Guardaley | X-Art
Wisconsin court sanctions Malibu Media, says that the Exhibit C’s intent was to harass and intimidate
A huge win against the copyright abusers took place today in the WIED court. District Judge William M. Conley issued his Opinion and Order regarding one of many troll Lipscomb‘s sleazy practices:
On May 28, 2013, Magistrate Judge Crocker ordered plaintiff Malibu Media to show cause why this court should not issue Rule 11(b) sanctions for its regular practice of attaching an apparently unrelated and embarrassing “Exhibit C” to the complaints in each of the above-captioned copyright infringement cases.
As a result,
While plaintiff offers at least colorable justifications for attaching these lists, the court is unconvinced, concluding that the intent was to harass and intimidate defendants into early settlements by use of the salacious nature of others’ materials, rather than the merit of its own copyright claims. Accordingly, the court will sanction plaintiff’s counsel $200 per case.
While it may seem like $200 per case is a penny for the Lipscomb/Field extortion enterprise, don’t forget that now each of Malibu’s cases with the infamous Exhibit “C” is likely to be affected. And there is a legion of such cases across the country.
Big thanks to Mitch Stoltz and Erin Russell for filing the amicus curiae brief on behalf of the EFF, which undoubtedly had an impact on the judge’s decision.
The Order is going to be quoted ad nauseum in future Doe motions:
While the court agrees with Malibu Media that there is only circumstantial evidence of ill intent, Malibu Media’s denials do not pass the smell test, and any denial of improper motive by its counsel does not pass the laugh test.
A well deserved reversal of fortune after the Bellwether fiasco.
- ArsTechnica: Porn troll Malibu Media sanctioned for trying to embarrass defendants by Joe Mullin.
- TechDirt: Copyright Troll Malibu Media Sanctioned For Bogus Copyright Abuse & Intimidation Tactic by Mike Masnick.
- Boing Boing: Porno copyright trolls Malibu Media sanctioned by court for “extortionate” tactic by Cory Doctorow.
- PuntoInformatico: Copyright, lo scandalo non paga by Gaia Bottà.
- EFF Deeplinks blog: Judge Fines Copyright Troll Lawyer for Harassing Tactic Used Nationwide by Kurt Opsahl and Mitch Stoltz.
- Law360 (paywalled): Judge Blasts Porn Co. For Harassment, Intimidation In IP Suit by Bill Donahue.
27 responses to ‘Wisconsin court sanctions Malibu Media, says that the Exhibit C’s intent was to harass and intimidate’
“Malibu Media’s denials do not pass the smell test, and any denial of improper motive by its counsel does not pass the laugh test.”
I like this judge.
Haven’t read MM’s original submission, but going by this document, the attempts made by MM to tar and feather the defendants involved are appalling. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is MM actually trying to claim to the judge that they were “forced” to include a bunch of titles (titles, I might add, of the sort that Colette insists that X-Art strays from), and if a defendant denies involvement in these titles, it somehow makes their argument stronger? “Your Honour, we submit a list of disgusting filth for your perusal. We don’t own the rights to these titles, but we claim this is the sort of fetish the defendant has, and he’s an abhorrent piece of scum. Please throw the book at him, because we really deserve as much money from him as possible!”
Never mind the thinly veiled attempt at masking intimidation into not-really-intimidation-but-we’re-hoping-it-works-intimidation; how did MM and Lipscum think that pulling off this sort of shenanigans was going to end anything other than badly? Flinging shit charges at the wall in the hopes that something sticks isn’t going to make you look more legitimate; it makes you look reckless and vindictive.
My hat goes off to Colette. You don’t need pirates to ruin your business for you; you’re doing a fine job of running it into the ground yourself. Thanks to your efforts, I imagine defendants and judges in similar cases will be encouraged to scrutinize copyright plaintiffs even more closely, to nip irrelevant evidence and claims in the bud. Future generations of copyright enforcement will have you to thank for bringing their schemes and tactics into the light.
