The title says it all. It was rather unexpected, yet this ordeal over for Jeff and his family, and I’m happy for them. It would be hypocritical not to admit some sadness: everyone hoped for the inevitable (and absolute) victory that would send its healing ways across the country. As a matter of fact, it is a victory to a certain extent. Fantalises advanced further than any other pro se (and not only) defendant and did a Herculean job organizing existing defense ideas and coming up with novel ones. Everyone here thinks they are heroes. And a neat library of examples, ideas and templates does not go anywhere.
- 7/20/2011: In a well prepared and mighty counter-attack, “Malibu Media v. Fantalis” case turns into “Fantalis v. Malibu Media.”
- 10/12/2012: Copyright trolls: “We don’t care if you did it or not, we just want your money!”
- 11/9/2012: Malibu Media v. Fantalis et al: an update.
- 11/14/2012 (AC): Joinder or no joinder? Can’t have both.
AC on 2012/11/16 at 10:59 am:
Wow! I never saw this coming after the heated week or so of filings from both Kotzker and Fantalis! Simply amazing, to say the least. I have been following this case since the beginning with great interest, read every filing in its entirety, so I am very happy to see this kind of ending.
To be clear, despite not being privy to the terms of the settlement, we can know with 100% certainty they were very favorable to Jeff Fantalis.
Let’s take a look at the facts of the last week and see who was sweating:
Malibu Media was ordered to begin production of documents on November 9 to be completed by November 26, 2012. This includes:
- Any documents describing flaws of deficiencies the company uses to identify IP addresses.
- ALL communications between Mailbu Media and Lipscomb.
- ALL communications between Malibu Media and any “enforcement” trolls.
- Retainer agreement between Kotzker and Malibu Media.
- Any agreements between Malibu Media, IPP, Tobias Fieser, Brigham Field and Colette Leah. Remember the judge said if it is a contingency agreement, then there will be a problem. Guess what: It’s probably a contingency agreement!
Also remember that the judge ordered Kotzker to send the fee agreement between Kotzker/Lipscomb/Malibu Media to his personal chambers for him to review. Want to guess if there’s something they don’t want the judge to see in there?
Oh yeah, and what about Collette Leah making obviously, provably false statements in a sworn document. I’m betting she never even read the document, signed it, and it was a big shock to her when Lipscomb/Kotzker informed her that she was about to be brought in on perjury charges. Maybe this was the point Malibu Media decided to settle?
Finally, remember that Kotzker admitted he could no longer take on any more cases in CO because litigating this one single case was taking too much of his time. Thus the troll extortion operation in Colorado effectively was about to grind to a halt due to a single doe fighting back.
Or how about Fantalis’ most recent filing, which accuses Malibu Media of double dipping in recovery by collecting more than the maximum statutory limits? Want to guess that they have already been made whole through settlements, and they would like to continue extorting money for the same films which they have already been compensated for?
It’s quite clear that Malibu Media was completely fucked in this case before trial even began. Even though we didn’t get to see this go to trial, we still learned a great deal about Malibu Media and their operation, and how far they are willing to go to prevent ANY trial from EVER reaching discovery, let alone a jury, despite the fact that they demand a jury trial in every single one of their complaints.
Most importantly, when a defender says “The trolls never want to go to trial” the Troll can no longer point to Fantalis’ case and say “Look, this one’s moving along.” Now this is more ammo for the defender who can now say “They had the chance to go to trial, and right when they were forced to produce discovery, they settled. Any claims that they want to litigate these cases are complete lies.”
So I guess our next best hope to see something like this go to trial is the PA Bellwether. Here’s hoping we actually see some discovery there before they settle and dismiss, as we can all expect will happen.
Another commenter adds an important bullet point:
You forgot the comment the judge said where if a jury found any of the films obscene they would not be copyrightable. IMHO, this was huge. Can you imagine if this actually went to trial and the result was they were not copyrightable (what are the chances the jury wouldn’t find them obscene)!? That would be used in every defense going forward. [...]