Tag Archives: me2 productions

BitTorrent Lawsuit Trends – ME2, Venice PI, UN4, Headhunter (8/2017)

While we are far from the end of August, we have seen a significant shift in the filing trends of the ME2 Productions movie lawsuits, a continuing trend in the UN4 Productions movie lawsuits, growth in the Headhunter LLC movie lawsuits, and an expansion of the Venice PI LLC movie lawsuits.  This shift in filing trends is the subject of this NEW BITTORRENT CASE FILINGS UPDATE (8/2017). We also have seen the birth of a new baby copyright troll with just 2 cases in Oregon, “POW Nevada, LLC.”

NOTE: “POW” Nevada, LLC stands for “Prisoner of War,” and the movie they are suing for is called “Revolt (2017), a.k.a. Prisoner of War.” I saw the trailer for this movie, and while I am less than enthusiastic about the prisoner of war alternative title, all I could say is, “Killer Robot steel tentacles — I’m in!”

pow-nevada-revolt-trailer-screenshot
Yes, those are killer robot tentacles being launched at the soldier’s face.

Are the bittorrent cases coming to an end?

Obviously, it would be wishful thinking to think that we have won the war, and what is that war? Piracy is illegal and it hurts the content producers. However, the solution to piracy is not filing federal copyright infringement lawsuits alleging statutory damages of $150,000 against each and every accused downloader, regardless of whether they did the download or not. And, the solution to piracy is not to force hundreds of families (987 families were sued by the copyright troll lawyers last year) to choose between two bad choices — either empty their savings to pay a multi-thousand dollar settlement or hire an attorney (which also costs money) to stop the plaintiff attorney from coming after the accused defendants.

Bad Defense Litigation Attorneys

Defense attorneys who understand federal practice happily take clients who are accused of copyright infringement. They have read articles I or others have written, and they have read Prof. Matthew Sag’s “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling” paper, which explains that even if the accused John Doe Defendant actually did the download (or, viewed the movie illegally using Popcorn Time software), they actually cannot prove that copyright infringement happened.

They will then tell their potential clients that “copyright law” gives the winner of the lawsuit all of their attorney fees (which is true in theory, but not in practice). In other words, “pay me $300/hour for the next 100 hours of work, and WHEN YOU WIN, you’ll get all that money back from the criminal copyright trolls who deserve everything that comes to them.” However, what they do not tell you is that attorney fees only get awarded to the party who “wins” the case when it is dismissed by a judge or a jury because they find that based on the evidence, no copyright infringement occurred. In other words, the legal speak for this is that attorney fee awards for copyright infringement lawsuits are only awarded “to the prevailing party who prevails ON THE MERITS.”

These defense attorneys are WELL AWARE that the copyright troll plaintiff attorneys are under instructions to dismiss an innocent defendant after discovery, but before the defense attorney files a summary judgement motion (the first place a judgement “on the merits” can happen).

Essentially, a summary judgement motion tells the court,

“Dear Judge, the plaintiff attorney has searched my client’s computer. He has asked my client questions under oath. He has conducted a video recording of my client answering his questions. With all this, he cannot prove the elements of copyright infringement, so please dismiss the case.”

Again, a plaintiff attorney will dismiss a defendant BEFORE the summary judgement is filed, which means that the defendant will LOSE all the tens of thousands of dollars he paid in attorney fees TO HIS OWN LAWYER!

Bad Settlement Factory Attorneys

I have already covered the topic of “bad settlement factory attorneys” here, and here (and here).

[Essentially, settlement factories pretend that they do not only settle clients, but every client interview leads to the answer of “you should settle,” or, “wait to see if they come after you and send you a settlement demand letter, then settle,” or some variation thereof.

