Motions to Quash in one page (FAQ); when NOT to file a motion to quash.

What is a Motion to Quash, and how is it relevant in my copyright infringement lawsuit?

The first thing an accused defendant learns when reading the subpoena letter sent to him by his ISP is that:

1) He was implicated as a one of a small set of “John Doe” Defendants in a copyright infringement lawsuit.
2) The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed by a copyright holder apparently owning the rights to a movie he clicked on or downloaded.
3) He is being sued for $150,000 for the download of that movie.
4) He may or may not have actually downloaded that movie.
5) His ISP is being forced by a subpoena ordering them to turn over his true identity (along with other relevant information).

After asking around, he learns:
…6) There is a way to stop the ISP from handing out his contact information, and that is filing an “objection with the court.”
7) The “objection with the court” that he would file is called a motion to quash.

Motions to quash are not the answer, and here is why:

A motion to quash is the first piece of “legal jargon” an accused defendant grasps onto.

The accused defendant thinks, “I am going to quash the subpoena!”  Then the next logical thought is to search the internet for “motions to quash,” or “forms on how to file a motion to quash,” etc.  What that accused defendant gets in the search results is almost never his answer on how to file the motion to quash, but some enterprising attorney who decided that he will use this term to lure him in as a paying client for many months to come.

Faced with the prospect of hiring an attorney to file a motion to quash for him, the accused defendant never asks, “should I file a motion to quash?”

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“Should I file a motion to quash?”

Obviously as an attorney I need to dance around this issue because this blog is not to be considered legal advice.  However, NO, contrary to popular thought and mob rule, it is my belief having defended “copyright troll” bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases for now OVER SEVEN YEARS that motions to quash are not an effective tool for stopping your ISP from handing out your information to the plaintiff attorney.

What exactly is a motion to quash?

Simplifying a bit, a motion to quash in the context of a bittorrent lawsuit tells the court that they do not have “PERSONAL JURISDICTION” over you.  In other words, a motion to quash informs the court that the plaintiff attorney / copyright troll filed the lawsuit against you in the *wrong federal court* (and plaintiff attorneys have been forced to reimburse the ISPs for making this mistake).

[The actual context is that this would be a motion to quash (or nullify) the subpoena which is forcing the ISP to hand over your information.  The attack itself is on the validity of the subpoena, not the copyright troll or the plaintiff.]

The question a judge must determine when faced with a motion to quash is “does this John Doe Defendant live in the jurisdiction or territory in which my federal court has power and control to enforce the laws over that defendant?”

When is a motion to quash successful?

A motion to quash is successful if the accused John Doe defendant filing the motion to quash lives in a state OTHER THAN where the lawsuit was filed.  For example, an accused defendant who is living in New York, and not in California where the lawsuit was filed), then the California federal judge will sever and dismiss that defendant from the lawsuit.  The motion to quash the subpoena as to that John Doe Defendant will be successful, and the ISP is released from its obligation to hand over the information for that John Doe Defendant to the plaintiff attorney.

The dismissal will be, however, “without prejudice,” meaning that the copyright holder will still have three (3) years from the alleged date of infringement to sue that defendant in the federal court of the state in which he or she lives.

When is a motion to quash not successful?

A motion to quash a subpoena is not successful when the accused “John Doe” defendant lives in the state in which he was sued.  Here, the judge will determine that the federal court has personal jurisdiction over that defendant, and the motion to quash will likely be denied.

The effect of this is that as soon as a motion to quash is denied, the internet service provider (“ISP”) [who initially held back that accused defendant’s contact information from the spreadsheet of names and addresses provided to the plaintiff attorney] will now separately comply with the subpoena as to that John Doe Defendant who filed the motion to quash and lost.  Think of this as the ISP sending that defendant’s contact information in a FedEx package to the plaintiff attorney stating, “this is the guy who filed the motion to quash and lost.”

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Isn’t it illegal for the ISP to hand out my information?  Can I sue my ISP if they comply with the subpoena?

This is actually an interesting topic which I first researched many years ago.  The answer is that it depends on whether the federal judge in your case considers the ISP to be under the rules of the Cable Act or not.  You would think this is an easy answer, “yes or no, does an internet service provider fall under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934?” but judges in the bittorrent copyright infringement cases have had different opinions of this over the years.

