One of the most recent episodes of “No Agenda,” a popular podcast show, discussed, among other things, the copyright trolling phenomenon. One of two show hosts, Adam Curry, told the story about x-art.com (Malibu Media) and its owner, Adam’s former colleague, Brigham Field and his relations with “mobster” lawyers.
Apparently, it was the first time Adam heard about this legal plague. However, he (as any person who was taught the difference between good and bad by his parents) immediately recognized that it is nothing else but a “Mafioso operation” and that this “business” is ethically wrong no matter how lucrative it is.
There is an interesting bit: the porn purveyor gets only 10% of the collections. Seemingly, Brigham Field and his wife Colette are not really on top of what is going on and simply receives checks from the trolls who use his copyrights to harass citizens into paying ransoms. News outlets, when talking about these cases, often name plaintiffs, but barely mention troll lawyers (and sometimes do not mention them at all). However, such a small cut of the loot a pornographer receives leaves no room for speculation who is the boss.
In addition, Adam mentioned that “they stopped doing this because they thought it is inherently wrong.” I’m not sure if he meant x-art/Malibu Media by “they” at this point: Malibu Media still actively files mass lawsuits across the country; in 2012 alone copyright trolls have filed 144 cases in 11 districts against more than 2000 Does on behalf of Malibu Media (between 2/08/12 and 5/24/12; that’s almost 2 troll cases per working day filed nationwide!)
“No Agenda” has about half a million listeners, so it is great that so many people became aware of the ongoing scam.
Thanks to commenters who spotted this news last week, and of course to Adam Curry and John Dvorak.