Guardaley

Devil’s cookbook: Guardaley’s presentation

While covering copyright trolling in the US, media almost always avoids questioning who really directs the show. Press follows usual court reporter templates: there is a plaintiff who hires an attorney and/or investigator, and both work for a flat or hourly fee. Sometimes attorneys’ names don’t appear in news articles at all. In reality, the overwhelming majority of shakedown lawsuits has been initiated by German “anti-piracy” cartels. As you will read in the documents below, it is them who scout around for plaintiffs and opportunistic lawyers, it is them who handle logistics and, of course, reap the lion’s share of settlement proceeds.

Patrick AchachePatrick Achache

Recently I stumbled upon an interesting presentation created by someone named Gerephil Molina from Cebu, Philippines. This presentation describes the inside operations of an infamous German copyright troll Guardaley (and its various facades, for example, IPP international — Lipscomb/Malibu Media’s “engine,” or the subject of this post — Anti-Piracy Management Company)¹.

You can watch this Anti-Piracy Management Company Presentation on the Prezi site (Flash-based) [The original presentation was hastily removed on 4/21/2014 — scroll down to see update], or read the pdf embedded below: I spent a couple of hours creating this document in a premonition that Prezi’s material will be removed — once visitors from Karlsruhe show up in my blog’s log. Content wise, it should be exactly the same as the original presentation (sans graphics, which is meaningless anyway).

This presentation does not look like a final product; and I’m still not sure who the target is. It looks more like an operations manual for the BPO Cebu office, yet the trolling technology description is definitely obtained from the original source — Guardaley. I have a feeling that it was not intended for public eyes.

There is a little doubt that one of Guardaley’s key players, Patrick Achache is behind this particular Guardaley’s incarnation (Anti-Piracy Management Company — APMC). Another Guardley-connected name that appears in this playbook is Daniel Macek (p. 35), an “expert” in some US cases, in particular, a potentially fraudulent Elf-Man LLC, v. Lamberson (the other “expert” in this case is Michael Patzer, who played his small role in the Bellwether vaudeville nearly a year ago).

I put quotation marks around “expert” not only because of my “biased opinion”: as we see in the presentation (p. 35 — emphasis is mine), I’m not the only one who questions this expertise:

paragraph 2 in regards to software consultant (i.e., he can talk about software issues), & we’re hoping the judge won’t question his qualifications too much.

I will not go over the statements and bullet points: they speak for themselves. The overall air is rather dry, business-like, cynical, which is not surprising: it’s a business based on exploiting the letter of the law, with little, if any, thought about the irreparable harm to thousands of families. Similar to how the military-industrial complex monetizes war, cartels like Guardaley monetize infringement, but in reality both thrive on suffering of others.

The stated goal of “ending the infringement” is laughable: no sane businessman wants the source of income to dry out.

I hope that defense lawyers (“bad guys,” according to the trolls, p. 5) will find some points that can be used in the ongoing fight against the copyright trolling plague.

Updates

04/21/2014

The original Prezi presentation was deleted around the time this post was published. Fortunately, yesterday I not only preserved the textual part (embedded above), but grabbed the video of presentation itself. Because of YouTube clip length restrictions, I broke it to four pieces.

04/21/2014

I was digging through my archives and found this 2+ years old document, a “business proposal” by the same entity, Anti-Piracy Management Company:

 

The metadata reveals that the author of this champertious proposal is Josh Partridge. A quick search leads to his LinkedIn page, where he clearly states that Anti-Piracy Management Company is Guardaley:

 

Since this man is in the US (San Diego), does the idea of deposing him sound crazy? I hope not.

Also, don’t miss DieTrollDie’s update on the same topic: we are untangling the cobweb slowly but surely.

Coverage

Followups

 


¹ You can read more about the tangled web of German shell companies in Morgan Pietz’s recent motion he filed with the Maryland court.

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Discussion

83 responses to ‘Devil’s cookbook: Guardaley’s presentation

  1. You, sir, once again are my hero! Thanks for the time and effort to get this before the nimrods pulled it.

    Couldn’t believe the PDF when I was reading it. I downloaded the PDF and videos in case they get pulled. More people should read this. Hopefully TorrentFreak gets off their ass and posts it too.

  2. So these guys basically tool around torrent sites, find movies that have been uploaded porn or otherwise and then start monitoring and recording the activity and then approach said studio and basically say ” we know people are sharing you movie on bit torrent and your not getting any money from it, we can change that and put cash in your pocket and we take a fee if you use our investigative monitoring service and recoup your lost revenue thru lawsuits which will enforce your copyrights”

    So they knowingly target those that are affluent ( their words basically) whom when contacted by said law firm in hopes of extracting a better settlement from those in a better neighborhood than those that may be social housing or a neighborhood where you may find average income joe who just gets by ( discrimination at it’s finest )

    ( let this be a lesson to you kids, if your going to download movies illegally, please move to a less affluent neighbourhood where your illegal downloads can continue unabated because you will be deemed to poor to sue )

    Well that’s interesting that these guys draft a settlement letter and then pass it back to the law firm. They are also doing this with basically a template to file in court to get the motions for discovery from the ISP’s and then the law firms are passing the information on subscribers from the ISP’s back to them and they are putting it into their database. I see a lot of problems with that.

    I would have to be of the opinion that there may be some laws being broken here due to the Law Firm turning over peoples private information over to a company to a company that is not in the U.S. and this fact is not being disclosed to the court nor to the defendant or the defendant’s counsel.

