Welcome to our "BitTorrent Defense Resource Center." We are a boutique copyright infringement law firm that is a leader in torrent file-sharing defense law in the United States. "You CLICK we DEFEND®”
Watch Attorney Steve® explain Torrent Lawsuit Defense (Malibu Media and Strike 3 Holdings)
October 2021 Update: We just beat the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Antonelli in a UDRP domain name WIPO arbitration. If you are wondering whether to hire their firm or ours, I think these are a few things you should consider, respectfully:
- Jeffrey Antonelli and "Tristan Robinson" filed a domain name dispute with WIPO.
- They filed for a trademark for TORRENT DEFENDERS after I acquired my domain name TORRENTDEFENDERS.com
- They filed a domain name dispute with WIPO, with their counsel Tristan Robinson (who is/was listed on the Antonelli website as a "Trusted BitTorrent Lawyer" (even though he works in Texas, while Antonelli is in Chicago)
- We won the case, and the 3-member UDRP panel ultimately determined that they "abused the administrative process" in "bad faith."
- In my opinion, these so-called Torrent Defense lawyers are upset that Vondran Legal literally owns the California Torrent Defense Market. We are a leader in handling Strike 3 cases in California.
- Unicourt.com has identified Vondran Legal as the NUMBER ONE copyright infringement defense law firm in the UNITED STATES for the years 2020, and 2021 and likely a repeat in 2022 (in terms of litigation cases handled, which is in the hundreds).
- We are going to vigorously respond to the obvious frivolous UDRP proceeding. This has cost me time and money to show they had no legitimate reason to file the UDRP proceeding. UPDATE: We won!
- I sued them for the wrongful institution of a civil proceeding in Arizona where the domain at issue is located (GoDaddy).
- If you are even considering whether to hire Tristan Weaver or the law offices of Jeffrey Antonelli for Strike 3 Holdings defense, you should consider this post and their aggressive actions that lead to the panel decision that they were engaged in REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING ("RDNH"). This is quite pathetic conduct but, in my opinion, shows signs of desperation.
- They cost me tons of time and money to defeat them.
- They did not have to file this action and in my opinion, had absolutely no probable cause to file this. Again, they filed for a trademark AFTER I already owned my domain name.
BREAKING NEWS: Vondran Legal was identified as the Top Copyright Infringement Defense firm in the United States in 2020 by Unicourt.com! See more
VERY IMPORTANT STARTER VIDEO: Click on the picture to watch Attorney Steve® explain what happens when you get a notice of the subpoena from your ISP regarding Malibu Media pornography videos or more importantly, notices from Strike Three Holdings, LLC, a prolific filer of file sharing copyright infringement lawsuits in the United States, from California to New York, Texas to Illinois. Make sure to click on the RED “V” for victory to SUBSCRIBE to our popular legal channel (now over 35k subscribers and 3.5 mil video views).
2019 Updates: Click here for January 2019 Strike 3 Lawsuit Report
After you watch the video, check out for more valuable FAQs and resources.
2020 Torrent Defense Updates: San Diego Federal Court judge DENIES Strike 3's Motion for Early Discovery (hear about it in this Bittorrent Litigation podcast).
2021 Updates - Strike three winds up and delivers multiple lawsuits in California federal courts (Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts). The pandemic does not stop the litigation train.
2021 Surprise Surprise - "John Doe gets to keep his Dough!" Strike 3 WHIFFS on Appeal in Washington.
VIDEO: Click on the image above to watch this important BitTorrent law video. Strike 3 is NOT invincible. In fact, to my knowledge they have never even taken a case to trial. But now, they have lost a case on summary judgment and on appeal in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. How will this affect legal strategy, especially for the wrongfully accused who have normally been forced to settle. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to join over 27,000 people who love our best legal video channel.
This page will serve as an AMAZING resource if you are involved in a copyright “troll” or Bittorrent (“BitTorrent” or “Torrent”) lawsuit or have received notice of the subpoena from your ISP due to alleged illegal file sharing (p2p). Make sure to bookmark this page for future updates and watch our Legal YouTube channel for important video updates.
To learn more about the SUBPOENA PROCESS click to watch the video.
STEP ONE – Don't panic – we can help! Malibu Media and Strike 3 Holdings, LLC are typical Plaintiffs in these types of cases and we have vast federal court experience in this niche IP law practice area. We have appeared in over 175 federal court cases. In these cases, there is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EXPERIENCE and if you are being pursued in California (ex. Central District, Northern District or Southern District it is important to have a local - as opposed to an out-of-state law firm assist you! We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.
