, explicit] authorization of their client. That means that no, a copyright holder cannot turn around and sue you if you paid CEG-TEK to satisfy that copyright holder’s claim of copyright infringement against you where that client has hired CEG-TEK to enforce the copyright holder’s copyrights on their behalf (now you know the term, as their “agent.”).

*NOTE: I don’t need to toot my own horn and solicit my own services, but before you decide to pay CEG-TEK or visit their website, please do your research and contact an attorney who is familiar with their operation.  There are things to be aware of specifically with regard to capabilities CEG-TEK and ISPs have as far as geolocation technologies to identify the location where a download is claimed to have taken place, and how a company can dig into your past browsing history (with the help of an ISP providing your past IP addresses) in order to discover past acts you may or may not have taken part in.  Each of these impact your anonymity when settling a claim against you, and ultimately what a copyright holder can or can not later claim against you.  Your lawyer should understand this to help you understand the limits of CEG-TEK’s knowledge so that whether you choose to ignore or settle a claim, you will be aware of who is allowed to do what before, during, and after a settlement, and what are the time limits they face before information they may have on you is purged from your ISP’s records, sometimes making it unnecessary to worry about a settlement or a lawsuit.

[2017 UPDATE: Carl Crowell has created a new entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT which has reverse-engineered CEG-TEK’s proprietary DMCA copyright infringement notice system.  Many of you have visited CEG-TEK links thinking that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT was CEG-TEK, but really they are an ‘evil twin’ competitor.  Since the two entities operate almost the same way, and since Crowell has effectively taken CEG-TEK’s clients, this article about sending demand letters and suing for copyrights one does not own becomes very relevant.]

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.

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    CEG-TEK: Naughty or Nice?

    Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK) has sent possibly hundreds of thousands of letters to internet users accused of downloading copyrighted content via bittorrent. In their letters, they invoke the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) as the justification for their “intellectual property (IP) enforcement” activities. They claim to be the good guys, but are they?  Are they “naughty or nice”?

    CEG-TEK claims to be the good guys — they stop piracy, and as a result of their efforts, fewer people download on the ISPs’s networks (a social “good” and a “win” for the copyright holders). They have stopped the copyright troll lawsuits, for the moment. And, although they are charging $300 per title for each downloaded movie (sometimes higher) for what is often an accidental “click of the mouse,” they claim that they are not “bad” or “vindictive” like their Rightscorp competitor, which charges only $20 per title, but then sues the accused downloaders in federal courts, and then even go so far as contacting the ISPs in order to attempt to shut down the internet accounts of those accused of downloading their clients’ copyrighted titles via bittorrent.

    But then again, CEG-TEK is a business. While I have had success negotiating away cases against veterans, the elderly, and in many cases, college kids, CEG-TEK has taken a number of steps which at best would be questionable.

    Most relevant is the “admission of guilt” clause in their settlement agreements, which at the time of writing this article has flipped back to the version which does not include this clause. Months ago, when CEG-TEK expanded into Canada and then Australia, the settlement agreements which released those who have settled from liability included the following clause:

    Admission of Guilt in CEG-TEK Settlement Agreement

    [For those of you who cannot see the image, it says, “…in the event of a (i) failure to clear, (ii) chargeback, (iii) cancellation, (iv) failure to complete…this Release shall be considered admissible and conclusive evidence of RELEASEE’s infringement of the copyright in the Work and that RELEASEE will be liable to CONTENT COPYRIGHT OWNER for all damages, statutory and/or otherwise, for such infringement plus attorney fees plus costs as of the Settlement Date…” (emphasis added)]

    [Now as a side note, for those who are particular about formatting and details, note that CEG-TEK placed that inflammatory clause at the bottom of Page 2, and they split it up where half of it is at the bottom of the page, and the other half is at the top of the next page, where even a careful individual might not read the clause in its entirety because the inflammatory clause is separated by being on different pages.]

    The problem with such a clause admitting guilt is that it is binding on an unsuspecting individual who tries to settle the claims against him by paying with a credit card. How?  These contracts are available to the individual paying the settlement fee on the CopyrightSettlements.com website to review, and upon processing the credit card payment, they agree to the terms contained within the contract.