Unrelated to the very muddy area of under which Title of the Communication Act do ISPs fall, this issue has become relevant to our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC practice in defending bittorrent defendants.  The reason for this is that a cornerstone part of our strategy is not only understanding the personality and proclivities of the plaintiff attorney (will he name and serve, what are his motivations, etc.), but also to understand how each federal judge sees the validity of the bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases.  Judges who quote a certain set of case law (which places the ISPs in the context of being under the Cable Act) or who quote Arista Records LLC (sorry for the Wikipedia link) are usually plaintiff / copyright holder friendly.  Those that do not are more “John Doe” Defendant friendly.

Anyway, in 2011, I once looked into suing an ISP for disclosing the identity of a John Doe Defendant, and I was hit with a wall of messy, disorganized law with inconsistent case law rulings on this topic (whether ISPs fall under the Cable Act, whether they are to be considered under Title 2 of the Communication Act, or under some other classification).  In short, even if I were successful, in the end, the defendant would have only had damages of $1,000, so it made no sense to fight the lawsuit (the time alone to file it would have cost the defendant the slap-on-the-wrist money he would have made from being right).  Anyway, just a fun tidbit.

The plaintiff attorney’s response to a motion to quash

Historically, the plaintiff attorney who sees an accused John Doe Defendant file a motion to quash will claim that the defendant lacks “STANDING” to file the motion to quash.

He will claim that the John Doe filing the motion to quash was never named and served in the lawsuit (and might never be named and served).  They will point out to the court that the purpose of the “JOHN DOE” placeholder, by definition, is that this is an unnamed defendant.  In order to determine who the actual defendant-to-be-named is in the lawsuit, they need the subscriber’s identifying information to determine whether this subscriber was the downloader or not.

[A plaintiff attorney deciding to “NAME AND SERVE” a defendant is outside the scope of this article.  For more information on what to do when you are named and served, click here.]

As a result, federal judges sometimes buy this argument and they deny the motion to quash, or they find some other justification to deny the motion to quash.

A quick comment about the personalities of the plaintiff attorneys who represent the copyright holders:

Plaintiff attorneys / “copyright trolls” have a bad reputation because they have been known to incorporate their personal hurt feelings and egos into the prosecution of their client’s cases.

The purpose of a “copyright troll” / bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuit is to extract as many multi-thousand dollar settlements as possible in return for the $400 filing fee their client paid to file the lawsuit.  Most of these attorneys work on a commission basis, so the time they spent “fighting” the case is court is wasted time.

When a defendant files a motion to quash, this forces the plaintiff attorney to oppose the motion to quash.  Following most oppositions comes a hearing (which sometimes takes up the entire morning, even though the hearing itself on the motion to quash is 5 minutes long).

Thus, any defendant who files the motion to quash ends up with a vindictive attorney who is looking to recoup that time lost in dollars and commissions.  This translates into an overly hostile or vindictive attorney who increases the settlement price to “nail” that defendant who filed the motion to quash.

Instead of a motion to quash, what should the first step of defense be?

Great question.  Rather than jumping to file a motion to quash, the accused “John Doe” defendant needs to figure out whether he actually downloaded the movie that is the subject of the lawsuit.  Next, whether he downloaded it or not, he needs to speak to an attorney to determine what his options are.

Most attorneys who understand that motion to quash attempts are usually unsuccessful will instruct the client to forego filing the motion to quash, and to move right into defending the claims against the client.

There is a long period of time in which the “John Doe” defendant remains anonymous.  During this “John Doe” phase, the anonymity of the accused John Doe Defendant is preserved.  Hiring an attorney at this point (before being named and served) provides you with so many more options than you might have after being named and served.  During this time, your plaintiff attorney has a window in which he can investigate whether each accused downloader actually downloaded the file or not; he purportedly does this in order to determine which John Doe Defendants to name and serve, and which not to name and serve.

Really, this is the bulk of where the bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuits spend their time.

During this “John Doe” phase of the lawsuit, the courts issue FRCP Rule 4(m) extensions over and over until the judge forces the plaintiff attorney to name and serve some defendants or stop wasting the court’s time.  During this time, an attorney defending a John Doe Defendant has the opportunity to obtain whatever evidence the plaintiff attorney has on that defendant, and he has the opportunity to explain that it was not the accused John Doe Defendant who did the download.