    I see that as a major breach of privacy rights and of the terms of the Judges order. I would shudder to think of what a Judge would do if they had found out that they were granting a lawyer and his/her firm the information to seek a persons identity from the ISP so the law firm could initiate contact to see if this person infringed their works, and then finding out that said law firm is not doing this at all but sending all the info gleaned from the ISP’s to a 3rd party in another country who is actually in control of all the information and then sending the information back to the law firm but is also adding the information to their database.

    Wow…I see a judge that would be seething to find that his order to get discovery was used to get ISP’s subscriber information was turned over to a 3rd party outside of the U.S. and without the courts knowledge,… this is a bombshell that will blow up big!

    Then there is this gem:

    Document Production Admin Team – assisting with turning the infringements into paper, which
    then gets filed in the courts.
    they will also get the paper information (i.e. IP names & addresses) back into the CMS.
    Legal Team – will assist the lawyers/law firms with the legal issues,
    • how to handle opponent council
    • they will create the legal documents (i.e., the motion of expedited discovery, demand,
    and settlement agreement letter).
    • they will assist the Sales Team to close their deals
    • if they have a questions about APMC’s product? who do they approach? The Sales
    Team per US district territory (i.e., TAR breaks down the # of infringers for each
    separate state district).
    it shows the list of the lawyers & where they have jurisdiction based on the specific US territories.

    So the Judge has relied on the affidavits provided by the monitoring firm which they would submit as evidence if you will to bring forth the motion to seek discovery from the ISP’s. by the law firm. Now the lawyers are using boiler pate templates provided by the monitoring firm. The monitoring firm is also advising and giving the lawyers direction on how to handle alleged infringers and if the infringer has counsel how to handle that as well in the case at hand.

    So not only is the monitoring firm acting an investigative agency, they are basically playing lawyer and law firm in these cases as well by way of proving evidence, playing witness, drafting motions for early discovery and motions to compel and settlement letters. So beasically they are practicing law without a license nor the ability to do so.

    There are going to be a ton of issues with this. You have an entity that is playing a lot of cards here. They are the investigator, they are the witness, they are providing and submitting legal documents to the courts, they are providing legal advice on how to deal with a defendant and their counsel, they are drafting documents for settlements and they are crafting the wording of those settlement letters that may constitute or notify of legal matter to a U.S. citizen.

    When defense counsel’s out there get a read of these documents there is going to be some very powerful motions getting drawn up on cases at hand and you can bet there will be some eyebrows raised in the courts when Judges get a glimpse of some of the shenanigans that may be playing out in their courtrooms. This would draw the ire of Judges for sure if they believe their is fraud upon the court, and we all know how well that has fared for Team Prenda around the U.S.

    They also mention in the how to get rich guide that they send out DCMA notices. Say what? Since when. We all know that is utter nonsense. I am very skeptical of that point. If they sent out DCMA’s they would have the copyrights work taken down and thus no infringers to monitor. I don’t buy for a minute they do send DCMA’s for the simple fact that is against their business model and they have never stated ( to my knowledge ) in any affidavits where they mentioned that they DCMA’d the site hosting the torrent to get it taken down…pure bunk if you ask me.

    There is also this little gem:

    How Do We Start a Lawsuit in the US?
    • APMC does not deal with Criminal Cases (that require 100% of evidence to prove guilty).
    • APMC only deals with Civil Cases (that only need 50% of evidence to prove guilty).

    I find it astounding that these lawsuits are brought forward knowing full well that they are playing the odds here. It’s no wonder that they aren’t shy away from anything that would be used in a criminal complaint. That speaks volumes to me that they are purely in this for monetary reasons. It has zip to do with a copyright protection and the 50% argument just proved that.

    It is more of the fact that the threshold is so low in a civil suit that it doesn’t matter what the evidence is or if someone did it or not, this is strictly playing the odds that the person receiving the settlement letter will pay up for fear of spending more to hire a lawyer and defend an action than to just settle for a sum under what a lawyer would cost. If that isn’t an attempt to gain the system I don’t know what is.

    I see a lot of damage control about to kick in. I believe most defendants lawyers know a lot about the troll lawyers, bit I am sure some of the bombshells contained in this document will really shows who is directing this litigation and how fraud is being brought upon the court and perverting justice IMHO.

    When Judges get a glimpse of how theses torrent lawsuits are being filed and who is doing what , there may be some serious repercussions for the plaintiff lawyers at hand. The privacy issues are huge in my opinion and the fact that the monitoring firm is playing investigator, witness and law firm is going to make some future motions and hearings and possible OSC’s very very interesting.

    The strategies contained in this document will fuel the defense counsel to ask the court to look at the torrent lawsuits being filed around the U.S and even the world.This may be the very document that start bring the troll’s to their knees once Judges start getting clued in on the going’s on of this suits and the violations of due process and laws that are being violated in these type of lawsuits

    • And so begins that attempt at damage control and to try and plug the leak from the dam with their finger. There must be fear in the air.

  3. Just a thought here. I wonder how long it will be before these assclowns try to send WordPress a DCMA to have this ” How to get rich quick ” book’s information taken down? I can’t see them not taking a chance to get it off here asap due to the goldmine for defendants counsel of how the operation works.

    That being said all I can picture is these guys running around the office going ” Oh No…No…” I doubt someone is going to be happy that this hit the net. The other thing with this entity is it is the same names we have seen in the past with Guardaley/IPP and I am sure will be tied with Excipco and now this other iteration.

    They remind me of the Friday the 13th movies. Everytime you thought Jason was dead, he would always show up again….seems to apply to the folks that work at these monitoring firms as well.

