Tag Archives: Gary Fischman

Gary Fischman sues 120 Texas Defendants – Venice PI, Headhunter, UN4

Venice PI & Headhunter lawsuits come to Texas.

Literally one month ago, I wrote about the appearance of the UN4 Productions lawsuits suing accused downloaders of the Boyka: Undisputed 4 movie in Texas.  Apparently, Gary Fischman, the plaintiff attorney for the various RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM) subpoena based movie infringement lawsuits has earned the right to sue now for the Venice PI, LLC and Headhunter, LLC movie production companies.

Which movies are affiliated with these Texas lawsuits:

  • Venice PI, LLC is suing for the unlawful download or viewing of the “Once Upon a Time in Venice” movie,

    venice-pi-subpoena-once-upon-a-time-in-venice-movie-lawsuit Venice PI
    Venice PI, LLC (“Once Upon a Time in Venice”) movie lawsuits
  • Headhunter, LLC is suing for the unlawful download of “A Family Man” movie (not to be confused with Nicholas Cage’s “Family Man” movie from a number of years ago.)

    Headhunter LLC ("A Family Man") movie lawsuits
    Headhunter LLC (“A Family Man”) movie lawsuits
  • UN4 Productions, Inc. is suing for the unlawful download of the “Boyka: Undisputed 4” movie.

    UN4 Productions Boyka: Undisputed 4
    UN4 Productions (“Boyka: Undisputed 4”) movie lawsuits

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List of Texas cases filed by Gary Fischman in the last month:

HEADHUNTER (17 “JOHN DOE” TEXAS DEFENDANTS):
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-17 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02352)

UN4 PRODUCTIONS (51 “JOHN DOE” TEXAS DEFENDANTS)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 4:17-cv-01685)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-13 (Case No. 4:17-cv-01834)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-16 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02115)

VENICE PI (55 “JOHN DOE” TEXAS DEFENDANTS)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02285)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-13 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02395)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02203)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. 4:17-cv-02244)

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

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR LAWSUIT:

To those 120+ Defendants who are implicated by Gary Fischman as “John Doe” defendants in this lawsuit: Understand that the Texas federal judges will likely allow Gary Fischman to send a subpoena to the Comcast & AT&T ISPs to obtain the identities of those accused of downloading the various movies.

1) Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about your particular lawsuit.

First, read about your particular movie lawsuit (see FAQs on the lawsuits here):

NOTE: Do not be fooled — each of these movies have become lawsuits because of Carl Crowell and his “common trollRIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM) entity, of which Gary Fischman appears to be his Texas local counsel.  We understand that Crowell (or one of his attorneys) have contacted each of the movie production companies and have secured a license to sue for copyright infringement on their behalf.  Thus, the various FAQ pages will be similar, because it is the same entity that is behind the scenes of each of these movie lawsuits.

2) Learn about what an “objection with the court” or a “motion to quash” is, and whether you want to file one.

The letters from the ISPs will tell you that you have 30 days to file an objection with the court (which is referring to a motion to quash) before they are forced to hand over your information to Gary Fischman.

Do not get trapped in an emotional rush to file a “motion to quash” just because you learned that a motion to quash filing could stop your ISP from being required to hand over your information to the plaintiff (such a filing has actually been UNSUCCESSFUL, read why).

NOTE: The link I provided you above is from an article I wrote in *2010*, and now we are in 2017.  This should give us some credibility, if we did not already have some in your eyes that we have an idea of what is going on in these cases.  The motion to quash issue was figured out by us attorneys SEVEN YEARS AGO, and yet there are still new law school graduates and other attorneys who still try to sell “motion to quash” packages, claiming they will “expose the fraud” of these cases for the same amount of money you could have settled for and guaranteed an exit from the lawsuit (just to be clear, a settlement is NOT the least expensive option in handling cases such as these).  A motion to quash is NOT THE PLACE TO FIGHT YOUR LAWSUIT, and judges will get upset if you misuse this tool.  A motion to quash is a tool to determine 1) whether the subpoena is valid, and 2) whether the federal court has PERSONAL JURISDICTION over the accused defendant.