If you retain a settlement factory attorney, you will be paying less for your attorney, but you do not get the value for the amount you are paying. Why? Because 1) the physical amount of time they actually spend on your settlement versus the amount of money you pay gives them a $500+/hour hidden rate because they actually do not negotiate your settlement price. As a result, the amount you end up paying ends up being significantly higher than if you just hired an attorney (me or anyone else) to negotiate a settlement to right way, without cutting any corners. Oh, and the settlement factories will provide you merely a boilerplate settlement agreement (which has you admit guilt, and which potentially opens you up to future lawsuits).

As a result of my articles exposing their methods, these settlement factories have altered their scripts claiming that they do actually negotiate each settlement price, and that they actually do negotiate the settlement agreements, but this is a marketing trick. They don’t, I’ve seen the agreements.]

So why is it relevant that there have only been six (6) cases filed so far this month?

I am writing this article on 8/8/2017, so we are only eight days into the month. However, one of the strengths of our Cashman Law Firm, PLLC is that we pay attention to:

  • which plaintiff attorneys are suing for copyright infringement on behalf of which movie production studios,
  • what the proclivities of each plaintiff attorney are (do they name and serve defendants, do they drag them through discovery before dismissing, or can we quickly negotiate a dismissal for an innocent client without paying a settlement),
  • what the mood of the federal court is where the lawsuits are filed (copyright trolls choose where to sue based on where they believe they will find “copyright troll friendly” judges) [this is called forum selection for those of you who are interested], and
  • whether the underlying movie company is willing to pay their attorney to name and serve clients and “drag them through the mud” before dismissing, or whether it is cost efficient, meaning, they pay attention to the bottom line.

Why I just spent an entire paragraph listing our law firm’s strengths is to share that when there is a change in a trend, we notice, and there has been a change in the trend.

So are copyright troll lawsuits dead?

Unfortunately, no, they are simply pacing themselves. Since we discovered in March 2017 the underlying “common copyright troll” link between each and every movie lawsuit filed in federal courts across the US, we have been watching which movie company sues, where, and how often. That way, when a “bittorrent lawsuit campaign” is coming to an end, we see this trend and cut off all funding, even for defendants who may have otherwise settled the claims against them. This might anger and provoke the plaintiff attorneys who diligently read my blog (“hello y’all”), but the simple matter is that I do not take every client who calls my office unlike other firms, and if I sense a campaign is over, I’ll tell them to avoid even my fees and just watch the case and wait for a dismissal. I’ll even teach them how to do it themselves, and I don’t charge them for this.

What trends have we spotted for August, 2017?

Now to the meat of the article. 🙂 Data described here includes ALL FILINGS across the US for July 1, 2017 – August 8, 2017.

ME2 PRODUCTIONS (MECHANIC:RESURRECTION) MOVIE LAWSUITS

ME2 Productions, Inc. cases are coming to an end, or at least that is how it appears. There have been four (4) cases filed in four courts (Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, and New York). *That is ONE lawsuit per state,* a mere “drip” compared to the volume of cases they have filed in recent months.

ME2 Productions Inc v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. 2:17-cv-01077) (Washington Western District Court)
ME2 Productions, Inc v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01810) (Colorado District Court)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe 1; et al. (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00320) (Hawaii District Court)
ME2 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-67.85.69.69 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05701) (New York Southern District Court)

UN4 PRODUCTIONS (BOYKA: UNDISPUTED 4) MOVIE LAWSUITS

The UN4 Productions ISP subpoena cases appear to be in the middle of their campaign. Cases are still being filed (predominantly in the Illinois Northern District Court), but there has also been a splattering of cases filed in Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, and Texas [Texas is actually a new story, as having these cases expand into Texas with Gary Fischman as the plaintiff attorney is a new trend]). Aside from the Texas filings, you’ll notice the list of federal courts matches exactly with the list of courts where the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases are filed.

Expect to see more UN4 Productions, Inc. cases filed, as this lawsuit appears to be targeting “ethnic” defendants with “deeper pockets.” These include Arabic speaking defendants, French speaking defendants, and Spanish speaking defendants.

UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01689) (Colorado District Court)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. DOE Defendants 1-20 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00331) (Hawaii District Court)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Doe-72.89.251.15 (Case No. 1:17-cv-04400) (New York Eastern District Court)
UN4 Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-16 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02115) (Texas Southern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-17 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05563) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-19 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05561) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-26 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05565) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-31 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05567) (Illinois Northern District Court)
UN4 PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. DOES 1-35 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-05569) (Illinois Northern District Court)

HEADHUNTER LLC (“A FAMILY MAN”) MOVIE LAWSUITS

The Headhunter movie lawsuit campaign is still in its infancy. Only appearing on the scene recently, most of their cases are also young and in their infancy. This means that even though cases have already been filed across the US, federal judges have not yet approved the plaintiffs’ requests to send subpoenas to the ISPs of accused defendants to unmask their identities. Thus, many of those who have been accused of being John Doe defendants do not even know they have been implicated in their lawsuits.

Headhunter LLC lawsuits in sum have already “dropped their seeds,” and now while they wait for those filings to sprout and ensnare hundreds of families across the US for the “A Family Man” movie (irony), Headhunder, LLC is expanding the scope and bredth of their filings, and they are filing in liberal states (Texas is very conservative as a rule, but the city of Houston, and the various nerve centers are all liberal — that way they can vote Republican in every federal election, but they vote Democrat in-state to provide services to Texas citizens). I have not figured out the relevance of their choosing this demographic to sue for the “A Family Man” movie, but as these cases mature, I’ll begin to see the trends as they unfold.

Headhunter LLC v. Doe-173.56.227.169 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05314) (New York Southern District Court)
Headhunter LLC v. Doe-69.124.0.132 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04155) (New York Eastern District Court)
Headhunter LLC v. Doe-72.80.132.46 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05895) (New York Southern District Court)
Headhunter, LLC v. Doe-73.191.98.246 (Case No. 1:17-cv-00793) (Virginia Eastern District Court)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-17 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02352) (Texas Southern District Court)
Headhunter, LLC v. Does 1-9 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00069) (Virginia Western District Court)
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-02985) (Pennsylvania Eastern District Court)
HEADHUNTER, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-02986) (Pennsylvania Eastern District Court)

Stay tuned; there will be many more of these lawsuits.

VENICE PI (“ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENICE”) MOVIE LAWSUITS

I wonder if Bruce Willis knew when he took this role that in addition to the “Once Upon a Time in Venice” movie destroying his reputation, it would also spawn a slew of copyright infringement lawsuits which destroy the lives of hundreds of families across the US. Venice PI movie lawsuits are in FULL SWING and are being accelerated and expanded across the US. This simply means that the Venice PI copyright holder is happy with the initial results of early lawsuits, and they are investing significantly more money into the enforcement of their copyright rights.

What this means for you if you are a defendant in this lawsuit is that the plaintiff attorneys across the US are likely funded and able to spend large amounts of time and hours going after the many defendants for Venice PI, LLC cases. This means that they will likely name and serve defendants who do not settle, and they will drag innocent defendants into and through discovery before dismissing them. Contrast this to a cost conscious copyright holder who wants to spend as little as possible on their copyright trolling campaign — defendants from the cost conscious copyright holders will be dismissed outright and any naming and serving of defendants will be for “face saving” purposes only (e.g., to fool the federal judges into thinking that these copyright holder plaintiffs are “serious” about proceeding against those downloaders who actually downloaded the film).

This copyright holder will likely be a problem for accused defendants.

Because there are so many new defendants implicated by Venice PI, LLC, I am sorting the lawsuits by state so that it is easier to see how many families will be affected by these lawsuits.