What is BitTorrent?
According to wilkipedia:
"BitTorrent (abbreviated to BT) is a communication protocol for peer-to-peer file sharing (P2P), which enables users to distribute data and electronic files over the Internet in a decentralized manner. BitTorrent is one of the most common protocols for transferring large files; such as, digital video files containing TV shows and video clips, or digital audio files containing songs.
P2P networks have been estimated to, collectively, account for approximately 43% to 70% of Internet traffic depending on location, as of February 2009. In February 2013, BitTorrent was responsible for 3.35% of all worldwide bandwidth—more than half of the 6% of total bandwidth dedicated to file sharing.
In 2019, BitTorrent was a dominant file sharing protocol and generated a substantial amount of Internet traffic, with 2.46% of downstream, and 27.58% of upstream traffic.
To send or receive files, a person uses a BitTorrent client, on their Internet-connected computer. A BitTorrent client is a computer program that implements the BitTorrent protocol. Popular clients include μTorrent, Xunlei Thunder,Transmission, qBittorrent, Vuze, Deluge, BitComet and Tixati.
BitTorrent trackers provide a list of files available for transfer and allow the client to find peer users, known as "seeds", who may transfer the files."
Are there LEGAL USES of Peer-to-Peer (file sharing technology)?
Yes. There are many legal uses of Torrent file sharing technology. Here are 25 LEGAL uses of BitTorrent file-sharing technology:
1. Distributing open-source software
2. Transferring large amounts of data between computers
3. Sharing public domain books and movies
4. Distributing large scientific datasets
5. Downloading Linux distributions
6. Streaming live audio and video content
7. Downloading and sharing music legally purchased from an online store
8. Sharing large virtual machine images
9. Distributing free and open-source software
10. Downloading and playing game mods
11. Sharing medical images for research purposes
12. Distributing educational videos
13. Sharing legal documents
14. Distributing audio books
15. Downloading and sharing royalty-free images
16. Downloading and distributing software patches
17. Distributing shareware and freeware
18. Sharing large data sets for research purposes
19. Downloading and streaming podcasts
20. Distributing open-source games
21. Downloading and sharing legal torrents
22. Downloading and streaming high-definition videos
23. Distributing public domain software
24. Downloading and sharing open-source audio files
25. Downloading and sharing open-source video files
Click here to go to our BitTorrent glossary
What happens in a Malibu Media lawsuit?
VIDEO: Click on the picture above to hear Attorney Steve explain the Malibu Media lawsuits.
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC is on the move [August 2018]
VIDEO: Click here to see the lawsuits being filed in California (Central and Northern District) and across the United States. We can help clients nationwide subject to the local rules of the federal courts. Click here for more information about Strike 3 Holdings. They are very aggressive and may at some point surpass Malibu Media in the sheer number of John Doe lawsuits being filed against internet subscribers.
IF YOU RECEIVED AN ISP NOTICE FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT RELATED TO STRIKE 3 HOLDINGS, LLC, JUMP TO THIS PAGE.
Click here for 2019 Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuit updates.
The internet is still the “wild wild west” in many ways. With the BOOM of the information age, people have realized that you can digitize most anything and share it on the internet with other people. This can be known as “file sharing” or “peer-to-peer” (p2p) file sharing. Almost anything can be shared on the internet such as books, movies, videos, software programs such as Microsoft Word, Office, Autodesk Autocad, Adobe Photoshop and thousands of other software programs. Often times you can easily obtain “crack codes” that allow you to use the software FREE OF CHARGE (not to say this is legal of course). You can also share comics, documents, stories, music, ringtones, and a ton of other things.
However, when these things are illegally uploaded or downloaded through the use of software programs (often called “clients”) such as , , and Vuze), in violation of licensing agreements or in ways that violate the copyrights of the owners and holders of the copyrights in these items, sparks can fly, legal demand letters can start rolling, subpoenas can be served and pure chaos can break loose.
This page is designed to provide general tips, tricks, strategies and resources if you find yourself or your business in the unfortunate position of having to respond to a legal demand letter, ISP subpoena, “cease and desist letter” or a “Notice of Copyright Infringement” you may have received from a copyright owner, or their intellectual property legal counsel (often an IP or copyright infringement law firm).
We can also help if you are accused of satellite or cable TV piracy.
As we like to say “You CLICK, we DEFEND”®
Follow us on Twitter
RESOURCE: Click here for a list of films, videos and movies that could get you BUSTED for Copyright infringement (downloading, sharing, streaming, etc.).
