One Colorado Defendant Fights Venice PI, LLC On His Own – But Court Keeps Rules in Play, Says Can Try Again
Its hard to defend yourself in court, especially in federal court. Yet one defendant in the online copyright infringement case filed by Venice PI, LLC the movie company behind the Bruce Willis movie “Once Upon a Time in Venice” is trying to do just that.
Antonelli Law’s founder attorney Jeffrey Antonelli is admitted to federal court in Colorado, and we noticed that Venice PI, LLC is suing Colorado internet users for allegedly using computer file sharing software to obtain its movie for free. In one case, a defendant who wishes to remain anonymous, Doe #5, has asked the Court to block Venice PI, LLC from learning his or her real name. Doe #5 attempted to use a court procedure called a motion to quash subpoena
The reason for filing a motion to quash subpoena is if the now-anonymous defendant can manage to remain anonymous, it is possible the movie company may never be able to serve him or her with a court Summons and lawsuit Complaint. That would be a terrific win for the defense, before the case even got started. And in addition to the motion to quash subpoena, for good measure the defendant also filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit – again, even before it had been served on him or her.
However, the defendant is trying to do this legal work themselves without hiring a lawyer, and the Court is not allowing the defendant to cut any corners.
On July 25th, in its Order denying Doe #5’s motion to quash and motion to dismiss, the Court stated:
First, John Doe #5 has failed to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(a), which states in pertinent
part: “Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney’s name – or by a party personally if the party is unrepresented. The paper must state the signer’s address, email address, and telephone number.” (bold added)
In other words, if the Defendant had hired a lawyer to file the motion to quash subpoena, it would be possible to remain anonymous and the judge would proceed with deciding whether or not Comcast Cable would be allowed to reveal the Defendant’s true name and address. Instead, since this Defendant is doing it themselves (perhaps because this Defendant may not be able to afford to hire one), Doe #5 tried to it themselves. And therefore, the Court is saying, if you file a motion to quash subpoena without hiring a lawyer the Rule says you must state your name, address, and telephone number.
This is tough on the Defendant, since it places him or her into a quandary. If the Defendant followed this rule, the movie company Venice PI, LLC would immediately know the information it sought – the Defendant’s name and address. That’s why Doe#5 didn’t reveal their name. This defeats the whole purpose of filing a motion to quash subpoena.
Thankfully, the Court is not oblivious to Defendant’s quandary, and the Order denying the motion to quash subpoena was “without prejudice”. This means the defendant could give it another try, if it follows the rules set out by the Court. The Court says:
“Therefore, if John Doe #5 wishes to re-file his motion in accordance with this order and all applicable local and federal court rules, he may do so on or before August 8, 2017 and must first (or contemporaneously) file a motion to proceed anonymously in accordance with Rule 11(a). With such filing, John Doe must provide to the Court his name, address, telephone number and email address in the form of a separate written “Supplement” to the motion.2 If John Doe #5 wishes to keep this Supplement (containing his identifying information) confidential, he may file a motion to restrict the Supplement from access by the Plaintiff and the public pursuant to the procedure set forth in D.C. Colo. LCivR 7.2. The Court may strike any motion or other filing that deviates from the requirements of this order or from those set forth in the applicable local or federal rules”
You can read the entire court Order here.
Admittedly, this is a lot of work. And as of August 14 2017, the court docket does not reveal any re-filing of the motion to quash subpoena by Doe #5, despite the deadline for doing do was August 8th. It appears likely then that the Court will allow Comcast Cable to reveal the name and address of Doe #5 to Venice PI, LLC.
If you are interested in reading why we believe there are good reasons to consider filing a motion to quash subpoena and motion to dismiss in the Venice PI, LLC copyright infringement lawsuit, scroll down to learn more. Note: Nothing in this article is legal advice. Consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your individual circumstances.
Contact Antonelli Law For Free
If you want more information or have questions about this lawsuit, or want to file a motion to quash the Comcast subpoena or take other defensive actions, please call us at 312-201-8310 or use our confidential contact form or on the right side of this page if you are on a desktop computer.
We have helped nearly 2,000 clients across the country including in Colorado effectively resolve copyright infringement actions made by movie companies like Venice PI, LLC. We will answer your questions honestly and help you decide the best course of action for you.
We Will Give You an Individualized, No Pressure, Professional Consultation – For Free.
- Learn about what the notice means.
- Ask every question that concerns you.