If the client actually did the download, the defense attorney has other tools at his disposal (e.g., the “no settlement” route, the “ignore” route, or the minimum statutory damages strategy, if the plaintiff attorney names and serves the defendant or otherwise won’t negotiate a settlement).  Obviously, negotiating a settlement for a defendant who actually did the download is usually the quickest way out of the lawsuit (watch out for settlement factory attorneys and so-called defense attorneys who actually represent the copyright holders (“weretrolls”), but it perpetuates the whole copyright troll scheme.

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Why FIGHTING the case is not the best answer either (even with an innocent defendant).

Lastly, there is always the option to “FIGHT,” or litigate and defend the claims against you, like a hero slaying a “copyright troll” dragon (I did not make up that analogy).  However, there are bad attorneys here too, because they really want you to pay them an hourly fee for the next few hundred hours.

They’ll claim that they are defending your case because the copyright holder does not actually have evidence of copyright infringement (which is true — what they actually have is called “snapshot evidence,” which is not copyright infringement).  They will also explain that copyright law gives the prevailing party (the “winner”) the attorney fees they paid to their attorney.

Thus, they can spend $20K-$30K on the litigation, and they’ll recoup it from the copyright troll when they win their case, right?? Wrong.

Copyright Troll / Plaintiff Attorneys know EXACTLY WHEN to dismiss an innocent defendant to avoid having to pay attorney fees.

The plaintiff attorneys are very aware of the attorney fees which are awarded to the winner of the lawsuit.

Thus, they know EXACTLY WHEN to dismiss an accused defendant (usually after being named and served, right after discovery (think, depositions, interrogatories, evidence gathering, and questions under oath, etc.) once the defendant establishes that he actually did not do the download).

This means that the plaintiff attorney deprived the wrongly accused “innocent” defendant of ALL the money and months of anguish he paid to his defense attorney.

The defendant is dismissed, taking nothing back for his losses.  However, the defense attorney sits there fat and piggish having taken every penny the named defendant had.

Chances are, that attorney never explained to the named defendant that such a dismissal could happen, or else the defendant may have chosen to settle early on (and the defense attorney would have made significantly fewer dollars in fees).

Why FIGHTING based on the argument that the plaintiff attorney has no evidence is also dumb.

This deserves to be its own post, but I’ll get straight to the point.  Representing a client who did the download based on the argument that the plaintiff attorney has no evidence is foolish, and here is why:

Even if I were to charge a defendant only $100 to defend the claims against him (if I said pro bono or no fee), and I defended that client on the basis that the plaintiff attorney had no evidence against my client [based on the “snapshot evidence” theory]:

*EVEN IF I AM RIGHT* (that “snapshot evidence” is insufficient to prove copyright infringement), MY OWN CLIENT WHO DOWNLOADED THE MOVIE WOULD BE THE ONLY EVIDENCE THE PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY WOULD REQUIRE TO PROVE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.

Why?  Because after being named and served, there is something called “discovery,” where among other things (such as having a computer forensics expert check the computer for the infringing copyrighted title), my own client would be forced to answer questions under oath, AND ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS WOULD BE, “DID YOU DOWNLOAD THE XYZ FILE USING BITTORRENT?”

At that point, once your client admits guilt in a deposition, or otherwise under oath, there is nothing to do but to settle.  Snapshot evidence at that point becomes irrelevant to whether this defendant downloaded the film.

As one attorney cleverly said it, I believe today on Twitter:

“I can be the most educated, smartest, wizardly genius attorney ever to exist.  No legal argument can change the fact that my client downloaded the film.”

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IN SUM, INSTEAD OF THE MOTION TO QUASH, CONSIDER YOUR CASE.

Thus, for someone who received notice that their ISP is handing out their information to the plaintiff attorney, don’t worry about the motion to quash.  Ask yourself whether you recognize the movie you are accused of downloading, and whether you downloaded or watched the movie without a license (e.g., with bittorrent, or with Popcorn Time, etc.).

Whether the answer is yes or no, don’t wait.  Hire an attorney, explain your situation, and let the attorney either 1) convince the plaintiff attorney that you did not do the download or will not otherwise settle (a.k.a., the “no settlement” representation), or 2) have the attorney settle the claims against you.

