Tag Archives: Judge Alsup

Malibu Media California cases ordered to reveal geolocation accuracy.

BIt is nice to see when a house of cards starts to shake.  It reminds me that with a gentle blow, all the cards can come tumbling down.  SJD shares that Malibu Media California Cases (X-Art) are about to experience some wind.

Kudos to Sophisticated Jane Doe at Fight Copyright Trolls for breaking this story.  Her article, entitled “Judge Alsup threatens to bar further Malibu Media cases in his district until the accuracy of the geolocation technology is fully vetted” is a worthwhile read. This is true EVEN for those who do not delve into the details of what happens in Malibu Media California cases versus Malibu Media Texas cases filed by Andrew Kumar and Michael Lowenberg.

[FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT MALIBU MEDIA, LLC: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 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.]

California Judge Alsup Order Asks To Scrutinize Maxmind Geolocation Services.

Malibu Media, LLC has filed 6,000+ lawsuits across the US relying on a Maxmind geolocation database which they use to determine which infringers to sue (based on their city and/or zip code), and in which federal court to sue them.

The zip code data becomes relevant internally because Malibu Media targets accused defendants who live in ‘wealthy’ neighborhoods and ignores defendants who they believe do not have the ‘assets’ to pay them the ransom they demand from each accused downloader.

Taken from Maxmind’s site, they even offer services which provide their customers the estimated average income of each infringer so that Malibu Media can focus their efforts on only the ‘highest income infringers.’

Average Income (US Only)The weighted average income in US dollars per person for the zip code(s) associated with the IP address.

More relevant to the Malibu Media California cases and SJD’s article, geolocation data is important because filing a lawsuit against a defendant who does not live in that district deprives the court of jurisdiction to hear the case against that defendant.  This is called ‘personal jurisdiction.’

But, in the California Malibu Media Cases, this “Maxmind” service might cause the downfall of all of the Malibu Media California cases.  Why?  Because Judge Alsup is about to figure out exactly how the geolocation services work.

You could bet that if they fall in California, I will be sharing what made those cards fall with the judges in Texas, NJ, NY, (and since I follow Malibu plaintiff attorney Jackie James around with her Malibu Media cases), CT too.  Why?  Because California Judge Alsup’s rulings are binding only in the California federal courts.  However, in all other federal courts, they are still PERSUASIVE.

If I had one wish, it would be for Judge Alsup to also review the Guardaley Black Box.

Not to look a gifthorse in the mouth, but when I wrote this article initially, I thought that Judge Alsup was going to investigate Guardaley’s black box.  Here is why:

Malibu Media California Cases | Soon to fall like a House of Cards
wilhei / Pixabay

“Because we download fragments from you, you must have the entire file.”

The Guardaley bittorrent tracking system dips in to various bittorrent swarms and connects with computers to download tiny bittorrent file fragments with the logic that if the download from a particular internet user’s computer was successful, then [LOGIC JUMP] that user must have the entire file downloaded on his computer.

This identical black box issue applies to the other MOVIE LAWSUITS too.

It should be noted that without getting into conspiracy theories about how the MPAA / RIAA colluded with Malibu Media, LLC and the other pornography companies to break copyright, other mainstream movie cases potentially ‘have egg on their faces’ too with Judge Alsup’s order.

Why?  Because whether we are dealing with a Malibu Media, LLC case, a ME2 Productions case, a Cook Productions case, a I.T. Productions case, or even a WWE Studios Finance Corp. movie… you are still dealing with RIGHTSENFORCEMENT, Carl Crowell, Anti-Piracy Management Company (APMC), and ultimately… Guardaley, the German company behind each of the various US-based shell companies selling rights to use their black box bittorrent tracking software.

I could also bet that these same companies are likely using the same “Maxmind” geolocation services as well (since they cut-and-paste their boilerplate strategies, whether applying their system to internet users accused of downloading pornography, e-books, or movie content).

How much of the infringing file must you have for Malibu Media to prove copyright infringement?

If Judge Alsup continues to investigate Malibu Media’s cases beyond the Maxmind geolocation services, I encourage him to also investigate the Guardaley black box.

QUESTIONS TO ASK:  Judge Alsup might ask how the system chooses to connect to the computers, and whether it randomly selects one “block” (a file fragment; often 16 KB in size) hundreds of blocks, or millions of blocks (Malibu Media bittorrent files (“.torrent” files) usually comprise a siterip which contains multiple movie files contained in one bittorrent “.torrent” file.  Each movie file can be hundreds of MEGABYTES large, and the total bittorrent “.torrent” file can potentially be MULTIPLE GIGABYTES large).

