Today Judge Baylson published his Report on the Bellwether trial (Malibu Media, LLC v. John Does 1,6,13,14 and 16, PAED 12-cv-02078). Nothing is too unexpected. I’ll refrain from emotions, leaving my disgust with both “barely legal” pornography genre and copyright trolls for a later post and/or comments.
I urge everyone interested in this trial to revisit the recent post’s comment section: a heated but argumentative discussion features the entire spectrum of opinions.
A couple of quick notes:
- To Lipscomb’s delight, his outfit was declared “not a copyright troll” based on a definition that trolls are those who don’t produce content but buy copyrights or patents for the sole purpose of litigation instead. While I respect this opinion, I disagree with it: conspiring with a real producer versus procuring copyrights is only one criterion out of many, and this complex phenomenon should be evaluated accordingly. I’m working on my definition and encourage discussion to help me with it.
- To my pleasure, the majority of Lipscomb’s scandalous wishes did not make its way to the Report. Yet I was astonished that a statement that Malibu’s servers have been “hacked twice” was included. To me this claim sounds as a sneaky maneuver to preempt accusations in Malibu/X-Art seeding of their own content (more is coming on this front: stay tuned). To the best of my knowledge, no evidence was presented to support the hacking claim.
- It is obvious to me that Baylson is disappointed: once promising trial turned out to be a near mockery that was lacking witness cross-examination and any adversarial arguments whatsoever. A defendant who willfully destroyed evidence, lied under oath and later admitted his wrongdoings was essentially a lottery win for Lipscomb. And it was not just a run-of-the-mill win: Lipscomb “won” a jackpot. If not for the defendant’s conduct, it is plausible that the lowest statutory damages ($750 per work) would be awarded. We saw $750 default judgments in Arizona, which, in my opinion, seriously damaged troll operations in this state.
Blogosphere and media coverage
- Jordan Rushie: Talking Torrents: Judge Baylson Issues Final Memorandum Opinion on the Bellwether Trial; Kills Mass Joinder Torrent Actions.
- Eric Goldman’s blog: After “Bellwether Trial,” Court Says Malibu Media Isn’t Copyright Troll — Malibu Media v. Does by Venkat Balasubramani.