    Then, when their credit card transaction fails (either because their card is not accepted by CEG-TEK’s website, or because the transaction is declined, or, if through no fault of their own, because of the website itself the bank flags the transaction as suspicious (fraud alert for a large online charge) and fails to approve the transaction), at that point, the individual has admitted guilt to copyright infringement, which carries a $150,000 statutory fine for each title downloaded. Assume for the moment that the individual has five (5) cases.  Multiply this $150,000 amount by five separate copyright holders, and the individual could be looking at 5 x $150,000 lawsuits (= $750,000 in statutory damages separated into multiple lawsuits filed by different copyright holders all of whom hired CEG-TEK as their agent to enforce their copyrights) where the internet user has already admitted guilt.

    Then, when the confused internet user who tried to settle calls CEG-TEK on the phone already having admitted guilt, what sort of leverage does the individual have if they are asked for more than $300 per title? Legally, they likely have no defense because according to the terms of the agreement, they already admitted guilt — even if the credit card transaction failing was not their fault.

    So… Copyright Enforcement Group may be the “good guys” because they let attorneys negotiate away cases for vets, old ladies, and elderly gentlemen who don’t realize that they should be using a VPN when they download adult content, and CEG-TEK may serve the public good by demonstrating that piracy has gone down because of their efforts. While this is all true, remember: watch their contract, because caveat emptor still applies.

    I don’t want to make this into a “you should have hired an attorney for your $300 matter” blog entry, but really, this is but one example of how even the “good guys” need to be approached with caution, and better yet, through a proxy by using an attorney. [I won’t even go into the conspiracy theories about CEG-TEK trying to get more than the $300 per title that is listed on the website.] Let’s stick to the facts and look at their contract to judge them on whether they are truly “naughty or nice.”

    [2017 UPDATE: Carl Crowell has created a new entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT which has reverse-engineered CEG-TEK’s proprietary DMCA copyright infringement notice system.  Many of you have visited CEG-TEK links thinking that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT was CEG-TEK, but really they are an ‘evil twin’ competitor.  Since their methodologies are nearly identical, this article is still very useful.]

    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.

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      CEG-TEK’s client list.

      [2017 UPDATE: Carl Crowell has created a new entity called RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT which has reverse-engineered CEG-TEK’s proprietary DMCA copyright infringement notice system.  Many of you have visited CEG-TEK links thinking that RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT was CEG-TEK, but really they are an ‘evil twin’ competitor.  Since the two entities operate almost the same way, and since Crowell has solicited (and likely taken) most of the clients on this list, this article is relevant.]

      2016 UPDATE:  I wrote this article in June, 2014.  Immediately afterwards, a number of the companies changed their names which confused the issue of who was a copyright troll suing defendants, and who was not a copyright troll.  It is now almost two years later, and while I usually do not update older posts, since this article does still come up from time to time, I am updated a few of the copyright holders’ names.  -RZC

      I believe it is the duty of the copyright holders to “police their own copyrights,” meaning, if a company sees a bittorrent tracker or website hosting an unlicensed copy of their copyrighted work, BY ALL MEANS, issue a DMCA takedown notice to the website or to the bittorrent tracker, and that torrent will be GONE AND UNAVAILABLE for downloaders to take the content.

      Rather than doing this, copyright holders hire CEG-TEK to target EVERY SINGLE DOWNLOADER with a letter forwarded by various ISPs, VPN providers, or university IT departments who are cooperating with CEG-TEK (sometimes for profit). Account holders receive “notice of infringement” letters sent directly to them either via an e-mail, FedEx, or a screen pop-up link along with a notification that they have violated the ISP’s terms of service. CEG-TEK’s letters now ask for $250-$300 per download, and they direct the accused downloaders to the “Copyright Settlements” website (http://www.copyrightsettlements.com) with a link which pre-populates the assigned Case Number and Password into the website.

      With the cooperation of the ISPs in forwarding CEG-TEK’s letters to accused downloaders, there is no longer an anonymity barrier between the accused downloaders and the copyright holders as there once was when CEG-TEK would need a court order to access the identities of the accused downloaders. Now, since various ISPs and universities (e.g., Charter, Suddenlink, CenturyLink, Giganews/VyprVPN, etc.; NOTE: Comcast, Verizon, and the other big ISPs appear NOT to be working with CEG-TEK for the moment) have been useless in stopping the copyright holders from contacting the account holders, other than hiring a lawyer such as myself to create a buffer between the copyright holders and the accused account holders, bittorrent users should probably be aware of which companies are using this extortion tactic of “we will sue you unless you pay us money for the video you have downloaded.”

