In just one day, Malibu Media filed another 5 BitTorrent-based lawsuits in Virginia. This has been a record breaking year for the company, as they have filed more than 1,000 copyright infringement lawsuits across the country. Almost 80 of those lawsuits have been in Virginia, averaging more than a lawsuit per week!
Malibu Media claims to hire overseas investigators that monitor BitTorrent activity and record any IP addresses that allegedly download or share the X-art brand adult films. The Plaintiff then sues the IP address as a “John Doe” and requests the court issue a subpoena to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) so the subscriber can be identified and served with the complaint.
Often, a defendant first discovers the lawsuit when they receive a letter from their ISP notifying them of the subpoena and the possibility to file a motion to quash. It is important to begin an effective defense at this stage. Securing representation early can provide you with more options to protect your identity and fight the allegations.
Although each lawsuit is similar, every case represents potentially thousands of dollars in damages per infringement if not properly defended against. These companies invest money into each case and hope to maximize the damages for their financial benefit. These notices are serious. If you do not respond, the ISP is obligated to provide your identity to the Plaintiff, which allows them to serve you with a summons and complaint. Once you are served, you typically have 21 days to respond in Federal court.