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Colorado District Court (5)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01664)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01787)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01861)
VENICE PI, LLC v. John Does 1 – 15 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01870)
Venice PI, LLC. v. John Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-01850)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Indiana Northern District Court (4)
(NOTE: I was just there a few weeks ago.)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-00284)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-00285)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOE 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-02274)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOE 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-02328)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the New York Southern and Eastern District Courts (3)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-24.44.143.124 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04249)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-68.173.101.58 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-04076)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe-66.108.113.178 et al (Case No. 1:17-cv-05594)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the North Carolina District Courts (11)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00337)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00339)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00340)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00334)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-12 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00333)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-14 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00367)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00671)
VENICE PI, LLC v. DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00676)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 3:17-cv-00409)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 3:17-cv-00445)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00128)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Pennsylvania Eastern District Court (5)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03322)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-11 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03324)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-14 (Case No. 2:17-cv-03325)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-7 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03323)
VENICE PI, LLC v. JOHN DOES 1-8 (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-03326)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Texas Southern District Court (4)
(NOTE: I wrote about these cases here.)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02285)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-13 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02395)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02203)
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-16 (Case No. Case No. 4:17-cv-02244)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena cases recently filed in the Washington Western District Court (6)
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01074)
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01075)
Venice PI LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01076)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01160)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01163)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al (Case No. Case No. 2:17-cv-01164)

Venice PI ISP Subpoena case recently filed in the Hawaii District Court (1)
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1; et al. (Case No. Case No. 1:17-cv-00335), and

Venice PI ISP Subpoena case recently filed in the Virginia Western District Court (1)
Venice PI, LLC v. DOES 1-15 (Case No. Case No. 5:17-cv-00070)

THE ANOMALY: POW NEVADA, LLC (REVOLT)

If I called Headhunter, LLC movie lawsuits an “infant,” then POW Nevada, LLC would be a newborn. POW Nevada is suing downloaders for the sci-fi movie “Revolt.” The movie trailer for this film looks intense. While this movie has not yet appeared on Carl Crowell’s RIGHTS ENFORCEMENT (RIGHTSENFORCEMENT.COM) list of clients, he is indeed the plaintiff attorney for these lawsuits. Thus, once again, this appears to be a “common copyright troll” lawsuit scenario. There are only two test cases currently filed against two defendants, so let’s see what happens with this copyright holder. If the copyright holder’s lawsuits start metastasizing into federal courts across the US, I’ll pay more attention to this one. For now, it’s a newborn and there are only two defendants.

POW Nevada ISP Subpoena test cases filed in the Oregon District Court (2)
POW Nevada v. Doe-73.157.238.5 (3:17-cv-01134)
POW Nevada, LLC v. Doe-76.27.245.245 (3:17-cv-01133)

POW Nevada LLC | Prisoner-of_War-Revolt-Image Croped

 

In Summary

I would hate to end with a whimper rather than a bang, but really, the answer is that there are movie lawsuit campaigns — each one has its beginning, its peak, and its end.

As you can see, the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases have had their run. Now in full swing are the UN4 Productions cases, the Venice PI cases, and the Headhunter LLC cases. I.T. Productions (the “I.T”. Movie Lawsuits) didn’t go anywhere, and Cook Productions (the “Mr. Church” movie lawsuits) might still be around, although I never sensed much unity of purpose across the various federal courts from these cases.

As far as number of cases filed, this month in August, it appears as if the movie lawsuits are taking a breather. There is definitely a slowdown, perhaps because the college kids are on summer break, and the real lawsuits will start being filed after they return to college. On average, these movie copyright trolls file around 40 cases each month, with occasional spikes of 100+ cases in a “high season,” and 200+ cases filed in the spring.

ME2 Utah Subpoenas from CenturyLink Are Coming Due.

Subpoenas Sent to CenturyLink to expose identities of ME2 Utah Defendants due 4/28.

ME2 Utah cases have been blazing since they were filed early in March, and now the subpoenas for those cases are coming due this week.

Who is the attorney for the ME2 Utah cases?

