If you want to live in the United States you must abide by the laws of this country, no more, no less.

From a comment by Colette Field, X-Art’s co-owner

 

Hardcore “barely legal” pornography producer X-Art/Malibu Media is the most infamous Bittorent copyright troll plaintiff today. The shakedown cartel is run by an unlicensed German “investigator” IPP International (a.k.a. Guardaley), which allegedly unlawfully received payment contingent on coerced settlements; and a cynical and hypocritical attorney Michael Keith Lipscomb.

So far Lipscomb managed to keep afloat and more or less maintain the smokescreen of legitimacy. He even succeeded in duping Judge Baylson into declaring that Lipscomb is not a copyright troll, which would be laughable if not for thousands of lives Lipscomb & Co derailed.

During the Bellwether “trial” X-Art owner Colette Filed gave a tearful testimony about how pirates ruin their small family business by breaking copyright law.

It appears that as many other nouveau-riches, our pornographers preach double standards and don’t respect the law themselves.

I already mentioned that Colette and her husband Brigham film their flicks at home. They started doing it shortly after they bought their $16,000,000 mansion in June 2013. Colette, either due to blissful naivety or a belief that rich people are above the law, or both, cheerfully announced this fact to the world on July 11:

 

Since then Fields commercially produced more than a hundred of movies, majority of them appear to have been filmed at their Malibu home. The evidence is abundant. Here is only a single example (mildly NSFW).

So why should we care? According to the County of Ventura website,

The County of Ventura requires all commercial film productions to obtain a Ventura County Film Permit for all filming activities within the unincorporated areas of Ventura County (including private property). The film production company or property owner must apply for a film permit for any filming activities including, but not limited to: feature films, TV series, TV movies, commercials, music videos, still photography, and web productions.

So I and other people made inquiries, and here is one of the responses:

X-Art

 

Now, there is more. As I mentioned recently, Ventura County adopted “Safer sex in the adult film industry ordinance” on 5/7/2013. Here is the original document:

 

I downloaded and browsed through about 130 XArt’s porno flicks (no, I’m not an idiot: I could afford a membershit [sic]), about half of them are male-female actions, and I never saw a single condom.

 

So, here we are: X-Art appears to be filming without permit in a residential area where filming is not allowed at all, blatantly ignoring barrier protection law, and not even bothering to keep all that in secret (link now leads nowhere: see the update below). And the parasites have the audacity to whine about piracy while being blasé about the sufferings of thousands of productive members of the society, including 100% innocents and senior citizens.

I’m sure, if confronted legally, Lipscomb will engage the entirety of his evil sophistry to downplay the findings, like he did when he was caught forging a signature. We should expect to hear some bogus explanations: that Fields’ Malibu mansion is under the Sint Maarten jurisdiction, or that 100% of models are allergic to latex.

While I’m not overly optimistic that this information will lead to real changes, I’m sure it will stir the vermin nest a little bit and make it harder for judges and public to believe Colette’s fake tears and Lipscomb’s cynical lies in the future.

Although… I take it back: if many people file complaints with Ventura officials and/or OHSA (Region 4, Van Nuys District Office), it may lubricate the slow wheels of justice, and maybe in a year or so we will find our pornographers and their slimy lawyers at the same place where Prenda will soon end up.

Update

2/13/2014

In what looks like a futile attempt to destroy evidence, Fields hastily removed two tags from their blog posts: Malibu and Ventura County. It’s not even funny that some folks think they can remove anything from the Internet. Here is a Wayback Machine’s snapshot of the latter tag (NSFW). And the question if I made screenshots is rhetorical, and therefore doesn’t require an answer.

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Comments
  1. Raul says:

    The hypocrisy exemplified by this duo burns.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A mansion? Imagine that! Must be a sad day when an honest content producer can only afford the 16 million dollar mansion. Piracy is surely devastating the industry!

  3. that anonymous coward says:

    The law only matters when it makes them money, Collete already admitted to being a copyright infringer publicly yet she has the balls to cry about other people infringing her copyrights.
    Do as she cries, not as she does?

