New York ME2 Productions Settlement Letters Sent by Bryan DeMatteo

Bryan N DeMatteo is the New York attorney sending settlement demand letters to accused John Doe Defendants in the New York ME2 Productions, Inc. bittorrent lawsuits (a.k.a. the New York Mechanic: Resurrection movie lawsuits).  These settlement letters from the ME2 Production attorney are asking for a settlement of $5,600, which in my opinion is absurd.

As a NY Licensed Attorney for 10 Years, I am competent to speak about Bryan DeMatteo’s lawsuits because I was representing bittorrent clients in 2012 when the case law was first paved.

Let me be clear about this.  I am competent to speak about the New York lawsuits because I have been licensed as a New York Attorney for the last 10 years.  I also have history here, because I was representing clients in the Digital Sin, Inc. lawsuits of 2012 when all of the good case law was created.

This good case law slowly destroyed every time an innocent defendant listens to a “settlement factory” attorney (usually out-of-state) who convinces them to settle, even though they didn’t do it.  Every voluntary dismissal on paper from an innocent defendant who settled gives Bryan DeMatteo’s cases credibility in the eyes of the judges because it makes judges believe that he has correctly sued the “right” defendant.

SIDE NOTE:  I am aware that some attorney has called me a “Western out of state defense attorney,” but don’t be fooled — I am born and raised in New York, and New York was the first state in which I first became a licensed attorney.  New York is known to be one of the hardest state bars to pass.  Let me speak clearly just so there is no confusion — I AM AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, AND TEN YEARS LATER, STILL IN GOOD STANDING — I am not some out of state defense attorney who is looking to get admitted (“pro hac”) to the US District Court one case at a time.  And, just so it is said, I have nothing wrong with out-of-state attorneys who get admitted “pro hac” on a case-by-case basis to represent one client for one case, as long as they represent their clients COMPETENTLY.

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ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC. CASE RESOURCES

The TorrentLawyer blog has become a giant with over 200+ articles on the various cases in which our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC has worked on.  If you have come to this page, you likely received a settlement demand letter from Bryan N. DeMatteo asking for $5,600 (or, whatever he is asking for at the moment; some attorneys are asking for $7,500, and others are asking for $2,500).  Either way, you missed the deadline to file a motion to quash (which is fine), and your ISP handed over your information to the plaintiff attorney.  Now you are facing another deadline — DeMatteo’s deadline — which is probably some date coming immediately, as in tomorrow.

You want to know your options, and *this article* is more of an advanced article describing a historical view of the case law which has been achieved in the New York Southern and Eastern District Courts (in 2012), versus the 2017 cases in which Bryan DeMatteo is seeking to “undo” the achievements we have achieved in the fight against copyright trolling, and why things at the moment are in his favor based on the circumstances.

To learn about the New York ME2 Productions lawsuits, read these cases in this order:

  1. “Just The Facts” — a short to-the-point article about the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases and what you can do about them,
  2. “An In-Depth FAQ about the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases” to understand everything you need to know about who is suing you,
  3. The article about your plaintiff attorney, Bryan N DeMatteo (read it to learn about the plaintiff, not the history of the second circuit), and
  4. The timeline of Anonymity in these bittorrent lawsuits — as a John Doe, you are still anonymous from the court (even though Bryan DeMatteo is sending you settlement demand letters).

Then, if you need to speak to me or have questions:

CLICK HERE FOR OUR “CONTACT US” PAGE.

How is Bryan N DeMatteo trying to legitimize his ME2 Productions (Mechanic: Resurrection movie) cases?