      Here is a list I compiled from my own records as to which copyright holders are [at the moment] using Ira Siegel and CEG-TEK to “monetize” their “most pirated” copyrights. I want to point out that I am conflicted as to whether to post this list because the list itself can be deceiving — a title “not” on this list can still be monitored, and by no means am I suggesting that someone avoid these titles and download others. Perhaps by listing which companies are enforcing their copyrights using this extortion-type of “settle or else we’ll sue” method, it might shame the companies into doing something a bit more ethical (e.g., by policing their own copyrights and issuing DMCA takedown letters rather than attacking the downloaders as a means for financial revenue):

      Axel Braun Productions
      – “Batman XXX: A Porn Parody”

      Celestial Inc., DBA Lethal Hardcore
      – Fuck My Mom and Me 17

      Cinderella Distributors Inc.
      – Backdoor To Hollywood 6

      Coast to Coast Video
      – Older Women Younger Men 16

      Combat Zone Inc.
      – Daddy’s Little Princess #2

      Daring Media Group
      – Pretty Woman

      – Swallowing is Good For You

      Digital Sin, Inc.
      – All About Ashlynn 1
      – Incestuous
      – Little Darlings
      – My Anal School Girl
      – My Plaything Ashlynn Brooke
      – Perfect Little Pussy
      – The Family That Lays Together
      – The Innocence Of Youth #3, #5, #6
      – This Is My First… A Gangbang Movie

      Echo Alpha, Inc. DBA Evil Angel
      – Fetish Fanatic 12
      – Fetish Fuck Dolls 3
      – Raw 16
      – Rocco’s Perfect Slaves 3
      – Rocco’s Young Anal Adventures

      Fallout Films
      – Naughty Girls 2

      Froytal Services Limited DBA Babes (now known as “MG Premium Ltd.”)
      – Abrasador
      – Amatores
      – Dancing With Myself
      – Hearts Racing
      – Love Encounter
      – Raving With Pleasure

      Froytal Services Limited DBA Brazzers (now known as “MG Premium Ltd.”)
      – Dani’s Back and Ready to Play
      – Driving Mrs. Madison Wild
      – I Can Walk!!!
      – Miss Titness America
      – Mommy Got Boobs 15
      – Sharing My Roommate’s Cock (Milfs Like It Big)
      – Slutty Sorority Contest
      – Teens Like It Big 12
      – The Dangers of Working From Home (Kiki Minaj)

      Froytal Services Limited DBA Mofos (now known as “MG Premium Ltd.”)
      – Best Vacation Ever! (Ivy Laine)
      – Cheerleader Fantasy
      – Flashing Gets Her Whatever She Wants
      – Fun And Sex Games
      – I Make It Rain On Your Tits (I Know That Girl; Dillon Harper)
      – Jewels for the Duch-ASS
      – Rub a Dub Gimme a Tug
      – Swinging Slut Buffet

      Froytal Services Limited DBA Twistys (now known as “MG Premium Ltd.”)
      – Burnin’ Luv
      – Cum Over And Taste..

      GGW Direct, LLC DBA “Girls Gone Wild”
      – Baby Bash Live & Uncensored
      – Bad Girls 2
      – BEACH BABES 3
      – Best Breasts Ever
      – Best of Blondes 2
      – Celebrity Look-A-Likes
      – CO-ED TRYOUTS 2
      – CO-ED TRYOUTS 3
      – Endless Spring Break 3
      – Endless Spring Break 4
      – Endless Spring Break 5
      – Endless Spring Break 6
      – Endless Spring Break 7
      – Endless Spring Break 9
      – Endless Spring Break 10
      – Endless Spring Break 11
      – Endless Spring Break 12
      – Endless Spring Break 13
      – Endless Spring Break 14
      – EXTREME ORGY 1
      – EXTREME ORGY 2
      – EXTREME ORGY 3
      – FIRST TIMERS 2
      – Freshman Class
      – GGW – Extreme Sex
      – GGW – On Tour 1
      – GGW – On Tour 2
      – GGW – On Tour 3
      – GGW – On Tour 4
      – GGW – On Tour 5
      – GGW – On Tour 6
      – GGW – On Tour 7
      – GGW – On Tour 8
      – GGW – Sweet Young Sex Maniacs
      – GIRL POWER
      – GIRL POWER 2
      – GIRL POWER 3
      – GIRL POWER 4
      – GIRL POWER 5
      – GIRL POWER 6
      – GIRL POWER 7
      – GIRL POWER 8
      – GIRL POWER 8
      – GIRL POWER 9
      – Girls On Girls
      – Girls Who Like Girls
      – Horny Cheerleaders
      – Hottest Texas Coeds
      – My 18th Birthday
      – Road Trip
      – Sex Race
      – Sexiest Moments Ever
      – Sexiest Moments Ever 2
      – Spring Break 2007
      – The Perfect Pair
      – Ultimate Rush
      – Usually a siterip or a torrent containing 25+ titles.
      – Wild World
      – Wildest Bar in America