Read about motions to quash here, understand the likely response if you file a motion to quash, and understand the likely question a federal judge will ask if you file a motion to quash. For those of you who do not want to switch to another article, the short answer is that a motion to quash is a good tool to stop the ISP from handing out your information if the federal court does not have PERSONAL JURISDICTION over you (e.g., if you live in one state, but are sued in another state). However, if you (an unnamed “John Doe” defendant) file a motion to quash, understand that the likely response from the plaintiff attorney is to oppose your motion to quash. The plaintiff attorney will likely state that you do not have STANDING to file the motion to quash because you are not a named defendant in this case. [Plus, the subpoena was not issued to you, but to your ISP, and thus you are not a recipient of this subpoena and it should be the ISP who should file the motion to quash, not you.]  In short, don’t jump into a motion to quash frenzy just because you learn that the legal mechanism to stop a subpoena recipient from complying with the subpoena is called a motion to quash.

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

3) Learn about anonymity – how long you remain anonymous after receiving the subpoena from the ISP, and at what point your anonymity ends.

Second. Be aware of your anonymity, and use it to your advantage. Understand each stage of the lawsuit, and know at what point you lose that anonymity. The reason this is relevant to you is because there is a finite amount of time in which you remain a “John Doe” defendant. During this time, Gary Fischman might learn who you are, but your information is in no way made public, and your involvement as a potential defendant in this lawsuit is not made public until you are named and served as a defendant.

This is relevant because during this time, you can hire an attorney to converse with the plaintiff attorney on your behalf, and everything is done anonymously, meaning that your contact information never shows up on the court’s docket, on your record, in Google searches, or anywhere else. This is relevant because once you lose your anonymity, the fact that you were accused in a federal court of stealing a copyrighted movie becomes public knowledge for anyone who does a look-up of your name, including potential employers.

A COMMON MISCONCEPTION is that the due date on the ISP subpoena is the date you lose your anonymity.
Wrong.
The date you lose your anonymity is the date your plaintiff attorney realizes that he will not be getting a settlement from you and he decides to change your status from a “John Doe” defendant to a “named defendant (your name as the defendant)”.

4) Learn about settlement factories, settlement options, and *when NOT to settle*.

Lastly, be aware that there are a number of settlement factories out there who will convince you that settling is the “cheapest” method of getting out of this case. This is simply not true. The fact of whether you actually downloaded the movie is possibly the most relevant piece of information in determining whether to settle. If you did not do it, then hiring an attorney to convince the plaintiff attorney not to name and serve you because you did not do the download could be the smartest thing you could do in any of these cases. Question your attorneys and ask what percentage of cases they settle, and what percentage of cases they do not settle.

What if you DID do the download (or you DID watch the movie)?

If you have done the download for which you were sued (or if you have watched the movie), the second most relevant is what else you have downloaded, watched illegally, or what else is in your bittorrent software’s download folder. The reason for this is because some bittorent clients “announce” to the bittorrent network which movies, music, e-books, and software you have downloaded, and which are actively in your “Download” folder available to be uploaded.

With this information, the plaintiff attorneys search which files are available from your IP address, and they assemble a list of files you have downloaded. If you are an avid downloader, (while this information cannot be used to prove you downloaded THIS movie,) this evidence of “other titles downloaded” will affect how a plaintiff attorney such as Gary Fischman sees you as a potential target of this lawsuit. It will affect your chances of being named and served, and it will affect the leverage you have in settlement negotiations. This is where a good lawyer is probably a good idea, especially one with leverage in settlement negotiations — one who is willing to step into court if the settlement negotiations go awry, even if it is simply to admit guilt and argue minimum $750 statutory damages from the court.

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

In Summary:

In the end, having your attorney know the personality of your plaintiff attorney is possibly one of the most important items to consider when hiring an attorney. Specifically with Gary Fischman, he has the mind of an engineer, and he treats his cases as such. Understanding how he thinks in considering each defendant is important in obtaining the best result, whether that is not settling the case, negotiating a settlement, or fighting the claims against you in litigation.


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the various Texas-filed cases and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your case), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you can set up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

CONTACT FORM: If you have a question or comment about what I have written, and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

NOTE: No attorney client relationship is established by sending this form, and while the attorney-client privilege (which keeps everything that you share confidential and private) attaches immediately when you contact me, I do not become your attorney until we sign a contract together.  That being said, please do not state anything “incriminating” about your case when using this form, or more practically, in any e-mail.

Why would copyright trolls show evidence of ‘other downloaded movies’ if they have evidence of infringement?