Classy or otherwise, a copyright troll is a copyright troll. Maybe you should take a few pointers from Nazaire and start filing angry; it’s not like you could do much worse.
Great reply, I could not have possibly said it better.
Totally agree, great comment, indoemitable!
My favorite quote which echoes Judge Wright’s opinion of the true nature of Malibu Media’s lawsuits: “….these copyright infringement cases…give off an air of extortion…”. BINGO!
I think that picture is of Scott Walker, the governor. Not the judge.
Yes, to my embarrassment 🙂 I remember I saw that face! I removed the pic and will replace with an accurate one.
I’m really trying to see the bright side of this, but $2,200 and they get to now continue discovery as if they had done nothing wrong doesn’t seem like a big win to me.
I understand if they proceed it will be before a suspicious judge, but even when the judge has stated their arguments don’t pass the smell test, MM & Lipscomb have never minded stinking the place up.
It’s certainly not a full stop bitchslap for Malibu & Libscomb, but it DOES show that the judge is paying close attention, and won’t put up with any dirty little tricks.
Yes, it’s a small little slap on the wrist, but it’s one that leaves an indelible stain on these and other suits by Lipscum that clearly acknowledges that “Yes, these assholes are *obviously* trying to shame settlements out of defendants.”
To tell you the truth, I’d rather see a million little pinpricks by judges like this than have one more yawning judge rubberstamp a case into settlement.
Small victories add up, and judicial rulings in one case will affect countless others. Don’t lose heart over the fact that this isn’t a slam dunk, instead celebrate the small victory that it is.
Meanwhile, Collette and Malibu surpassed the 1k mark on rfc. Whan a what an accomplishment for great movie studio that sues people over 15 min barely legal teen sex clips.. this is ART….. lol
The typo monster has been biting you, like a mosquito:
” don’t forget that now every Malibu’s case with the infamous Exhibit “C” is likely to be affected.” (malibu shouldn’t be followed by an s, or say “Each of malibu’s cases…”)
“The Order in going to be quoted ad nauseum in future Doe motions” (the first “in” should have been “is”)
Otherwise, just remember: it rains before it pours! Wonderful news!!!
Appreciate it! Especially #1: while #2 is clearly a typo, #1 is the English use, and I understandably struggle with it: I did not speak English for almost 2/3 of my life 🙂
Oh for goodness’ sake, send an email if you must, don’t do your copyediting in public.
I love this site and what it stands for. My guess is that this site takes a lot of work and is in addition to a full time job. SJD is probably too nice to take offense to nitpicking so I’ll do it for her/him.
Wrong pics is one thing, but typos? C’mon! This isn’t writing class, it’s all about schooling trolls!
I appreciate that too (I mean your appreciation of my efforts 🙂 ), but you are both wrong and right:
– Wrong: I did not say “Appreciate it!” to Christenton out of politeness, I meant it. With all my imperfections, I want to look better, so I always grateful when someone pinpoints obvious errors.
– Right: yes, it is better to do it by personal email rather than in a public forum. Both because some may don’t like it an see it as “picking”; and because many subscribe to comments by mail: have a mercy on them 🙂
When I refer to the typo monster, I hope I am putting a smile on everyone’s face…and making a point that the issue is trivial, just enough for my eagle eye to notice. We all make typos, and spell check often makes typos for us! 😉
P.S. I hate e-mail!!!! [Far too much of it in my life for me to handle; it has become a firehose]
I’m thinking the $200 per case sanction Judge Conley ordered is to reimburse the court for the filing fees they should have received for each one of those cases. That seems fair to me, since these cases should have been filed on individual Does. They won’t appeal the sanctions either, since that would take up more of their time and cost them more money.
As WDS said, it’s only $2,200, but that amount is about half the usual settlement check. If all the Does refuse to settle, they’re $2,200 in the hole and they’ve squandered any good will the court may have shown them now.
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