Overview of Torrent Lawsuits and Potential Legal Defenses
VIDEO: This Attorney Steve video explains the Torrent lawsuit process in greater detail and includes potential legal defenses to copyright infringement of films, video, music and software. Note that software infringement is normally handled by the vendor (Ex. Autodesk, Microsoft, or Adobe), or the SIAA or Business Software Alliance.
Initial Questions You May Have
When you get a letter from your ISP, you will likely become nervous and have a lot of questions to ask, for example:
- How did they find out about internet file sharing?
- What if I did not download the movie?
- Are there any defenses to a Malibu Media or other Strike 3 infringement lawsuit?
- Will my employer (or landlord) find out about this?
- Does illegal conduct breach the lease?
- What happens if I just ignore the letter, will the movie production company get a “default judgement“?
- If so, what happens after that? Can they garnish my wages or put a lien on my property?
- Will my name be kept anonymous?
- Should I file a motion to quash the subpoena?
- What is a protective order?
- How much time do I have to answer the complaint?
- What is a John Doe Defendant?
- How do BitTorrent lawsuits proceed?
- How much is this going to cost me to hire an attorney?
- Is this a scam? I got no warnings.
- What are the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement?
- Will the settlement be confidential, or will there be press releases?
- Will the release relieve me from liability for OTHER MOVIES that were downloaded via torrent protocol?
- How long does the settlement process take to resolve?
- Will this hurt my chances of obtaining legal citizenship?
- Will Malibu Media, Strike 3, or Flava be able to come back after me after I settle the case?
These are some of the most common questions and FAQs we get from persons accused of illegal movie downloading. Call us; we have the answers and can discuss your case without high pressure. Call US before you CALL the movie lawyers. You do not want to make damning admissions that may end up hurting your case and raising the settlement amount you may end up paying. Also, getting in a fight with opposing counsel is never a good idea.
Is BitTorrent and P2P file sharing legal?
It depends on what is being shared. Illegally sharing copyrighted videos, music, software, comics, and may not be legal due to copyright restrictions. But many people use Torrent Clients such as BitTornado, Vuze, BitLord, Transmission, Tixati, and other software clients to legally share videos and other large files that would typically take too long to download using the traditional methods of computer-to-computer.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PEER-TO-PEER TECHNOLOGY
As these Plaintiff legal shakedown artists, copyright bullies, or vexatious litigants?
It is not known if companies like Strike 3 Holdings have ever been labeled vexatious or not. Watch this video to learn the legal definition of “vexatious litigant.”
2019 Legal Updates – "Cobbler case" making waves?
VIDEO: Watch Attorney Steve® explain the importance of the Cobbler Nevada, LLC vs. Gonzales case; make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our video channel. We are now up over 27,000 subscribers! Thank you all for your support.
What is a copyright troll or bully?
To me, it is a company that, by itself or through its legal representatives, threatens large and unjustified amounts of money for the downloading or sharing of one or more videos and/or the constant threat of “we are going to file a lawsuit if you don't pay us immediately.” Here is a video I did (all in good fun) dealing with the copyright bully or troll.
Attorney Steve® Tip: Copyright holders have a right to enforce their intellectual property, but when you see demands reaching as high as $50,000 (even though people are suffering great hardships, especially with Covid-19 now pushing many people into unemployment), when fair enforcement turns into harassment (ex. pursuing Defendants first in Miami-Dade (State Court) in Florida and then (after a quash is filed) again in California, these litigation tactics have to be questioned. We are currently making our arguments and will post news as it becomes available.
What are some of the most popular Torrent Sites?
We do not suggest that you visit or use these websites and by following these links you do so at your own risk.
Torrent Settlements Explained by Attorney Steve®
VIDEO: Click to watch this important video about settlement factors in movie download (p2p file sharing cases). Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our fast growing legal Youtube channel and join over 25,400 people who love to watch something besides politics!
Can a parent be held liable for their kids illegal downloads on the internet?
Yes it is possible if you know your kid is notorious for illegally downloading things, infringing copyrights, trying to constantly find workarounds (like VPN's or identity blocking software) to try to maintain anonymity, then yes, it is possible that the parents will be held liable, which could substantially risk the family wealth. Most parents and kids fail to understand this significant legal risk.
TIP: Parents also need to be careful about what their kids are doing on the internet. We have seen lawsuits that allege “vicarious copyright infringement” basically alleging that the subscriber to the ISP (i.e. the parent) is in charge of supervising and controlling anyone that uses the internet connection at a household, and even if the actual subscriber to Cox, Comcast, or Verizon, for example, are not the ones who illegally shared movies, this does not matter to the Plaintiff in a lawsuit, who may be forced to name the subscriber as a “DOE Defendant” figuring out who actually did the downloading at a later date, while still arguing for vicarious infringement. This same rationale could result in employers being held liable for the willful copyright infringement of their employees under a respondeat-superior theory (“let the master answer“).