This time while you are an “anonymous” John Doe is precious to you; don’t squander it.

Fighting (defending the claims against you in litigation) only makes sense when 1) you understand that EVERYTHING YOU PAY YOUR ATTORNEY TO DEFEND YOU WILL BE LOST, but you do not want to give in and settle the claims against you, and 2) when you want your attorney to file an answer, admit guilt, and argue $750 minimum statutory damages (when you did the download and the plaintiff attorney is unwilling to settle or negotiate fairly).

All other times, one of the “ignore” routes or “settle” route is the more economical approach.

THIS HAS BEEN A LAWSUIT-NEUTRAL ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR THE TORRENTLAWYER UNIVERSITY.

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT WITH AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your matter, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected], or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

CONTACT FORM: Alternatively, sometimes people just like to contact me using one of these forms.  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.

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The life of a subpoena, and at what point you are no longer anonymous.

TIMELINE: ISP SUBPOENAS AND ANONYMITY

Any “copyright troll” bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuit really revolves around the subpoena which moves from the court to the accused John Doe Defendants.  Tracking a subpoena can help an accused defendant understand the timelines of when they can fight, when they can settle, when they can ignore, and whether they are anonymous or not at each step.

A Subpoena is first introduced to the court for approval.

A subpoena is first introduced to the court when the plaintiff attorney files the lawsuit and asks the court for permission to obtain the identities of the various internet users accused of downloading the copyright holder’s movie or copyrighted work.

The Subpoena, once approved by the court, is sent to the ISP.

The federal judge approves the subpoena (usually by rubber stamp), and the subpoenas are then sent to the “abuse” department of the various ISPs (e.g., AT&T U-verse, COX Communications, Comcast, etc.).  These ISPs in receipt of the subpoena are ordered to hand over the accused subscriber’s information to the plaintiff attorney.  They send a notice to the account holder that a subpoena has been received, and that they are under a duty to comply with the subpoena by a certain date unless the account holder files a Motion to Quash the subpoena before the arbitrary deadline they set (usually the deadline is 30 days from the notice sent to the subscriber).

The ISP forwards the Subpoena to the accused account holder giving him a chance to file an objection with the court.

You (the account holder) receive the notice containing the subpoena, and you learn that you are implicated as a “John Doe” (an unnamed defendant) in the Copyright Holder Corporate Entity v. Does lawsuit.  Here, you learn that you can supposedly stop the ISP from handing out your information to the plaintiff attorney by filing an objection with the court, a.k.a. a “Motion to Quash.”  At this point, you are still anonymous.

The ISP complies with the Subpoena and hands over your contact information to the plaintiff attorney.

Assuming you do not file the Motion to Quash (there are many articles on this website explaining why you might not do so), the 30-day deadline set by your ISP will lapse, and your ISP will comply with the subpoena.  They turn over your information to the PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY (but not to the court or anyone else).  You are still anonymous.

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The exact moment your anonymity expires.

At this point, the life of the subpoena is over, as it has served its purpose and the plaintiff attorney is in receipt of your contact information (and whatever other information your ISP was forced to hand over to it).  At this point, you are a “John Doe” defendant in the lawsuit, and only your plaintiff attorney knows your real identity.  YOU ARE STILL ANONYMOUS at this point (as to the court and the world, as the plaintiff attorney is not going to share your information unless he decides to name and serve you as a defendant in the lawsuit).

Your anonymity expires once the plaintiff attorney realizes that he or she cannot get a settlement from you, and based on their evidence that you are the downloader of their client’s copyrighted movie, they file an amended complaint with the court with your name as a defendant, and they serve you with a copy of the complaint.  At this point, you have been “named and served,” and you are no longer anonymous.  At this point, you need to decide whether it makes more sense to stand and defend against the claims against you (consider the attorney fees issue), or to negotiate a settlement and amicably step away from the lawsuit.

NOTE: If you choose to fight, be aware of Prof. Matthew Sag’s paper entitled “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling,” and the considerations surrounding using what are otherwise “valid” defenses to copyright infringement which likely DO apply to your case.

[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about your lawsuit and options on how to proceed, 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 case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

ISP Subpoena Timeline & Anonymity Timeline

Malibu Media Anonymous Settlement is a misnomer.