Simplifying the numbers:  Assuming a .torrent file contains 1GB of movie files (1GB = 1,000 MB = 1,000,000 KB), and that 1GB torrent is broken down into 16 KB blocks (file fragments), then the Malibu Media X-Art Movie bittorrent will be broken down into 62,500 blocks.  If Malibu Media’s Guardaley black box shows that they have successfully downloaded 100 separate 16KB blocks, that means that they have established only that accused infringer has downloaded 1.6 MB of a 1 GB torrent file.  At 200 KB/s (not going into the minute differences between a Kilobyte and a Kilobit), that means that the downloader participated in the bittorrent swarm downloading Malibu Media’s Siterip content for a total of 8 seconds, and that they have only 1.6 MB of Malibu’s X-Art movie (1.6 MB of 1 GB = .0000016% of Malibu’s Siterip, hardly enough to prove that it was “more likely than not” that the accused John Doe Defendant committed copyright infringement.

If Malibu Media’s Guardaley black box is selecting and connecting to only a small number of blocks (a small set of file fragments, noting that there are potentially tens of thousands of blocks needed to complete a download) this does not prove that the accused defendant downloaded anything more than the number blocks the Guardaley black box software tracked the user as possessing on his or her computer.

Malibu Media California Cases and the “Preponderance of Evidence Standard”

Malibu Media, LLC will counter that the evidence they need to prove is “more likely than not,” namely, that it is more likely than not that the accused downloader downloaded enough of the infringing file to constitute copyright infringement.  This is also called the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof in legal speak.  Thus, Malibu Media, LLC will not need to prove that the entire file was downloaded; only that ‘it was more likely than not’ that the file was downloaded.

However, for the Malibu Media California cases, I am hoping that the plaintiff attorney will need to prove to Judge Alsup that this is the case, and to do this, they will have to open their black box software up to Daubert-level scrutiny.  If they fail in this task, Malibu Media California cases will end and the next ‘wave’ of cases will need to be spread across other federal courts, sans California.  Looking into the geolocation technologies (which Malibu Media, LLC claims is 100% accurate), however, is a good start.

He just used the words…”HEARSAY.”

Of interest to me is something that Fight Copyright Troll’s article didn’t talk about — namely, that UNLESS THE MAXMIND GEOLOCATION SERVICES CAN BE VETTED, the printouts and data Maxmind purports to share about an accused John Doe Defendant’s location is nothing other than HEARSAY.  (See Judge Alsup’s Order, p.2, line 12).

The declaration parroted several hearsay statements about the accuracy of Maxmind from its website.

To the copyright troll attorneys who read my blog to learn what we are thinking about as far as strategy: While I am not making a big deal to flush out the hearsay issue, I just wanted to take a moment to point out that those same words just came out of Judge Alsup’s mouth.  Namely, that the so-called geolocation evidence that the Maxmind services provide might not even be admissible at trial because the it is considered HEARSAY, and likely not admissible under the hearsay exceptions.

Since these words came out of his mouth, I bet it is a good idea to have a good explanation prepared why the data provided by the Maxmind geolocation service should not be considered hearsay and thus inadmissible as you are trying to reach that “more likely than not” evidence standard.

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 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 [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.

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.

Malibu Media, LLC cases facing hard scrutiny in California.

Malibu Media, LLC just stepped into mud.

Let’s take this one step deeper, and delve into the 100 most recent cases filed in October, because these are the Malibu Media, LLC cases most relevant to people now (the July-August batch of cases have likely been disposed of by now).

Of the 109 cases, roughly EIGHTY of them were filed in the California Northern District Court, and EACH AND EVERY CALIFORNIA CASE was assigned to Judge William Alsup (going back to even 2011, I referred to him as ‘Judge Rocket Docket’ by the way he handles and disposes of cases). In my humble opinion, it appears to me as if Malibu Media here stepped in the mud.

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.

Which California Malibu Media cases are affected?

