NY Copyright Troll Bryan DeMatteo and His Split Court.

New York Bittorrent Cases with Bryan DeMatteo | ME2 NY, UN4 NY, Venice PI NY, Headhunter NY

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.

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    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)

    HEADHUNTER, LLC (“A FAMILY MAN”) LAWSUITS

    hunter-killer-productions-inc, Hunter Killer Productions ISP subpoena lawsuit | Notice of Subpoena For Records

    I have added this page for internet users who have become entangled in the HEADHUNTER, LLC (a.k.a. the “A Family Man”) cases.  The goal here is to keep up to date on this plaintiff, and to discuss their various cases.  Should you learn of any updates regarding one of their cases, or you hear that a HEADHUNTER subpoena has been issued to an ISP, please post it here using the following format — (e.g., “HEADHUNTER, LLC v. John Does 1-20(Case No. 2:17-cv-00029) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina”).  Please also feel free to post new cases you find where HEADHUNTER, LLC is listed as the plaintiff.

    A Family Man, Headhunter subpoena lawsuit | Notice of Subpoena For Records

    Headhunter, LLC v. Does Lawsuits

    HEADHUNTER, LLC is suing for copyright infringement based on the the illegal download of the “A Family Man (2016)” movie, starring Alison Brie, Gerard Butler, and Willem Dafoe.  The lawsuits are all copyright infringement lawsuits filed in the Federal Courts, and each lawsuit sues for statutory damages of $150,000.

    Accused internet users [in receipt of HEADHUNTER subpoenas] are made aware of these cases when they are sent a letter from their ISP (e.g., AT&T, Comcast, COX, etc.), 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 to the Headhunter subpoena with the court (referring to a “motion to quash”).

    Remember to please exercise discretion when posting (e.g., do not post your real name or e-mail address), and as usual, avoid using vulgar or offensive language (both towards the plaintiff and towards other users).

    [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Headhunter, LLC 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 Headhunter, LLC case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

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

    RECENT CASE HISTORY OF THE HEADHUNTER SUBPOENA CASES:

    HEADHUNTER ISP subpoenas ordered in the various North Carolina District Courts

    Headhunter subpoena cases in the North Carolina Eastern District Court:
    Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00310)
    Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00029)
    Headhunter, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 5:17-cv-00318)
    Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00296)
    Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00325)

    Headhunter subpoena cases in the North Carolina Middle District Court:
    HEADHUNTER, LLC v. DOES 1-8 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00545)

    Headhunter subpoena cases in the North Carolina Western District Court:
    Headhunter, LLC v. Does (Case No. 3:17-cv-00342)

    HEADHUNTER ISP subpoena ordered in the New York District Courts
    Headhunter LLC v. Doe-69.124.0.132 et al (NYED; Case No. 1:17-cv-04155)
    Headhunter LLC v. Doe-173.56.227.169 et al (NYSD; Case No. 1:17-cv-05314)

    HEADHUNTER ISP subpoenas ordered in the Oregon District Court
    Headhunter, LLC v Doe-71.236.186.17 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00901)
    Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-50.53.158.186 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00900)

    HEADHUNTER ISP subpoenas ordered in the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court
    HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. 2:17-cv-02986)
    HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. 2:17-cv-02985)

    HEADHUNTER ISP subpoenas ordered in the Virginia Eastern District Court
    Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-73.191.98.246 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00793)

    HEADHUNTER ISP subpoenas ordered in the Washington Western District Court
    Headhunter, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-00987)

    [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Headhunter subpoena-based 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 Headhunter subpoena, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

    BLOG POSTS:

    Article(s) Written on the A Family Man / Headhunter subpoenas:
    North Carolina Headhunter Subpoenas Due on 8/5,” on 7/17/2017

    Everything you need to know in one page about your HEADHUNTER, LLC (“A Family Man”) Movie Lawsuit and ISP subpoena,” on 7/17/2017

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

    HOW AN ATTORNEY SHOULD REPRESENT A HEADHUNTER SUBPOENA CLIENT:

    Because bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases appear to be similar, I thought it would be beneficial to take a few moments and simplify the process. That way, when you pay an attorney, you will know exactly what the attorney will be doing.  (Look here for an article on when to hire an attorney, and at what point does it become too late to hire an attorney.)