MALIBU MEDIA ANONYMOUS SETTLEMENTS, BUYER BEWARE.

The purpose of this article is to specifically discuss the prospect of a Malibu Media Anonymous Settlement. A Malibu Media lawsuit targets users based on bittorrent activities tracked over a long period of time. Malibu Media copyright infringement lawsuits are filed with a federal court, Malibu Media subpoenas are sent to ISP subscribers, and after realizing that filing a motion to quash may or may not be the best option, deciding whether to negotiate a settlement or to fight becomes the main consideration.

Malibu Media settlements themselves (not even considering a Malibu Media anonymous settlement, as we will discuss below) are very expensive — not because they ask for a lot of money for the bittorrent download of one X-art adult film, but because they ask for the settlement of EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THE MALIBU MEDIA MOVIES YOU MAY HAVE DOWNLOADED OVER THE COURSE OF YEARS.  Thus, instead of asking for a settlement of, say, $3,500 for the download of one copyrighted video (as other copyright holders do), they’ll ask for a settlement of ALL 50 MOVIES they claim you downloaded over the last three (3) years.  This article will go into the various pitfalls a defendant may face when being lured into a Malibu Media anonymous settlement.

NOTE: BEFORE READING THIS ARTICLE: If you have not already done so, and you are implicated as a John Doe in a Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, read these first:
1) “Everything You Need To Know in One Page About Your Malibu Media, LLC (X-Art) Lawsuit [FAQ]

2) “In-Depth Malibu Media.  Their Lawsuits, Their Strategies, and Their Settlements

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info [at] cashmanlawfirm.com, or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

Malibu Media’s list of “movies infringed” is often INCOMPLETE (and for a reason).

If you choose to fight and defend the claims against you, Malibu Media subpoena lawsuits have ‘slick tricks’ built into their lawsuits.  They file each lawsuit alleging copyright infringement of only one (1) video, and they list (for example,) the fifty (50) videos they claim you downloaded over the years.  However, they hold back information from the court and they do not list the newest X-Art videos you have downloaded in the recent months.  Thus, if the lawsuit was filed in July, 2017 they’ll only list downloads you participated in until February, 2017.  This leaves all of the Malibu Media downloads you participated in between February 2017 – July 2017 off of the lawsuit.

Why would they do this?  Because they know that when you start fighting your case, you might dispute a number of their claims.  You might even go line-by-line and claim that they did not follow the copyright laws in protecting their rights (e.g., Malibu Media has consistently fudged the ‘publication’ requirement, as I have fought with them on this topic in the past).  Even if you tried to negotiate a Malibu Media anonymous settlement, they still anticipated a way to trick you (more on this “John Doe, subscriber having IP address XYZ” issue below).  However, whether you are right or wrong, they always keep “extra ammunition” of other Malibu Media, LLC (X-Art) titles you downloaded as a threat against you fighting them on the merits.  For example, they might say “If you argue that this list is not accurate, we actually have many more titles we believe you have downloaded — we can list these too if you would like.”

Obviously it is more complicated than this, but point being, I have seen that Malibu Media LLC lawsuits always keeps some set of information ‘off of the table,’ and they reserve this information to gain additional leverage when an inexperienced attorney tries to fight them on the line-by-line details of their case (which, by the way, is often flawed or contains copy-and-paste mistakes from other lawsuits).  This creates a dangerous situation for the accused defendant who gets lured by his attorney into a Malibu Media anonymous settlement.

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

Malibu Media anticipated anonymous settlements and built in a way to re-sue defendants who settled (or, re-approach them and ask for more money).

Now as far as negotiating a Malibu Media anonymous settlement, Malibu Media has been ‘slick’ here too.  Their lawsuits do not implicate you, a “John Doe” defendant, who has had many IP addresses over the past few years.  Rather, they implicate only “John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address 172.2.51.244,” a John Doe defendant who has been assigned a specific IP address on one day.

SPOILER: The Malibu Media anonymous settlement settling a John Doe case (no IP address specified) is different from a Malibu Media anonymous settlement settling a John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address XYZ case.