      Giant Media Group, Inc. DBA Devil’s Film (they have changed this name more than once, but have kept the “Devil’s Film” trade name.)
      – Ass Full Of Cum 4
      – Best Of Gangland Cream Pie
      – Cum On My Hairy Pussy 2
      – Cum On My Hairy Pussy 16
      – Don’t Tell My Wife I Buttfucked Her Best Friend
      – Gangland 70
      – Gangland 85
      – Gangland Cream Pie 24
      – Gangland Cream Pie 25
      – Gangland Cream Pie 26
      – Gangland Cream Pie 27
      – Gangland Cream Pie 28
      – I Wanna Buttfuck Your Daughter 10
      – My Wife Caught Me Assfucking Her Mother
      – My Wife Caught Me Assfucking Her Mother 2
      – My Wife Caught Me Assfucking Her Mother 5

      Girlfriends Films Inc.
      – I Dream of Jo 4 True Passion
      – Mother Daughter Exchange Club 27
      – Poor Little Shyla 2
      – Tides of Lust
      – Lesbian First Timers
      – Lesbian Seductions 46

      Intense Industries
      – Fucking Your Socks Off

      JM Productions Inc.
      – Suck Off Races 3

      JW Releasing Ltd
      – Kinky Business

      Kick Ass Pictures Inc.
      – Foot Fetish Daily 9

      LFP Internet Group, LLC DBA Hustler
      – Barely Legal 2
      – Barely Legal 16
      – Barely Legal 19
      – Barely Legal 84
      – Barely Legal 100
      – Barely Legal 127
      – Barely Legal 128
      – Barely Legal 131
      – Barely Legal 134
      – Barely Legal 138
      – Barely Legal 139
      – Barely Legal 140
      – Barely Legal Little Runaways
      – Barely Legal: All Stars 5
      – New Wave Hookers
      – The Opening of Misty Beethoven
      – This Ain’t Game of Thrones

      Manwin Content RK Limited DBA Reality Kings (now known as “MG Content RK Limited”)
      – 2 For 1 Pink
      – A Lavish Load
      – Belle Bottom
      – Bouncing Deluca (Big Naturals; Angel Deluca)
      – Cum Hard
      – Dirty Minds
      – Full Figure (Monster Curves; Katie Banks)
      – Getting Hardy
      – Girlfriends Revenge (GF Revenge 6)
      – Hello Alexis
      – Leather and Lace
      – Licking Lessons – Jasmine Wolff (Moms Bang Teens 2013-12-30)
      – Naughty Kennedy – Kennedy Leigh (Moms Bang Teens 2014-01-20)
      – Pussy Love (Money Talks – Esmi & Lily)
      – Riding Riley
      – Ripping Through
      – Sexy All Star
      – Sexy Stella
      – Sweet Veronica
      – Tits and Hips
      – Ass In Heels – Angell Summers (EuroSexParties 2013-05-30)
      – Busty Bikini Babes 1
      – Finger Licking Good
      – Lick It