  4. Wow, looks like very well organized business is after the whole process. They have very strong software division to manage the whole life cycle of filing the case and follow up.
    My best guess is , this office is located offsshore (india, philippines, etc) and this presentation is prepared to train the new hire in office. The way process is explained looks like audience are not familiar with US court system.

    Anyway thanks for finding and sharing it

    • While it could very well be used to train the new hire, this strikes me more as a sales tool, and a step by step guide for perspective copyright clients and Law Firms that sign on as to how the process works and how their copyright litigation is presented and how it will take place.

      I found it very disturbing that they are controlling how the evidence and litigation circumstances are presented to the court and how they use boilerplate templates for everything from their affidavits to the motions they file to the court in respect to the case at hand.

      The fact that an order was issued by the court to an ISP to hand over to the Law Firm subscriber information that is being sent to a 3rd party outside of the U.S.that provided evidence and was acting as an investigator in the lawsuit troubles me the most.

      The mere fact that this 3rd party is retaining your personal information from the ISP and retaining it and adding it to their database and sharing it with who knows makes my skin crawl

      The Judge being totally unaware of who is doing what in this case and how your information is being given to the witness and investigator in the said case is astounding. I can’t even fathom the anger a Judge would inflect upon the Lawyer at hand for misleading the court and for violating U.S. privacy laws as well of rules of the court and their duty as an officer of the court for failing to mention that the witness in the case is going to be in receipt of the ISP subscriber information, drafting motions, drafting settlement letters and directing litigation strategies to combat potential defendants and their counsel in effort they declare innocence.

      There is many troubling things in this booklet and the trolls have much to fear when defence counsels make mentioj to the court who is really in charge of these troll lawsuits and what and who is directing the legal strategy. The mere fact that the ISP subsriber information is being sent top a 3rd party and they are retaining for an unknown reason is itself a reason for the court to step up to the plate and strike the trolls hard.

      I would be confident in making the bet that the courts will take a very strong position against the collusion that is going on with these cases. I doubt a Judge will like the fact that the witness and investigator is directing the litigation and playing law firm and that said Law Firm and Lawyer are basically doing a copy and paste job and acting as a front for Investigator and witness.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Grand Jury being advised to look towards a RICO indictment for the frauds that are being perpetrated upon the court, the defendants, defendants counsel and the ISP’s.

      It will be interesting to see how the ISP’s take the news that their clients information that they were instructed to turn over to the Law Firm was handed off to a 3rd party that is the witness in the cases and retained by them in a database with out their knowledge.

      Should be interesting to watch the fall out.

  5. Actually, I don’t see that this model is any different from the other troll models except that you can hire competent and computer savvy talent in the Philippines on the cheap (check out ODesk for example).

    If I wanted to avoid the perils now befalling some of our favorite trolls, I would do a lot more work on the front end, stay in state court, and compile a lot more data before I started issuing subpoenas. The days of mass joinder are rapidly coming to an end and there needs to be a way of efficiently finding SPECIFIC infringers. This seems like a reasonable way to do it, and if the copyright owner goes along with it I am not sure US law protects privacy. Were this the EU where there is a strong Privacy Directive I would think otherwise, but protections in the US are minimal.

  6. Hey all, this is amazing work you’re doing here and many are eternally grateful for it. I’ve been thoroughly combing through this site and dietrolldie. There is simply a ton of info to process; I was recently mailed a letter from my ISP claiming Malibu Media was seeking my contact information. My name is on the cable bill however I did not download their movies, I may or may not know of a housemate(several college kids living together) who did. I have until May 2 to file motion to quash. I’ve seen this has been largely unsuccessful. Would you suggest I give Mr. Lowe, the local lawyer, a call? Or should I simply wait and pull the PRP tactic when contacted. I do not mind being named, as I’m not afraid of being accussed of downloading porn that I did not download, however I have no money to settle or really for a lawyer. The person who may or may not have downloaded the movie has said they would pay the settlement if it came to that. Is there any legal repercussions with jobs for settling? I’m pursuing software dev work with government contracts. It is also of note I am willing to have my computer scanned if that will prove my innocence.

    I apologize for the long reply and any and all advice would be incredibly helpful and I would be eternally grateful. Thank you guys for all that you do and keep fighting the good fight.

    Apologize for the repost this seems to be the most active thread at the moment.

    • I would advise you not to contact the troll’s local attorney. The minute you do this they are going to try and solicit information to use AGAINST you to further a settlement from you. Just because they sent you a letter does not mean you are guilty. This is all part of the game of fishing for a settlement.

      I would initiate the PRP tactic and then contact Mr Sweet or Mr Pietz, they would be able to give you some advice and maybe know a lawyer who could help you with regards to Malibu. Remember that Malibu has no idea who or if you downloaded one of their clients works and as of now this is an allegation, nothing has been proven.

      They will try and wring a settlement from you for as much as they can, and they will attempt to put as much pressure on you as possible to AVOID having you go to court or to have an attorney represent you in court. This costs the troll money and they wan’t to expend as little as possible, the game is to get you to settle BEFORE you seek any legal advice or file anything with the court.

      Do not initiate any contact with the troll.The minute you do is the minute they will start to gather information to let you know you will be named and if you dont settle your going to be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars and will be destitute when they are done with you. There is a lot of hocus pocus black magic that they will wield your way to make you believe they have everything they need to get you, except they dont.

      Never ever feed the troll with information, they need to know who you are and your details and who lives in your house etc etc etc, it is all a part of the game to them. They will act like they care and are trying to see if they can help clear you, but in reality they are fishing for information to try to hang you or someone connected to you for a settlements.

      I would try and Speak to Pietz or Sweet and they would be able to help you find someone locally to help and they may be able to give you some advice to help in the meantime to minimize the trolls attempting to gain in formation or a settlement from you.