What is Bittorent (Torrenting) and how does it work?
VIDEO: Click on the picture above to watch a video that explains the legal risks of Bittorrent and how it works in general. Make sure to click on the Red “V” to subscribe to our legal channel. This is probably the best and quickest way to understand the technology.
What should you do if you receive a “cease and desist” letter?
Here are Attorney Steve® essential BIG FIVE response tips:
1. Don't panic (“this too shall pass,” and we will help you figure it out). Call us to discuss.
2. "Lawyer up" – DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE ELSE!!! The people you talk to could end up being a witness against you (roommates, etc.). If you have personal stock or real estate assets (or other assets), it is even more important to talk to legal counsel as soon as possible also, if you are concerned about citizenship issues or government security clearances.
3. Explore possible legal defenses to copyright infringement – in these P2P (peer-to-peer internet file sharing) illegal movie download cases, you may have such defenses as:
(a) it wasn't me; I didn't do the downloading/sharing;
(b) sorry, you got the wrong IP address Charlie (your technology is not what it purports to be)
(c) unsecured wifi access (neighbor stealing the internet and downloading movies). Of course, be prepared for their IP lawyers to tell you, “the wireless router comes with a default of “secured” wireless, and they have a policy that the subscriber is liable for all conduct on their networks. We can look at this.
(d) it was a friend, neighbor, roommate, member of the military staying over, etc. (there are usually many laptops and devices that can be connected to an internet account, so not always easy to tell who, if anyone, did the downloading
(e) the entire movie did not download (I never got a chance to see the movie as the “digital handshake” was not complete); bits of a clip are not viewable and not enough to show infringement of protected copyright material.
(f) I downloaded the torrent client to search and share “public domain” items, and the software started sharing movie and music files passively, and without my knowledge (this would make it more of an “innocent” infringement and potentially reduce the damages. This could be very important in an adult porn download case with companies like Malibu Media.
If you don't believe this is a recognized issue, watch this video from the Center for Copyright Clearance (created by the MPAA and RIIA) which makes clear they understand sometimes people can allow copyrighted content to be shared completely without their knowledge, even while seeking legal downloads in the public domain. Not surprisingly, they would rather have you delete the file-sharing software (akin to throwing away your VCR because infringement is possible).
Attorney Steve® Tip: Also, don't forget financial “hardship” may also be considered in coming up with a settlement figure. If you have a “household income” at or below the poverty line, movie companies might be willing to cut you a break. Be prepared to write a declaration and potentially show 2-3 months' bank statements and potentially tax returns. Past military background may also be considered to help mitigation financial damages.
4. See if the copyright holder has a history of filing lawsuits (if not, you are in much better shape). To really capitalize on this point you MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO – Attorney Steve explains how to use PACER to understand the copyright bully.
5. Stop doing what you have been doing (ex. sharing files, uploading, downloading, PUT A HALT ON YOUR INTERNET ACTIVITIES). But, do not destroy the evidence or throw your computer in the Pacific Ocean. Destroying evidence can cause great damage and potential sanctions if the case goes to court (see Spoliation of Evidence).
Should I just ignore the Notice of Copyright Infringement?
VIDEO: Watch Attorney Steve Vondran explain weighing the pros and cons of responding to an adult porno, movie, or music infringement demand letter. Every case is different, so this is not legal advice but rather some general considerations when you are trying to decide how to respond or not. Make sure to click on the RED ‘V” to subscribe to our legal youtube channel.
NOTE: Some well-meaning people suggest you should just ignore the letter and do nothing. While that may work in many cases, if you have assets and you name and address can be pulled from the ISP, you may find yourself in a bad position by taking this approach. You should at least address your assets and whether or not you should divest your real estate interests if you believe you might be sued. There are asset protection measures that need to be considered.
NOTE STARTING IN 2017, ISP'S ARE GETTING RID OF THE COPYRIGHT ALERT SYSTEM (“CAS”), SO YOU MAY NO LONGER BE GETTING INFRINGEMENT NOTICES OR 5 OR 6 STRIKES BEFORE ACTION IS TAKEN. FOR ALL WE KNOW, MOVIE PRODUCTION COMPANIES MIGHT MOVE STRAIGHT TO FILING A LAWSUIT, AS THEY ARE DOING IN SO MANY CASES. You can read about the trending story on Copyright Alert System Abandoned on social media.
