Copyright Settlement Counsel

Settle your case anonymously, for less.

Punk is dead; long live punk!

John Lyndon shills butter.
Iggy Pop advertises tonic water, car insurance, and Chryslers.
The Sex Pistols are on credit cards.
Rotten Records sues for people downloading DRI and Goatwhore albums.

Note: I’m not saying either DRI or Goatwhore are suing people—that’s an important distinction. They might not care if people download their albums or hope that doing so gets people to their shows or makes them buy merchandise. Really, I can’t imagine that Goatwhore is ripping up the top of the pops.

The company, Rotten Records, is suing downloaders of DRI’s Definition and Goatwhore’s The Eclipse of Ages Into Black.

You know, I get it. Iggy Pop and The Sex Pistols can make more money with an endorsement deal than they can by touring nonstop, and both deserve compensation for all they’ve contributed.

Also, smaller companies like Rotten Records aren’t selling millions of albums. They see downloading as theft, and want it to stop. Although that one person downloading one album probably didn’t do them any great harm, they think that for every one person they catch, thousands are undetected, so they think they’re justified in extracting a huge amount from the one person they caught.

So, on a scale from most punk to least punk we have: selling cars, selling butter (people need to drive to the store to get butter, right?), selling car insurance, credit card branding, and then . . . way over there is suing fans for downloading.

Ugh, I’m going to listen to Bad Brains.

***New Cases***

The hits keep coming.

Malibu Media and their lawyers are as active as ever and there are also a number of cases involving the move “Plastic.” Plastic isn’t an adult film but I never heard of it before these downloading cases started being filed. It stars that one flirtatious footman from Downton Abbey that Thomas kissed and who was dismissed after sleeping with his former employer when she visited Downton, you know the guy. It also stars that dude who was sent to live with the Starks as a boy who then much later turned on them and eventually was taken prisoner by that one psycho who cuts off his penis and brainwashes him into being a lapdog on Game of Thrones.

Plastic has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 3.3/10 after 25 reviews which makes me wonder if the downloaders haven’t already suffered enough.

Of course, a court won’t care if a downloaded movie was any good.

If you’ve been contacted about any of these cases, contact me now, before your information is turned over. I’m just listing those cases filed in the last month or so in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. If you have a similar demand from a court in another state, I can still help you.

New Jersey:
3:2015-cv-02424, 3:2015-cv-02425, 3:2015-cv-02442, 1:2015-cv-02446, 1:2015-cv-02448, 1:2015-cv-02452, 1:2015-cv-02454, 3:2015-cv-02450, 3:2015-cv-02455, 1:2015-cv-02441, 3:2015-cv-02459, 1:2015-cv-02443, 1:2015-cv-02445, 1:2015-cv-02447, 1:2015-cv-02449, 1:2015-cv-02451, 1:2015-cv-02453, 3:2015-cv-02456, 3:2015-cv-02457, 2:2015-cv-02476, 2:2015-cv-02475, 2:2015-cv-02474, 2:2015-cv-02471, 2:2015-cv-02470, 2:2015-cv-02469, 2:2015-cv-02468, 2:2015-cv-02467, 2:2015-cv-02473, 2:2015-cv-02981, 2:2015-cv-02985, 2:2015-cv-02984, 2:2015-cv-02982, 2:2015-cv-03003, 3:2015-cv-03005, 2:2015-cv-03002, 2:2015-cv-03009, 2:2015-cv-03019, 2:2015-cv-03020, 2:2015-cv-03048, 2:2015-cv-03049, 2:2015-cv-03039, 2:2015-cv-03041, 2:2015-cv-03054, 2:2015-cv-03060, 3:2015-cv-03061, 3:2015-cv-03063, 3:2015-cv-03064, 2:2015-cv-03042, 2:2015-cv-03052, 2:2015-cv-03050

Pennsylvania:
2:2015-cv-01675, 2:2015-cv-01672, 2:2015-cv-01673, 5:2015-cv-01674, 2:2015-cv-02288, 2:2015-cv-02315, 2:2015-cv-02316, 2:2015-cv-02325, 2:2015-cv-02321, 2:2015-cv-02317, 2:2015-cv-02326, 2:2015-cv-02323, 2:2015-cv-02318, 2:2015-cv-02324, 2:2015-cv-02314, 2:2015-cv-02322, 2:2015-cv-02319, 2:2015-cv-02320

Defendant denied fees and costs

As I wrote in the FAQ section, just because someone fights and wins doesn’t mean the court will grant them fees and costs.