      This is just my opinion, but I would follow DTD’s suggestion. This will buy your some time to see advice from a non troll attorney and allow you to get your ducks in a row and keep the trolls at bay so you are not felling pressured which is what the trolls want you to feel, it is all part of the game to extract a settlement.

      Keep your head up and don’t bow to the pressure, try and contact one of the two attorneys mentioned and explain your circumstance and they can give you some advice and direct you to a qualified local attorney. Most attorney’s will give you some free consultation time to discuss the matters at hand. If need be you can file with the court to get yourself some time, but I would seek legal advice first and then go from there, if the time creeps closer to the filing date, then you can follow DTD advice to buy time to get in contact with a lawyer who deals with trolls and knows the game rather than some who might not.

      Just my two cents if I were in your position and how I would proceed.

      • My post was a bit poorly explained. Mr. Lowe, the attorney I mentioned, is the local attorney working with Mr. Pietz. I do not plan to get into contact with their attorney unless forced to. I took your advice and contacted Mr. Pietz’s office directly today though and will follow through with any advice he sees fit. Thanks for the recommendations!

    • You need to access everything. How many titles were downloaded? Up front settlement is $750 per copyrighted title. Malibu Media claims to be going after the worst or the worst. So have many other things were pirated. If there is very little, they probably will never name you. They will get your name and threaten a lawsuit but that could be the extent of it. Your case could get held up by the current motion in another case that is seeking all related cases to be consolidated and asking that their expert witness not be allowed to testify as he was payed on contingency basis.

      MD could go the way of PA Eastern Court last year, where all cases were put on hold for the Bellwether trail. The delay made all those cases impossible to pursue because log records are only kept for limited period of time. My motion was a piece of art. I pointed out how many cases they had filed in a year, how many judges were working on the cases and how many hundreds of thousands of dollars were being lost through there improper use of joiner. It was unfair for the public to be funding their fishing expedition. If they want their day in court, they should at least be willing to pay for filing fees. The PA Eastern Court no longer allows joiner in these cases.

      A year ago, none of X-Art videos clips had copyright notice, so settlement should be innocent infringement which is $200 per copyrighted title. Something to keep in mind.

      If you want to have your own expert do a disc image, do so but, don’t trust them to do it for you. They will simply claim you deleted the evidence. You offer them nothing without a fight and without costing them a lot of work and money to pursue you. They want your money, they don’t care if you are innocent or not.

      They also claim that they do not pursue people who had unsecure WiFi. This would especially be true if it is situated such that numerous neighbors or passerby’s could have accessed it.

      Over 80% of cases are dismissed without settlement.

      On the other hand, one of the defendants in the Bellwether case tried to erase his drive and perjured himself about it. The judgment against him was over $100,000 for contamination of evidence. So don’t be stupid.

      • Malibu’s method of late is to sit and wait while you build up infringements. They will go 6-8 months without doing anything. Just siting and waiting. Watching them build up. On average, they are between 10-19 videos. Sometimes a lot more, but the minimum is ten. If you had say, 19, they would try for a settlement of 19,000 to start with. Then your lawyer would get it knocked down to about 7,000 after going back and forth. Malibu will Google Earth’s the area you live in via the IP address and get an idea of what the houses are worth and will not back down. Malibu is the worst scum on the planet. A lot of good (I’ll call them ‘white hat’ lawyers) lawyers are doing a low flat fee now (maybe around a $1,000 even) to deal with these assholes, but in the end all the lawyers involved are making out like bandits and will be buying new homes. I know in PA, the motion to squash is pretty useless and you’d be wasting money. That lameass Bellwether facade of a trial screwed things up in the state. As this site has mentioned, Malibu doesn’t care if you did it, they just want money and a lingering IP that goes to your home is all these scum need. Malibu is betting down on the $400 filing fee on the fact that they will get money from you and they work with scumbag opportunistic lawyers who want an easy paycheck. As stated on this site before, Malibu’s owners only get around 10% of the final payment. It’s all a lawyers game.

        If your system is clean and you did nothing on your system, then fight them. But if you have had/have BitTorrent or uTorrent on your system, even that is bad as it makes you look like you know how to use it. Don’t wipe your system or do a reinstall. Even average forensic software can pick up unbelievable stuff off your system that you had thought you deleted 4 years ago. Even if it was rewritten over several times and the file can’t be physically looked at it does list the name of the file, which isn’t good.

      • FomerInnocentDoe, you mention how many titles are listed/downloaded as well as other material? Can Malibu tell if you’ve torrented other media as well? We got a listing of 30 movies, however my room mate claims he only downloaded two of them. As far as other material I myself have downloaded a cd I already owned and a pdf of a textbook I owned but that’s it. My room mate on the other hand has terrabytes of downloads of movies, games, tv shows, etc……..

        • Anyone else notice American IP addressees became “sticky” or pooled about the same time all this began? The ISPs may lock people so they can comply with expanded surveillance, which means the lawyer gets an account and gets to see exactly what you are doing. In real time. With the ISP offering free 24/7 tech support. Or else. But the monitor is in the Philippines isn’t it? Laughing at the stupid Americans right along with their German bosses. Making a mint off Craigslist lawyers and a corrupt heroine addicted DoJ. Good stuff.
          Time to mount my Chinese made Walmart America flag on the Humvee I got for refin’ my grandpas house.

        • Think strategically. First search copyright.gov for title of registered movies by Malibu Media. Also check date of registration. See what matches to the 30 movies. Only that which matches is what they want payment for. The German investigators may have been monitoring your IP address for a while (I doubt it would pre-date the first claimed infringement of their movie).