Earlier this morning, I wrote that “Bryan DeMatteo is facing an uphill battle to legitimize his “movie” bittorrent cases.”  In order to clarify what he is doing, please allow me to elaborate.  Bryan N DeMatteo is seeking to undo some of the progress we made in 2012 in the Digital Sin, Inc. cases.  Digital Sin, Inc. was a bittorrent-based copyright infringement set of lawsuits against internet users who went onto bittorrent websites such as The Pirate Bay and KickAssTorrents (“KAT”) to download adult films.  Because Bryan N DeMatteo’s cases deal with “movies” rather than “adult films,” it appears to me as if he is seeking to separate out movie companies (as legitimate) from the adult film companies (as illegitimate) who sued hundreds of downloaders for EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

2012 Digital Sin New York Bittorrent Cases affecting Bryan DeMatteo and his 2017 New York ME2 Productions cases

The difference between the 2012 Digital Sin, Inc. cases and the 2017 ME2 Productions, Inc. cases is that most defendants did NOT settle.

The difference between the Digital Sin, Inc. and other adult film lawsuits that plagued the federal courts in 2012 and the 2017 “movie” lawsuits is that back then, most defendants did NOT pay settlements.  They either fought their cases, or they hired an attorney such as myself in what I referred to as an “ignore” route representation, where I would open up the line of communication between my client and the “copyright troll” attorney to convince that attorney that my client wasn’t the one who did the download (and thus would not be settling).

With hundreds of potential defendants in one lawsuit (e.g., Digital Sin, Inc. v. Does 1-240), this made it appear as if almost nobody was settling the claims against them.  New York judges viewed these cases with suspicion, and correctly diagnosed them with the inherent faults and flaws that even today’s bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases suffer from.  Namely, improper joinder, insufficient evidence to prove copyright infringement, etc.

However, in the 2017 ME2 Productions, Inc. cases, a high percentage of defendants ARE settling the claims against them (even if they did not do the download).

Today the cases no longer have 200+ defendants in each case (and in 2012, this was considered “small” because there were cases across the US that had 2,000+ John Doe Defendants filed in ONE lawsuit).  Today, cases average between 1-20 “John Doe” defendants.  Bryan N. DeMatteo lists the various defendants by their accused IP address, even though I remember seeing case law stating that “an IP address is not a person.

So, as far as I am concerned, Bryan DeMatteo is calling the ME2 Productions, Inc. John Doe Defendants by another name, but don’t be deceived, they are still John Doe Defendants and have the same legal status as an unnamed defendant with a “John Doe” placeholder.

New York ME2 Productions settlement demand letters sent by Bryan DeMatteo
JESHOOTS / Pixabay

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The Consequence of More Defendants Settling Cases is Legitimacy Given to Movie Download Lawsuits, UNDOING our work in the 2012 Digital Sin, Inc. cases.

The CONSEQUENCE of today’s smaller cases combined with the fact that plaintiff attorneys are happy to name and serve defendants is that the number of accused defendants who settle are higher (likely because “settlement factory” attorneys push defendants into settling when they should not settle).

As a result, instead of having a small handful of defendants who settle in a large case with hundreds of defendants, the HIGHER PERCENTAGE of defendants settling the claims against them (just to avoid being dragged though discovery) makes it look to the federal judge like the plaintiff’s movie cases are valid when in fact they suffer from EXACTLY THE SAME DEFECTS as the 2012 Digital Sin, Inc. cases suffered from.

In Summary, Bryan DeMatteo’s bittorrent lawsuits *will* succeed if there is a PERCEPTION by the court that he is succeeding.

In sum, the 2012 Digital Sin, Inc. downloaders used bittorrent to download the adult films.  Similarly, the 2017 ME2 Productions, Inc. accused downloaders used Popcorn Time software or Showbox software [which uses bittorrent to stream the copyrighted movies to the viewers, often unbeknownst to the downloader].  Either way you look at it, the lawsuits from 2012 and 2017 are identical and should be subject to the same restrictions and new case law achieved in the Digital Sin, Inc. lawsuits.

However, if there is a PERCEPTION by the New York Judges that a high percentage of defendants are settling the claims against them, then this will make them believe that Bryan DeMatteo has done something different from the previous defendants.  Namely, a higher settlement rate suggests that the DeMatteo has sued the right defendants.  This is an unacceptable outcome, but one which I believe we are looking at for the time being given the circumstances of bittorrent lawsuits in their current form.

