A new “veritable orgy of lawsuits”
I predicted that the divorce between long-time sweethearts Keith Lipscomb and Malibu Media would result in the latter winding down its operations. While it would be unreasonable to expect a mass dismissal of the existing lawsuits, I didn’t think the troll would start filing new cases. I was wrong.
Contrary to my expectations, on 7/21/2016 Malibu Media/X-Art, via its new counsel Pillar Law Group, powered by former Lipscomb, Eisenberg and Baker’s employees — two attorneys and two paralegals — resumed the shakedown. At the time of this post, 136 lawsuits were filed in six jurisdictions:
- California: 42 (CAED: 31, CASD: 11, unsurprisingly nothing in CAND or CACD)
- Connecticut (CTD): 12
- New Jersey (NJD): 29
- New York (NYSD): 21
- Texas (TXSD): 32. While the above cases are handled by the same locals (Brian Heit, Jacqueline James, and Patrick Cerillo), in Texas Malibu even managed to recruit fresh underemployed local lawyers — Michael Lowenberg and Andrew Kumar 1.
Truly, greed is a powerful drug, and I should have never underestimated the corrupting power of addiction to easy cash.
In addition, from an email sent by Angela Lipscomb to Lipscomb, Eisenberg and Baker’s (LEB) insurer, we learn that
[LEB’s Malibu Media] work stopped after a new investor became involved […]
Yes, “investor.” Malibu’s attorneys (both old and new) don’t wear a mask of righteous defenders of poor porn purveyor’s copyrights any longer: it’s all business, a heartless business of monetizing people’s anxiety and misery.
Usual suspects and something new
In the past, when Lipscomb was Malibu’s general counsel, the troll always waited one month from the lawsuit inception to the discovery motion. I still don’t understand the significance of this delay. This tradition was seemingly preserved, and we had the first opportunity to review the motions and the exhibits only on 8/22/2016.
One of the “experts” who filed a declaration accompanying discovery motions was Tobias Fieser of IPP International. Two years ago, after Malibu’s Illinois local Mary K. Schulz recklessly revealed IPP’s contingency interest, IPP was “replaced” by another Guardaley’s shell, Excipio 2. Fieser and IPP are now back as if the contingency scandal never took place.
The other declarant was also from the painfully familiar past: Patrick Paige, a former police investigator who was fired from the police force five years ago — after he was caught procuring illegal drugs while using his undercover identity.
Yet it was something new in the ex-parte application bundle: a declaration of one Erin Sinclair, purportedly a COO for Malibu Media from its inception (surprisingly, we never heard this name until now). Nothing really to see there — same usual hogwash such as “piracy kills our business,” except for the following statement that caught my attention:
We want to stop the infringement of Malibu Media’s movies. To further facilitate this goal, Malibu is opening investigations with law enforcement to stop the seeding of its movies. Our goal is to stop the prolific infringer responsible for initially seeding the “Unauthorized Packs.”