    • Christenson says:

      Malibu Merdia???? That’s funny, knowing just what merde is in french!

      @TAC: Back up a second….dox that public admission of Collette’s about (C) infringement! It is an excellent counterclaim, even if her victims probably don’t have standing to bring it.

      Those crocodile tears are clearly for the coming end of her life in mansions without steel bars on the windows.

      @Everyone else and SJD, devil’s advocate here: What state interest is served by requiring a permit specific to commercial filming in Ventura County? What is inherently different about two or three actors and a director filming at collette’s house than having regular houseguests and a maid, or a hobby of making a little youporn? Where do I set the line on the slippery slope between amateur and commercial film production? The ordinance, as drafted, appears to be directed against “undesireable people”, which is unconstitutional. The key to making a constitutional ordinance would be to identify the legitimate governmental concerns and require action when they are present: Excessive traffic, scenes that might cause panics (like those with guns), venereal diseases, large crowds, public nuisances, and fair warning to the police about such issues.

      As an excellent example, some of you might remember the John McAffee satire, where McAffee (of McAffee antivirus) is fending off a very sexy girl, while getting more and more frustrated with the young computer geek trying to explain everything, and eventualy simply shoots or has the computer shot. Suppose it were a commercial for something, or suppose that John McAffee decided to pay his actors or camera people or off-site film editor, or suppose it was just a couple of film pros having a wild idea at one of his parties? It’s a gordian knot to decide if such productions are commercial or not, violating well-established fair notice requirements for enforceability of the law.

      Incidentally, @X-art, that McAffee satire flick is what I think really good porn art looks like. Naked, apparently underaged bodies and condoms weren’t needed, sex was just an element of a very funny story. Or think of Fritz The Cat…the only body part that was explicitly shown was a heart as it put out its last beats…but the movie was full of sex! Finally, if you produce one or more every day, the result is not art…you simply cannot have enough attention in each individual flick to not be repeating yourself in all kinds of ways.

      • SJD says:

        1. Replying for TAC: Here is her public statement. The entire thread is worth reading too. Kudos to Raul.

        2. The difference is profit. Note that, according to the Ventura film permit rules,

        Filming for personal use such as family events, weddings, graduations, parties, and other holiday activities are exempt from obtaining a film permit. Student film productions may also be exempt from obtaining a film permit.

        I don’t think that permits are to ward off “undesirable people,” it’s purely an economical phenomenon: state/county/municipality want money. Think about it as a flat rate tax. Or a parking meter. Now we are talking about not only ignoring a parking fee, but parking in front of a fire hydrant (“filming activities are not allowed in the CR1 zone (Coastal Residential)”).

        As for the condom ordinance, I don’t actively take sides, as I explained in the previous Ventura post.

        The idea behind this post was not to play a moralist, but to call out the hypocrisy. I see nothing wrong in using the letter of the law as a shield, when the letter of the law is used as a weapon against hard working Americans. Even if the spirit of the law advises both sides to chill out.

        • Christenson says:

          @SJD: Given the post you pointed me at, I think Ventura County will be more than interested in enforcing its laws, and we all agree that Malibu Merdia deserves whatever they get. However, I am very much opposed to bad laws, even when they are for the purpose of doing things I support. Otherwise, the government is just as hypocritical as Keith Lipscomb or Collette.

          If you want to tax production of film footage, then go ahead…but make it clear that it is a tax, and make it clear what the tax is on. For example, suppose CBS news films an attempt to interview one of the county supervisors…it’s very much for profit, but requiring a permit won’t pass first amendment muster.

  4. Winkler says:

    Now we know why Lipscomb doth protest too much when discovery demands financials records of Malibu Media / X-Art. Given Colette’s affidavits and sworn testimony in Federal Courts along with her lifestyle, things do not square. Although Colette was not cross examined, I’m sure Justice Baylson would be shocked at how reality differs from her claims of hardship and difficulty turning a profit. Of course a jury would probably never be able to get over the barf reflex of a person making a livelihood from photographing genitalia.