Here are a list of the cases. I’ll write my opinion about them in just a moment.:

80 CASES FILED IN 10/2016 IN THE CA NORTHERN DISTRICT COURT (CAND) — [I’m not formatting these.  Just note the filing dates.]
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05741) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05742) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05742) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05737) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05738) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05741) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05739) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05735) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05735) Oct 06, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05743) Oct 06
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05743) Oct 06
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05825) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05829) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05827) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05828) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05826) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05829) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05826) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05828) Oct 09, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05824) Oct 09
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05824) Oct 09
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05823) Oct 09
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05850) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05845) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05848) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05847) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05845) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05849) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05848) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05850) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05849) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05855) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05855) Oct 11, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05843) Oct 11
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05843) Oct 11
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05925) Oct 13, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05926) Oct 13, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05920) Oct 13, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05927) Oct 13, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05921) Oct 13, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05922) Oct 13, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05923) Oct 13
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05974) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05976) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-05975) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05975) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-05977) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05977) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05970) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05972) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-05973) Oct 17, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-06108) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06110) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-06109) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06111) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06106) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-06110) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-06111) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06107) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06108) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06112) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06109) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 4:16-cv-06107) Oct 23, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06160) Oct 25, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06146) Oct 25, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06147) Oct 25, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 5:16-cv-06160) Oct 25, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06155) Oct 25, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06141) Oct 25, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06144) Oct 25
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06143) Oct 25
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06241) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06242) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06245) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06239) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06247) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06240) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06249) Oct 28, 2016
Malibu Media, LLC v. John Doe (Case No. 3:16-cv-06243) Oct 28

My opinion about Judge Alsup and the Malibu Media California Cases.

My first impression when reviewing these cases was… why did they file them in batches of 10-13 cases or less?  Were they trying to ‘play’ the case distribution game in order to make sure the cases were equally distributed between all of the California Northern District federal judges?  Because this backfired on them.  Judge Alsup has all of their California cases.

I actually smiled when I saw that each of the cases are now assigned to Judge Alsup, because he has been known to question Malibu Media’s tactics. Let me say this more clearly — Judge Alsup knows exactly who Malibu Media, LLC is, what kind of copyright trolls they are, and he makes no secret about it. He is even on the record in casting doubt on the reliability and the accuracy of the geolocation data that Malibu Media uses to file their lawsuits.

Most recently, on December 1st (see, Case No. 3:16-cv-05738 (Document 8), Judge Alsup denied 53 requests by Malibu Media to send letters to the ISPs ordering them to turn over the identity of the accused internet users, which means that 53 of the 80 California ‘John Doe’ defendants in these cases (maybe more by now) will be shielded from Malibu Media, LLC’s copyright infringement lawsuits and tactics.

In Summary, California Malibu Media, LLC days are over…

IN SUM, BECAUSE JUDGE ALSUP DENIED MALIBU MEDIA LLC’S MOTION FOR EXPEDITED DISCOVERY, MALIBU MEDIA LLC WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SEND SUBPOENAS TO THE ISPs ORDERING THEM TO HAND OVER THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THESE DEFENDANTS.

I have not checked whether anything has happened since 12/8, but in short, if you live in California, Malibu Media is not doing so well.

SOURCES AND KUDOS

Sources and Kudos to:
Fight Copyright Trolls, “Judge Alsup questions accuracy of Malibu Media’s geolocation technology, stays subpoena” on 6/20/2016, updated on 12/6/2016.

Fight Copyright Trolls, ““Malibu Media’s geolocation accuracy: more scrutiny” on 6/21/2016.

Techdirt, “Judge Calls Out Malibu Media For Its Attempt To Cut And Run When Faced With Challenge To Its Infringement Claims” on 6/27/2016.


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 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.

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.

Congratulations to the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC clients dismissed from the New Sensations, Inc. case.

Allow me to congratulation all the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC clients who have been dismissed from New Sensations, Inc. v. Does 1-1,745 (Case No. 3:10-cv-05863-WHA) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

As we suspected and discussed on July 18th in our “Judge Alsup takes over “New Sensations, Inc.” case” article, this case is now dead. However, the case died on Ira Siegel’s own sword, so to speak, rather than by the hands of Judge Alsup.

To help you understand my understanding of the reasons behind the dismissal, your plaintiff attorney, Ira Siegel was scheduled to stand in front of Judge Alsup tomorrow, 10/6. In short, I was expecting that the recent events with Judge Zimmerman in the dismissal of the Tru Filth case (see here) would be eclipsed by a more zealous Judge Alsup, and I understood that Siegel was not in the mood for another embarrassing experience. In short, Judge Alsup is a prolific judge who has a reputation for having little patience for attorneys who do not have their cases in order. I understand that in light of the recent events, instead of facing Judge Alsup, Siegel decided to back away and dismiss all defendants. To those of you who were defendants in this case, please allow me to congratulate you on your victory!