In a laughable attempt at a new copyright troll attempting to join the “me too” copyright infringement lawsuits that have been filed across the U.S., copyright troll attorney Sanjin Mutic [of the Mile High Law Office LLC; also on the board of the Triskele Foundation (thanks to SJD who did a good write-up on this)] stepped foot into the Colorado District Court without checking whether other more prolific copyright trolls (e.g., Jason Kotzker) have made a mess of cases in those courts already. Within days of filing his “PHE, Inc. v. Does 1-105 (Case No. 1:12-cv-03342)” lawsuit against 105 defendants, U.S. District Judge William Martinez killed the lawsuit by severing and dismissing defendants 2-105.
This lawsuit would have been PHE, Inc.’s first attempt to extort thousands of dollars from each defendant who would have been accused of downloading “Buffy the Vampire Slayer XXX: A Parody.”
It should be noted that PHE, Inc. also appears to be the same entity that runs the “Adam & Eve Adult Sex Toy Store” (you can scroll to the bottom of the page to see the connection between them). Why a company as reputable as “Adam and Eve” would venture to produce parody pornography and open themselves up to lawsuits by the Buffy copyright holders is beyond me.
The judge’s opinion speaks for itself:
“This case is part of an ‘outbreak of similar litigation…around the country in which copyright holders have attempted to assert claims against multiple unknown defendants by joining them, in often large numbers, into a single action.’”
My favorite part:
“Our federal court system provides litigants with some of the finest tools available to assist in resolving disputes; the courts should not, however, permit those tools to be used as a bludgeon.”
Nice try, PHE, Inc.
P.S. – I thought it was funny that Paul Lesko of Simmons and Browder, LLC was also trying a PHE, Inc. case in the Missouri Eastern District Court. That case is the PHE, Inc. v. Does 1-96 (Case No. 4:12-cv-02296) case.
P.P.S. – Sanjin Mutic is an interesting copyright troll himself. He is the attorney for the West Coast Productions, Inc. Colorado cases, specifically, West Coast Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-38 (Case No. 1:12-cv-02642 with Judge Heagarty) and West Coast Productions, Inc. v. Does 1-37 (Case No. 1:12-cv-02644 with Judge Watanabe). The Triskele Foundation of which he is on the board of directors is focused on helping high school drop-outs; perhaps he helps them find jobs in the lucrative billion-dollar industry in which he thrives. NOTE TO SELF: Was this comment offensive? Or is there just an inconsistency between someone who “helps high-school drop-outs” and who (at the same time) advocates for the porn industry?
UPDATE: 1/7/2013 – Techdirt article: “Company Behind Adam & Eve Discovers Quickly That Courts Are Now Hip To Copyright Trolling.”