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Who are the New York Southern & Eastern District Judges Presiding Over the ME2 Productions, Inc. Lawsuits?

The New York District Judges presiding over the ME2 Productions, Inc. lawsuits include Judge Brian Cogan, Judge Carol Bagley Amon, Judge Denise Cote, Judge Edgardo Ramos, Judge Frederic Block, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, Judge Louis Stanton, Judge Margo Brodie, and Judge Paul Gardephe.  If you search for most of their names (with the exception of Judge Ramos, who oversaw the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits for my clients in 2012 — Jason Kotzker was the NY “copyright troll” attorney at the time, for those of you who have followed the blog over the years), almost NONE of the names will show up as having anything to do with the bittorrent cases.

In short, so far, DeMatteo has gotten lucky (except for NYSD Judge Ramos re: Case No. 1:17-cv-02284, which I expect to be dismissed immediately after Bryan DeMatteo reads this article [you’re welcome]), as none of the federal judges were involved in the 2012 Digital Sin, Inc. case consolidations.  However, the results from the Digital Sin, Inc. case is “law” (or more accurately, “case law”), which is BINDING on even these federal judges when they adjudicate the ME2 Productions, Inc. lawsuits.

CONTACT A NY LICENSED ATTORNEY:

CLICK HERE FOR OUR “CONTACT US” PAGE.

SCENARIO 1: IF YOU HAVE A QUICK QUESTION, COMMENT, OR NEED A QUICK RESPONSE:

  • SMS YOUR QUESTION: 713-364-3476
  • E-MAIL YOUR QUESTION: [email protected], OR
  • FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW.

SCENARIO 2: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK ABOUT YOUR NEW YORK CASE AND YOUR OPTIONS, SET UP A PHONE CONSULTATION:


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.

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)

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.

CONTACT A NY LICENSED ATTORNEY:

CLICK HERE FOR OUR “CONTACT US” PAGE.

SCENARIO 1: IF YOU HAVE A QUICK QUESTION, COMMENT, OR NEED A QUICK RESPONSE:

  • SMS YOUR QUESTION: 713-364-3476
  • E-MAIL YOUR QUESTION: [email protected], OR
  • FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW.

SCENARIO 2: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK ABOUT YOUR NEW YORK CASE AND YOUR OPTIONS, SET UP A PHONE CONSULTATION:


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)

IP Echelon “HBO Game of Thrones” DMCA notices are not lawsuits.

I received a phone call today asking me to write about the Game of Thrones HBO piracy lawsuits, but there are none.

Last year, HBO sent thousands of DMCA copyright infringement notices to internet users who were caught downloading or viewing the Game of Thrones episodes without an HBO subscription. As reported by Ernesto @Torrentfreak.com, HBO teamed up with IP-Echelon (an anti-piracy company), which was tasked with sending DMCA warning notices. [I referred to them as *WARNING* notices intentionally; you’ll see why soon.] These warning notices told accused internet users to remove any downloaded Game of Thrones episodes downloaded using bittorrent, and even instructed them ‘with a bit of wit’ to get a HBO subscription.

I received many phone calls from internet users who received these IP Echelon notices. However, unlike the DMCA settlement demand notices that accused internet users receive when they are caught downloading music (Chris Sabec from Rightscorp, a.k.a. Digital Rights Corp. sends these) or movies (Carl Crowell from Rights Enforcement sends these), the IP Echelon DMCA warning letters do not ask for money. They are merely, “Hey you, cut it out! Stop pirating my client’s TV episodes, delete what you did, and get a subscription” notices.

Obviously these notices should not be ignored. Home Box Office, Inc. (“HBO”) would be a formidable opponent if they started suing accused defendants in federal courts for copyright infringement. They have deep pockets, they have unlimited resources, and they likely have name brand recognition and respect from every federal judge in every federal court.