In a nutshell, Malibu Media sued someone and then decided they couldn’t win so they tried to dismiss the case. The defendant wouldn’t agree unless Malibu payed $17,500 in his attorney fees. Instead of agreeing, Malibu decided not to dismiss the case and push forward with discovery. A little later, Malibu changed their mind and offered to pay $13,000 in legal costs. The defendant rejected the offer because additional work since the $17,500 offer had brought the total fee to $24,000. Malibu dismissed the case and defendant requested that the court order Malibu to pay his fee.

The court decided that Malibu acted in good faith in bringing the lawsuit even though they later decided to drop it, so the court didn’t award the defendant any fees for that. The court also decided that Malibu’s actions in deciding to press on and threatening that the defendant would “lose everything he owns and owe my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars” did constitute bad faith, so costs incurred because of that were recovered by defendant, for a total of $6815.70.

Look at those numbers for a minute. The defendant paid $17,500 to get though an early part of the litigation. If it had gone further, that amount would have steadily climbed, and based on the eventual fee award, none of that would have been recovered if he won. It is only the part of the fees that were incurred after Malibu threatened to pursue the case because they were angered at the demand for fees.

This particular client was accused of downloading 700 films, so maybe $17,500 was less than he could have paid to settle; I don’t know what, if anything, was offered.

If you’ve been contacted by Malibu Media or another copyright owner, keep in mind that like in this case, legal fees can easily get to $17,500 by a fairly early stage of litigation and those fees might not be recoverable.

You can read the fee order here (it has a nice discussion of the factors a court will look at in deciding whether a copyright defendant should be awarded fees or not), and the appellate opinion here.

Dallas Buyers Club

Speaking of Dallas Buyers Club, they’re filed the following cases since June 1, 2014.
If you’ve been contacted about one of the cases, contact me.

Colorado
1:2014-cv-01539, 1:2014-cv-01629, 1:2014-cv-01773, 1:2014-cv-01945, 1:2014-cv-01989
Florida
8:2014-cv-01352, 8:2014-cv-01351, 8:2014-cv-01353, 8:2014-cv-01354, 8:2014-cv-01355, 6:2014-cv-01010, 6:2014-cv-01012, 6:2014-cv-01011, 6:2014-cv-01013, 6:2014-cv-01014
Hawaii
1:2014-cv-00330, 1:2014-cv-00331
Illinois
1:2014-cv-04933, 1:2014-cv-04924, 1:2014-cv-04934, 1:2014-cv-04936, 1:2014-cv-05629, 1:2014-cv-05632, 1:2014-cv-05633, 1:2014-cv-05634, 1:2014-cv-05636, 1:2014-cv-05639, 1:2014-cv-05640, 1:2014-cv-05643, 1:2014-cv-04927, 1:2014-cv-04929, 1:2014-cv-04937, 1:2014-cv-04940
Indiana
1:2014-cv-01141, 1:2014-cv-01142, 1:2014-cv-01144, 1:2014-cv-01145
Michigan
4:2014-cv-12596, 2:2014-cv-12594, 2:2014-cv-12595, 2:2014-cv-12598, 4:2014-cv-12600, 2:2014-cv-12846, 2:2014-cv-12847, 2:2014-cv-12848, 1:2014-cv-12849, 2:2014-cv-12850
Ohio
2:2014-cv-00571
Wisconsin
2:2014-cv-00841, 3:2014-cv-00491, 3:2014-cv-00492, 3:2014-cv-00493

It's not all porn movies

Did you see Dallas Buyers Club? I haven’t. I want to, I just haven’t gotten around to it. I’m sure I’ll eventually DVR it from HBO and then watch it over the course of a week, since that’s what you do when you have kids.

Anyway, it seems that some people aren’t content to wait until it shows up at their local Redbox and have been trading it over BitTorrent.

I understand. BitTorrent is free and easy, it’s very tempting. Unfortunately, sometimes saving the $5.99 it would cost to rent a movie from iTunes isn’t the best decision.

It’s not common for a non-pornographic movie to be the subject of a copyright infringement action, but it happens. The Hurt Locker was one of the first movies to get involved in BitTorrent litigation. There were a few others I can recall off-hand: Far Cry (yeah, someone made a movie based on the video game), Donkeyball (I really didn’t want to look up that one), Fast Track: No Limits, Familiar Strangers, and Cornered! (a low budge slasher starring Steve Guttenberg). There’s another current case for the movie Elf-Man, which is a Jason Acuna (Wee Man from Jackass) vehicle.

Pornographic movies tend to dominate this sphere for a couple reasons. Partially because they’re commonly traded online, partially because many of the defendants want to quietly settle so their particular fetish doesn’t show up in an pre-employment screening. Also, it’s doubtful there is much a porn studio could do to diminish the demand for it’s products.