IP addresses are assigned to internet users when their router connects their computer to the internet.  That IP address does not belong to that internet user; rather, it is “leased” to that internet user for a limited time, usually 24 hours, 48 hours, or until they reboot their modem or otherwise obtain a new IP address.  Thus, the IP address you have today might not be the same IP address you had yesterday, and so on.  Now IP addresses are pulled from a limited pool of addresses, so a particular internet service provider (“ISP”) might assign the same IP address to a customer for a few days in a row, but that IP address does not belong to that internet user.  If it did, it would be called a “static IP address” which is significantly more expensive than the residential “dynamic IP addresses” leased to residential ISP customers.

Why is this relevant to you, the person behind the John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address 172.2.51.244 title?  Because IF you settled anonymously, you would be settling as John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address 172.2.51.244, and not as the John Doe Defendant having had many IP addresses leased to him.  Thus, Malibu Media, LLC could easily take your $12,000 settlement payment, say thank you, and then sue you again under a different “John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address [SOMETHING ELSE]” for this same set of movies allegedly downloaded.  If you settled anonymously, your attorney would have ‘unwittingly’ opened you up to this problem, because John Doe subscriber assigned IP address X is a different fictitious legal entity than John Doe subscriber assigned IP address Y.  This sounds like semantics, but buyer beware.  Doing this wrong can open you up to being solicited for another settlement for downloads that were done by “another John Doe subscriber.”

In sum, beware of the settlement factory attorney who tries to convince you to settle the claims against you “anonymously.”  In a Malibu Media, LLC case, doing so is simply reckless.

Malibu Media anonymous settlement “price gouging.”

Further, negotiating a Malibu Media anonymous settlement gives the Malibu Media copyright troll attorneys an opportunity to price gouge their settlement prices.  Why?  Because an attorney who comes to them asking them to settle anonymously (without disclosing to Malibu Media the identity of the defendant) prompts the Malibu Media attorney to inquire why that defendant wants to settle anonymously.  “What does he have to hide?,” they ask.

Immediately upon learning that the accused defendant wants to settle anonymously, they recognize that the defense attorney has lost all leverage in negotiating the settlement price, and they’ll “spike” the cost of the settlement.  “Anonymous settlements come at a price,” they may say.

Malibu Media anonymous settlement
geralt / Pixabay

Attorneys Advocating “Anonymous Settlements” are Deceiving You.

Thus, it is important to understand the mechanics of a settlement before jumping to ask for an anonymous settlement.  What most accused Malibu Media defendants do not realize is that the settlements ARE ALREADY ANONYMOUS [with minimal tweaking] without the defendant having to ask for it.  A diligent attorney will negotiate a confidentiality clause into the settlement agreement (or strengthen one that is already in their boilerplate settlement agreement) to prevent their attorneys from disclosing the identity of the defendant with anyone.

This means that your attorney can (and should) put your name in the settlement agreement itself.  This avoids the entire John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address [SOMETHING] issue, because it is actually the real person (not the fictitious John Doe legal entity having a particular IP address) who is settling.

Rather than taking the effort to actually negotiate the terms of the agreement, your settlement factory attorney will try to convince you that you won’t suffer if you try to settle anonymously.

 [This not only alleviates them of the need to negotiate the terms of the agreement, but it also allows them to use their “turn key” boilerplate e-mails, which the plaintiff attorneys (who have already agreed to a pre-arranged inflated settlement price) already know and recognize, so that they can ‘spike’ the settlement amount, gouge the settling defendant, and charge higher prices.  I won’t go into the dishonest attorney issue, kickbacks, etc., as I have written about these issues before.]

Once an accused Malibu Media defendant realizes that it is okay to allow his attorney to put his name in the settlement agreement, at that point, the Malibu Media settlement agreement itself covers 1) ALL PAST ACTS OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT regarding 2) ALL OF MALIBU MEDIA’S TITLES, and based on the wording of the CONFIDENTIALITY CLAUSE in the agreement the settlement truly becomes a “Malibu Media anonymous settlement.”

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

Let’s look into this one level deeper, just to be sure that we have also solved the other ‘slick tricks’ Malibu Media lawsuits have built into their cases.