My opinion about IP Echelon and the HBO Game of Thrones DMCA notices.

Believe it or not, I believe HBO is going about this the right way. Instead of suing individual downloaders who are caught viewing or downloading the various Game of Thrones episodes, HBO and IP Echelon are focusing their efforts on REDUCING THE AVAILABILITY OF THE UNLICENSED VIDEOS. This means that they are taking steps to remove bittorrent trackers so that when someone clicks on a bittorrent file, the bittorrent tracker is dead (meaning, no bittorrent swarm and thus no infringement).

IP Echelon is also sending copyright infringement notices using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (these are the “DMCA” notices) which they are having the various ISPs forward to subscribers who are “caught” downloading the Game of Thrones episodes.

“Caught,” but not punished.  

By doing this, HBO successfully reduced the piracy of their Game of Thrones episodes, and they kept their fans loyal.

In sum, they are 1) monitoring and policing the availability of their content on piracy peer-to-peer networks, and 2) they are contacting individual downloaders warning them to acquire their copyrighted content the lawful way, e.g., purchasing an HBO subscription.

Great, but HBO was still missing the boat.  HBO continued to cause their own piracy problems by allowing only Cable TV subscribers to access their content.

HBO Content was only available to Cable TV Subscribers

My biggest complaint against HBO: Failure to make content available to paying customers

For a while, my biggest critique of HBO was that they were not making their copyrighted content available to those who wanted to legitimately purchase a HBO subscription. Why? Because their “HBO GO” streaming add-on service was only available to those fans who paid a monthly Cable TV subscription.

“Cordcutters” (meaning, those who opted to “cut” their cable TV subscription) were outcasted. And as a result of not having a cable TV subscription, HBO inadvertently exacerbated their Game of Thrones piracy problem by preventing those who wanted to legitimately purchase access to watch the Game of Thrones episodes from doing so. In other words, no access = those would-be customers had no choice except to either not watch the series, or to turn to piracy.

HBO created criminals out of their fans by being loyal to the cable companies over their own customers. This was likely a smart business decision (cable companies pay HBO huge licensing fees for their content), but a wrong decision if they wanted to stop the piracy of their videos.

HBO stays loyal to cable company subscribers

HBO responds to our complaints and makes content available on Amazon, Hulu

HBO definitely has my respect, especially because they were flexible enough to notice that they were alienating their fans by allowing them to only connect through a Cable TV subscription.

HBO not only noticed that they were causing their own piracy problem, they took steps to fix it by making their content available to Amazon Prime Video customers, and to Hulu customers.

Thus, if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can add-on an HBO subscription for $14.99/month.

HBO makes Game of Thrones episodes available to Amazon Prime customers

If you are a Hulu subscriber, you can also watch HBO as an add-on for the same $14.99/month.

HBO makes Game of Thrones episodes available to Hulu customers

Is $14.99/month a fair price for an HBO add-on subscription?

$14.99/month is more than an entire Netflix subscription, and last I checked, it is more than a Hulu subscription. Is it worth it to pay an additional $14.99/month just to have access to HBO shows?

It depends on each person.

In the end, the “market” will decide whether this is too much or too little to ask for to obtain a monthly subscription to HBO’s exclusive content. If people pay, then it will stay at this price (or increase, if there is enough demand). If people do not pay, then HBO will lower their price until they convert the would-be pirates into customers.

In Summary, HBO is doing things right.

The point is that HBO is taking steps to not only eliminate the availability of pirated content, and not only are they contacting the subscribers through their IP Echelon partner and instructing them to stop pirating their copyrighted content, but they are also taking smart steps to make their content available to those who wish to purchase their content.

NOTE: HBO will never get rid of piracy 100%, as this is nearly impossible and there will always be those internet users who will pirate copyrighted content, even when the paid version is almost free. [Case in point: Many Android apps are free, and the paid versions are $1.99 for a lifetime license to that app. Yet, there are still those users who will go out of their way to install the pirated version of that $1.99 paid app.] No doubt, HBO viewers will also always have this problem.