          They may list other items downloaded via Bittorrent but can not collect on them because they do not own copyright. They only use these to provide more evidence that they found a pirate. If this ever went to trial, the other exculpatory evidence would likely not be allowed because they are not going to waste time and money trying to prove anything about it. Logically if I downloaded an album it sure doesn’t prove I downloaded anything else. Just as I may have a bad driving record but that does not prove I ran over grandma. Wisconsin Judge sanctioned Malibu Media for including exculpatory evidence, saying it was inappropriate.

          Some of X-Art stuff on Bittorrent are site rips. One download file containing many video clips.

          So take $750 times whatever matches of actual registered works. That is the figure they want without doing much work in a fast and easy settlement. If this is a fair amount, you will probably get named and deposed and image of computer disk made for forensics. If you are innocent and didn’t name anyone else, just possibly one of the roommates, then they need to start discovery with the roommates. Of course this is costly to them, possibly $5K per person. Could it be a neighbor? What if they go through all the roommates and come up without the pirate? What if the files are on someone’s computer but they say someone must have used their computer while they were away?

          You also want to take a look at the judge assigned to your case and how he/she handled previous cases. You might check if IPP is the fact witness and do a motion to dismiss case or at the minimum have them removed as a witness, as they work on verbal contingency fee basis and are therefore biased. A motion could be used simply to buy more time. The work of Pietz and Lowe on the other case in MD may shake things up and impact your case without you doing anything. Also cases in other districts could impact your case.

          Malibu Media does not want to go to trial. It would reveal too much of their operation and possibly destroy their business model of fast settlement with little evidence.

          In my case, after they got the name and addresses from ISP, they dismissed case and sent a letter asking for me to provide exculpatory evidence of my innocence. For example number in household, number of computers, whether I had unsecure WiFi, how close neighbors lives, etc. This letter arrived over a year after the supposed infringement took place. I simply tossed the letter in the trash. I figured if they wanted to waste their time and money coming after me, they should do it blindly and take the inherent risk that come with that.

        • In their famous Exhibit C, that they no longer use as far as I know since they got caught lying about it, they try to put together a picture of other things that you download to put together a profile which would then naturally make it hard to deny that torrenting went on. Recently it came out that once they get your info from the ISP they go to social network sites and try to build a better picture as most morons post their lives on these sites. They’ll say in their civil papers that they have say 30 videos against you and another 964 files that could indicate the person who got them. I forget the actual wording. Whether that means you all watch Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, etc could paint a picture if the come over to do a clone of your drive and see Zombie posters on your wall. See what I mean? If you’ve been downloading content from filelockers then they have no idea what you do or have. It’s the P2P stuff that exposes your IP and put you in the open. For them the fact that you have the bitorrent program on your system, makes it easier to draw conclusions, though they may not be true. Your roommate who is the entertainment czar of the house may be the one getting screwed in the end. I would question if he really did just download two or was it more? Even if he admits to just two of them, it puts him in a bad spot. If you push it off and say it’s not you or it could be a neighbor, I wouldn’t put it past Malibu’s scum to talk to the neighbors as the WiFi range I believe goes 382 feet and if you live close to other buildings it could mean more work for them. If they clone his drive’s and see a ton of other stuff he downloaded, I wouldn’t put it past Malibu to rat anyone out to other studios, though they technically shouldn’t do it. All the torrent files get put into his App Data in his User name profile and most people never think to clean this out. Every torrent he ever did is right there.

          I do the same thing as your roommate. Pirating the right way takes a lot of work and since late 2013 it’s been getting harder.

        • Keyser, lots of good stuff there and I appreciate the time you took to write it all out. Couple of things. Unfortunately, I do have uTorrent installed and do have 3 torrents as I have mentioned all of them were of media I already owned. Other real bad news, my room mate finally came out and admitted he downloaded all 30 of them and looking back at the very first date listed I know he’s torrented hundreds of things since then. The lone bit of good news(or maybe not) is that he has is utorrent and all of his media on a third and fourth drive, he did state explicitly he immediately changed the torrent data away from app data before downloading anything. Would it be possible for him to simply remove these extra drives when the imaging system is done? If so that could really help him, which can help or really, really hurt me. Also of note, we live in shitty rowhomes with about 50ish+ other units within our routers range, so that’s good news. Is there any way to check if a router previously had a password? If we were to give the appearance that hundreds of people had open access to our internet that’s gotta help, I’d assume.

          • My 2 cents:

            1. While existence of a torrent client is not as good as its absence, it actually doesn’t weigh much. I’m aware of a case when MM examined defendant’s hard drive, found uTorrent and a search history for some music, but nothing else. To avoid potentially disastrous lawsuit, yet still being greedy, Lipscomb and his local goon started gradually reducing the settlement amount, from 7+ K down to 0. Defendant has accepted a walk-away.

            2. So far you are doing well, but please be careful: always remember that trolls read all the comments. Make sure that you don’t reveal any information that can lead to your premature identification or give any ammunition to the enemy.

        • Dude do NOT do NOT do NOT even consider collaborating with your roommate to hide evidence. Intentional spoilation of evidence is a very serious crime that can even land you jail time. Sure you can hide one of the offending drives, but a decent forensics guy will find links and pointers to files on that drive all over the place on the other drives, and if the links are missing or recently deleted they aren’t hard to restore. Plus if you are deposed you will be asked if there were other drives or computers in the household. If you lie in a deposition, under oath, that’s perjury which is also insanely serious. Please don’t even consider going down this road. If your roommate wants to try to destroy evidence that’s his deal but don’t even think about going along with him on this. Please tell him about the possible consequences.