ANSWER: Insufficient or non-existent evidence.

Copyright trolls often surprise me by the lengths they will go to prove that a particular “John Doe” defendant downloaded a particular movie. Because the underlying copyright infringement cases likely cannot prove copyright infringement, instead, copyright troll attorneys will spy into the internet connections of their accused defendants and determine what other movies, videos, or content that accused downloader allegedly downloaded. They use those additional downloads as ‘character evidence’ to assert that the defendant downloaded the accused movie. (Next article, I will describe how they are likely doing it.)

By showing character evidence of ‘other downloaded movies,’ copyright trolls prove that the accused “John Doe” Defendant has the personality or ‘character’ of being a habitual infringer (a ‘pirate’).  This character evidence shows that the defendant is familiar with piracy tools and illegal methods of acquiring movies and videos from bittorrent websites (e.g., The Pirate Bay). By demonstrating to the court that “someone from that same IP address downloaded these other movies,” the copyright troll seeks to prove that “the accused defendant must have also downloaded this movie as well.”

Copyright Trolls Use Other The Pirate Bay Downloads to demonstrate character evidence to infringe their movie copyright.

[NOTE TO THE READER: WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS A GREAT ARTICLE, BUT IT NEEDS A ROADMAP TO UNDERSTAND THE FLOW OF IT.]

HERE IS THE ROADMAP:

  1. INTRODUCE THE CONCEPT OF ‘CHARACTER EVIDENCE’ (A LEGAL TERM), AND DESCRIBE WHY EVIDENCE OF ‘OTHER TITLES DOWNLOADED’ IS INADMISSIBLE TO PROVE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
  2. INQUIRE WHY PLAINTIFF WOULD TAKE THE EXTRA STEP OF SHOWING ‘OTHER TITLES DOWNLOADED’ IF HE HAS SOLID EVIDENCE OF INFRINGEMENT.
  3. DISCUSS THE NEBULOUS ‘PCAP FILE’ WHICH CAN PROVE INFRINGEMENT, NOTE THAT THE PLAINTIFF HAS ACCESS TO THIS FILE, AND YET IT IS MISSING FROM THE PLAINTIFF’S CASES.
  4. SUB-TOPIC: THE EVIDENCE THE PLAINTIFF ACTUALLY HAS IS “SNAPSHOT EVIDENCE.” COURTS REJECTED SNAPSHOT EVIDENCE AS BEING INSUFFICIENT TO PROVE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT.
  5. (I RETURN TO THE MISSING PCAP EVIDENCE AND DEMONSTRATE THAT THE PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY MISDIRECTS THE COURT BY REFERRING TO A SOFTWARE REPORT, BUT GLOSSING OVER THE PCAP EVIDENCE).
  6. END THE ARTICLE BY COMMENTING THAT SHOWING ‘OTHER TITLES DOWNLOADED’ TO A DEFENDANT IS AN EFFECTIVE STRATEGY IN SCARING HIM TO AGREE TO SETTLE THE CASE.

1. EVIDENCE OF ‘OTHER TITLES DOWNLOADED’ IS INADMISSIBLE CHARACTER EVIDENCE.

In the eyes of the law, ANY CHARACTER EVIDENCE OF ‘OTHER MOVIES OR TITLES’ DOWNLOADED BY THE JOHN DOE DEFENDANT IS INADMISSIBLE TO PROVE THAT THE DEFENDANT DOWNLOADED THE MOVIE TITLE FOR WHICH THAT DEFENDANT WAS SUED. Malibu Media, LLC tried using character evidence and failed. For a while, they were listing other movie titles and illegal downloads that accused defendant participated in, and the courts reprimanded their efforts.

Specifically because Malibu Media attempted to admit character evidence into their complaints, in the Western District of Wisconsin, Judge Stephen L. Crocker consolidated each of Malibu Media LLC’s cases.  Here, the judge ruled that character evidence of ‘other titles allegedly downloaded’ was not only inadmissible, but it was prejudicial to the defendant’s case (see attached order).

According to the Federal Rules of Evidence (“F.R.E.”), evidence of a person’s character to prove a consistent act with that character is called ‘character evidence,’ which is inadmissible to prove copyright infringement. (See the Federal Rules of Evidence, §404 on Character Evidence).