At the very minimum, however, I believe with every fiber of my being that HBO is handling their piracy problem the right way, and for this, HBO has my full support and respect.

…Do I need to hire you if I receive an IP Echelon DMCA notice?

Absolutely NOT. There is nothing that our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC needs to do for you to handle your HBO IP-Echelon DMCA notice.

Why? Because:
1) The IP Echelon DMCA notices are not copyright infringement lawsuits.
2) The IP Echelon DMCA notices are not settlement demand letters.
3) The IP Echelon DMCA notices are not affiliated with your ISP, and thus no response to your ISP is requested or required.
4) HBO is not suing internet users for copyright infringement… at least not yet.

In sum, there is nothing that you need me to do for you if you received an IP Echelon DMCA notice. The notice is merely a warning letter telling you to stop downloading their client’s copyrighted content illegally, and to find legal ways to obtain their content if you want to continue watching it.

IF THIS CHANGES, and HBO sues defendants for copyright infringement, you can be sure I would be screaming about this from the hilltops. IF HBO starts asking for money settlements in their DMCA notices, you can be sure I would write about it. However, for now, select a legal method of viewing HBO’s exclusive content, and enjoy the shows.


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the IP Echelon DMCA notices, 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 notice, or you can call/SMS 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.

BitTorrent Lawsuit Trends – ME2, Venice PI, UN4, Headhunter (8/2017)

While we are far from the end of August, we have seen a significant shift in the filing trends of the ME2 Productions movie lawsuits, a continuing trend in the UN4 Productions movie lawsuits, growth in the Headhunter LLC movie lawsuits, and an expansion of the Venice PI LLC movie lawsuits.  This shift in filing trends is the subject of this NEW BITTORRENT CASE FILINGS UPDATE (8/2017). We also have seen the birth of a new baby copyright troll with just 2 cases in Oregon, “POW Nevada, LLC.”

NOTE: “POW” Nevada, LLC stands for “Prisoner of War,” and the movie they are suing for is called “Revolt (2017), a.k.a. Prisoner of War.” I saw the trailer for this movie, and while I am less than enthusiastic about the prisoner of war alternative title, all I could say is, “Killer Robot steel tentacles — I’m in!”

pow-nevada-revolt-trailer-screenshot
Yes, those are killer robot tentacles being launched at the soldier’s face.

Are the bittorrent cases coming to an end?

Obviously, it would be wishful thinking to think that we have won the war, and what is that war? Piracy is illegal and it hurts the content producers. However, the solution to piracy is not filing federal copyright infringement lawsuits alleging statutory damages of $150,000 against each and every accused downloader, regardless of whether they did the download or not. And, the solution to piracy is not to force hundreds of families (987 families were sued by the copyright troll lawyers last year) to choose between two bad choices — either empty their savings to pay a multi-thousand dollar settlement or hire an attorney (which also costs money) to stop the plaintiff attorney from coming after the accused defendants.

Bad Defense Litigation Attorneys

Defense attorneys who understand federal practice happily take clients who are accused of copyright infringement. They have read articles I or others have written, and they have read Prof. Matthew Sag’s “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper, which explains that even if the accused John Doe Defendant actually did the download (or, viewed the movie illegally using Popcorn Time software), they actually cannot prove that copyright infringement happened.

They will then tell their potential clients that “copyright law” gives the winner of the lawsuit all of their attorney fees (which is true in theory, but not in practice). In other words, “pay me $300/hour for the next 100 hours of work, and WHEN YOU WIN, you’ll get all that money back from the criminal copyright trolls who deserve everything that comes to them.” However, what they do not tell you is that attorney fees only get awarded to the party who “wins” the case when it is dismissed by a judge or a jury because they find that based on the evidence, no copyright infringement occurred. In other words, the legal speak for this is that attorney fee awards for copyright infringement lawsuits are only awarded “to the prevailing party who prevails ON THE MERITS.”