          If your roommate came forward and fully admitted to downloading all 30 of the works that YOU are being sued over, then honestly you need to seriously consider turning him in. He’s probably your friend but eventually, unless you are willing to spoil evidence and/or perjure yourself, and do it so professionally that nobody can see something fishy going on, and still be able to look at yourself in the mirror everyday, there’s a very good chance that this case will end up with you turning him in anyways under deposition a few months from now. Maybe not. Maybe Malibu will drop the case and your roommate will get lucky. Lately they haven’t been dropping these cases though. They are playing hardball. The question is how much heat are you willing to take for your friend? Is he willing to let you spend thousands of dollars and months of your life defending yourself for something that he did? If so how much of a friend is he? You need to talk to him about what to do next and have an honest conversation.

          The problem is, even telling them that your roommate came forward and told you he did it probably won’t make it go away immediately. They hear the ‘roommate did it’ story so often that they don’t even blink, especially if you’re the one telling them. They also don’t care that it’s true very frequently! However, if you get a lawyer, and you decide that turning your roommate in is what you need to do, then your lawyer’s job will mostly be to negotiate them dropping the case in exchange for your roommate’s identity. It could still be a fight, and you could still be out thousands of dollars in the end. That’s why these cases are so evil. They entangle innocent people like yourself and drag you through the dirt. They don’t care who in your house downloaded what. They just want to inflict enough suffering that SOMEBODY, nevermind if it’s the guilty party or not, pays up to make it all go away.

          I don’t know what to tell you. It’s a crap situation. But don’t destroy evidence and don’t put yourself in a situation where you would potentially need to lie under oath. Try to get together some money to retain a lawyer and take their advice.

        • When you buy new computer or install windows, people typically do a system image backup. If this was done he could wipe the drive and restore the system to prevent a reinstall of windows. Simply removing drives would likely leave traces in the file system or registry that the drives did exist. You can not just buy a new drive and restore system because forensics is going check manufacturer’s date of the drive.

          I am not convinced that having a torrent app means anything. I have used it for legal purposes, such as downloading Linux.

          If I received notice of illegal activity, I would check if wireless was secure and if it wasn’t I would secure it. Or I would put the unsecure router away for evidence and buy a newer technology router. You could use search engine to see how easily it is to hack your router. Many of the older routers could be hacked in less than a few minutes. The obvious question here is why did you have an unsecured router?

          Unfortunately, helping your roommate, means you will be the target instead of the roommate. And your computer does not have the stolen files. However as others have pointed out the Plaintiff doesn’t care if you are innocent or not, they are going to beat you up hoping you will settle by handing them some money. And if I were your roommate, I would get rid of the computer and destroy the hard drives. Time to get a new one.

          The defendant in the Eastern PA Bellwether case might have settled for about $ 7K. Instead he tainted the evidence by wiping his drive and reinstalling windows. Then he perjured himself about what he had done. The judgment against him, treble damages plus all legal fees was over $100,000.

        • Update, tons of good stuff here, thank you all so much for commenting. I don’t have much but I’ve got some Dogecoins if anyone’s silly enough to partake in them, and will be very generous to any of you if you’d like.

          My father, who technically has no reason to help me(I’m well past 18 at this point) has contacted his company’s attorney today and forwarded all paperwork, he has also graciously agreed to pay for any lawyer fees seeing as how he knows full well I’m innocent(several of the dates of downloads I was with him). Couple follow up questions/points for anyone that has the time.

          1. I have several photos of myself with metadata(time, gps location, etc). showing I was far away from my apartment at listed times of downloads. Is this helpful in any way or are the scums debating an IP address is proof of identity going to argue metadata on a picture doesn’t mean jack squat? I suppose remote access into my apartment’s desktop is always a possibility and they might use that to throw those out. I also have a listed date where I was in a cornfield with no computer with about 80 other people who could vouch for me.

          2. I will not lie in any way or destroy any evidence, duly noted and thanks for the heads up Anon.

          3. Does my roommates admission really mean jack shit? It’s a verbal admission to the guy being sued that will likely look like he said she said. My only other roommate asked him about it and asked if he did it and got a “maaaaaaaaaaaaybe” response. My other room mate has also said he knows it wasn’t me if that counts for squat.

          4. I spoke to my room mate tonight and told him this could very well be getting serious and told him it’s very easy to say you’ll cover something like this but when dollar figures starting coming out run as quick as possible, his response was along the lines of “I’ve definitely thought about it, but I would feel bad and I have a guilty conscience.” Not entirely reassuring 😦

          5. The most infuriating thing of all is his mom is a lawyer and yet she claimed “She’s a state attorney and this is a federal matter.” Which is understandable, but cmon! Do you think it would be reasonable to pressure him further to get his mom to handle the case?

        • You’re roommate’s confession definitely wouldn’t be completely worthless. All we’re saying is be prepared for the possibility that they don’t believe you or drop the case for a while even if you go the route of turning him in. Even if if they know you’re innocent and believe you didn’t do it, they’ll still put the squeeze on for a while to see if you’ll cave and give them money anyways. This is just because they are horrible, relentlessly awful people who have no souls. Try not to take it personally. =)

          I’d be interested to follow that case where a written confession came in from one of the roommates and the case still isn’t being dropped. Does anyone know the case number? I hope that’s not just an extreme example. We can only hope that Malibu Media would be stupid enough to keep that case going long-term.

