If you have received a letter from your Internet Service Provider or if you were named in a copyright infringement lawsuit accusing you of illegally downloading and/or distributing movies online, you are not alone.
Unfortunately, hundreds of cases involving companies like Malibu Media and Dallas Buyers Club have been filed nationwide in the last few years. Recently, hundreds of Malibu Media cases were filed in Ohio and in Michigan.
Malibu Media alleges that defendants have illegally downloaded and distributed their pornographic movies on the file-sharing network, BitTorrent. To prove its claims, Malibu Media allegedly hires an investigator to obtain potential infringers’ IP addresses on BitTorrent.
An IP address is a unique digital identity, assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Time Warner and AT&T. Every time movies are downloaded and/or distributed by a BitTorrent user, the user’s Internet Protocol address (IP) is identified and made known to Malibu Media or Dallas Buyers Club. However, the fact that your IP address was found in connection with a copyright infringement lawsuit does not mean that you are the infringer. IP addresses can be dynamic and can be used by several people in a household. Other parties, such as businesses, can also be wrongly linked to the infringing IP address.
Although Malibu Media and Dallas Buyers Club have access to IP addresses, they don’t have access to the IP subscriber’s personal information. Accordingly, they file hundreds of lawsuits against unnamed defendants – John Doe’s, and ask the Court to subpoena the Internet Service Providers of these IP subscribers’ in order to identify the defendants.
If you have received a letter from your ISP in the last few days, it means that you are being accused of illegally downloading and distributing copyrighted content on BitTorrent, and the Plaintiff is after your personal information to name you in the lawsuit. If that is your case, you have three options:
- Ignore: You may choose to ignore the letter from your ISP. If you do not retain counsel at this point, the ISP will most likely give away your personal information to Malibu Media. Malibu Media will perform an investigation of your public records and it will determine whether it is worth it to name you in the lawsuit. A lawsuit involving pornography has the potential to severely damage your professional and social reputation. If this is a risk you cannot take, please do not ignore the letter.
- Settle: Although this may sound unfair – especially if you are innocent, some clients prefer to settle in order to avoid further expenses with legal fees and to avoid the embarrassment of being associated with this type of lawsuit. Retaining counsel during this stage is essential to guarantee that your information will remain anonymous and that the terms of the settlement agreement are reasonable. Dahman Law has been extremely successful in obtaining favorable settlement agreements with Malibu Media.
- Fight: You can retain us to anonymously represent you in the lawsuit and proceed with litigation. If Malibu Media has already named you in the lawsuit and you have received a Summons, do not ignore it. Malibu Media may obtain a default judgment against you if you do not file an Answer or settle the case within 21 days of service.
If your ISP has already given your information away and Malibu Media has already named you as a defendant, you still have the option to proceed with the defense of the lawsuit or to settle the case.
At Dahman Law, our experienced attorneys have the necessary litigation and negotiation expertise to represent you in these types of copyright infringement cases. Additionally, unlike other firms that will charge an expensive hourly rate, all our fees are predetermined flat fees, which allow us to reach the best results possible in a cost effective manner
What Clients Say About My Service:
“Thank you again for all your hard work in handling my lawsuit last year. I can’t tell you how much my family appreciated having your firm on our side.”
– Alan P.