These defense attorneys are WELL AWARE that the copyright troll plaintiff attorneys are under instructions to dismiss an innocent defendant after discovery, but before the defense attorney files a summary judgement motion (the first place a judgement “on the merits” can happen).

Essentially, a summary judgement motion tells the court,

“Dear Judge, the plaintiff attorney has searched my client’s computer. He has asked my client questions under oath. He has conducted a video recording of my client answering his questions. With all this, he cannot prove the elements of copyright infringement, so please dismiss the case.”

Again, a plaintiff attorney will dismiss a defendant BEFORE the summary judgement is filed, which means that the defendant will LOSE all the tens of thousands of dollars he paid in attorney fees TO HIS OWN LAWYER!

Bad Settlement Factory Attorneys

I have already covered the topic of “bad settlement factory attorneys” here, and here (and here).

[Essentially, settlement factories pretend that they do not only settle clients, but every client interview leads to the answer of “you should settle,” or, “wait to see if they come after you and send you a settlement demand letter, then settle,” or some variation thereof.

If you retain a settlement factory attorney, you will be paying less for your attorney, but you do not get the value for the amount you are paying. Why? Because 1) the physical amount of time they actually spend on your settlement versus the amount of money you pay gives them a $500+/hour hidden rate because they actually do not negotiate your settlement price. As a result, the amount you end up paying ends up being significantly higher than if you just hired an attorney (me or anyone else) to negotiate a settlement to right way, without cutting any corners. Oh, and the settlement factories will provide you merely a boilerplate settlement agreement (which has you admit guilt, and which potentially opens you up to future lawsuits).

As a result of my articles exposing their methods, these settlement factories have altered their scripts claiming that they do actually negotiate each settlement price, and that they actually do negotiate the settlement agreements, but this is a marketing trick. They don’t, I’ve seen the agreements.]

So why is it relevant that there have only been six (6) cases filed so far this month?

I am writing this article on 8/8/2017, so we are only eight days into the month. However, one of the strengths of our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC is that we pay attention to:

  • which plaintiff attorneys are suing for copyright infringement on behalf of which movie production studios,
  • what the proclivities of each plaintiff attorney are (do they name and serve defendants, do they drag them through discovery before dismissing, or can we quickly negotiate a dismissal for an innocent client without paying a settlement),
  • what the mood of the federal court is where the lawsuits are filed (copyright trolls choose where to sue based on where they believe they will find “copyright troll friendly” judges) [this is called forum selection for those of you who are interested], and
  • whether the underlying movie company is willing to pay their attorney to name and serve clients and “drag them through the mud” before dismissing, or whether it is cost efficient, meaning, they pay attention to the bottom line.

Why I just spent an entire paragraph listing our law firm’s strengths is to share that when there is a change in a trend, we notice, and there has been a change in the trend.

So are copyright troll lawsuits dead?

Unfortunately, no, they are simply pacing themselves. Since we discovered in March 2017 the underlying “common copyright troll” link between each and every movie lawsuit filed in federal courts across the US, we have been watching which movie company sues, where, and how often. That way, when a “bittorrent lawsuit campaign” is coming to an end, we see this trend and cut off all funding, even for defendants who may have otherwise settled the claims against them. This might anger and provoke the plaintiff attorneys who diligently read my blog (“hello y’all”), but the simple matter is that I do not take every client who calls my office unlike other firms, and if I sense a campaign is over, I’ll tell them to avoid even my fees and just watch the case and wait for a dismissal. I’ll even teach them how to do it themselves, and I don’t charge them for this.

What trends have we spotted for August, 2017?

Now to the meat of the article. 🙂 Data described here includes ALL FILINGS across the US for July 1, 2017 – August 8, 2017.