What should you do if your ISP sends you a “notice of subpoena?”
Sometimes you will receive a notice of the subpoena from your internet service provider (“ISP”) that will notify you that a company is seeking to learn your name, identity, and address. This can FREAK YOU OUT. But again, don't panic; call us at (877) 276-5084. A subpoena is a legal command to the ISP to produce this information (oftentimes, the copyright holder will only know you as an IP address, and they will want to find 0ut your name so they can try to make your life a living hell (basically by serving you with a copyright infringement lawsuit and a summons to appear and defend in federal court in your jurisdiction). Here are some of the top ISPs in the world who may send you this notice. When you get the notice, CALL US – do not mess around telling all your friends about it.
How did they catch you file sharing online?
VIDEO: Watch Lights, Cameron, Action™ discuss how torrenting works and how you can get busted in this video. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our popular legal channel.
These companies may have sent you a notice of subpoena (which means you are usually involved in a federal court lawsuit over illegal file sharing of porn or other movies).
- Time Warner Cable / Roadrunner
- Charter Communications
- Irdeto (formerly BayTSP)
- Shaw Communications
Here is a snippet from Earthlink's policies [12.8 Restrictions of Use]:
"You will not attempt to undermine the security or integrity of the EarthLink Web Hosting Service or the EarthLink network including, but not limited to, port scanning, vulnerability probing or denial of service attacks of any kind. In addition, running excessively CPU intensive CGIs such as IRC bots and utilities, Bit Torrent clients, and any application that acts as a server and listens for inbound network connections are prohibited. Software that acts as proxy server/scripts also is not permitted. If your processes are adversely affecting server or network performance, EarthLink reserves the right to terminate and disable the offending processes even if such action causes disruption to your website. EarthLink restricts run time of any customer's CGI process to five minutes."
Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuits
VIDEO: Click on the image above to watch this video. Strike 3 is filing massive amounts of lawsuits across the United States, including many filed in California. We can help you settle the case ANONYMOUSLY in most cases.
Overview of London Has Fallen Illegal Movie Downloads
VIDEO: Click on the image above to watch Attorney Steve explain illegal movie download cases with LHF Productions, Inc. (“London has Fallen“). Click on the RED “V” to subscribe to our legal channel. Note, from our research; it appears that federal copyright lawsuits have been filed in Arizona, California, D.C., Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Call us at (877) 276-5084 if you receive a copyright infringement notice or subpoena letter.
If you received a letter, subpoena notice, or lawsuit from the law firm of Kercsmar & Feltus, PLLC (AZ) this is a REAL Firm, and seeking a free legal consultation could be in your best interest. Another firm that files London Has Fallen lawsuits is Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. (Illinois). Yet another firm is Van Sickle Law, P.C. (North Carolina).
Here are some ISP policies and information to review:
- Cable One (“Hurt Locker” infringement discussed)
- AOL page (reporting copyright infringement)
- Juno terms of service
- iiNet (Hollywood loses big case against ISP iiNet)
- Adam Internet (Adam Internet and Dallas Buyer's Club)
If you received a DMCA notice (ex., when you start up your internet browser), copyright infringement notice, or cease and desist letter from ANY of these companies, you have to realize a federal lawsuit may be pending, and I cannot understate the need to retain copyright counsel BEFORE YOU TALK TO ANYONE. To put it bluntly, SOMEONE IS TRYING TO SUE YOU AND GET A LEGAL JUDGMENT AGAINST YOU. A judgment can impact the rest of your life, and if you are a company, this could be a serious issue requiring a meeting of the board of directors, officers, and directors. If you have shareholders, certainly you must move fast.
What is a “Motion to Quash?”
PODCAST: Click the picture above to hear the four main grounds to “quash” a subpoena (some people erroneously refer to as “squash” the subpoena!! Click here if you would prefer to watch the Motion to Quash VIDEO. When some companies or businesses receive a subpoena notice, the “knee-jerk” reaction may be to file a motion to quash the subpoena. Some of my Clients, god bless them, have referred to this as the motion to “SQUASH” – actually, I like that name better. At any rate, there are limited grounds where a person who has been subpoenaed can respond by filing a motion to quash with the court. Understand it is the power of the court that issues the subpoena, and a litigant must go back to the same Court that allowed the issuance of the subpoena to move to seek to “Quash it.”
However attractive this remedy may seem, there have to be legal grounds to proceed. Otherwise, you can waste time and money in a “fool's errand.” If the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case, this is one great reason to move to quash (for example, if your company is based in Australia or New Zealand and you are hauled into the Northern District Court in California in a copyright infringement case, you may want to move to quash the subpoena. There are other possible grounds to attack and set aside a subpoena. Call us at (877) 276-5084 to discuss.
