TorrentLawyer Update – July 17, 2020

Bryan N DeMatteo New York Bittorrent Cases NY

With COVID-19 on the minds of the citizenry, along with social distancing, masks, and a dizzying set of events relating to social unrest, the court cases relating to copyright infringement have (for the most part) been on pause.

TWO MORE TROLLS IN THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY

To my biggest surprise, two huge copyright trolls [for the moment] appear to be out of business — Malibu Media, LLC, and Rightscorp. Malibu Media, LLC had their hands full with an appellate case for some time, and the owners keep suing their own attorneys (and vice versa). There is so much more to say here, but it has literally been MONTHS since I have even thought about them. Relevant to you, ABSOLUTELY NO NEW MALIBU MEDIA, LLC LAWSUITS HAVE BEEN FILED IN MONTHS.

Same deal with Rightscorp. Rightscorp seemed to be in such a powerful position, especially after the BMG v. COX Communications lawsuit. However, I hear that the owner of Rightscorp has moved on to other matters, and all of the people I used to speak to there appear to no longer be working there.

On top of that, their website is broken and people who actually want to pay the DMCA notification $20 fee requests sent to them are unable to. Plus, there is nobody answering their phones (“the voice mailbox is full”), other phone numbers are disconnected, and nobody responding to e-mails. In other words, “the lights are on [meaning, they are still sending DMCA notifications… or maybe its a robot running on automatic], but nobody is home.”

STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS IN THE MIAMI-DADE STATE COURT

Strike 3 Holdings, LLC was the copyright holder making the most noise over the past few months. First, in late 2019, Strike 3 Holdings filed a slew of “so-called lawsuits” (really, no lawsuit, just a request for a state court to unmask the identities of thousands of accused infringers) in the Miami-Dade, Florida court.

The immediate confusion was what to do with these ISP subpoena notification letters which went out to hundreds of account holders across the United States [read: not a Florida resident] threatening to disclose their identities to Strike 3 Holdings based on the Florida Bill of Discovery law. But by definition of Strike 3 Holdings’ claims being copyright claims, the Miami-Dade, state-based Florida state court cannot try copyright infringement cases. Plus again, Strike 3 Holdings sued non-Florida residents in a Florida state court (where the court does not have personal jurisdiction over them. Rather, you sue a defendant where the defendant lives, not in some obscure county which enforces state rules which do not apply to that out-of-state defendant.)

The third confusion was the contradiction between what Strike 3 Holdings told the judges when asking the state court to disclose the identities of the alleged downloaders versus what they actually did with that information. Strike 3 Holdings, LLC attorneys told judges they were seeking the contact information to determine who is the alleged infringer (who downloaded their adult films using bittorrent without permission) so that they could decide whether to sue them in their home state’s federal court or not. But then when they received the contact information of the ISP account holders, they turned around and solicited multi-thousand dollar settlements from each account holder.

SETTLEMENT OUT-OF-STATE ATTORNEYS IN THE MIAMI-DADE STATE COURT

To make things worse, filings such as a motion to quash in a STATE COURT should be filed by an attorney LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW IN THAT STATE. The typical settlement-based out-of-state attorneys have been sticking their sticky fingers into the state court rather than referring the matter to a Florida licensed attorney.

We at the Cashman Law Firm, PLLC noticed that these out-of-state attorneys are trying (even today) to profiteer off of the Florida state-based cases by offering to file motions to quash in the Florida courts, even though they are not licensed to practice law in Florida. Some of these same attorneys enlist local attorneys who file motions to quash (likely splitting the ill-gotten fees with the local Florida attorneys) with full knowledge that the result of filing an objection with the court (or a motion to quash) is that Strike 3 Holdings LLC immediately threatens to sue that defendant [trying to hide his identity] in his home state’s federal court. Many of the current Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuits filed in the past few months are the result of a failed motion to quash filed by an out-of-state attorney (or their local counsel) in the Miami-Dade, Florida court. [I just wrote that article today, so go ahead and read it to see if you live in a state where they are suing defendants.]

The problem [with these attorneys practicing law in a state where they are not licensed] is that law degrees are not a national US-based certifications, but rather, each state licenses its own attorneys who are knowledgeable about their state’s laws and procedures. In federal courts (e.g., the US District Court of the District of the Northern District of California, and other federal courts), there is no issue with an out-of-state attorney representing a client [and our law firm does this all the time] because all federal courts run according to the same Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (and the court’s local rules). But state courts are different.

In my opinion, it is possible for an out-of-state attorney to represent a client in a foreign STATE-based lawsuit (e.g., the Florida county court), but really, to file a motion to quash in the Miami-Dade court [which is what we are speaking about here], you really need a Florida licensed attorney to do so. Anything else is less than adequate.

I have spoken to many potential clients who have been implicated as “defendants” in the Miami-Dade Strike 3 Holdings, LLC cases, and every time one of them wants to file a motion to quash anyway (even though I have written so many articles explaining why this is a bad idea), I have forward them to certain Florida-licensed attorneys who I know to be knowledgeable and competent about this area (especially since they dealt with this same issue when Malibu Media, LLC sued defendants in the same Miami-Dade Florida state court [and Maricopa County state court] years ago).

The funny thing is that these same Florida attorneys who dealt with the same Florida “Bill of Discovery” cases when Malibu Media LLC are telling those I send to them that a motion to quash is not an effective strategy. This is the advice which is coming from a Florida-licensed attorney, yet, the settlement factory and settlement-based law firms from other states are pushing for accused defendants to hire *them* to file motions to quash in the Florida courts [even though they are not licensed to practice law in that state]. Amazing.

MY OPINION ABOUT MOTIONS TO QUASH

All I have to say about that topic is to read the article about “Why filing a motion to quash in a Strike 3 Holdings LLC Miami-Dade Florida case might not be the correct approach.” In this article, I discuss what the out-of-state attorneys are doing, and I discuss what a number of Florida-based attorneys are doing as well (there are “settlement factories” in Florida as well masking their settlement-based practices by selling “motion to quash” services for their clients).

Otherwise, things at our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC law firm are going smoothly. I am watching the MG Premium Ltd. copyright holder (who has recently filed the MG Premium Ltd v. Does 1-20 (Case No. 3:20-cv-05134) case), and I am watching the activities of other copyright holders who have been actively monitoring all of the millions of US residents who have been sitting in quarantine and using bittorrent to view their copyrighted videos. So far, everything seems quiet, and quiet is good.


[CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: If you have a question for an attorney about anything I have written here, 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 matter, or you can SMS/Whatsapp 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.

Malibu Media, LLC cases facing hard scrutiny in California.

malibu-media-anonymous-settlement

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.