If You’ve Received a Notice from Malibu Media – Read This!
Twenty-nine more people will receive a notice from their ISP indicating that Malibu Media is suing them in the District of Columbia (1 case), Illinois (7 cases), Maryland (4 cases), Michigan (2 cases), New Jersey (8 cases), Pennsylvania (2 cases), and Virginia (5 cases). Malibu Media has sued thousands of people across the country based on their IP address. The Plaintiff claims to have investigators that monitor BitTorrent downloading traffic and record the IP addresses of people sharing Malibu Media’s copyrighted films (operating under the X-Art brand). Malibu Media is quite experienced and has been doing this for years. I was part of the defense for the first Malibu Media case to go to trial.
The scheme hasn’t changed much over the years. Once the Plaintiff has identified an IP address as infringing regularly (or enough that they feel they can get a large enough settlement out of it) they file a lawsuit against the internet subscriber behind the IP address. In order to serve the defendant with the lawsuit, Malibu Media subpoenas the Internet Service Provider (e.g., Charter, Comcast, Optimum Online, RCN, Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, etc.) for the subscriber’s identity.
However, this is a tenuous connection. Many people, with and without permission, may have access to a person’s internet connection. Sometimes the subscriber doesn’t even live where the internet is being provided, such as when the subscriber is a landlord. There are numerous other reasons a subscriber may not be the one responsible for copyright infringement. Still, Malibu Media has filed thousands of lawsuits over the years.
Most subscribers find out about the lawsuit when they receive a notice from their Internet Service Provider (ISP) notifying them the ISP has received a subpoena from Malibu Media to discover the subscriber’s identity. The ISP is obligated to comply with the subpoena unless a Motion to Quash is filed. This is a court motion to void or “quash” the subpoena. However, Motions to Quash are complex in these cases as the subpoena is between the Plaintiff and the ISP, meaning the subscriber is a third party. I’m happy to discuss with you whether filing a Motion to Quash or alternative motions is advisable in your case.
If you’ve received one of these notices or have even been served with the lawsuit, it’s vital to retain counsel without delay. This Plaintiff is notoriously aggressive and an effective defense can help secure the best possible outcome for you.
If you do not try to fight the subpoena, you may be served with the complaint – meaning you usually have 21 days to respond in Federal court or risk a default judgement. Default judgments typically involve ruling in the Plaintiff’s favor and awarding thousands of dollars in damages per infringement in addition to the Plaintiff’s legal fees and costs.
For more information on what these lawsuits mean for internet subscribers, please check out our FAQ section.
I have years of experience defending file-sharing lawsuits and can help you achieve the best outcome possible. I have defeated several copyright plaintiffs in lawsuits around the U.S.; I also fought Malibu Media in their first trial. I’ve represented over 600 defendants in both settling and litigating file-sharing lawsuits. I’ve written a subpoena defense guide for your information, as well. I’m happy to represent clients for both negotiating a settlement and fighting the case in court.
I understand most people haven’t prepared for large, unexpected legal expenses and strive to respect clients’ time and money. I offer flat fees for negotiating settlements to give my clients certainty. I’ve also represented lower income clients in court and will do my best to work within your means. I’m happy to speak with you to help advise you on what strategy is best in your situation.
I look forward to speaking with you and helping you put this matter behind you. Please don’t hesitate to call. 888.801.8681.