Malibu Media, L.L.C. (“Malibu”) has over 1894 lawsuits filed against BitTorrent pirates since March 2014. They started filing suits in 2012 when they noticed subscriber numbers decreasing significantly.
Malibu has been shooting adult films of fashion models in the United States, Europe, South America since 2009. Their website is X-art.com. Malibu offers subscribers monthly subscription for unlimited access to their short films. Business was very profitable until in 2011, the number of subscribers decreased. Malibu hired investigators to find out the reason.
The investigation showed people were watching the pirated version of their short films. Subsequently, Malibu hired investigators to get physical addresses connected to the Internet Protocols (“I.P.”) addresses where the films were shared through BitTorrent; their attorneys would use court discovery to link the defendants to the addresses. Generally, the Internet Service Provider assigns I.P. addresses to individuals. When a BitTorrent user downloads movies, the user’s I.P. address is shown.
However, there are problems with identifying defendants through I.P. addresses. Neighbors of the I.P. addresses can hack using the address or roommates sharing the same wireless networks could increase the chances to picking out inaccurate infringers.
In 2013, Malibu issued summons to the copyright infringers for their pirated films. Malibu increased their movie production while increasing their copyright-infringement lawsuits. In 2014, Malibu averaged more than three filed suits a day. Malibu has multiple default victories where the alleged infringer, who cannot defend himself, was a pro se defendant, or settled. Does this earn Malibu the title “copyright troll?”
The latest case involves a student: Malibu Media v. Roberto Roldan. The I.P. address, however, does not match to the student’s physical address nor is the student the holder of that account. The defendant’s attorney filed the answer to Malibu’s complaint in January 19, 2015. See: http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/2015/02/16/despite-an-overwhelming-proof-of-innocence-malibus-lawyers-continue-dragging-the-defendant-through-a-frivolous-lawsuit/#more-10022
Generally, a plaintiff is required to present evidence that the entire work or a substantial part of it was shared, to prove infringement. However, after the complaint, Malibu dismissed Roberto as the alleged infringer and moved to substitute Roberto’s father as the defendant. On February 26, 2015, the judge ruled to allow Roberto’s father as a defendant.
The court decides whether Malibu wins or not on March 2, 2015. What and how do you think the court will decide? Is Malibu trying to make money through these lawsuits? Or, is it trying to deter piracy? Would this article give you a more predictable answer? https://torrentfreak.com/ip-address-not-person-140324/