2. WHY WOULD COPYRIGHT TROLLS USE CHARACTER EVIDENCE OF ‘OTHER DOWNLOADED TITLES’ WHEN THEY CAN PROVE INFRINGEMENT USING THE PCAP FILE?

Why a copyright troll would resort to using ‘character evidence’ of ‘other titles downloaded’ to prove that the downloader must have downloaded this title is puzzling.  The copyright holders DO have evidence of infringement, don’t they?

3. EVIDENCE OF INFRINGEMENT CAN BE FOUND IN THE PCAP FILE.

Perhaps the reason why the attorney is seeking to find “other titles” an accused defendant downloaded is that copyright trolls do not actually have evidence that the defendant downloaded this movie.

For the technical-minded, this evidence of copyright infringement would be found in a “PCAP file.” Copyright holders have this file, but they will never release to the courts. This PCAP file would indicate whether a downloader merely clicked on a link and connected to a bittorrent swarm WITH THE INTENT* to download, view, or stream a movie, or whether the accused defendant actually copied a substantial watchable portion of the movie. (*NOTE: a defendant who had ‘INTENT’ to commit a copyright infringement cannot be found guilty of ‘willful’ copyright infringement if the download or the viewing never actually took place.)  The PCAP file is hidden from the courts and is never introduced to prove that the defendant downloaded the movie. Instead of documenting actual evidence of infringement, the copyright troll attorneys find “other titles” that the defendant allegedly downloaded.

4. HOW TROLLS REPLACE PCAP EVIDENCE WITH ‘SNAPSHOT’ EVIDENCE.

The omission of the PCAP evidence is relevant to an accused defendant in a bittorrent-based movie lawsuit.  The reason for this is because courts are misled into thinking that a report containing a list of IP addresses of accused downloaders at some ‘snapshot’ or time period by proprietary Peer-to-Peer surveillance software is sufficient to prove infringement.  However, the so-called ‘SNAPSHOT’ EVIDENCE of infringement (described below) might demonstrate only that the accused John Doe Defendant was present downloading a bittorrent file at a particular date and time.  ‘Snapshot’ evidence of infringement has been rejected by the courts as not being sufficient to prove copyright infringement.

Further, the companies that do the ‘snapshot’ tracking of the bittorrent networks — IPP International, and here in the Texas-based cases, MaverickEye UG, all appear to be shell companies of Guardaley.  For those who are new to the site, Guardaley is the German company our firm has been investigating to find the connection between almost every copyright infringement case hitting the US courts.  Guardaley has been the common thread between each lawsuit, regardless of whether the copyrighted material is pornographic (as in the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits), or whether it is a mainstream movie.

For current defendants, the ‘snapshot’ evidence problem as I will describe it below likely applies to each of the “Mechanic:Resurrection” movie lawsuits (ME2 Productions), each of the “I.T.” movie lawsuits (I.T. Productions), each of the “Mr. Cook” movie lawsuits (Cook Productions), and literally every other movie lawsuit filed in the last seven years, as listed on Carl Crowell’s list of Guardaley clients.

Character Evidence of 'Other Movies Downloaded' To Prove The Download of THIS movie.

4A. SUB-TOPIC: WHY “SNAPSHOT EVIDENCE” IS INSUFFICIENT TO PROVE COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Source: Judge Otis Wright’s 2013 order from the Ingenuity 13 LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 2:12-cv-08333) case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

RULE 2. A “SNAPSHOT OBSERVATION” OF AN IP ADDRESS ENGAGED IN DOWNLOADING AT THAT MOMENT IS INSUFFICIENT PROOF OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Here, all the evidence a copyright troll plaintiff has on a suspected defendant is that at a particular date and time (a “timestamp”), that particular IP address was engaged in the downloading of a particular copyrighted file.

Here, a “snapshot” of an IP address correlated with evidence from the subscriber’s internet service provider (“ISP”) [that it was the subscriber who was leased that IP address during the date and time the alleged activity took place] is insufficient proof that the download actually took place. The defendant could have merely entered the swarm and could be in queue to download his first byte of data. The defendant could be 10% done with the download and could have in his possession an unviewable fragment of the copyrighted video.  This is hardly enough to rise to the level of “SUBSTANTIAL SIMILARITY” that is required in order to find a defendant guilty of copyright infringement. And, yet at the same time, that same snapshot could refer to a defendant having a download which is 99% complete.