- Learn the facts and decide if you want to settle the lawsuit anonymously, wait to see if nothing happens, or plan to fight back.
- File a motion to quash? We’ll help you to decide.
- Have us negotiate a settlement for you, including a proper settlement agreement that is in your interest, and a dismissal order entered by the federal court to protect you and which you keep for your records.
What Can Antonelli Law Do For Me?
Antonelli Law will help you decide what to do about the VENICE PI LLC letters, subpoenas, and summons. We have helped many people accused of downloading movies over the internet in these types of lawsuits.
Remember, don’t panic. Learn the facts and your legal options by speaking for free to an Antonelli Law attorney confidentially nationwide at 312-201-8310 or use the contact form here.
Our clients say Antonelli Law is very good at:
- Reducing your anxiety about the problem
- Giving clear information to help you decide what to do
- Responsive and accessible via phone and email
- Tenacious and effective lawyers in lawsuit litigation
We understand the shock you may be feeling from receiving a notice of this action, and have the experience to help you deal with this in the best way possible for you: anonymous settlement, or prepare to fight back.
But Where is the Evidence?
For the reasons that follow below, we believe filing a motion to quash subpoena to stop the Comcast Cable from releasing the names and addresses of the unnamed Defendants could be justified. Stated simply, when we looked at the court filings by Venice PI, LLC we found what is in our opinion a complete lack of evidence of copyright infringement in the lawsuit’s complaint.
While this article is not legal advice, we hope the reader finds the information contained to be helpful. If you would like to speak with Antonelli Law in a free consultation about a Venice PI, LLC lawsuit or subpoena, you may call us at 312-201-8310 or use our confidential contact form.
The Evidence Needed to Prove Copyright Infringement by Venice PI, LLC
Venice PI, LLC must show to the Court that:
- It has ownership of a valid copyright and
- The defendant violated the copyright owner’s exclusive rights under the Copyright Act.
We Could Not Find Sufficient Allegations of Evidence by Venice, PI LLC
We examined the court filings of Venice PI, LLC in case number 1:17-cv-01664-WYD-MEH, Venice PI, LLC v Does 1-25 filed in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. From this review, we did not see that movie company alleged sufficient evidence to show that its copyright was violated by the defendants it accuses.
You can read these filings for yourself by clicking on the links below. The filings are:
- Venice PI, LLC lawsuit Complaint for copyright infringement of the movie “Once Upon a Time in Venice”
- Venice PI, LLC’s Motion to the Court asking permission to issue a subpoena to Comcast Cable to reveal the names and addresses of people whose internet account had the IP addresses it says downloaded the movie. The motion includes an Exhibit, a Declaration by MaverickEye’s Daniel Arheidt, which likewise appears to fail to specify any allegation of specific amounts of data supposedly observed from each defendant.
In our review of these court filings, in our opinion Venice PI, LLC has simply failed to allege sufficient evidence to show that its copyright was violated by the defendants it accuses.
In none of the documents did we see Venice PI, LLC provide alleged evidence of data being transmitted that could translate to a viewable image substantially similar to the movie company’s copyrighted work.
In other words:
From what we saw, nothing was said about the size or contents of the portions of the work actually downloaded from the defendants’ IP addresses
All the Complaint says is “Each Defendant had copied a piece of the Plaintiff’s Work identified
by the Unique Hash Number” (bold added). So what’s in a “piece”? Is it enough data to even display one image frame of the movie? Or is it even less than that?
Defendants May File Motions to Quash Subpoena & Dismiss Complaint
Because of what we see as the lack of allegations as to the size or contents of the portions of the work actually downloaded from the defendants’ IP addresses, we feel it would be justified to:
- File a motion to quash the subpoena
- Fie a motion to dismiss the complaint via Federal Rule 12(b)(6)
It may cost more to take these actions than it would be for a defendant hire us to help them settle anonymously, but this could be the right strategy for some who are targeted in VENICE PI, LLC lawsuits.
More information on the Venice PI, LLC Lawsuits
Law Professor Matthew Sag states in his article “Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling”:
“the isolated “bits” of the movie that [Plaintiff] supposedly received from the defendant’s IP address do not meet the standard for copyright infringement. In the cases that we have studied, the plaintiffs have offered declarations that defendant’s IP address was observed transmitting data with a certain hash value. That hash value, it is alleged, is the same as the hash value of a piece that the witness combined with other pieces to create a file identical to the copyright owner’s work… note that these declarations say nothing about the size or contents of the portions of the work actually downloaded from the defendant’s IP address. In essence, the plaintiff can only state truthfully that its software observed the defendant’s IP address transmitting a fraction of the work….”There is nothing in either declaration that would allow the court to conclude that the “bits” and “pieces” captured by [plaintiff’s experts’] technology as allegedly distributed from Doe’s IP address meet the standard of originality justifying a finding that they are protectable elements of the works.