ME2 PRODUCTIONS (MECHANIC:RESURRECTION) MOVIE LAWSUITS

ME2 Productions, Inc. cases are coming to an end, or at least that is how it appears. There have been four (4) cases filed in four courts (Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, and New York). *That is ONE lawsuit per state,* a mere “drip” compared to the volume of cases they have filed in recent months.

ME2 Productions Inc v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-01077) (Washington Western District Court)
ME2 Productions, Inc v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01810) (Colorado District Court)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe 1; et al. (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00320) (Hawaii District Court)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-67.85.69.69 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05701) (New York Southern District Court)

UN4 PRODUCTIONS (BOYKA: UNDISPUTED 4) MOVIE LAWSUITS

The UN4 Productions ISP subpoena cases appear to be in the middle of their campaign. Cases are still being filed (predominantly in the Illinois Northern District Court), but there has also been a splattering of cases filed in Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, and Texas [Texas is actually a new story, as having these cases expand into Texas with Gary Fischman as the plaintiff attorney is a new trend]). Aside from the Texas filings, you’ll notice the list of federal courts matches exactly with the list of courts where the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases are filed.

Expect to see more UN4 Productions, Inc. cases filed, as this lawsuit appears to be targeting “ethnic” defendants with “deeper pockets.” These include Arabic speaking defendants, French speaking defendants, and Spanish speaking defendants.

UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01689) (Colorado District Court)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. DOE Defendants 1-20 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00331) (Hawaii District Court)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-72.89.251.15 (Case No. 1:17-cv-04400) (New York Eastern District Court)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-16 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02115) (Texas Southern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-17 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05563) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-19 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05561) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-26 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05565) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-31 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05567) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-35 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05569) (Illinois Northern District Court)

HEADHUNTER LLC (“A FAMILY MAN”) MOVIE LAWSUITS

The Headhunter movie lawsuit campaign is still in its infancy. Only appearing on the scene recently, most of their cases are also young and in their infancy. This means that even though cases have already been filed across the US, federal judges have not yet approved the plaintiffs’ requests to send subpoenas to the ISPs of accused defendants to unmask their identities. Thus, many of those who have been accused of being John Doe defendants do not even know they have been implicated in their lawsuits.

Headhunter LLC lawsuits in sum have already “dropped their seeds,” and now while they wait for those filings to sprout and ensnare hundreds of families across the US for the “A Family Man” movie (irony), Headhunder, LLC is expanding the scope and bredth of their filings, and they are filing in liberal states (Texas is very conservative as a rule, but the city of Houston, and the various nerve centers are all liberal — that way they can vote Republican in every federal election, but they vote Democrat in-state to provide services to Texas citizens). I have not figured out the relevance of their choosing this demographic to sue for the “A Family Man” movie, but as these cases mature, I’ll begin to see the trends as they unfold.

Headhunter LLC v. Doe-173.56.227.169 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05314) (New York Southern District Court)
Headhunter LLC v. Doe-69.124.0.132 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04155) (New York Eastern District Court)
Headhunter LLC v. Doe-72.80.132.46 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05895) (New York Southern District Court)
Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-73.191.98.246 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00793) (Virginia Eastern District Court)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-17 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02352) (Texas Southern District Court)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00069) (Virginia Western District Court)
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-02985) (Pennsylvania Eastern District Court)
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-02986) (Pennsylvania Eastern District Court)

Stay tuned; there will be many more of these lawsuits.

VENICE PI (“ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENICE”) MOVIE LAWSUITS

I wonder if Bruce Willis knew when he took this role that in addition to the “Once Upon a Time in Venice” movie destroying his reputation, it would also spawn a slew of copyright infringement lawsuits which destroy the lives of hundreds of families across the US. Venice PI movie lawsuits are in FULL SWING and are being accelerated and expanded across the US. This simply means that the Venice PI copyright holder is happy with the initial results of early lawsuits, and they are investing significantly more money into the enforcement of their copyright rights.