    Here are the steps your attorney (us, or anyone else) should be taking on your behalf.

    STEP 1) STOP PLAINTIFF FROM CONTACTING YOU OR ANYONE ELSE ON YOUR BEHALF (WORKPLACE) ABOUT THE CLAIMS AGAINST YOU.

    Once your plaintiff attorney learns that you are represented by an attorney, all communication must be with that attorney alone. Phone calls or letters to client directly once a notice of representation is provided can jeopardize that attorney’s law license.

    STEP 2) RESEARCH AND DISCUSS CLAIMS COMPARING PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY’S DATA OF USE VERSUS ACTUAL USE OR NON-USE.

    Carl Crowell and his local counsel (here, Kathleen Lynch and others) appear to be researching the claims and linking the accused IP addresses to determine whether that accused defendant has been involved in the download of other copyrighted films.  They appear to be watching the activity of the IP address (specifically, before and after the date the ISP sends the subpoena notice to the account holders) to see if there is a change in the downloading activity of the accused subscriber.

    It is important to share truthful information with your defense attorney so that claims against you can be disputed with facts and dates.  The plaintiff attorneys have data that they rely on, but their reliance on that data is based on a STORY which may or may not have an alternative explanation.  Obviously, your attorney should have the common sense to discuss the claims in order to refute their story without admitting guilt on your behalf.

    STEP 3) DISCUSS AND NEGOTIATE SETTLEMENT OPTIONS WITH PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY, WHETHER BY PAYING A SETTLEMENT FEE, OR NO SETTLEMENT (PROCEED WITH LAWSUIT).

    Normally the plaintiff attorneys in a copyright infringement lawsuit (or more frequently, a bittorrent-based “copyright troll” lawsuit) will immediately approach a settlement regardless of guilt or wrongdoing. This is not always the case with the HEADHUNTER, LLC attorneys, as they do not always offer settlements to accused defendants.

    The “no settlement” letter option is obviously the scenario where the client did not do the download, or the plaintiff attorney was unwilling to come to an amicable arrangement.

    Obviously if neither side can agree on an early solution to the problem, then yes, it makes sense to proceed to allow the plaintiff attorney to name and serve your client, file an answer with the court, and proceed with defending your client’s interests in the courtroom.

    STEP 4) NEGOTIATE PRICE (IF BENEFICIAL, CONSIDERING CLIENT’S ABILITY TO PAY). PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION OR STATEMENT IF NECESSARY TO SUBSTANTIATE CLAIMS.

    Many accused defendants downloaded the copyrighted movie not realizing that the download was illegal.  This is because there is software (e.g., Popcorn Time) which, on its face, appears to be legitimate.  However, unbeknownst to the end user, Popcorn Time uses a bittorrent backbone in order to acquire the file for the end user.  It is here that the account holder gets ‘caught’ downloading the video, because his/her real IP address is exposed as the Popcorn Time software joins one or more bittorrent swarms in order to acquire the video.

    popcorn_time-headhunter-subpoena-a-family-man-movie-lawsuit

    Unfortunately, it is not always known whether a software source is legitimate or not.  For example, as far as I understand, the videos presented on the Popcorn Time software are usually pirated, and downloading the videos or viewing the videos can get the end user sued for copyright infringement.  Contrast this with other movie sources, e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc., these are legitimate.  However, there are many “in between” software platforms and websites which appear to be legitimate, but may not be.  Most notoriously – Crackle.  So far, to me it looks as if Crackle movies are legitimate and can be viewed without being sued for copyright infringement, but I could easily be wrong and we will not know this until the lawsuits start flying.

    Regardless of the intention of how the video was acquired, downloaded, or viewed, this is our goal — to have the circumstances of the accused defendant be relevant and useful in a negotiation with HEADHUNTER, LLC to arrive at a settlement price the client can afford.