VIDEO: Click the picture below to watch Attorney Steve explain the Subpoena process. A MUST WATCH if you are involved in this process. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to free general legal information updates. As we like to say “be smarter than your friends” who think they know it all.
What is a motion for “Protective Order”?
A protective order is an Order from the court that (in BittTorent-type cases) involves protecting your identity from being used in the lawsuit. Many of the adult pornography cases involve the Plaintiff suing a “DOE DEFENDANT” (either a Jane Doe or a John Doe or both). This is because the Plaintiff does not actually know your name. They know you as an IP address (by sniffing out and spying on your online activities) and they then file a lawsuit naming the “DOE” Defendants and then file a motion for early discovery (I will explain later) and then serve a subpoena on your ISP seeking your name, address, identity, and sometimes even your email address. The downside of handing over this information is that the Plaintiff will be able to run an “asset search” and figure out if you have any assets worth going after. If you are a small or mid-size business, they may try to find out what you have as far as inventory and assets (yes, inventory can be attached by a creditor so do not take this lightly, especially if you have shareholders).
At any rate, a motion for a protective order seeks to ask the Court to keep your identity ANONYMOUS throughout the lawsuit, for as long as possible. There is a STRONG federal policy that dictates that lawsuits should be PUBLIC and open to everyone. However, the Court MAY allow you to proceed anonymously through a JOHN DOE lawsuit possibly until and unless there is a trial by judge or jury. To accomplish this, we can file a motion for a protective order to try to make this happen.
In some cases, with a strong intellectual property law firm, you may be able to get the opposing counsel to agree to this by “stipulate” to this and file the stipulation with the Court. For example, we were recently able to accomplish this with Malibu Media legal counsel. This paves the way for a better chance at legal settlement.
In a BitTorrent lawsuit a motion for a protective order or a stipulation to a similar result can be CRITICAL in saving you from embarrassment and allows you or the officers and directors of your company to proceed ANONYMOUSLY—a good start.
Attorney Steve and Frontline Lisee discuss Malibu Media “John Doe” Lawsuits
PODCAST: Click on the picture above to go to this episode of Vondran Legal Hour.
What happens if you do not respond to a legal demand letter?
This is a common question. Sometimes copyright demands are a “game of chicken.” They are trying to SCARE you, and there are also times when you can SCARE THEM BACK (for example, see our blog on declaratory judgments that can scare the pants off even the largest IP law firms as we have done in the past). That being said, not responding to a lawsuit or legal demand letter can lead to:
- Plaintiff may obtain a “default judgment” (it will shock most people to know ONE infringement can lead to $150,000 judgment, which frankly is DEVASTATING to most people, and companies often forcing them to file for BK protection. however, “willful copyright infringement” cannot always be wiped out in bankruptcy court.
- Plaintiff may GO AWAY and DO NOTHING. Before you “bank” in this approach, read our blog about whether you should ignore a copyright cease and desist letter.
These are only two options. Other things can happen; call us at (877) 276-5084 to discuss. We are an experienced IP law firm with a strong track record of litigation and non-litigation success in these types of cases.
How much does it typically cost to settle an illegal movie download case?
VIDEO: Watch Attorney Steve® explain some of the common factors the movie, music, or software companies may be looking at when illegally sharing their intellectual property arises through the use of torrenting. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our channel to get free legal information when we post new videos. As we like to say “Be Smarter Than Your Friends.”
What happens in a federal copyright lawsuit?
If you ignore all the demand letters, and subpoenas, and take the “wait and see approach,” the federal court lawsuit will play itself out. When litigation is filed in federal court (copyright cases are filed in federal, not state, courts), the following general timeline for legal action will ensue. This is a sample scheduling order you might find yourself dealing with as a business or individual:
One thing you can probably note is that there is a WHOLE LOT of legal work involved, which shows why copyright, trademark, right of publicity or trade secret lawsuits can be VERY EXPENSIVE to pursue – which is why many cases will settle privately and confidentially BEFORE a jury trial is required.
Strike Three Strikes Out In California Southern District
VIDEO: Click on the pic above to hear Attorney Steve® explain the recent HUGE WIN for a Defendant in the Southern District of California. Make sure to SUBSCRIBE to our incredible legal channel. We are now nearing 11,000 subscribers!!!
What is a typical settlement amount in a Bittoren case?