    Perhaps there is so much money to be made because no one wants to spend his or her life in such a meaningless and degrading manner.

    Approximately 50 films times 6 months per offense is 25 years behind bars. Let’s hope justice is administered to Brigham and Collette Fields!

  5. SJD says:

    On June 12, 2013 at 19:26, Colette wrote (emphasis is mine):

    I am sorry for you and also sorry for the people who got caught stealing. But something must be done about this and it seems like we are the only ones willing to take the risk and stand up for what’s right. If you get a speeding ticket, you must pay it and stop speeding. If you want to live in the United States you must abide by the laws of this country, no more, no less.

    Later in this thread:

    If you get a $200 speeding ticket will you speed again? Most likely yes. If it was $10,000 would you think twice before stepping on the gas and risking lives. There must be a deterrent or this will never stop. If you can’t afford $250/hour for an attorney then think twice and just pay the $24.95 to join and don’t steal. In other words if you can’t pay the fine, stay under the speed limit.

    So what is the proper deterrent against violating zoning and condom ordinances, Colette?

    • Rasputin says:

      Considering that young porn kids could get HIV and die a horrible death, the penalty should be severe. There is little point in having ordinances that are not enforced. Pressure must be put on officials and local police to uphold and enforce the laws.

  6. Repentinus says:

    “So, here we are: X-Art appears to be filming without permit in a residential area where filming is not allowed at all, blatantly ignoring barrier protection law, and not even bothering to keep all that in secret (link NSFW).”

    I am with you on the general criticism and pointing out the violations of barrier protection law, but the First Amendment to the US Constitution has been in force for Dec 15, 1791, so ignoring an ordinance requiring a filming permit is almost a civic duty.

    • Thomas Paine says:

      Perhaps you are ignoring the legal principle of preventing harm to others that clearly the ordinance is addressing. It does not violate the First Amendment. One is able to make the videos, they however can not do so in a manner that is harmful to others. CA and NV are the only States that allow production of hardcore porn.

      • Repentinus says:

        I was criticising the general requirement that one would need a permit for commercial filming in the unincorporated areas of the county. Such a requirement is akin to requiring a permit for writing newspaper articles for commercial newspapers. Patently unreasonable.

        I am very much aware that no First Amendment protection is given to obscenities.

    • Former Innocent Doe says:

      Flashing, streaking, exposing one’s genitals in public might be a form of expression however, it is illegal in most places. Child porn may be cloaked as a First Amendment right and some might even try to claim it is art but, it is illegal. The German Court found X-Art work to be not copyrightable, it had no intellectual content and would be harmful to children.

      • Repentinus says:

        I agree, but as I said, I was not criticising the barrier protection ordinance but the one requiring a filming permit for any commercial filming. Would you consider an ordinance requiring a permit to write an article for a commercial newspaper constitutional?

        • Former Innocent Doe says:

          Don’t know but most places require a business permit. I think all National Parks require a permit for commercial photography or filming activities.

  7. Christenson says:

    I am very much thinking along the same lines as repentius… filming, by itself, whether or not for a profit later, or by someone paid before or afterward for doing so, as well as whatever activity the cameraman considers worth filming, is a matter of free speech.

    I should require a permit to have a camera record someone getting beat up by the ventura county cops, which I then sell to CBS news for money? How about Dan Rather interviewing someone on the courthouse steps? A permit if I decide to film a clone of “clue” inside my mansion with a dinner party of ten, which is half the size of my domestic staff, for release on redbox? “Commercial Filming” is poorly defined, so it’s bad law, and filming is the making of speech, which means that any restrictions on it have to be tailored to reasonable governmental interests, and these don’t include the act of filming itself.

    Not that a good ordinance could not be written, but it would be one that required a permit for specific impacts that “commercial” filming tends to create…these are, after all, residences, and if there is a traffic impact, you can require permits to create a lot of traffic. Kleig lights are power hungry heat generators, and if Collette’s mansion isn’t wired and ventilated for it, it is a firetrap. If she pulls up a generator truck, or a huge camera boom, the neighbors have a reasonable expectation not to hear it, or be able to see those lights at night, much less the actors themselves. Working conditions for the film crew and actors have to be legal. If they put a lot of people on environmentally delicate beaches, or alien animals, or fill up parks, a permit can be required.