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

    STEP 4A) IF ATTORNEY IS UNCOOPERATIVE, CONSIDER ARGUING FOR MINIMUM STATUTORY DAMAGES

    Obviously this is not a preferred outcome, but it still must be considered.  If an attorney is unwilling to settle (or if he or she is being unreasonable in settlement negotiations, e.g., asking for too much money, or requiring the client to take some action outside negotiating a settlement agreement), there is another alternative strategy.  Have your attorney file an answer on your behalf, admit guilt to the claims of copyright infringement, and argue for what is called “minimum statutory damages” of $750 plus the other side’s attorney fees (which at this point would be minimal).  While not a preferred alternative, it is a method of forcing a reasonable settlement amount upon the plaintiff attorney if the download actually occurred.

    STEP 5) NEGOTIATE TERMS OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

    The settlement agreement should be specific to the claims of copyright infringement, and they should include the nuances of contract law in order to ensure the agreement is enforceable.  The terms should not ‘admit guilt’ on behalf of the client, and the scope of the contract should include not only the accused defendant (the account holder), but also the household and/or family members.

    There are other crucial elements to have in a settlement agreement (e.g., attorney fee shifting specific to copyright infringement lawsuits), but the above should be sufficient.

    STEP 6) HAVE PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY SIGN AGREEMENT(S), THEN HAVE CLIENT SIGN AGREEMENT(S) AND PROCESS SETTLEMENT PAYMENT.

    This is self explanatory. HEADHUNTER, LLC is not bound to an agreement until they sign it (or until their attorney with authority to sign signs it on their behalf as their agent). Attorneys generally try to get the John Doe Defendant to sign first and pay their settlement fee, and then ‘maybe’ the plaintiff attorney will sign it, and ‘maybe’ the attorney will accept the payment, and ‘maybe’ the attorney will release that defendant from liability once the settlement is received. These are games a plaintiff attorney may play, and for this reason, it is advisable to have the defense attorney insist that the plaintiff attorney sign the agreement first in order to bind their client to the terms of the agreement… before their client signs the agreement or pays a penny in settlement of the claims against them.

    STEP 7) FOLLOW-UP WITH PLAINTIFF TO HAVE CLIENT’S “JOHN DOE” ENTITY DISMISSED FROM CASE.

    Once again, this is self explanatory, but unfortunately, it must be a step. Too often, plaintiff attorneys have the clients sign first and pay first, and then when they get around to it, they’ll sign the agreement and release that defendant from liability. However, this could take weeks or months.

    The reason for this is because once their client has their money, without being contract-bound to release the defendant from the lawsuit (assuming the John Doe Defendant signed first), the John Doe Defendant who paid their settlement fee becomes a lower priority to the busy plaintiff attorney (who is juggling sometimes hundreds of defendants in multiple cases) who is more worried about the due dates for their other cases, or who is more worried about extracting settlements from other defendants. This is why it is important in STEP 6) for the plaintiff attorney to sign the agreement first.

    Nevertheless, even with a signed agreement, sometimes the plaintiff attorneys need ‘reminders’ to do what they are duty-bound to do. Thus, your attorney should not close the client’s file when payment is sent, but rather, the attorney should stay on top of the plaintiff attorney until the dismissal is actually filed in the court dismissing that John Doe Defendant from liability.

    [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Headhunter, LLC 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 Headhunter, LLC case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

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

    TIMELINE: HEADHUNTER SUBPOENAS AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM

    Any HEADHUNTER, LLC “copyright troll” bittorrent-based copyright infringement lawsuit really revolves around the HEADHUNTER subpoena which moves from the court to the accused John Doe Defendants.  Tracking a Headhunter 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.

    HEADHUNTER Subpoena is first introduced to the court for approval.

    A HEADHUNTER 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 Headhunter LLC’s “A Family Man (2016)” movie.