Settlement amounts will vary depending on multiple factors. You can be looking at anywhere from a “TAKE NOTHING” to five or potentially six-figure settlements depending upon:
- The aggressiveness of the Plaintiff copyright holder (not all copyright holders enforce their rights the same way);
- The assets of the Defendant (if you have equity in real estate, this could be a big issue);
- The number of alleged infringed copyrighted works (how many movies were downloaded);
- The applicability of defenses to copyright infringement
- Good faith mitigating factors (ex. sought to resolve situation quickly)
- Prior military experience
- Time of the month (some companies want to close out cases by the end of the month, or end of the quarter, etc.)
- Making a case for attorney fees for Defendant by showing a false positive for infringement
I recently spoke with an intellectual property lawyer for one of the movie companies. They noted “unless someone hacked” their system, we believe they are liable for infringement damages of a minimum of $750 to $7,500 (the number of damages even for “non-willful” infringement). In other cases, the “unsecured wifi” defense may also be taken into consideration. It was also pointed out to me that in the event the ISP turns over the name and address (pursuant to the subpoena), the name of the subscriber will be added to the lawsuit, and if the lawsuit is NOT answered or defended, a “default judgment” may be taken (and I was advised that other federal courts across the United States have entered defaults in the amount of $10,000-$15,000). So taking that approach, you would have a judgment against you in a civil case, and you would likely have a creditor start to seek to recover. This can be achieved by seeking to levy bank accounts or even garnish wages through your employer and other steps.
What if you DID NOT download their videos or movies?
If you absolutely 100% did not download anyone's movies or infringe any copyrights, and a forensic examination of your computers, laptops and servers does not make you nervous, you may have to file a Declaratory Judgement action, and you should read this article in that case.
Common Defenses to copyright infringement allegations
How to research a potential copyright bully to determine whether or not they will sue you
VIDEO: Click on the picture to watch an IMPORTANT video about researching the party that sent you a legal demand or cease and desist letter so you can determine whether or not they are likely to sue you if you do not respond to their demands. Make sure to click on the Red “V” for Victory to subscribe for free general legal updates!! Be smarter than your friends!
BitTorent legal cases in the news
Here are a few sample cases from the copyright trenches:
- Minnesota woman pays $220,00 for 24 illegally downloaded songs
- Erotica websites file lawsuits
- Is Malibu Media a copyright troll?
- Defendant wins Illinois Malibu Media Lawsuit (lack of evidence of downloading copyrighted content)
- Did you receive a letter from Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment?
Can torrent “john doe” lawsuits be settled anonymously?
PODCAST: Click on the image above to jump to our “Vondran Legal Hour” podcast that discusses anonymous settlements in illegal porn movie download cases such as Malibu Doe lawsuits.
Companies / Movie titles known to protect their copyrights and intellectual property (music, films, etc.)
The following types of companies have a reputation for protecting their IP (not to insinuate that they are “bullies” – but it always depends how people are treated, how settlement is approached, and how lawyering is undertaken).
- Dallas Buyer's Club
- Dragon Quest Productions
- Blunt Force Trauma
- Elf Man LLC
- Wicked Pictures
- Flava Works (many different types of adult pornographic films)
- Killer Joe Nevada
- Malibu Media (ex. X-Art series) – Click here if you received a notice of infringement or subpoena in San Diego area.
- Modern Jug Face
- AKM Images
- Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK)
- Smash Pictures
- Osiris Entertainment
- (Nicolas Cage Film). (“Vengeance: A Love Story“)
- Breaking Through
- Cabin Fever
- Strike 3 Holdings, LLC
- American Heist
- Charlie Countryman
- ME2 Productions ()
- PHE Inc.
- POW Nevada, LLC (“Revolt” – aka “Prisoner of War”)
- Life on the Line
- Cell film holdings
- Glacier Films
- Good Kill
- Return To Sender
- HBO – Game of Thrones
- Purzel Video GMBH
- Maverick Entertainment
- Goodman Productions
- Instinctive Films
- New Sensations / Digital Sin
- Third Degree Films (“3rd Degree”)
- Riding Films, Inc.
- Wild Horses
- Righstcorp (images and photo infringement)
- Bodyguard Productions Inc.
- Vision Films
- Pay the Ghost
- Nu Image / Millenium Films (The Expendable 2 and 3, Automata, The Humbling, Charlie Countryman and Bad Lieutenant)
- Septembers of Shiraz (September Productions, Inc.)
- Mr. Church – Cook Productions (Oregon, Indiana, North Carolina)
- The Cobbler
- (New York, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington D.C.)