1) “ALL PAST ACTS OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT”

Because the settlement agreement containing the name of the accused defendant (and not the so-called ‘anonymous’ fictitious John Doe entity), the settlement will cover “ALL PAST ACTS OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.”  This means that the settlement will cover even those downloads that Malibu Media, LLC purposefully “left out” from the list of infringements filed with the lawsuit.  Further, the Malibu Media settlement agreement WILL EVEN THOSE DOWNLOADS MADE BY A “John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address” HAVING AN IP ADDRESS WHICH IS DIFFERENT FROM THE “John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address” IMPLICATED AS THE DEFENDANT IN THIS CASE.

In other words, by negotiating the terms of a Malibu Media settlement, but having the confidentiality clause protect the client’s identity, the settlement agreement having the client’s real name on it will not only be a true Malibu Media anonymous settlement, but it will also cover any other fictitious “John Doe” entity that could have downloaded any of Malibu Media movies, ever.

2) “ALL OF MALIBU MEDIA’S TITLES”

Malibu Media settlement agreements used to be very specific as to which specific Malibu Media titles were being settled, and the settlement used to cover ONLY THOSE TITLES and no other titles allegedly downloaded.  This was back when the Patrick Collins, Inc. v. John Does 1-1000 cases were still being filed.

Immediately we recognized that this limitation of the scope of the agreement to ONLY THOSE KNOWN TITLES DOWNLOADED exposed the client to multiple lawsuits for 1) Malibu Media movie titles that Malibu Media ‘slickly’ left out of their list, or 2) Malibu Media titles which their Guardaley investigators missed.  Thus today, when we negotiate a Malibu Media settlement, the settlement necessarily includes ALL PAST ACTS of copyright infringement FOR ALL OF MALIBU MEDIA’s MOVIES.

In sum, when dealing with a copyright troll such as Malibu Media, LLC, and you see that they do something innocuous such as changing the lawsuit names from “Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe” to “Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe, subscriber assigned IP address 214.42.955.8,” realize that THEY HAVE DONE THIS FOR A REASON.

What else can you tell me about the Malibu Media cases?

[2017 UPDATE] The best way to learn about Malibu Media, LLC is to read what happened to them as it happened.  The list of stories below (in the order I listed them) tell the Malibu Media story in a way that you will understand them.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MALIBU MEDIA, LLC:Again, if you have been implicated as a John Doe defendant in a Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, there are TWO (2) main articles you should read immediately:

1) “Everything You Need To Know in One Page About Your Malibu Media, LLC (X-Art) Lawsuit [FAQ],” and then

2) “In-Depth Malibu Media.  Their Lawsuits, Their Strategies, and Their Settlements.”

FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT WITH AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your Malibu Media, LLC lawsuit, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at info[at] cashmanlawfirm.com, or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

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.

Venice PI LLC (not so “new” copyright troll) filing in select Carl Crowell local counsel courts.

There is a “new” copyright troll filing lawsuits with a fervor across the US named “Venice PI, LLC” (more on the word “new”; more on “across the US”).  The Venice PI lawsuits all claim $150,000 copyright infringement damages for the illegal download of the “Once Upon a Time in Venice” movie starring Bruce Willis.  ISPs are sending notices to their subscribers informing them that a Venice PI subpoena requesting their identity has been provided to them, and that they are under an order signed by a federal judge to comply, unless the subscriber files a “motion to quash” the subpoena.

ISPs sending the subpoena notices to its subscribers informing them about the Once Upon a Time in Venice movie lawsuit include CenturyLink, Comcast Xfinity, Hawaii Telecom, Optimum Online, Verizon Fios, and Time Warner Cable, depending on where you live.

As of this evening, I see lawsuits filed as early as 6/28/2017 and as recent as 7/18/2017. Once Upon a Time in Venice movie lawsuits are being filed in Texas, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington.

…Where have we seen those list of states before?!?

Already, without even looking, I can already see based on where the lawsuits are filed that this is yet one more “common troll” set of lawsuits masterminded by Carl Crowell and his RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT entity. I bet you if I looked up the RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com website, I’d see the “Once Upon a Time in Venice” movie listed there. Let’s look. …Yup. Bottom right, LSD style.

venice-pi-subpoena-once-upon-a-time-in-venice-movie-lawsuit Venice PI

Personally, for a Once Upon a Time in Venice movie lawsuit, I would prefer something less noisy, but you’re not reading this for my aesthetic preferences.

