Guardaley | X-Art

Mark your calendars: Malibu Media is set to defend its questionable conduct on July 30

Quite an event is looming in Maryland.

Attorney Morgan Pietz, who was instrumental in toppling one troll — Prenda Law — has been recently seriously involved in crashing another one — Lipscomb/Malibu Media/X-Art. One of the most promising battlegrounds Pietz is fighting on is located in Maryland, where in 2014 alone Malibu Media filed 139 shakedown lawsuits — 93% of all the copyright lawsuits filed in Maryland this year. Building upon the work of other defense attorneys, Morgan compiled pretty damning dossier on the most brazen abuser of the copyright law today. The accusations are serious: forum shopping, contingency payments to the witness, Prenda-like shell games, champerty… but the evidence is also colossal: one can easily spend more than one evening reading the exhibits, connecting the dots.

So, yesterday we heard from the judges: a hearing on the pending motions was set for July 30, 2014 (Malibu Media v. John Doe Subscribers: MDD 14-cv-0223, 14-cv-0257 and 14-cv-0263). Although it is formally just a motion hearing, I expect it to be much more significant than some trials. Yes, I mean the Bellwether farce.

Note that not one, but three judges will be present — federal judges Roger W. Titus, Paul W. Grimm, and Marvin J. Garbis. This fact alone suggests that one way or another, it will be a milestone.

Of course Keith Lipscomb will appear in person: the integrity of his house of cards is at stake. In the meantime, please refrain from commenting on Keith’s professional qualities: let him dwell in the land of the illusion that he is a courtroom badass.



As predicted, Lipscomb applied for pro hac vice admission in Maryland — in all the three cases where Morgan Pietz’ bunker buster motion will be heard on 7/30/2014 — an expected trollmageddon before the panel of three judges.


Thanks to Raul for pointing to this letter:


The first news from what happened in Maryland on 7/30 is not encouraging. The judges seemed to accept Malibu’s argument that no contingent fee situation applies. The judges also suggested that the identity protections they set in place would protect defendants who are not involved with downloading from abuse.

Plus, for judges to throw out complaints the threshold of the evidence presented by a defendant is incredibly high, and in general, civil case defendants in this country are always in disadvantage: hardly the only unfairness this society suffers from.

Although the hope is low, the above assumptions are based solely on the hearing, and judges sometimes ask questions that seemingly support one side, and then rule against that side.

Yet it is most likely that Lipscomb weaseled out one more time, but since his argument is essentially based on deception, this situation won’t last forever. Even more, emboldened by the illusion that his shakedown business is legit, he will more easily make mistakes, and Malibu’s remake of the Coopergate will happen earlier or later. Look, we were depressed two years ago observing Prenda’s seeming invincibility, and look where these guys are now.

Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

(Proverbs 20:17)

I’ll post an update once I have more concrete information, and of course publish the order when the judges rule.

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23 responses to ‘Mark your calendars: Malibu Media is set to defend its questionable conduct on July 30

  1. No worries. Most of us here agree that Keith Lispcomb is one of the baddest asses ever.

    Don’t let four federal judges asking uncomfortable questions about your ‘barely legal’ business get you nervous, Keith! Just remember that you’re awesome, no matter what the law says.

    • Lipscomb has a very formidable opponent in Pietz, and in my estimation their should be some very pointed legal arguments based on case law and the statutes this litigation falls under. It’s too bad one couldn’t be there in person to hear this, I think it would be very educational and very telling with what questions the Judges will have on the various concerns raised in the motions and documents submitted to the court

  2. I look forward to how the court rules on the information that Pietz has put forward and the motions involving Malibu and the Guardaley/IPP/Excipo connection. IMHO I am wondering how Malibu Media and Lipscomb are going to explain how IPP is compensated for it’s work ( And I use that term loosely )

    The way IPP is being compensated for it’s work is going to be one hell of a hurdle for Malibu to explain. As we all know they claim was it was a verbal agreement ( And I am quite skeptical of that claim that it was such, my opinion of course ) we all know that a lawyer let it slip in previous case in a filing with the court that was hearing that particular case.

    With that said it also came to be that the Verbal agreement was terminated shortly after. Why the rush to terminate a verbal agreement that had been in place for so long after it came out in court documents seems odd, and I would have to think that court may be wondering this as well.