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

    The federal judge approves the HEADHUNTER subpoena (usually by rubber stamp), and the HEADHUNTER 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 HEADHUNTER 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 HEADHUNTER 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 HEADHUNTER subpoena before the arbitrary deadline they set (usually the deadline is 30 days from the notice sent to the subscriber).

    The ISP forwards the HEADHUNTER 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 HEADHUNTER subpoena, and you learn that you are implicated as a “John Doe” (an unnamed defendant) in the HEADHUNTER, LLC v. Does lawsuit.  At this point, you are still anonymous.

    The ISP complies with the HEADHUNTER 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 HEADHUNTER subpoena.  They turn over your information to the PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY (but not to the court or anyone else).  You are still anonymous.

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

    The exact moment your anonymity expires.

    At this point, the life of the HEADHUNTER 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 Headhunter 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 “A Family Man (2017)” 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 (again, 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 the Headhunter, LLC 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 Headhunter, LLC case, or you can call us at 713-364-3476 (this is our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC’s number].

    In sum, about this article.

    In sum, copyright infringement cases are all similar, but each one has its nuances. The steps described in this article apply to any John Doe Defendant in any copyright infringement lawsuit, and for this reason, I wrote this article 1) to not only give the client an understanding of the steps which are required in representing a client prior to being named and served in a John Doe lawsuit, but more importantly, 2) to allow that client to hold their lawyer’s toes to the fire and make sure they are being represented carefully and individually.


    [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Headhunter, LLC 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 Headhunter, LLC 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.

      North Carolina Headhunter Subpoenas Are Due On 8/5.

      gary-fischman-hunter-killer-productions

      North Carolina Headhunter Subpoena-based Cases

      In June, 2017, our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC had its first glimpse of the North Carolina Headhunter, LLC subpoenas.  Seeing their connection to Carl Crowell’s RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT company, we immediately created a Headhunter Productions FAQ page which addressed the NC Headhunter subpoenas.  The ‘copyright troll’ attorney who filed the NC Headhunter cases is Kathleen Lynch (“Kathleen Maher Lynch”), of Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC in Cary, North Carolina.  If this is the first time you are seeing her law firm’s name and you do not recognize a copyright troll, you are not looking carefully.

      Now the name “Kathleen Lynch” might not mean anything to you yet, but if you look at her “Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC” law firm, this might jog your memory of R. Matthew Van Sickle (a.k.a. Ross Matthew Van Sickle) of the I.T. Productions North Carolina lawsuits.  The new law firm name is slightly different (Van Sickle Law, PC [then] vs. Lynch Van Sickle, PLLC [now]), but the ugly troll rears his head.  In other words, looking at Van Sickle’s involvement in this new copyright troll, we must suspect that we are dealing with a RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT copyright troll, and… [checking Carl Crowell’s RightsEnforcement website] vwallah!

      A Family Man, Headhunter, LLC ISP subpoena lawsuit | Notice of Subpoena For Records

      NC Headhunter Subpoena Cases – This is Wave 1 (July, 2017)

      Even though the Headhunter, LLC copyright troll is new and pink, we already understand the strategies of the common troll entity behind the scenes.  Understanding that Matt Van Sickle is Kathleen Lynch’s partner in these lawsuits, now we have an idea of how these cases will unfold because we know the proclivities of the copyright troll lawyers behind the scenes.

      We are suggesting that those accused of being a John Doe Defendant in any of the NC Headhunter cases to read the Headhunter Productions Subpoena FAQ, which we posted on our law firm’s website.

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

      Why do we believe a common troll entity is behind the new Headhunter, LLC cases?

      [RECAP: Seeing Matt Van Sickle’s name, I immediately realized that we were likely dealing with a common troll entity.  It took 5 seconds to visit Carl Crowell’s RightsEnforcement.com website and see that the “A Family Man” movie was explicitly listed as one of their clients.  This confirmed my suspicion that we were dealing with yet one more common troll entity set of lawsuits.]

      I understand that a common troll entity licenses the rights from movie production companies to “enforce” the copyrights for that company.  Here, they approached the production company who filmed and copyrighted the “A Family Man (2016)” movie, and they licensed the rights to enforce (think, sue) the copyrights owned by this production company.  Hence the Headhunter settlement extortion scheme lawsuits were born.