A snapshot of an IP address in a bittorrent swarm is simply not conclusive that the downloader infringed the copyright.

The analogy the judge gives is taking a “snapshot” of a child reaching for a candy bar. In order to find someone guilty of copyright infringement, a plaintiff needs to prove that it is “more likely than not” that activity rising to the level of copyright infringement occurred. A snapshot places the defendant at the “scene of the crime.” It does not convict him for the unlawful act itself, and usually this is all the evidence a plaintiff copyright troll compiles when tracking a bittorrent swarm.

5. RETURNING TO THE OMISSION OF PCAP EVIDENCE IN PLAINTIFF’S DECLARATION. WHY THEY TURN TO ‘CHARACTER EVIDENCE’ OF ‘OTHER TITLES DOWNLOADED’ WHEN CONFRONTING A DEFENDANT

Instead of providing the PCAP file (which can prove or disprove whether actual infringement happened), the copyright holders have some expert witness file some declaration stating that they have viewed the reports generated by the bittorrent surveillance software.   That expert witness declares that they have verified that the IP address list created by that software matches the list of defendants who are accused as “John Doe” defendants in this case.

[Curiously, even copyright troll attorneys list themselves as expert witnesses to show that they viewed the software printout.  I don’t know why an attorney would do this, because this makes the plaintiff attorney a discoverable witness in discovery. Here in the Texas ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Does lawsuits, we see plaintiff attorney Gary Fischman’s declaration stating exactly what I have described:

Gary Fischman Declaration Regarding Maverickeye UG (Guardaley) P2P swarm surveillance software report. by Cashman Law Firm, PLLC on Scribd

As a defense attorney, I am puzzled why the plaintiff attorneys often try to prove their case with inadmissible character evidence (“other downloaded titles”).  I understand that copyright infringement in the context of a bittorrent swarm can be proved by the PCAP file (e.g., stating that the movie was 100% downloaded).

Thus, it logically makes sense that the attorney simply DOES NOT HAVE EVIDENCE OF INFRINGEMENT.  This could be why he goes to such lengths to prove that the downloader downloaded the other titles.

6. NEVERTHELESS, SHOWING CHARACTER EVIDENCE OF ‘OTHER TITLES DOWNLOADED’ IS STILL AN EFFECTIVE TACTIC.

From the copyright troll’s perspective, the goal is not to ‘nail’ each “John Doe” Defendant and make them liable for the $150,000 in statutory damages. Rather, a copyright troll seeks to elicit a settlement of a few thousand dollars from each “John Doe” defendant. 

Thus if the copyright troll isn’t interested in proving copyright infringement, but rather wishes to scare the bejeebies out of the accused defendant who actually downloaded those additional titles, then showing that defendant the list of ‘other titles downloaded’ *is* an effective tactic to manipulate them to do whatever the plaintiff demands of them, even if that means paying a multi-thousand dollar settlement.

IN SUM: WHICH ONE IS IT?

So which is it?  Does the plaintiff actually lack evidence of infringement as I have suggested by the missing PCAP file and the misdirection in the declarations filed with the court?  Or, does the copyright troll want to use the so-called ‘character evidence’ of ‘other titles downloaded’ to demonstrate to you (the John Doe Defendant) that you must have been the one who did the download of the movie (and thus you should pay him)?

My opinion: it is both.


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.

TX Judge Hughes Disallows I.T. Productions From ‘Suing Does’

Pictographic of the interaction between Gary Fischman and Judge Hughes

I.T. Productions, “Judge, I’m filing this lawsuit against Does 1-10.”

Judge Hughes, “No you are not.  You may not sue Does.”

I am interested to see where this one goes.  One of the cases I am working on in the Southern District of Texas court is I.T. Productions, LLC v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00597).

In this case, Gary Fischman is the attorney, and he filed this case just as he does any of the others (he is currently filing lawsuits against John Doe Defendants for the ME2 Productions plaintiff, and the I.T. Productions plaintiff).  [And, together with Josh Wyde, Fischman is also representing the September Productions plaintiff, the Cell Productions plaintiff, and the Fathers & Daughters Nevada plaintiff.]

In his attempt to convince TX Judge Lynn Hughes to rubber-stamp an ‘early discovery’ authorization to allow Fischman to send subpoenas to AT&T in order to unmask the identities of the 10 subscribers who are John Doe (unnamed) defendants in this case, the judge responded with a prophetic slap across the face.