The ‘copyright troll’ attorney in Utah who filed these cases is Todd Zenger (“Todd E. Zenger”), and he works for Kirton McConkie in Salt Lake City, Utah. Any e-mails coming from “[email protected],” or calls from his “801-328-3600” phone number (or any 801-328-XXXX phone number should cause you to be wary that you have a Utah ME2 copyright troll trying to scare you into settling with him for thousands of dollars.

Are Utah ME2 Productions, Inc. cases any different from those filed in other states?

Really, no.  I have already written much about the ME2 Productions, Inc. cases, and the Utah ME2 cases are no different from the cases filed in other states. The following articles should be helpful in understanding the ME2 Utah cases as well:

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ONE PAGE ABOUT YOUR ME2 PRODUCTIONS, INC. “MECHANIC:RESURRECTION” LAWSUIT AND ISP SUBPOENA.

Just like the other cases, the Utah ME2 Productions, Inc. cases are suing for copyright infringement based on the the illegal download of the Mechanic: Resurrection movie, starring Jason Statham and Jessica Alba. The lawsuits are all copyright infringement lawsuits filed in the Federal Courts, and each lawsuit sues for statutory damages of $150,000 (but don’t let that large number scare you, because baked into copyright infringement law is the concept of ‘minimum statutory damages’ as well).

Accused ME2 Utah-based internet users are made aware of these cases when they are sent a letter from their ISP (CenturyLink), 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 with the court (referring to a “motion to quash”).

Why is this article relevant now (and for the next week or so)?

The reason why I am writing this article is because starting THIS FRIDAY (and continuing for the next week), the ME2 Utah-based subpoenas sent to CenturyLink demanding that they turn over the identities of the Utah ME2 John Doe Defendants are coming due. Most relevant, the next deadline is this Friday, 4/28.

What should I expect after 4/28 once CenturyLink complies with the subpoenas?

The expectation following this 4/28 deadline is that Todd Zenger will start sending out settlement demand letters to Utah ME2 John Doe Defendants, explaining that they have been sued for $150,000, and that their ISP has identified them as being the downloader. That their ISP identified them as the infringer is actually not true, as the ISP will have only identified that their IP address was ‘in the room’ when bittorrent downloading was happening.

However, Todd Zenger’s cases do not state that each John Doe Defendant is the actual infringer, nor does he provide evidence in the form of a PCAP file that any of the Utah ME2 defendants actually committed copyright infringement or downloaded a large enough piece of the movie to be considered “substantially similar” to the copyrighted film. However, it will have to be up to the judges (and us attorneys) to inform them that Todd Zenger is not in possession of the Guardaley evidence he allegedly claims to have.

Who are the federal judges assigned to the ME2 Utah Cases?

The Utah ME2 cases (thus far) are evenly spread between the following judges.  I wouldn’t be surprised if moving forward, one judge, e.g., Judge Evelyn Furse will take over the other cases to have uniform decisions across the Utah ME2 cases.

Judge David Nuffer:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00198)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-12 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00224)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-29 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00190)

Judge Paul M. Warner:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-26 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00199)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-14 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00225)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-22 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00189)

Judge Evelyn J Furse:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00179)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00169)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00178)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-25 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00158)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-23 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00157)
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-26 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00168)

Judge Jill N. Parrish:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-22 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00200)

Judge Dustin B. Pead:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-27 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00191)

Judge Ted Stewart:
ME2 Productions v. Does 1-24 (Case No. 2:17-cv-00223)

What are your options in defending or resolving claims in a ME2 Utah-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 ME2 scam has been exposed, the inherent weaknesses in Todd Zenger’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 ME2 Productions.

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 Todd Zenger on notice that my client is not the infringer he 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 Todd Zenger 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.

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 Todd Zenger 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 last night 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 ME2 Utah case, please let me know.

*UPDATE (APRIL, 2017)* ME2 PRODUCTIONS INC. (FAQ) PAGE NOW UP.

*UPDATE (JULY, 2017)* SECOND WAVE OF LAWSUIT SUBPOENAS sent to CenturyLink ISP subscribers, and are due on 7/14/2017.