      Manwin DP Corp. DBA Digital Playground
      – Bad Girls 5
      – Bad Girls 6
      – Bridesmaids
      – Code of Honor
      – Don’t Fuck My Sister
      – For Sale
      – Island Fever 2
      – Island Fever 3
      – Jack Attack 4
      – Jack’s POV 2
      – Jack’s POV 3
      – Jack’s POV 5
      – Jack’s POV 7
      – Jack’s POV 8
      – Jack’s POV 10
      – Jack’s POV 12
      – Jack’s POV 15
      – JACK’S POV 19
      – Jesse Jane Fuck Fantasy
      – Jesse Jane Kiss Kiss
      – Lost and Found
      – Nurses
      – Pink Slip
      – Pirates
      – Raven Alexis The Substitute
      – Riley Steele Deceptions
      – Riley Steele Satisfaction
      – The Girlfriend Exchange
      – Titlicious 2
      – Top Guns
      – unSEXpected
      – Web Whore

      Marc Dorcel
      – Cathy 40 (Cheating Housewife)

      Marc Dorcel DBA SBO Pictures, Inc.
      – Orgy Anthology

      SBO Pictures DBA Vouyer Media
      – Jack In Me POV 2

      SBO Pictures DBA Wicked Pictures
      – Daddy Did The Babysitter
      – I Was a Mail Order Bride
      – Octomom: Home Alone
      – Selfies
      – Spacenuts
      – Teen Ravers

      Metro Media Entertainment
      – Cute Little Asses

      Millennium TGA, DBA Grooby Productions
      – Buddy Wood’s Shemale Bedtime Stories

      New Sensations Inc.
      – Almost Heaven
      – Anal Sex Secrets
      – Ashlynn Brooke Is Sexy
      – Big Bang Theory A XXX Parody
      – Big Girls Are Sexy #3
      – Double D Vixens
      – Friends A Xxx Parody
      – I Can’t Believe I’m Doing This (Zeina Heart)
      – I Love Asians 11
      – I Love Asians 5
      – Redheads Are Sexy #5
      – Sexy Student Bodies`
      – WKRP in Cincinnati: A XXX Parody
      – Young Girls With Big Tits 10

      Patrick Collins Inc., DBA Elegant Angel
      – Alexis Texas Is Buttwoman
      – Big Wet Asses #3
      – Big Wet Asses #6
      – Big Wet Asses #7
      – Big Wet Asses 16
      – Cuties 4
      – It’s A Daddy Thing!
      – It’s A Secretary Thing!
      – It’s A Secretary Thing! 2
      – Massive Facials 5
      – Performers Of The Year 2014
      – Real Female Orgasms 10
      – The A Line
      – The Bombshells 5
      – The Greatest Squirters Ever! 4

      Pleasure Productions Inc.
      – Wild Honey 2 (Tera Patrick)

      RLD Distribution LLC
      – Girls Of Red Light District – Sasha Grey
      – I Bang Teens (Megan Salinas)
      – White Dicks Black Chicks

      Second Phase Distribution Inc.
      – Big Butt All Stars – Crystal Clear
      – Mama Turned Me Out 3
      – Mama Turned Me Out 4
      – Mama Turned Me Out 5
      – Pigtail Virgins

      Third Degree Films, Inc.
      – Big Boob Orgy 2
      – Curve Appeal
      – Illegal Ass 2
      – Laid In Lingerie 2
      – Laid in Lingerie 3
      – Spunk’d 7
      – Spunk’d 8
      – Top Ten 2

      Vivid Entertainment LLC
      – Farrah 2 Backdoor and More
      – Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom
      – Kim Kardashian Superstar
      – Raven Alexis Unleashed
      – Raylene’s Dirty Work
      – Tera, Tera, Tera (Tera Patrick)
      – Tila Tequila Backdoored and Squirting
      – Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to the G-Spot

      White Ghetto Films Inc.
      – Group Sex Junkies

      Zero Tolerance Entertainment
      – Dr. Ava’s Guide to Sensual BDSM For Couples
      – Is Your Mother Home?

      Now obviously you will notice a common theme along each of these copyright holders, and that is the “genre” of content they all produce. You will also notice that in this list there are “copyright trolls,” (meaning, companies who in the past have used or use the federal courts to sue individual downloaders for copyright infringement) and there are “not” copyright trolls (meaning, companies who have NOT sued defendants for copyright infringement). You can see which are copyright trolls by either searching the web for their name, or doing a search on http://www.rfcexpress.com to see whether they have sued in federal court.

      A few things to note.