So What Are These Lawsuits About?
Venice PI LLC accuses defendants of copyright infringement by using software such as BitTorrent and the internet to obtain the film “Once Upon a Time in Venice” without paying the appropriate license fee.
Critics of these lawsuits say its about the movie company generating more revenue. The movie company says it is filing these lawsuits to stop piracy of its intellectual property.
The Venice PI LLC lawsuit is one of many “free movie” download cases we see, which are sometimes called “copyright troll” lawsuits or BitTorrent lawsuits. BitTorrent is a common software people use to illegally obtain movies online. Our experience representing so many people and understanding the technology behind these lawsuits allowed us to write a legal article explaining these lawsuits to other lawyers. It was published by a prominent state bar Intellectual Property Section. See the link for the article below.
Can Antonelli Law Help Me Where I Live? Can I Afford This?
Antonelli Law represents people in Colorado and nationwide targeted in ISP subpoenas and movie download lawsuits. In fact, over the past 6 years we have represented nearly 2,000 clients from lawsuits filed by more than 50 different movie companies from Hawaii to New York who were targeted in these types of cases. Our experience has allowed us to develop a high level of proficiency, allowing us to defend people with fair legal fees that most people can afford – either by settling out of court or through vigorous lawsuit defense.
Antonelli Law defends people in all these jurisdictions and has done so in many other movie download cases. The reason is federal court rules use the same US Copyright Act and our local counsel (see below) are admitted to nearly all the jurisdictions where movie download lawsuits are being filed.
The Venice PI LLC Lawsuits Are the Same as Many Other Movie Download Lawsuits – And Antonelli Law Knows How to Protect You
Overall, these Venice PI LLC lawsuits are the same as similar lawsuits filed by other movie companies. They all have the same thing in common: The internet user’s IP address associated with their internet account was observed participating in a download of the movie company’s movie. There are defenses to these claims.
Too often, the internet accountholder simply did not do it. The IP address could have been “spoofed”, meaning some other computer somewhere in the world pretended to be the IP address associated with an American’s internet account. Its like having a fake driver’s license with your license number on it. Except their computer is pretending to be using your internet account with your internet IP address.
Other times, it could have been a family member, someone stealing your wi-fi signal from your home, or for some other reason that has nothing to do with the copyright infringement alleged. And yes, sometimes the IP address observation is part of an accurate description of the internet account holder illegally downloading the movie.
Antonelli Law’s Experience & Local Counsel Provides Competent & Affordable Legal Representation
We have defended nearly 2,000 clients nationwide from online copyright infringement claims by over 50 different movie companies . In that process, we have learned a great deal that benefits our current and new clients. Because we are seasoned attorneys that have dealt with “free movie download” copyright lawsuits across the country filed by so many movie companies, Antonelli Law has developed a series of methods to deal effectively and efficiently with these lawsuits no matter where in the country our client’s lawsuit was filed. The Venice PI LLC subpoena and lawsuit is no exception.
In the many states where we have retained local counsel, our local counsel (see below for a non-exhaustive list) can immediately appear in court should there be an emergency. Few if any other law firms providing BitTorrent Copyright Defense have any local counsel at all.
Every movie download case involves federal law. And federal courts allow lawyers to electronically file their paperwork through the court’s official website. This key innovation means we can effectively represent clients in district courts in every state of the country. Federal practice, especially in these kinds of cases, rarely require us to appear in court. When we do need to appear, we will be there. The days of having a law clerk walk printed legal briefs over to the courthouse and file them with the court clerk are long gone.
More Information – And Free Explanations
If you are reading this article because you received a letter from your ISP internet company about a Venice PI LLC subpoena, or you have been served a summons, some of the following information will apply to you and some will not. If you have any questions call us for free at 312-201-8310. We excel at explaining the legal process and technology to people who aren’t lawyers or computer programmers!
Have you received a letter from the Venice PI LLC movie company lawyers?