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.


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.

Is it ‘coincidence’ early bittorrent cases were porn-based?

Once again, in trying to answer the question of “Who cares if I was ‘seen’ downloading?  Doesn’t everyone use bittorrent anyway? Why is this illegal?” in the ME2 Productions Lawsuit Q&A article posted last night (this is a difficult question to answer because the answer is ‘yes, everyone does it, but it is still illegal’) I ended up on a tangent which deserved it’s own article, which I posted below.

If you are looking for the juicy conspiratorial content, skip down to the last paragraph after the reference to ‘The boot of government crushes the skull of its citizen’ when it comes to encryption and anonymity, which caused me to come to a jarring conclusion that perhaps it was the plan of our ‘copyright masters’ that all of the adult film bittorent-based cases from 2010-2016 were planned to be a precursor to the growing number of movie cases we are seeing today.

THE EVOLUTION OF PIRACY IN OUR GENERATION

In our modern society (mid-1990’s- ~2020), especially with the younger generation, even we Gen X’ers (born in the 1960’s and 1970’s) found ourselves with “Peer-To-Peer” technology which showed up in our dorm rooms and offices in the mid-1990’s.  File sharing sites such as eDonkey, Morpheus, LimeWire, Grokster, Napster were all names common to the early file sharers, and the ability to share music and pictures was a pretty cool concept (especially for those who remember 300 baud and then 9600 baud modems before DSL, Cablemodem, or even DISH Network was made available to residential ISP customers).  Later, as bittorrent become popular and Napster and Grokster got sued, software platforms that used bittorrent (e.g., uTorrent, Azureus/Vuze, etc.) became more popular.  Sites like The Pirate Bay, KickAssTorrents, and many others who have now shut their doors provided unlicensed copyrighted material to hundreds and thousands of students.

EARLY ON, BITTORRENT WAS NOT MONITORED BY COPYRIGHT HOLDERS

At the time, while downloading copyrighted movies at the time were just as illegal as it is now, nobody had the thought or the desire to monitor the bittorrent networks.  Today with the copyright holders and movie producers throwing out recycled garbage and politically motivated comedies, much of what is out there is junk and many people no longer spend the few dollars or the time to view the movies in the theater.  So they turned to Netflix, who delivered recent movies to their door each day via a little red envelope which gave so many people so much pleasure.  But then even Netflix got greedy, and they reduced their selection of available films, increased their prices and switched to their streaming platform.  Many people turned to Redbox, the kiosks in their local stores as a last resort replacement for Netflix.  But then when Redbox did not keep current as the movies came out and their selection dwindled, many people turned to piracy.

PIRACY IS THE RESULT OF MISMANAGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RESOURCES BY THE MOVIE COMPANIES AND THE TV AND CABLE NETWORKS.

Piracy came about because the companies who formerly had us as committed customers (I know I used to go to the movies at least once/week) lost our trust and our dollar.  Then Netflix lost our dime to Amazon Prime (which for the moment in my opinion provides better content than even Netflix, and it provides the free shipping that we all love).  Sure, we are always a season or so behind the TV viewers, but being able to binge-watch shows from our living rooms at night to get the full theater experience is something that even movie theaters could not provide in a two-hour movie, and quite frankly, it is nice to do so in the privacy of our own homes without the annoying advertisements.

But just as there is Netflix, Amazon, and legal ways to pay for slightly dated content, some people want the most up to date movie, or the most up to date show.  Not willing to pay for a movie ticket or purchase the video outright, they look for other sources to view the film, the movie, or the TV show.  At the time I am writing this article (early 2017), TV networks have not realized that “Cable TV is dead” and that many have ‘cut the cords’ years ago because of their obscene prices.  Personally, I would still pay a few bucks to be able to access Cable TV content (e.g., to see the current seasons of shows as they come out), but I am unwilling to pay the high costs these TV companies (e.g., HBO GO, etc.) charge to access their content online.  For some reason, they still think they can charge us “Cable TV” prices when there are such cheaper alternatives available.  [Second thought, perhaps Hulu provides current TV shows, but they have done such a pitiful job in marketing even I *who lives and breathes in this industry* have no idea what service they are providing these days, and last I checked, I was unwilling to pay their $9.99/month or whatever subscription when Netflix and/or Amazon provided better content and value for less.]

