Strike 3 Holdings LLC and Malibu Media LLC are creators of adult films that are distributed through several different websites.
They have collectively sued thousands of people across the United States for allegedly illegally downloading their adult content. Essentially, they are suing for copyright infringement, accusing users of downloading their films (typically using BitTorrent) without paying the appropriate fees.
According to a new article by insurancejournal.com, courts have been cracking down on what one judge referred to as a “high tech shakedown”.
Insurancejournal.com goes on to say:
The companies say they are protecting their movies from piracy and infringement under U.S. copyright law, as major movie studios have done for decades, and suggest that the content of their films is the reason for the wrath of the judges. But some of the tactics used in their infringement suits to identify targets and force settlements have critics — and some jurists — up in arms and may require congressional actions to fix.
Last year Judge Lamberth (whom we have covered before here and here) said that the flood of lawsuits smacks of “extortion”. His ruling may have had a ripple effect as on July 9 a federal judge in New Jersey granted Malibu Media’s request to identify the user, but refused to enter a judgment against the man citing Judge Lamberth’s opinion.
Patrick Cerillo, an attorney that has represented Malibu Media disagrees, saying:
“You can’t look at the content of these plaintiffs and say that they don’t deserve the same rights as a musician or an author to protect their copyrights because it’s seedy, it’s not mainstream, it’s deviant. People lose sight of the fact that this is a law that protects the creativity of individuals and companies. And that creativity can be stifled if you can’t protect it.”
Further in the article, some lawyers who were illegally abusing the system were also discussed:
Malibu Media and Strike 3 have nothing on the actions of two lawyers, who sometimes worked under the name Prenda Law. They would upload the movies themselves to peer-to-peer sites, use shell companies to sue anyone who took the bait, and made up elaborate tales to hide their actions. Between 2011 and 2014, they collected some $6 million based on settlements of $3,000 or less, according to federal prosecutors.
One lawyer, who cooperated with prosecutors, was sentenced in July to five years for mail fraud and money laundering in what a federal judge called a “vile” scheme; the other is appealing his 14-year federal prison sentence.
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This is a blog dedicated to updates on copyright infringement cases. We have handled more than 1,000 Malibu Media cases and more than 350 Strike 3 Holdings cases. We work across the U.S., helping each client figure out the best option for their individual situation. Please click for our main website pages on Strike 3 Holdings or Malibu Media.