The others (I don’t think I can really call them “mainstream”) have a slightly different dynamic, although I wouldn’t necessarily want to explain to a potential employer why I wanted to watch Elf-Man so bad.

Malibu Media cases since June 1

Since June 1, Malibu Media has filed the copyright infringement actions listed below.

They are nothing if not active.

If you’ve been notified that you’re a party to one of these cases, contact me now to learn about your options.

Colorado
1:2014-cv-01801, 1:2014-cv-01802, 1:2014-cv-01803, 1:2014-cv-01804, 1:2014-cv-01805, 1:2014-cv-01798, 1:2014-cv-01799, 1:2014-cv-01800

Florida
8:2014-cv-01568, 8:2014-cv-01566, 8:2014-cv-01570, 8:2014-cv-01572, 8:2014-cv-01574, 8:2014-cv-01577, 8:2014-cv-01581, 8:2014-cv-01569, 8:2014-cv-01578, 8:2014-cv-01580, 8:2014-cv-01584, 8:2014-cv-01571, 8:2014-cv-01573, 8:2014-cv-01575, 8:2014-cv-01579, 8:2014-cv-01582, 8:2014-cv-01583, 8:2014-cv-01567

Illinois
1:2014-cv-04394, 1:2014-cv-04395, 1:2014-cv-04396, 1:2014-cv-04397, 1:2014-cv-04398, 1:2014-cv-04399, 1:2014-cv-04457, 1:2014-cv-04459, 1:2014-cv-04460, 1:2014-cv-04461, 1:2014-cv-04463, 1:2014-cv-04465, 1:2014-cv-04474, 1:2014-cv-04476, 1:2014-cv-04478, 1:2014-cv-04480, 1:2014-cv-04483, 1:2014-cv-04484, 1:2014-cv-04487, 1:2014-cv-04493, 1:2014-cv-04500, 1:2014-cv-04504, 1:2014-cv-04450, 1:2014-cv-04451, 1:2014-cv-04454, 1:2014-cv-04456, 1:2014-cv-05228, 1:2014-cv-05229, 1:2014-cv-05230, 1:2014-cv-05234, 1:2014-cv-05236, 1:2014-cv-05237, 1:2014-cv-05217, 1:2014-cv-05218, 1:2014-cv-05220, 1:2014-cv-05238, 1:2014-cv-05240, 1:2014-cv-05241, 1:2014-cv-05244, 1:2014-cv-05245, 1:2014-cv-05247, 1:2014-cv-05248, 1:2014-cv-05221, 1:2014-cv-05222, 1:2014-cv-05223, 1:2014-cv-05224, 1:2014-cv-05225, 1:2014-cv-05226

Michigan
4:2014-cv-12412, 2:2014-cv-12415, 2:2014-cv-12424, 2:2014-cv-12409, 2:2014-cv-12430, 5:2014-cv-12431, 2:2014-cv-12432, 2:2014-cv-12433, 2:2014-cv-12434, 2:2014-cv-12462, 2:2014-cv-12464, 4:2014-cv-12465, 2:2014-cv-12468, 2:2014-cv-12470, 5:2014-cv-12471, 2:2014-cv-12473, 2:2014-cv-12459, 2:2014-cv-12460, 2:2014-cv-12474, 2:2014-cv-12475, 2:2014-cv-12457, 5:2014-cv-12458, 2:2014-cv-12461, 2:2014-cv-12435

New Jersey
2:2014-cv-03982, 3:2014-cv-03981, 3:2014-cv-03977, 2:2014-cv-03873, 2:2014-cv-03875, 2:2014-cv-03874, 2:2014-cv-03856, 2:2014-cv-03858, 2:2014-cv-03870, 3:2014-cv-03864, 3:2014-cv-03866, 2:2014-cv-03859, 2:2014-cv-03871, 3:2014-cv-03944, 2:2014-cv-03931, 2:2014-cv-03933, 3:2014-cv-03945, 2:2014-cv-03930, 2:2014-cv-03988, 3:2014-cv-03984, 3:2014-cv-03975, 3:2014-cv-03974, 3:2014-cv-03986, 3:2014-cv-03980, 2:2014-cv-03990, 2:2014-cv-03969, 2:2014-cv-03989, 2:2014-cv-03968, 2:2014-cv-04333, 2:2014-cv-04335, 2:2014-cv-04337, 2:2014-cv-04334, 2:2014-cv-04339, 2:2014-cv-04343, 2:2014-cv-04336, 2:2014-cv-04340, 2:2014-cv-04342, 2:2014-cv-04387, 2:2014-cv-04389, 2:2014-cv-04386, 2:2014-cv-04390, 2:2014-cv-04392, 2:2014-cv-04394, 2:2014-cv-04396, 2:2014-cv-04398, 2:2014-cv-04393, 2:2014-cv-04397, 2:2014-cv-04338