When Hulu did have our attention (when it was free), viewers were willing to watch paid ads in return for the free content.  However, this was likely not profitable for them, and they turned to a per month subscription model.  I haven’t followed them since them because they lost me as a betrayed customer, and I am happy with my Amazon subscription.

However, after the failures of the movie theaters, the cable and TV providers, the Netflix providers, and then the Hulu providers, there grew a large segment of the population who were never taught nor do they understand or care that movies and shows are not free, and that they cost money to produce.  These individuals grew up with the understanding that “ads will pay for the cost of our watching,” but as ad-supported content dwindled, they blamed the TV and Cable companies for not providing the content they desired at a cost they were willing to pay.  As a result, a large segment of our population has turned and will continue to readily turn to piracy when the other alternatives do not provide them access to the content (e.g., “current” TV shows) they would otherwise pay for.  Thus, without thinking, this segment pirates the film or the TV show using bittorrent or Popcorn Time thinking that nobody will see them.  The only difference is that they copyright holders have caught up with technology and they are able to track those who use bittorrent, and thus these individuals get sued.

So yes, copyright infringement is something that is ‘socially acceptable’ because so many people do it.  But it is still illegal, and as technology advances and as governments find more and more creative ways to serve their lobbyist masters in return for favors, free trips, and donations to their PACs / re-election funds], copyright holders continue to grow in their appetite to sue those who get caught downloading the copyrighted films.

And with hindsight, and after reading the

‘The boot of government crushes the skull of its citizen’ when it comes to encryption and anonymity,

*WASN’T IT CONVENIENT AND COINCIDENTAL* that the set of cases that were brought between 2010-2016 to blaze the trail in order to allow current movie companies to sue downloads WERE PORNOGRAPHY / ADULT FILM CASES?

That’s a very deep concept which requires some reflection and thought in order to grasp the enormity of it.  It makes you wonder whether it was planned that the MPAA / RIAA would sit back and let the porn cases blaze through the courts (because what person accused of downloading pornography would make noise defending himself in court when as a result of the legal battle — just by being named and served as a defendant, even if he won the case and was vindicated (namely, that he was found to have never downloaded the adult films in the first place), — his name and reputation forever would be tarnished by being associated with someone who was accused and sued of downloading and stealing copyrighted pornographic content without a license, only to have legitimate movie companies step in their place and file most of the copyright infringement cases we see now.

For years we have been seeing common thread between the cases filed in the federal district courts across the US.  Similar names and German companies, such as Guardaley, IPP, and other common entities kept creeping up behind the scenes (until recently, I thought the shadow entity was Voltage Pictures, Inc.).  But when those same entities popped up for the Dallas Buyers Club, LLC lawsuits (based on a legitimate movie), I did not make any connections, and I remained oblivious to the idea that perhaps the same entities behind the pornography lawsuits (e.g., Patrick Collins, K-Beeck, NuCorp, Malibu Media, LLC — essentially, the former set of “Keith Lipscomb” lawsuits) were also behind the movie-based lawsuits.

Conspiracy-level thinking at this point, yes.  It would be a huge scandal if one set of masters planned the pornography-based bittorrent ‘copyright troll’ lawsuits for the purpose of later giving credibility to real-movie lawsuits when they stepped in place of the porn lawsuits and made the same filings.  I am made angry just thinking about this, and quite frankly, I don’t want to connect the dots because I do not want to notice that perhaps the same entities behind the Dallas Buyers Club, LLC movies were the same entities behind the Patrick Collins… Malibu Media, LLC cases.  That would be just too horrible.


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.