      1) Many of the larger companies have multiple websites, and do business as multiple entities. For example, Froytal Services Ltd. “does business as” (“DBA”) Mofos and Brazzers (corresponding to their Mofos.com and Brazzers.com websites).

      2) Many copyright holders are OLDER COMPANIES and FAMILY OPERATED BUSINESSES. This means that it is common to have former porn companies hire CEG TEK to track and send letters for “vintage” films from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The copyrights for these films ARE STILL IN EFFECT, and the former owners of those companies are now elder individuals who are now enforcing their copyrights from FORTY YEARS AGO. On the flip side, many older couples have been caught downloading a film from their youth thinking that since the titles were so old, it was probably legal to do so.

      In sum, all I ask of everyone is to understand that the bittorrent networks are no longer safe, and when you download something, assume someone else is watching you. And, be aware that there are companies out there like Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK Int’l) who are waiting to send you a settlement demand letter.

      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.

        shalta boook now cta

        Which will be the bittorrent lawsuits of tomorrow?

        With the larger cases from Dunlap Grubb & Weaver, PLLC heading off into the bittorrent litigation graveyard, the plaintiff attorneys have not yet learned their lesson about the dangers of filing John Doe lawsuits with thousands of Does sued together. Below are just a few cases filed by the same plaintiff attorneys — newer cases — which thus far have not achieved much traction. No doubt we’ll be seeing more of these in the coming months.

        First and foremost, Ira Siegel’s new case, Digital Sin, Inc. v. Does 1-5,698 (Case No. 4:11-cv-04397-LB) filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Apparently it did not occur to his client that suing 5,698 defendants is the easiest way for a case to achieve scrutiny.

        Also by Ira Siegel is his SRO Pictures, Inc v. Does 1-3036 (Case No. 5:11-cv-04220-PSG) case, his Discount Video Center, Inc. v. Does 1-5,041 (Case No. 5:11-cv-02694-PSG) case, his Zero Tolerance Entertainment, Inc. v. Does 1-2,943 (Case No. 3:11-cv-02767-EDL) case, each filed in the same California court as Digital Sin.

        We are already hearing from Doe Defendants on Ira Siegel’s Third Degree Films, Inc. v. Does 1-3,577 (Case No. 4:11-cv-02768-LB) and most notorious, his Patrick Collins, Inc. v. Does 1-2590 (Case No. 3:11-cv-02766-MEJ) case, also in the same California court.

        Next, filed by Thomas Dunlap himself (of Dunlap Grubb & Weaver, PLLC) is CineTel Films, Inc. dba Family of the Year Productions, LLC v. Does 1-1,052 (Case No. 8:11-cv-02438-JFM) filed in the US District Court for the District of Maryland. This one should be fun. This same plaintiff has had Dunlap sue in his home US District Court for the District of Columbia, the Cinetel Films Inc. et al v. Does 1-1,951 (Case No. 1:11-cv-01334-RLW) case. Same plaintiff, different jurisdiction. My guess is that Ellis Bennett or Nicholas Kurtz will be the on the paperwork for these since they have to date handled Dunlap Grubb & Weaver’s older cases.

        In the District of Columbia (where most of Dunlap Grubb & Weaver’s cases are filed,) to everyone’s surprise is the AF Holdings, LLC v. Does 1-1,140 (Case No. 1:11-cv-01274-RBW) case, apparently using Timothy Anderson of Anderson & Associates, PC as the local counsel. The funny thing about this one is that AF Holdings, LLC is John Steele of Steele Hansmeier PLLC’s clients (where Steele Hansmeier has sued a bunch of AF Holdings, LLC v. Does smaller cases across the country already), so this Tim Anderson guy is probably another one of Steele’s local counsel puppets (sorry Tim).

        Then, there is Evan Stone’s FUNimation Entertainment v. Does 1-1,427 (Case No. 2:11-cv-00269-DF) filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. I haven’t heard much about this case yet, but Evan Stone is the attorney who was the plaintiff attorney over the LFP Internet Group, LLC v. Does [LFP a.k.a. “Larry Flint Productions”] lawsuit that had over 6,000 defendants in total dismissed last year. Maybe he’s back in the game with a case that won’t be immediately dismissed.