          Try to relax and sleep on this. You’ll feel better in the morning. You don’t have to do anything immediately and these cases move slowly. I’m many months in on my case and it’s amazing how little has happened so far when I really think about it. Just emotionally prepare yourself for some serious horse***t, because it’s most likely coming your way. But you WILL be ok. =)

        • You work with what you have. 1) is evidence of your innocence. 2) I would pull your hard drive(s) and get them into a bank security box. From what you wrote it/they will prove you did not download files onto your computer. Number one is protecting this proof of innocence! 3 &4) You can prove you are innocent without ratting out your roommate. I also would not count on him when the going gets tough. He has a right to defend himself as best he can. The plaintiff is going to sue for $150,000 times 30 infringements. That is $4.5 million. No one except the insane would admit to being guilty! 5) This may not be his mother’s field of expertise and she might be too close to handle it objectively. Even the very best surgeon would never operate on a family member. You need a lawyer that handles copyright law.

          Some patience is needed because many things could happen. The ISP might not have a log of the IP address or the mac number of your cable modem. It is too early for anyone to offer a settlement. However this is something your roommate and his parents might wish to consider. Settlement might be around $7K to10K, however attorneys that handle these cases might have a better idea.

          I read recently that Malibu Media stated (either in Washington or Illinois) that they do not pursue cases where multiple roommates are involved. This would probably be due to the cost of discovery. I don’t actually believe anything they claim because they seem to BS in court all the time but, I want to point out that it is not a done deal that you will even get named.

          The IP address is not you or a person. This is all the plaintiff has. They do not know who did the downloading.

        • If I were the Plaintiff’s attorney, I would not waste time or money going after debt ridden students. The cost of discovering who did what, when there are multiple roommates is very high. So you might get sued, deposed and need to turn over hard drive images. When they find you didn’t do it and there are multiple roommates, they will likely dismiss the case. They might drag out it out for awhile seeing if they can scare up some money but they can’t get money where there is none. And these people are really just looking for easy money, fast settlements with little work and almost no evidence, just shear intimidation.

          These people are looking for high asset individuals that can pay them to go away which is cheaper than hiring an attorney and putting up a legal battle.

        • MDinno I wanted to answer the rest of your questions last night but it was getting late.

          Lawyers are definitely not one-size-fits-all. Like any field, you end up becoming very specialized and you deal with specific types of cases that become your niche. If your roommate’s mom came into this from the state law stuff she normally deals with, she’d have to start almost from scratch as far as research goes on the case.

          Especially these cases, where so little is based on fact or evidence or actual, you know, due process, there are a lot of times where these are really more dressed-up games of chicken than actual legal proceedings. That’s kind of why what you really need is a lawyer who has dealt with your troll specifically as much as possible. Someone who actually knows how your troll operates is someone who will be able to give you much better advice than most of us could, because we all can speak only to our own experiences, which are all different. But a lawyer who’s dealt with your troll for 50 cases will be able to tell you what that troll tends to do with ‘college roommate’ situations, or how long the troll tends to drag these out before dismissing them in different circumstances, etc. That kind of information is actually more valuable than even a thorough understanding of copyright law itself, which is unfortunate but true. Even then, an experienced lawyer’s advice may not be perfect, because trolls are constantly changing their tactics and what they’ve done in the past may not be what they do in the future, but it’ll still be better than guessing. =)

          It may be that Malibu Media will drop the case when they see that they’re dealing with a multiple roommate/broke college student scenario. Personally, I still doubt they’ll drop it easy but I could be wrong. My opinion is just based on my experience, which tells me that Malibu Media doesn’t drop these things nowadays until they’re on the verge of the entire case crashing down on them with sanctions. It seems that their corporate policy is that anyone and everyone who resists them must be punished out of principle.

          Whatever you do, just don’t act rashly. Think things through and know your options. Good luck!

  7. I had an open network for 2.5 months and started getting DMCA notices so I put a PW on it and I still got named even after proving this and showing I was out of town during most of the time the infringement occurred. There’s another case where a named doe had a written admission of guilt from someone else and the suit still wasn’t dropped. I think they see that the drain got pulled on these suits and are trying to get everyone and anyone they can. Not sure the old rules still apply.My advice? Get a lawyer ASAP if you can afford it.

    • Same situation with me. I’m innocent and I’ve provided everything imaginable to these guys as exculpatory evidence and there is absolutely NOTHING you can say, no evidence you can provide, no matter how compelling, that will convince them. They don’t care that I was out of the country on business during most of the alleged infringements. They didn’t even bother asking the names of the tenants at my property before naming me.

      Another trend that seems to be recent at least to me is that Malibu Media will be very quick to get their summons, but take eons to finally get around to serving you. They’ll name you and then they’ll wait months, filing motion after motion for extensions of time to serve. I see this happening lately with case after case on rcfexpress. Maybe their lawyers are suing so many people that they can’t possibly keep up and actually INVESTIGATING their cases is completely out of the question. Who has time for that? They can’t even deal with the immense challenge of sending out service notices on time they’re so swamped. Either that or it’s a form of psychological warfare to drag out the agony as long as possible. Either way it’s flagrantly against ethics rules.

      I think a few months ago Malibu Media’s modus operandi was to ride the line of the law but still stay close enough to it that they could play dumb or hide when their methods were exposed. However, I agree that there’s been a change in the air based on what I read about these cases from a year ago vs. now.

      When this is all over, I’ll be filing a VERY detailed, lengthy complaint with the bar association against the plaintiff’s counsel. I’m looking forward to that at least. =) When it finally ends for you guys, please do the same. There are a lot of federal judges out there that honestly don’t know the extent of the abuses that are being unleashed on innocent people by Malibu Media as they hunt for guilty parties. Collateral damage isn’t even a consideration to them, but your state Supreme Court might see things differently if presented with the facts.