If you received a letter from the movie company’s lawyers about the Venice PI, LLC lawsuit? If so, you may have questions regarding your legal options about defending yourself, settlement, and something called “Waiver of Service of Summons“.
Caution – Don’t Sign a Waiver of Service of Summons Form Before Speaking with an Attorney
As defense attorneys, we are concerned that people receiving a Waiver of Service of Summons form in the mail from the Venice PI, LLC movie company lawyer will lead to an unfair default or consent judgment against them. Please speak with an attorney experienced in movie download federal copyright lawsuits.
What Are Movie Downloading Cases in General About? What Are “Copyright Troll” Lawsuits?
If you want to read more about the type of lawsuit that the Venice PI, LLC cases are part of, consider reading the article I wrote below about “copyright troll” litigation which was published by the Illinois State Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section:
by Jeffrey J. Antonelli
Can I File a Motion to Quash the ISP Subpoena from Venice PI LLC?
Yes, as long as it is not after the deadline to do so as stated in your notice from your internet service provider. If the deadline has not passed we will need to discuss with you the relative strengths and weaknesses of doing so.
What Are the Steps in a VENICE PI LLC Lawsuit?
Each lawsuit is filed in federal court and requests permission to find out the real names of internet users associated with IP addresses suspected of being part of the movie downloading. This is done by sending a subpoena to the internet company (ISP). Most people find out they are involved in the lawsuit when they receive a letter from their internet company (ISP) such as Comcast, COX, Comcast, or Verizon informing them of the copyright infringement allegations. A copy of a VENICE PI LLC subpoena will probably be enclosed.
Who Are Our Local Counsel?
NEW YORK – Leslie Farber
Leslie Farber – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Byron L. Ames Jurisdictions: Nevada & Utah
Byron L Ames Nevada & Utah local counsel BitTorrent Copyright Defense for Antonelli Law
Mark Del Bianco Jurisdictions: Maryland, Washington DC
Attorney Mark Del Bianco is Antonelli Law’s Maryland local counsel for Maryland and Washington DC
Peter Glazer Jurisdiction: Virginia
Virginia copyright defense attorney Peter Glazer
Tristan C. Robinson Jurisdiction: Texas
Southern District of Texas
Southern District of Texas
Jeffrey Antonelli Jurisdictions: Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, and others through pro hac vice
Melissa Brabender: Illinois and Nationwide through pro hac vice admission
Attorney Melissa Brabender
Antonelli Law is the most experienced BT copyright defense firm in the country and represents clients nationwide – no more expensively than competent lawyers in your area.
Each lawsuit is filed in federal court and requests permission to find out the real names of internet users associated with IP addresses suspected of being part of the movie downloading. This is done by sending a subpoena to the internet company (ISP). Most people find out they are involved in the lawsuit when they receive a letter from their internet company (ISP) such as Comcast, COX, Comcast, or Verizon informing them of the copyright infringement allegations. A copy of a VENICE PI LLC Subpoena will probably be enclosed.
If you are the account holder for an internet service provider (ISP), your name is linked to an IP address. If you receive a Comcast, COX, CenturyLink or similar letter informing you a subpoena was received to reveal your identity call Antonelli Law nationwide at 312-201-8310 or use the contact form here to learn your legal options including settling anonymously, filing a motion to quash or vacate the subpoena, or to prepare to fight the lawsuit.
Venice PI LLC subpoenas and summons can be scary or inconvenient, but we can help you manage the risk and the hassle.
Antonelli Law, a national BT Copyright Defense Group has defended nearly 2,000 people accused of online copyright infringement including many accused by Cook Productions, Inc.
List of VENICE PI LLC Cases Filed by State
District of Colorado
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al 1:17-cv-01861
District of Indiana
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al 2:17-cv-00284
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al 2:17-cv-00285
Venice PI, LLC v. Doe 1 et al 1:17-cv-02274
District of New York
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-15 1:17-cv-04904
District of North Carolina
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-18 1:17-cv-00610
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-11 1:17-cv-00611
Venice PI LLC v. Does 1-15 4:17-cv-00089
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-10 1:17-cv-00170
District of Virginia
Venice PI, LLC v. Does 1-15 5:17-cv-00070
Your Kids Can Get You Sued in Federal Court with “Free Movie” Internet Streaming, Downloads – Antonelli Defense & Information
Your Kids Can Get You Sued in Federal Court with “Free Movie” Internet Streaming, Downloads – Antonelli Defense & Information