Todd Zenger Settlement Demand Letters Sent to Utah ME2 Defendants

Todd Zenger is the Utah attorney sending settlement demand letters to accused John Doe Defendants in the Utah ME2 Productions, Inc. bittorrent lawsuits (a.k.a. the Utah Mechanic: Resurrection movie lawsuits).  These settlement letters from the ME2 Production attorney are asking for a settlement of $4,900, which in my opinion is absurd.

Todd E. Zenger of Kirton McConkie has been sending settlement demand letters to ME2 Utah bittorrent defendants.

We remember that back in April, Todd Zenger of Kirton | McConkie sent subpoenas to CenturyLink subscribers to expose the idenities of ME2 Utah defendants.  These cases have been going on since March, and only now is he sending out settlement demand letters to Utah ME2 Productions defendants.  The letters claim that the accused defendant downloaded or streamed a copy of his client’s Mechanic: Resurrection movie.

The letters have the following header:

“COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT OF MOVIE “Mechanic: Ressurection”
Settlement Purposes Only – Not Admissible Under FRE 408

The silly part about this is that FRE 408 refers to the Federal Rules of Evidence, Section 408 which governs settlement negotiations.  This provision allows a defense attorney such as myself to openly speak about a case, even to discuss intimate details about a case without worrying that the conversation would somehow be used against our clients.

Todd Zenger appears to be attempting to make it seem as if his settlement demand letter cannot be used as evidence in the lawsuit.  Perhaps he could write whatever he wants in these letters without having them come and haunt him.  Wrong.  The FRE 408 protection is to allow the plaintiff and defense attorneys to discuss the facts of the case without it later being used against the defendant if settlement negotiations fail.  FRE 408 is not meant to provide Todd Zenger a blank check to write whatever he wants in a letter to scare an accused defendant into settling the claims against him.

So let’s back up a moment.  You received a subpoena notice in April, and now in August, you are receiving settlement demand letters from Todd Zenger.  Who is Todd E. Zenger?

Who is the attorney for the ME2 Utah cases?

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

Todd Zenger Utah ME2 Productions Settlement Demand Letters

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reason why I am writing this article is because THIS PAST WEEK, Todd Zenger has been sending settlement demand letters for his ME2 Utah-based copyright infringement lawsuits.  His letters threaten that if a person does not settle, they will be named and served as a “named” defendant in this lawsuit. Most relevant, the deadlines for “payment” are right around the corner.

How did Todd Zenger get my contact information to send me this settlement demand letter?

CenturyLink complies with the subpoenas?

If you remember, CenturyLink was faced with an order signed by the federal judges in the ME2 Utah cases to hand over the contact information of the various John Doe Defendants in the ME2 Utah lawsuits.  I noted on April 24th that Todd Zenger would start sending out settlement demand letters to Utah ME2 John Doe Defendants, and he has.  The settlement letters explain that the accused defendants have been sued for $150,000, and that their ISP has identified them as being the downloader. That their ISP identified them as the infringer was not actually true, as the ISP only provided Todd Zenger with evidence that the accused account holder’s IP address was ‘in the room’ when bittorrent downloading was happening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are my options in defending or resolving claims against me in a ME2 Utah-based case?

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

OPTION 1: FIGHT

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

However, as I have noted in previous articles, an innocent defendant who fights the claims against him “on the merits” would only get the attorney fees back from Todd Zenger’s ME2 Productions, Inc. client if the dismissal was made “on the merits.”  This means that either a judge or a jury would need to rule that copyright infringement did not occur or that this particular defendant is not guilty of copyright infringement based on the evidence.  Todd Zenger is smarter than this, and thus he knows to dismiss “innocent” defendants before their attorney (me, or anyone else) files a motion for summary judgement in the court.

In sum, don’t be sold the lie that if you hire a particular attorney and pay him his fee, all the money you pay to him will be returned to you if you are dismissed from the lawsuit.  This is simply not true.  Attorney fees are awarded only if the dismissal is “on the merits,” (on the evidence) — not when Todd Zenger dismisses you after he realizes you did not do the download.

OPTION 2: SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS

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

What you should know about Todd Zenger’s lawsuits is that the ME2 Productions, Inc. Utah lawsuits are part of a larger racket or scheme by Carl Crowell of Rights Enforcement (rightsenforcement.com).  If you search that website and click on “clients,” you’ll see the 50-80 movie companies who have signed on to be his client and who have (or will be) filing lawsuits in the coming months and years.

Todd Zenger has access to what other downloads the actual downloader downloaded.  This information is not admissible against the accused defendant in THIS lawsuit (because it is considered “character evidence,” but nevertheless, Todd Zenger has found a way to profit off of this information.

In addition to a settlement for the Mechanic: Resurrection movie actually downloaded, if Todd Zenger sees that another movie of his “common troll” client was also downloaded, he will seek an additional settlement for that movie as well.  This is important to know because for downloaders who have downloaded multiple movies listed on the RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT website, *if that downloader was caught* (which often is not the case), Todd Zenger will ask for a settlement for that additional movie title, albeit at a significantly discounted rate.  This is extra cash for him and his client.  If the defendant does not settle these other “unfiled claims” too, Todd Zenger threatens to file a lawsuit against the defendant for those titles too.

In short, have an attorney take care of the settlement negotiations, and better yet — have your attorney (me, or anyone else) ask Todd Zenger whether there are any other claims against you before you have your attorney open up settlement negotiations.  “Settlement Factory” attorneys are likely not paying attention to this, and they will undoubtedly get blindsided by Todd Zenger’s “unfiled claims” tactic.

OPTION 3: “NO SETTLEMENT REPRESENTATION”

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

This strategy was the one described in Professor Sag’s “Defense Against The Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper.  However, that paper wrote a lot about these cases IN THEORY.  IN PRACTICE, sending Todd Zenger a letter claiming that my client did not do it prompts Todd Zenger to follow-up with questions to determine who actually did the download.  Clients that hire me just to write this letter for $750 for the 2-3 hours it would take to gather the facts and write the letter should be prepared to upgrade to the “Option 4” ignore route representation (below) if they don’t want to be on their own after the letter has been drafted and sent.  In other words, my experience is that the “No Settlement Letter” has not been successful when dealing with Todd Zenger’s lawsuits.

OPTION 4: “IGNORE” ROUTE REPRESENTATION

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

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

There is nothing more to comment here.  The “Ignore” Route Representation is a very effective strategy.  It gets you an attorney who is in constant communication with the plaintiff attorney on your behalf, and the goal of this representation is to convince the plaintiff attorney that you are NOT the downloader than therefore you will not be paying a settlement.  I should have called the “ignore” route the “open communication with the plaintiff attorney” route, but that would have been too wordy.

OPTION 5: ARGUE “MINIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES” REPRESENTATION

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

I am happy to share that Todd Zenger has been reasonable in any settlement negotiations I have had to have with him, so I have not needed to pull any settlements “off the table” yet for a misbehaving plaintiff attorney.  So far, he is willing to work with my clients and their particular circumstances to come to an arrangement that their pocket books can handle.

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

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

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

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

CONTACT AN 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 UTAH ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC. 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 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.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

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

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

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.

Have you read enough? Book Now to get help. > > >

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
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  • 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.

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