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

Point being, we are dealing with Carl Crowell and his local counsel in the various states.  This means that we know not only what the lawsuits will look like (as far as which judge will allow what), but we know the plaintiff attorney who has sent the subpoenas, and their proclivities.  This means that we know which attorneys are squeamish in naming and serving defendants, which are comfortable taking the lawsuit straight into discovery, and which are “quick on the trigger,” (think, the train whistle blows before the train has left the station) meaning, which attorneys will get him or herself into trouble with a judge by not following the rules, and as a result, names and serves every John Doe Defendant.

This historical knowledge of who has done what is one reason to hire an attorney, but knowing which way to approach the lawsuit based on the proclivities of the attorney filing the lawsuit is another reason you hire an attorney.  In short, we all know that the options are FIGHT, NO-SETTLE REPRESENTATION, SETTLE (without describing each option, as I’ve done this before), and we all know that for a defendant who did not do the download, I recommend one set of options, and for someone who did do the download, I recommend another set of options.  Don’t be fooled — it’s not black and white. [SPEAK TO ME if you want my opinion on your particular case.]

Now for those who want to settle, we already have an idea of what Venice PI settlement amounts each attorney will likely ask for (their asking prices), and based on the other lawsuits filed by these attorney, we have a good idea of what settlement amounts Venice PI, LLC will accept, if you decided to settle in the first place.  Again, there is the no settlement representation, where you have me keep an open line of communication with the plaintiff attorney to demonstrate to him/her why you did not do the download, and there is also a “no settlement letter” which I write for innocent clients to stop the troll scheme cold.

In short, there is a lot of repeat here because this lawsuit contains a lot of repeat from what we’ve seen in the past with the ME2 Productions (Mechanic:Resurrection) movie lawsuits, the UN4 Productions (Undisputed 4) movie lawsuits, the Headhunter LLC (A Family Man) movie lawsuits, the WWE Studios (Eliminator) movie lawsuits, the Cook Productions (Mr. Church) movie lawsuits, etc.  Rinse, repeat, rinse repeat.

For those interested in learning more about the Venice PI LLC lawsuits, see the two links below:

Venice Pi (‘Once Upon a Time in Venice’) Movie Lawsuit Page,” written on 7/19/2017, and
All I know about the Venice Pi, LLC (‘Once Upon a Time in Venice’) Movie Lawsuits (FAQ),” written on 7/18/2017.

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

RECENT CASE HISTORY OF THE VENICE PI SUBPOENA CASES:

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the Texas Southern District Court
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02203)

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the various North Carolina District Courts

Venice PI subpoena cases in the North Carolina Eastern District Court:
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-12 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00337, Case No.5:17-cv-00333)
… v. Does 1-11 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00334)
… v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 5:17-cv-00340, Case No. 5:17-cv-00339, Case No. 4:17-cv-00089)

Venice PI subpoena cases in the North Carolina Middle District Court:
… v. DOES 1-11 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00611)
… v. DOES 1-18 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00610)

Venice PI subpoena cases in the North Carolina Western District Court:
… v. Does 1-10 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00409, Case No. 1:17-cv-00170)

VENICE PI ISP subpoena ordered in the New York District Courts
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04076, 1:17-cv-04249, 1:17-cv-04904)

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the Oregon District Court
… v. Doe-73.96.114.240 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01002)
… v. Doe-71.59.242.118 (Case No. 3:17-cv-01001)

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the Indiana Northern & Southern District Courts
… v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-00284, Case No. 2:17-cv-00285, Case No. 1:17-cv-02274, Case No. 1:17-cv-02328)

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the Colorado District Court
… v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-01664)

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the Hawaii District Court
… v. Doe 1; et al. (Case No. 1:17-cv-00335)

VENICE PI ISP subpoenas ordered in the Washington Western District Court
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-01076, Case No. 2:17-cv-01075, Case No. 2:17-cv-01074, Case No. 2:17-cv-00988, Case No. 2:17-cv-00990, Case No. 2:17-cv-00991)


FOR IMMEDIATE CONTACT WITH AN ATTORNEY: To set up a free consultation to speak to an attorney about your matter, click here.  Lastly, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected], or call 713-364-3476 to speak to me now about your case (I do prefer you read the articles first), or to get your questions answered.

CONTACT FORM: Alternatively, sometimes people just like to contact me using one of these forms.  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.

…OR, SKIP TO THE APPOINTMENT…

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.