      Stay strong friends! Innocent people like us HAVE to fight, even if it costs us. Think of it as a calling. =)

      • Their game is to beat you up psychologically and emotionally so that you are willing to settle without going to trial. It cost them nothing to delay and let the defendant worry about the future. It probably backfires for a very small percentage who get pissed off and fighting mad.

      • Oh, I plan on fighting, now that I’ve been named, I’d be better of going down in flames than settling. I have to win this lawsuit to basically stay in the field/career I’m in where reputation is everything so I won’t be going away anytime soon…. I figure loser pays in these deals and I didn’t do anything and have a war chest deep enough for a year or two… we will see how long they’re willing to go.

        • Some food for thought: of all of Malibu Media’s local counsel still in business Hoppe is the least likely to serve a summons and complaint judging from a cursory review of his MD and DC lawsuits. This could be attributable to a higher settlement ratio than his peers or to something else.

  8. I would suggest evaluate how much its going to cost you for settlement. You also need to evaluate the time and resources it will take to fight the case in court. If you do not respond to court summons they can get a default judgement against you.
    You need to compare the two financial cost for settlement and how much it will cost you if you fight. Settlement cost depends on the number of titles they have listed in the case against you.
    You can hire a lawyer just to do the settlement, he may be able to negotiate you slightly better deal.

    • I did not hire a lawyer. My case was dismissed and I paid nothing in settlement. Over 80% of Malibu Media cases are dismissed without settlement. They can screw things up all on their own!

      • Ann Ny Mous how long ago (approximately) was your case? My experience, along with DNDT says that Malibu Media is changing their strategy and has adopted new, more abusive policies of late.

        • A little over two and half years ago. Back when they had problems with registration and were trying to join all Does together in a swarm within a Fed court district. I realize it is more difficult now as they focus on specific activity of an IP address.

  9. Just remember, it is not up to you to prove you are innocent. It is up to the troll to prove you are guilty. They will try and make things up, like to claim you are liable for failing to secure your hot spot (you are not) or that you are responsible as the subscriber for everything that goes through your modem (you are not). They wish that was the law, but it is not.

    If there is more than one person using a connection in a residence, the plaintiff has to demonstrate which person it was that infringed. That is something that is exceedingly difficult to do without a lot of effort and expense; make them do it and let it be known early on that you are not going to budge unless they do. The porn trolls used to just “assume” that any house with a teenage male was the one watching porn, but the courts took a very dim view of that. The more expensive you are to pursue, and the more time it will take them to do so, the more likely they will drop your case. These guys like to collect settlements, they don’t like to work hard.

    And for goodness sake, if you are going to torrent at all learn how to use a VPN.

    • I love watching Americans, it’s like very funny television. You are always waddling into court and suing each other. Eat some more bacon. Entertain me.

  10. this is a off topic would you please forward this too Patrick Achache! I don’t have his Email its about Bernadette Ancog,

    German + English E-Mail:

    Hi Patrick,

    das wir nie das vergnügen hatte, zumal dies meine Branche über 8 Jahre war, Videothek also bin ich mit dem Thema bestens vertraut.

    aber darum geht es nicht sondern um den Text den ich hier einfach einkopiere bitte mal die Webseite:
    http://www.mylifewithaliar.wordpress.com — bitte bitte ganz lesen.

    ich habe nun über 10 blogs, diesen wollte ich nicht undebdingt.

    meine Email is joerg-feix@freenet.de wenn es eine gute stele gibt bin ich zu haben.

    sorry für die Umstände … bitte bitte lesen auch den Blog –

    A War of Roses is going on in my House I thought, because it concerns your company you should know! Please read the Blog –
    I think one of your Managers know me. from 2 evenings together. The blog is: www. mylifewithaliar.wordpress.com I am sorry to put you into this but the treads get so bad and the story your employee tells about me get worse every day, she has multiple employers were she works in your office for via Team Viewer for e.g. Altushost B.V. she is not really working for your company – but now you will figure out anyway …
    She did post a tread against me like I am a Criminal just because I uncovered her lies and did not want that she cheats on every Employer or even me – I am fair and post her tread under mine
    She wants it online – so it goes online and will stay there!
    I was employer for many years and had reputation; I hate lies and this art of behavior because I know it will not lead to nothing!

    To Altushost B.V Netherlands Mr. Daniel Felsenthal
    i have a scammer her Cebu Philippines working for you …. since she is working for 4 employers Fulltime and for you Fulltime i think you should know. The Main Company she works for is Outburst Inc in Cebu IT-Park Lahug you can ask there to see she is a scammer because she works fulltime there from 2 PM till 10 PM + a Fulltime Job at APMC – anti Piracy + 2 Writer Jobs …and 2 Tech-company’s
    Name Bernadette Ancog – Cebu Philippines
    Nobody can work 200 hours a week ..
    she is working via remote staff over Daniel Felsenthal . she has no registered company here, she did never pay tax or anything like this, after she started a War of roses i had to protect myself and wrote a blog because the treads have reached a point that is not normal. http://www.mylifewithaliar.wordpress.com the stories of the multiple employer is in the middle. please send me the Email from Daniel Felsenthal or let him contact me so i can explain clear Details!

    thanks ahead

    Jorg Feix

  11. I had to giggle a bit at this faux pas from the apmc_.pdf document. Note the use of the word “persecute” instead of “prosecute”. The grammar and language of the whole PDF document looks as if it was written by a semi-literate high school student.

    “It tells a story to the judge & persuades him to grant an order, ordering the ISP’s to provide
    APMC with the information so that we can persecute the infringers.”

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