Judge Hughes I.T. Productions Order (TX)
Judge Hughes tells I.T. Productions attorney that I.T. may not sue Does.

“No you may not sue Does.”

Instead of allowing Fischman to sue the putative defendants as Does (e.g., Doe 1, Doe 2, etc.), it appears as if Judge Hughes wants Fischman to identify them by the last five digits of their [accused] IP addresses.

For example, Doe 1 with accused IP address 193.254.221.683 would likely be identified as “Subscriber 21683.”

What is the relevance?

Unknown.  Judge Hughes obviously titled the order as “Subscriber-Identity Subpoenas,” which means he has thought enough about this case to give it a title which links it to other (likely Malibu Media, LLC) cases he also has in his court.

Either way, a ‘copyright troll’ never likes a judge who questions him, alters his proposed order, or does anything other than rubber stamp his requests and allow him to do whatever he wants in (and out of) the judge’s courtroom.

No doubt, Judge Hughes will likely change all of that, somehow.


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.

Did ME2 Attorney Fischman disclose real Interested Parties?

In the Texas Federal District Court (as of 2017), I am working on defense research for five (5) copyright infringement / bittorrent “John Doe” lawsuits affiliated with the Guardaley / Carl Crowell.  In a ME2 case, ME2’s local counsel Gary Fischman was ordered by Judge Keith P. Ellison to disclose “all interested parties” to the lawsuit, and this is the subject of this article.

Texas cases I am actively working on (filed after 1/1/2017):
ME2 Productions, Inc. v DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00695)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00275)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00501)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-12 (Case No. 4:17-cv-00404)
I.T. Productions, LLC v. DOES (Case No. 4:17-cv-00597)
and, the Siemens PLM v. Does 1-100 software piracy case and multiple Malibu Media, LLC cases (both outside the scope of this article).

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHO HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT?

The reason it is important to know who has a financial interest in these lawsuits is because I need to know 1) whether the corporate entity that is suing has the authority to sue, and 2) whether the corporate entity filing the lawsuit is the same entity that holds the copyright to the movie allegedly infringed in the lawsuit.

If the corporate entity (here, ME2 Productions, Inc.) does not have the authority to sue, or if it is not the true copyright holder (but some entity that licensed the rights to make money for the copyright holder based on the copyright rights granted to the true copyright holder to the “Mechanic:Ressurection” movie), the plaintiff might lose the lawsuit or even get sanctioned for not disclosing the true parties who are interested in the outcome of the lawsuit by alleging in a document like this one (link) that they had the right to sue when in fact they did not.

WHY AM I SUSPECT THAT MAYBE THE PARTY SUING MIGHT NOT HAVE COPYRIGHT RIGHTS TO SUE?

The only way a plaintiff can sue for STATUTORY DAMAGES OF $150,000 FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT is if they have a valid copyright to the movie title allegedly being infringed (or, downloaded using bittorrent or Popcorn Time).  If they do not own the copyright but only the right to monetize, the plaintiff may only be entitled to ACTUAL DAMAGES, NOT STATUTORY DAMAGES.

In a bittorrent “John Doe” lawsuit, the actual damages are really the cost to purchase a copy of the infringed movie (~$30 for the DVD), or perhaps $8 for the movie ticket if the movie is still in theaters.  The law only gives STATUTORY DAMAGES OF $150,000 to plaintiffs who have a valid copyright at the time of the lawsuit.

So here is why I am suspect that maybe ME2 Productions, Inc. might not be the holder of a valid copyright:  We know from the Dallas Buyers Club, LLC lawsuits (when the real Dallas Buyers Club copyright holder sued Voltage Pictures, Inc. for not paying settlement moneys owed to them) that there was an entity (Voltage Pictures) that purchased the rights to monetize Dallas Buyer’s Club’s intellectual property (the right to use the Dallas Buyer’s Club name, the right to sue, etc.)  Voltage then turned around and set up an entity called “Dallas Buyers Club, LLC” and sued hundreds of John Doe Defendants using that name.

Little did we know at the time that the Dallas Buyer’s Club plaintiff was not the Dallas Buyer’s Club copyright holder, and the copyright troll plaintiff entity was merely masquerading as the Dallas Buyers Club copyright holder.