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

      Where are we in the timeline of the Headhunter, LLC cases?

      The first wave of Headhunter, LLC cases were filed in June, 2017.  North Carolina federal judges appear to have rubber-stamped these new lawsuits, just as they have done with past bittorrent-based copyright infringement cases.

      Headhunter attorney Kathleen Maher Lynch (armed with orders from the NC federal judges) sent subpoenas to AT&T U-verse subscribers, and AT&T subpoena notices (called “Notice of Subpoena for Records”) were sent to the ISP’s subscribers who were implicated in the NC Headhunter lawsuits.  These subpoena notices were all sent by AT&T’s “GLOBAL LEGAL DEMAND CENTER.”

      NEXT: NC HEADHUNTER, LLC SUBPOENAS DUE ON AUGUST 5TH, 2017.

      *The first wave of NC Headhunter, LLC subpoenas ALL appear to be DUE IN AUGUST, 8/5.*

      This means that unless an accused defendant wishes to file a motion to quash the subpoena, AT&T is under a duty to hand over the names of the subscribers accused of being John Doe Defendants in these North Carolina Headhunter, LLC cases.

      However, it must be noted that the 8/5 deadline is merely the deadline that AT&T U-verse has given their subscribers.  Chances are that they will provide the names of the subscribers implicated in the North Carolina Headhunter, LLC subpoenas at some future date (as listed on the subpoena itself).

      To see the actual deadline by when your AT&T U-verse ISP must hand out your information to the NC Headhunter, LLC attorney, check the subpoena itself included in the packet you received from your ISP.

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

      RESOURCES:

      EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ONE PAGE ABOUT YOUR HEADHUNTER, LLC “A FAMILY MAN” LAWSUIT AND ISP SUBPOENA (FAQ).

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

      What are your options in defending or resolving claims in a Headhunter, LLC North Carolina-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 Headhunter, LLC scam has been exposed through the past lawsuits of their parent entities, the inherent weaknesses in Kathleen Lynch’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 Headhunter, LLC.

      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.

      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 Kathleen Lynch on notice that my client is not the infringer she is looking for.

      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 Kathleen Maher Lynch 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.

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

      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 Kathleen Lynch 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.

      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.

      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 Headhunter, LLC North Carolina case, please let me know.

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

      LIST OF RECENT NORTH CAROLINA HEADHUNTER, LLC AT&T SUBPOENA LAWSUITS

      Below is the list of NC Headhunter lawsuits filed between 6/16-6/30:

      Filed within the North Carolina Eastern District Court:
      Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00310)
      Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00029)
      Headhunter, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 5:17-cv-00318)
      Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00296)
      Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. 5:17-cv-00325)

      Filed within the North Carolina Middle District Court:
      HEADHUNTER, LLC v. DOES 1-8 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00545)

      Filed within the North Carolina Western District Court:
      Headhunter, LLC v. Does (Case No. 3:17-cv-00342)

      WHERE ELSE IS HEADHUNTER, LLC FILING THEIR LAWSUITS (OUTSIDE OF N.C.)?

      NY:
      Headhunter LLC v. Doe-69.124.0.132 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04155)
      Headhunter LLC v. Doe-173.56.227.169 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05314)

      OR:
      Headhunter, LLC v Doe-71.236.186.17 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00901)
      Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-50.53.158.186 (Case No. 3:17-cv-00900)

      PA:
      HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. 2:17-cv-02986)
      HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. 2:17-cv-02985)

      VA:
      Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-73.191.98.246 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00793), and

      WA:
      Headhunter, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-00987)

      [CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about the Headhunter, LLC cases and options on how to proceed (even specifically for your case), you can e-mail us at info[at]cashmanlawfirm.com, you canset up a free and confidential phone consultation to speak to us about your Headhunter, LLC 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 and you want to keep it *for my eyes only*, please feel free to use the form below. The information you post will be e-mailed to me, and I will be happy to respond.

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

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