    • Reader says:

      If you read the details, news events do not require a permit. It is geared for such things as movies, documentaries, TV ads, etc. Educational purposes is exempt.

  8. Rachael says:

    You can remove the trash from the trailer park but, can’t remove the trailer park from the white trash. Look’s like burnt buns for dinner.

  9. Sheogorath says:

    As is the nature of most people who get overly litigious when it comes to IP, Colette doesn’t even know the difference between copyrights and trademarks. In the same post that she admits to copyright infringement, she says, “If you do not defend your copyrights in the USA you can actually lose the right to them.” This is completely untrue and always has been, even before the days when copyrights were automatic. Sure, way back when you could lose copyright protection by publishing without a clear copyright notice on your works, but if you did publish with notice, you could safely ignore small time infringers and only go after those making money. And now that copyright is automatic, you don’t even need a notice, it just strengthens your case if you have one because no one can say, “I didn’t know it was copyrighted.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ventura County District Attorney contact form: http://www.vcdistrictattorney.com/contact-form/ : please make him aware of the violations. If you think that this is something the other guy will do, you are wrong. The more people write – the more probable is the response/action.

    Also, contact OHSA (SJD provided the link above): adult producers dread this organization.

  11. Hey SJD, I support what you do and like this site but…aren’t you going a little far? I can understand going after stupid legal battles, but what these people do in private time is (quite honestly) none of your business.

    I don’t like porn, either.

    • Sheogorath says:

      @ sailormoon: SJD isn’t poking into the private lives of anyone at the litigating company he’s(?) simply pointing out what hypocrites they are in pursuing people for alleged violations of one law while committing clear violations of different laws, using stuff said company published in order to do so. Now, in order to reduce any future confusion, I’ll give a quick definition of the word ‘publish': to make public.

    • SJD says:

      I assure you that it is never an easy decision to post someone’s address. I did t twice, and I did it consciously, after a great thought. I’m not omniscient, but I know a lot about troll lawyers. Yet “invading” their private lives is not an option when unrelated kids/family members are involved.

      This case is different.

      And by the way, what about Lipscomb (with Brigham/Colette approval) poking into private lives of thousands? Way more intrusively than I did.

  12. anon says:

    As the original source of this information, you have standing to make a reverse false claims act against MM under California Government Code sections 12650 and 12651, and State ex rel. Bowen v. Bank of America Corp., 126 Cal.App.4th 225, 240-241 (2005). That’s up to $11k for each filming without a permit with the potential to triple this amount.

    • that anonymous coward says:

      Huh, interesting.
      One also wonders if their would be ‘qui tam’ (sp) possible in suing over them defrauding the Government with registrations and cases for content not copyrightable.
      Could put all of that into a fund to help Does…
      Is it irony to sue them, win, and use those dollars to crush them?

  13. […] territory: if one is capable of participating in an extortion racket — wrestling money over illegally produced “barely legal” pornography, expect her to have a secret interpretation of the term […]

  14. […] X-Art/Malibu Media sues alleged file-sharers over illegally produced videos […]

  15. […] X-Art/Malibu Media sues alleged file-sharers over illegally produced videos […]

  16. […] the direction, as we gleefully witness what’s happening with Prenda these days. When it comes to XArt’s illegal conduct, it would be nice to polygraph its models, asking two simple […]

  17. […] another Indiana case, after the failure to find any traces of Malibu’s illegally produced “art” on the defendant’s hard drive, settlement offer went from $7,500 to $5,000, than to […]

  18. […] never called X-Art child porn, he has called out Colette and Brigham Fields, observant they have violated local Ventura County laws. He’s posted justification that a integrate has filmed publishing in their home but […]

  19. […] Lipscomb is a good guy who didn’t shake down a clearly innocent person over barely legal, illegally produced pornography. Even more, Keith went to great lengths to save defendant’s money (furthering the […]

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