WHY ARE THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB LAWSUITS RELEVANT TO ME2 PRODUCTIONS CASES?

The common thread behind the Dallas Buyer’s Club lawsuits and most copyright infringement lawsuits filed today is a german company called Guardaley (a.k.a. IPP).  It is not relevant that Guardaley’s bittorrent tracking methods have been ruled not credible by the German courts; they have been wreaking havoc on US courts since 2012.  Guardaley (as far as I understand) has been behind the scenes of each and every ‘copyright troll’ lawsuit filed in the federal courts.  And, after April 2016, they have reportedly signed an agreement with Carl Crowell (a known copyright troll attorney, but more importantly, likely the mastermind behind each of the ‘copyright troll’ lawsuits filed by local attorneys across the US).

Carl Crowell’s connection to ME2 Productions, Inc. is that they are his client.  I can demonstrate this connection by looking at his new DMCA scare letter scheme entity, “Rights Enforcement”.  If you look at the Crowell’s client list (as described by Torrentfreak), you will see that Mechanic:Resurrection (the movie behind the ME2 lawsuits) is one of Carl Crowell’s clients.  (Carl Crowell himself is also a known ‘copyright troll’ where he has filed ME2 lawsuits against John Doe Defendants in Oregon.)

RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com screenshot with ME2 outlined.
Screenshot from Carl Crowell’s RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.com website, with Mechanic:Resurrection outlined.

Thus, naturally, I am suspect to each of ME2 Productions, Inc.’s other lawsuits in other states, here, Texas, because as the apparent puppetmaster behind the various ME2 Productions, Inc. lawsuits filed across the US, I must assume he has a financial interest in the outcome of this Texas lawsuit filed by Gary Fischman.

WHO DID ATTORNEY FISCHMAN SAY HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE ME2 BITTORRENT LAWSUITS?

In the filing, Gary Fischman noted that the following three entities has a financial interest in the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases:

  • ME2 Productions, Inc.
  • A&T IP, Inc., and
  • Fischman Law, PLLC

ME2 Productions, Inc. might be the actual copyright owner, or it is possible that they are an entity that was set up for the purpose of monetizing the copyright rights granted to the actual copyright holder, the owner of the Mechanic:Resurrection movie.

A&T IP, Inc. is an enigma to me.  I do not know who they are, where they are incorporated, and who the beneficiaries are of this entity.

UPDATE: DieTrollDie suggests that perhaps A&T IP, Inc. is actually the Anti-Piracy Management Co (APMC).

DTD Twitter Screenshot Suggesting A&T IP, Inc. is APMC.
DieTrollDie suspects that A&T IP, Inc. is really the Anti-Piracy Management Co. (APMC).

Fischman Law, PLLC is curious in and of itself for reasons outside the scope of this article.  Naturally, it could be explained that Gary Fischman as the attorney suing on behalf of ME2 will benefit (e.g., commissions from settlements received, possibly fees from the copyright holder or the Crowell / Guardaley entity itself for time spent prosecuting these cases).  However, I suspect the link goes slightly deeper, as his partner for a number of the Guardaley lawsuits, Joshua Wyde, listed himself as a witness in the lawsuit (something that is generally not done).  So there may be more to the eye here, but not relevant to this article.

Here is a link to the actual document filed with the court:

021017 ME2 417-cv-00404 – Doc6 – Certificate of Interested Parties by ME2

MY FINAL QUESTIONS

Looking at all of this information together, I am left with the following questions.

  1. WHERE IS GUARDALEY (IPP) AS AN INTERESTED PARTY IN THIS CASE?
  2. WHY IS CARL CROWELL NOT LISTED AS AN INTERESTED PARTY IN THIS CASE, OR IS HE [AND GUARDALEY] SOMEHOW WRAPPED UP IN THAT “A&T IP, INC” ENTITY?
  3. IS ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC. THE SAME LEGAL ENTITY THAT OWNS THE COPYRIGHT TO THE MECHANIC:RESURRECTION MOVIE, OR ARE THEY SOME OTHER ENTITY THAT IS MERELY MASQUERADING AS THE ME2 PRODUCTIONS / COPYRIGHT HOLDER UNDER SOME LICENSE TO MONETIZE THEIR COPYRIGHT RIGHTS?

Your thoughts and feedback are obviously welcome.


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