What this means for you if you are a defendant in this lawsuit is that the plaintiff attorneys across the US are likely funded and able to spend large amounts of time and hours going after the many defendants for Venice PI, LLC cases. This means that they will likely name and serve defendants who do not settle, and they will drag innocent defendants into and through discovery before dismissing them. Contrast this to a cost conscious copyright holder who wants to spend as little as possible on their copyright trolling campaign — defendants from the cost conscious copyright holders will be dismissed outright and any naming and serving of defendants will be for “face saving” purposes only (e.g., to fool the federal judges into thinking that these copyright holder plaintiffs are “serious” about proceeding against those downloaders who actually downloaded the film).

This copyright holder will likely be a problem for accused defendants.

Because there are so many new defendants implicated by Venice PI, LLC, I am sorting the lawsuits by state so that it is easier to see how many families will be affected by these lawsuits.

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Colorado District Court (5)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01664)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01787)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01861)
VENICE PI, LLC v. John Does 1 – 15 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01870)
Venice PI, LLC. v. John Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01850)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Indiana Northern District Court (4)
(NOTE: I was just there a few weeks ago.)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-00284)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-00285)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOE 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-02274)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOE 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-02328)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the New York Southern and Eastern District Courts (3)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-24.44.143.124 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04249)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-68.173.101.58 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04076)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-66.108.113.178 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05594)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the North Carolina District Courts (11)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00337)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00339)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00340)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00334)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-12 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00333)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-14 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00367)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00671)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00676)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 3:17-cv-00409)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 3:17-cv-00445)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00128)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court (5)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03322)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03324)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-14 (Case No. 2:17-cv-03325)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-7 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03323)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-8 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03326)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Texas Southern District Court (4)
(NOTE: I wrote about these cases here.)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02285)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-13 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02395)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02203)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02244)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Washington Western District Court (6)
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01074)
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01075)
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01076)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01160)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01163)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01164)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena case recently filed in the Hawaii District Court (1)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1; et al. (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00335), and

Venice PI ISP Subpoena case recently filed in the Virginia Western District Court (1)
Venice PI, LLC v. DOES 1-15 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00070)

THE ANOMALY: POW NEVADA, LLC (REVOLT)

If I called Headhunter, LLC movie lawsuits an “infant,” then POW Nevada, LLC would be a newborn. POW Nevada is suing downloaders for the sci-fi movie “Revolt.” The movie trailer for this film looks intense. While this movie has not yet appeared on Carl Crowell’s RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM) list of clients, he is indeed the plaintiff attorney for these lawsuits. Thus, once again, this appears to be a “common copyright troll” lawsuit scenario. There are only two test cases currently filed against two defendants, so let’s see what happens with this copyright holder. If the copyright holder’s lawsuits start metastasizing into federal courts across the US, I’ll pay more attention to this one. For now, it’s a newborn and there are only two defendants.

POW Nevada ISP Subpoena test cases filed in the Oregon District Court (2)
POW Nevada v. Doe-73.157.238.5 (3:17-cv-01134)
POW Nevada, LLC v. Doe-76.27.245.245 (3:17-cv-01133)

POW Nevada LLC | Prisoner-of_War-Revolt-Image Croped

 

In Summary

I would hate to end with a whimper rather than a bang, but really, the answer is that there are movie lawsuit campaigns — each one has its beginning, its peak, and its end.

As you can see, the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases have had their run. Now in full swing are the UN4 Productions cases, the Venice PI cases, and the Headhunter LLC cases. I.T. Productions (the “I.T”. Movie Lawsuits) didn’t go anywhere, and Cook Productions (the “Mr. Church” movie lawsuits) might still be around, although I never sensed much unity of purpose across the various federal courts from these cases.

As far as number of cases filed, this month in August, it appears as if the movie lawsuits are taking a breather. There is definitely a slowdown, perhaps because the college kids are on summer break, and the real lawsuits will start being filed after they return to college. On average, these movie copyright trolls file around 40 cases each month, with occasional spikes of 100+ cases in a “high season,” and 200+ cases filed in the spring.

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