In just one day, Malibu Media filed another 9 BitTorrent-based lawsuits in Maryland. This has been a record breaking year for the company. In Maryland alone, they have filed almost 100 file-sharing lawsuits. They are a notorious for these cases, filing more than 1,000 lawsuits across the country this year alone.
They claim to hire overseas investigators to monitor BitTorrent activity and record any IP addresses that allegedly download or share their adult films, marketed under the X-Art brand. The Plaintiff then sues the IP address as a “John Doe” and gets a subpoena to force the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to reveal the subscriber associated with that IP address. Once they have an identity, they will name the subscriber and try to serve them with the lawsuit. Importantly, the subscriber may not even be the one to download the films.
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 to stop the release of their identity. 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 how to 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.
For more information on what these lawsuits mean for internet subscribers, please check out our FAQ section.
Many defendants wish to defend anonymously because federal civil lawsuits are generally public record and easily searchable. For those who wish to minimize the suit’s effect on their private and professional lives, it is vital they retain counsel without delay.
If you have received a notice in one of these cases, please don’t hesitate to call me immediately at 888.801.8681. If calling after-hours, please leave a message; I do return calls after-hours.
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 look forward to speaking with you and helping you put this matter behind you. Please don’t hesitate to call. 888.801.8681.