Ohio
1:2014-cv-01384, 1:2014-cv-01387, 3:2014-cv-01388, 1:2014-cv-01389, 1:2014-cv-01390, 1:2014-cv-01423, 1:2014-cv-01424, 3:2014-cv-01421, 1:2014-cv-01422, 1:2014-cv-01425, 1:2014-cv-01426, 1:2014-cv-01427, 3:2014-cv-01428, 3:2014-cv-01429, 3:2014-cv-01430, 3:2014-cv-01431, 3:2014-cv-01432, 3:2014-cv-01433, 3:2014-cv-01434, 3:2014-cv-01436, 2:2014-cv-00557, 2:2014-cv-00558, 1:2014-cv-00492, 3:2014-cv-00183, 3:2014-cv-00184, 2:2014-cv-00559, 2:2014-cv-00560, 1:2014-cv-00487, 1:2014-cv-00488, 2:2014-cv-00563, 2:2014-cv-00564, 1:2014-cv-00490, 1:2014-cv-00491, 2:2014-cv-00568, 1:2014-cv-00493, 3:2014-cv-00186, 1:2014-cv-00494, 1:2014-cv-00495, 2:2014-cv-00569, 2:2014-cv-00570, 1:2014-cv-00556, 1:2014-cv-00557, 1:2014-cv-00558, 1:2014-cv-00563, 1:2014-cv-00564, 1:2014-cv-00565, 2:2014-cv-00804, 2:2014-cv-00805, 2:2014-cv-00806, 1:2014-cv-00568, 1:2014-cv-00569, 1:2014-cv-00571, 1:2014-cv-00573, 1:2014-cv-00574, 1:2014-cv-00575, 1:2014-cv-00577, 2:2014-cv-00815, 2:2014-cv-00816, 2:2014-cv-00817, 2:2014-cv-00818, 2:2014-cv-00814, 2:2014-cv-00819, 2:2014-cv-00820, 2:2014-cv-00821, 2:2014-cv-00822, 2:2014-cv-00823, 2:2014-cv-00834, 2:2014-cv-00835, 2:2014-cv-00836, 2:2014-cv-00837, 2:2014-oe-00833, 2:2014-cv-00831, 2:2014-cv-00824, 2:2014-cv-00825, 2:2014-cv-00828, 2:2014-cv-00829, 2:2014-cv-00830

Pennsylvania
5:2014-cv-03153, 2:2014-cv-03156, 2:2014-cv-03158, 2:2014-cv-03154, 5:2014-cv-03165, 2:2014-cv-03163, 5:2014-cv-03164, 2:2014-cv-03152, 2:2014-cv-03159, 2:2014-cv-03161, 2:2014-cv-03160, 5:2014-cv-03162, 2:2014-cv-03157, 2:2014-cv-03155, 2:2014-cv-03362, 2:2014-cv-03750, 2:2014-cv-03796, 2:2014-cv-03804, 2:2014-cv-03803, 2:2014-cv-03802, 2:2014-cv-03794, 2:2014-cv-03799, 2:2014-cv-03797, 2:2014-cv-03801, 2:2014-cv-03795, 2:2014-cv-03793, 2:2014-cv-03798, 2:2014-cv-03800, 2:2014-cv-04194, 2:2014-cv-04195, 2:2014-cv-04196, 2:2014-cv-04191, 2:2014-cv-04192, 2:2014-cv-04190, 5:2014-cv-04188, 5:2014-cv-04189, 2:2014-cv-04193, 2:2014-cv-04209, 2:2014-cv-04207, 2:2014-cv-04211, 2:2014-cv-04210

Virginia
1:2014-cv-00711, 1:2014-cv-00712, 1:2014-cv-00713, 1:2014-cv-00700, 1:2014-cv-00701, 1:2014-cv-00702, 1:2014-cv-00703, 1:2014-cv-00704, 1:2014-cv-00705, 1:2014-cv-00714, 1:2014-cv-00715, 1:2014-cv-00716, 1:2014-cv-00717, 1:2014-cv-00718, 1:2014-cv-00719, 1:2014-cv-00706, 1:2014-cv-00707, 1:2014-cv-00708, 1:2014-cv-00709, 1:2014-cv-00710

Relaunch

New website up and running. Minor tweaks expected.