    I would also be of the opinion the court may cast more than a glance Malibu’s way at the fact that their was no written agreement in place with IPP ( As we all know Lawyers are famous for documentation and especially when it involves two companies doing business with one another in separate countries )

    The fact that Malibu and IPP do not have any written agreement ( at least that is the claim ) detailing how they are paid for their service, when the payment is do, the rate of said payment and what the payment is for , and where it goes to is going to make the Judges hearing this a little troubled I would believe and rightly so.

    Then there is the matter of how IPP obtains it’s results and the methods used to obtained them. This issue in my opinion is going to be very contentious for Malibu in regards to their German counterparts. We seen where Malibu has stated to the effect they can provide someone from the aforementioned monitoring company to testify to said results that Malibu is using in their litigation.

    However their seems to be a reluctance on Malibu’s part ( as I see it anyways ) to bring these “experts” in to court to testify. The Judges I suspect will be curious as to why Malibu only seems to wants to use someone other than the German experts to affirm the results such as Paige has been mentioned but not Fesier/Macek/Patzer.

    It should be a very interesting hearing to say the least and one I am sure we will all be watching to see how the court is going to look at the various issues raised in Pietz’s filings with the court. While some may think this is going to be rather procedural ( and it will be to some aspect ) I am of the belief that there may be some rulings that could be adverse Troll litigation and how the results of third party Monitoring companies are used in such cases involving bit torrent litigation.

    This could have a very rebound effect for companies such as Malibu and others who are using copyright bittorrent litigation as a revenue tool and enforcement model.

  3. An excellent opportunity for Lipscomb to clear up the mess and explain who all the various German investigators are, who they work for, and why he has stonewalled discovery across the nation, when he is so confident in the merits of these lawsuits.

    • Yeah, I assume Lipscomb’s office is in the celebratory mood. “These guys are brilliant! These three judges are brilliant!” — exclaims Keith several times a day.

      • I wonder how brilliant Judge Baylson feels now that things are not as they appeared in the Bellwether bench trial. PAED Court has been rubber stamping everything for Malibu Media ever since. True to the slogan… you got a friend in Pennsylvania, except if you are a PA resident Doe.

  4. Let’s just get this out of the way. Keith Lipscomb is a badass, and Morgan Pietz just got lucky in front of a very friendly Judge in the Prenda thing. This will be such a smash down because of Lipscomb’s superior talent, that if I were he I would just wing it without doing any preparation at all.

  5. I have spent the past few days reading up on this situation and do not know if I understand this correctly.

    1) Is this hearing an attempt by the defendants to have the data collected by IPP thrown out of the case based on different factors which question its validity?

    2) If that is so and it is successful and the judges do not allow that IPP data would it then result in a dismissal of the case?

    3) Finally if that happens would it also result in anyone anyone else facing this situation in Maryland having grounds to have their cases dismissed if the same company, IPP, is named as the data collection company.

  6. I’m curious – If Lipscomb is indeed found to have an improper relationship with IPP, what does that mean for the many pending cases (such as mine). I know they won’t be dismissed by default, but could I move for dismissal on that (and other) grounds? Could I have any ‘evidence’ presented by IPP disallowed?

    • When you say pending case such as yours does that mean you have already secured an attorney and are fighting it or just waiting to see what happens?

      • My ISP has not yet turned over my identity, but I think they will soon, I filed a MTQ, but it is still before the Court. Is it safe to post the case number here?

        • Everything I have read thus far leads me to believe the ISP will turn over the identity.

          I could not speak to if it is safe to post a case number on here.

          Did you file the MTQ yourself or use an attorney to draw it up and file it? I have read horror stories about people that have filled them out wrong and even signed their own name without realizing that was revealing their identity.

  7. Yes, the silence is deafening. I’ve got to assume it was not trollmageddon. Unless their were no reporters there to report and the principles aren’t talking, but you think they would have said something.

  8. Have there been any updates to this case? I’m curious what the outcome was or if it could have any positive effect on those being sued by Malibu Media in Maryland.

    • Well, the second update said it all: the judges were not convinced by Morgan’s arguments.

      My take on this is as following: in order to summarily dismiss a case, the proof standard is extremely high. Apparently Morgan underestimated the needed threshold (partially because of his experience with a fraud-intolerant judge Otis Wright). The amount of the intelligence he presented is staggering, but it wasn’t enough, by a small margin.

      The lesson is learned: defense needs to overwhelm judges with facts – beyond any reasonable doubt. I’m sure that the fact gathering is happening as we speak, and we will witness a devastating blow this year. So, the silence is not deafening, it is encouraging.

      In the meantime, the stay in MD cases has been lifted, and “business as usual” continues.

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