- Close Range
- LHF Productions (“London Has Fallen” aka “Olympus has fallen sequel“)
- QOTD Film Investment (“Queen of the Desert“)
- Elegant Angel
- Voltage Pictures
- Devils Film
- AF Holdings, LLC
- Salt and Fire
- K-Beech, Inc.
- Hard Drive Productions, Inc.
- Digital Content Protection, LLC
- PTG Nevada
- LFP Internet Group, LLC
- Medisentry for RIIA (Mediasentry may no longer be used)
- UN 4 Productions “Boyka”
- Venice PI, LLC (“Once Upon a Time in Venice“)
There are many others, including companies that enforce copyrights, such as Rightscorp and CEG (Copyright Enforcement Group), so call us if you are dealing with the same situation. We can help. We handle copyright cases nationwide, including photo infringement cases with Higbee & Associates. Call (877) 276-5084.
What are the penalties for copyright infringement?
Glossary of terms
- Anonymity / Anonymize
- AAA ISP arbitration (“Copyright Alert System”)
- Bankruptcy protection for copyright judgments
- Bit Spies (copyright holders who hire digital forensic groups to monitor torrents anonymously)
- Browser Lock (DMCA notice)
- Cease and desist letter
- Communication protocol
- Copyright infringement
- Copyright strikes
- Criminal copyright infringement
- Digital Rights Management (DRM)
- DMCA infringement notice
- Federal lawsuit
- File sharing (p2p)
- File transfer protocol (FTP)
- Geolocation technology
- Hash identifier
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
- Internet Protocol (IP)
- IP Address
- Joinder FRCP 20(a)(2)
- (What is a VPN kill switch)
- Kodi application (for streaming movies on Android)
- Lawsuit over illegal downloading or streaming video
- Maverickeye digital forensics
- Motion for protective order
- Motion to Quash subpoena
- Notice of copyright infringement (Sample from Charter)
- Peer to Peer (p2p)
- Peerblocker (forums)
- Piece (an initial feeder breaks a file into pieces)
- Real Estate equity problem for torrent downloaders
- Seed / Seeder
- Settlement agreement
- Six strikes – Copyright Alert System
- Streaming movies
- Subpoena to ISP
- Takedown letter
- Willful copyright infringement
Malibu Media – Attorney Steve® discusses Defendant win!
VIDEO: Click on the picture above to watch this video. Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to our legal channel and join over 20,000 people who watch our videos.
- Attorney Steve warning explains BitTorrent shakedowns
- How to use the federal PACER database to learn more about a copyright bully
- Should you ignore the subpoena?
- Motion to Quash Subpoena explained (aka Vacate)
Helpful Articles & Updates
- What happens if you ignore the cease and desist or legal demand letter?
- What happens if you did NOT download software, music or movies?
- The Arizona Bittorent case Fathers and Daughters
- Legal risks of file sharing on the internet
- Can you recovery attorney fees if you win your copyright infringement lawsuit?
- What is the Copyright Enforcement Group (CEG-TEK)?
- Copyright statute of limitations explained
- Did you receive a Subpoena under DMCA 512(h) even though NO LAWSUIT was filed?
- How to use a financial hardship declaration to try to reduce the settlement amount
- Overview of digital forensics investigation companies
- Malibu Media copyrighted movie list
- Flava Works files copyright suit
- Settlement factors in Strike 3 Holdings, LLC lawsuits
- Overview of Flava Works demand letter
- Strike 3 Holdings Florida lawsuits for "Pure Bill of Discovery.
Other Helpful Resources
- List of Malibu Media copyrighted movies (compare with those you are accused of downloading)
- VIDEO – Common defense in copyright infringement cases
- VIDEO – potential damages for copyright infringement
- VIDEO – How to search you movie company to see if they file lawsuits
Call us for a free, confidential discussion with a copyright Torrent defense lawyer
We have helped many companies and individuals defend against charges of copyright infringement. We are a leading law firm in IP defense, whether copyrights, trademarks, responding to cease and desist letters, or responding to subpoenas.
We offer low flat rate fees for many non-litigation cases, and we have the experience to take on the trolls, bullies, extortion artists, and in some cases, outright SCAM companies seeking to extract a legal settlement.
We can help you explore legal defenses, understand your legal rights, and seek to resolve your legal issues. For more information, call us at (877) 276-5084. There are no high-pressure sales here, only an honest review of your options.
Click here to read our past client Avvo reviews. In this area of law, there is NO SUBSTITUTE for experience. We are one of the most experienced BitTorrent litigation law firms in the United States.
Click here to view our extensive federal court experience. We have appeared in over 300+ federal court litigation cases.