        Last, but not least, there is a set of triplet lawsuits filed by an unknown McDaniel Law Firm plaintiff (probably a copycat attorney who has watched these bittorrent cases develop and now has decided to try his hand and sue) in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey. Both of them go by the same name, Baseprotect UG, Ltd. v. John Does 1-X (Case No. 2:11-cv-03621, Case No. 2:11-cv-02021, and Case No. 2:10-cv-06806 respectively). The deceptive part is that the “Does 1-X” title appears to suggest that there are just a few defendants, so the case is hoped to stay under the radar. Nope. In one case, I believe there are over 300+ John Doe defendants implicated, and in the other case, I believe there are over 1,500 John Doe defendants. Funny enough, I hear that Baseprotect does not even own the Polish copyrights they assert, and that they have merely questionably acquired a limited right to sue on these copyrights. This will be fun to watch.

        So in short, with the demise of the famous DC cases (Maverick Entertainment, Call of the Wild, and now West Coast Productions, Inc.), there are a whole new generation of cases who hope to achieve exactly the same purpose as their predecessors. Make a profit before getting dismissed into oblivion.

        How Judge Beryll Howell’s Decision Affects “John Doe” Defendants.

        Over the past few days, as a response to last weeks article where plaintiff attorneys Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver dumped thousands of defendants, Judge Beryl Howell wrote a memorandum indicating which issues the US District Court for the District of Columbia court will hear, and which they will not. In short, as the various articles describe (see here, and here), the judge has opined that any arguments of jurisdiction, joinder, or first amendment defenses are not relevant until a John Doe defendant is named as a defendant in the case.

        For the most part, when reading this 42 page memo, I was unimpressed. Her motivations and proclivities in favor of the plaintiff copyright holders were apparent, but her opinion was unmoving. I shrugged my shoulders and thought to myself that this was not a controversial opinion. It wasn’t until I started reading the forums in ArsTechnica.com that the users realized that the judge had some serious bias issues. Some were even of the opinion that the judge should not have heard the case in the first place because of conflicts of interest and violations of rules of recusal.

        As for her opinion, plaintiff attorneys and courts for months now have been holding that a defendant does not have standing to contest jurisdiction (e.g., “Dear Court, I was sued in the District of Columbia. I live in New York. Court has no personal jurisdiction.”) until they are named in the lawsuit (e.g., John Doe #123 -> Real Name Defendant). This is the reason defendants have been unsuccessful in filing motions to quash the various subpoenas issues by the courts against the internet service providers ordering them to surrender over their subscribers’ information.

        The change in this Judge’s opinion was that while many cases (e.g., the various Larry Flynt Productions cases and the Far Cry lawsuits, just to name a few) over the previous months have been severed and dismissed because of improper joinder issues (e.g., one accused defendant downloading a copyrighted file on Monday should not be joined in a lawsuit with a defendant he does not know who downloaded that same copyrighted file on a Wednesday, or “subsequent acts of copyright infringement by unrelated defendants are not sufficient to justify the joining of the defendants together in one John Doe lawsuit.”), here Judge Howell has stated that she will not even entertain a misjoinder argument from a defendant until that defendant is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

        In my opinion, the court is simply ‘kicking the can down the road’ for matters of simplicity. This opinion was nothing fantastic, and it did not affect our clients because none of them have been named in any of these lawsuits.

        However, as a result of Judge Howell’s decision, articles on TorrentFreak (“BitTorrent Case Judge Is a Former RIAA Lobbyist and Pirate Chaser“) and ArsTechnica.com (“RIAA lobbyist becomes federal judge, rules on file-sharing cases“) have surfaced pointing out obvious ethical issues regarding her even sitting on the bench for these cases given her past intimate connection with copyright lobbying groups, including past employers, conflicts of interest, issues of bias, and issues of recusal which have raised a flare of users’ objections to her adjudicating these cases.

        As far as my clients need to worry, this is simply an opinion by a judge (biased or not) giving the plaintiffs free reign to go after John Doe defendants and to continue to solicit exorbitant settlement fees in the amount of thousands of dollars all while the plaintiff attorneys continue to tell the judges that they are conducting “discovery.” The issues have not changed, and there is no new law with this opinion. For my clients who are defendants in these cases, this opinion simply means that the court will likely not sever the case on its own as it did in the Far Cry case, but rather, it will wait until the plaintiff attorneys begin naming defendants before they consider whether the defendants are properly joined together with the thousands of other defendants.

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