So we all thought the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits were dead this summer after Malibu Media sued their attorney Keith Lipscomb (a.k.a., the “kingpin” and “mastermind” behind the 6,800+ lawsuits filed against single “John Doe” defendants)). If you want a quick summary, here seems to be the jist of what happened.
- Malibu Media, LLC hired Lipscomb to run their copyright infringement / settlement extortion scheme utilizing his network of attorneys spanning the federal courts across the US.
- Lipscomb appeared to have pulled in hundreds [maybe thousands] of settlements, each settlement likely amounting to $10,000-$30,000, or more.
(NOTE: This dwarfs the settlement monies collected by Steele & Hansmeier, now arrested for mail fraud, wire fraud, and perjury allegedly committed in the furtherance of their copyright troll scheme.)
- Lipscomb apparently paid Malibu Media, LLC only $100,000 in commissions (the equivalent of ten settlements [10 x $10,000 = $100K]), but then never paid Malibu Media again.
The relationship between Lipscomb and Malibu became sour when Malibu Media, LLC became suspicious as to how they only earned $100K in commissions. They demanded an accounting to determine whether they were being paid properly (this is still being litigated, but my guess is no; namely, that Malibu was being cheated by the lawyers they hired to extort others). Lipscomb claims that Malibu actually owes him money (to simplify the numbers, think — 6,800 lawsuits filed x est. $400/filing = $2.7 Million in filing fees alone). Malibu sued Lipscomb, they went to court, and in late April 2016, new Malibu Media, LLC filings stopped dead.
On April 18th, 2016, Keith Lipscomb told all of his local counsel that he is no longer representing Malibu Media, LLC (citing a lack of profitability), meaning that each of his local counsel were no longer representing Malibu Media, LLC, or so we thought. Wrong. Various local counsel continued the lawsuits already filed, but very few new suits were filed.
Here are the number of case filings since:
April 2016 Filings: 97
May 2016 Filings: ZERO!
June 2016 Filings: ZERO!
July 1- July 20 Filings: ZERO!
July 21 -> [end of month] filings: 75
August Filings: 59
September Filings: ZERO!
October Filings: 109 — FULL SPEED AHEAD? Nope.
November Filings: ZERO.
December Filings: ZERO…?
So, we are now in December (six months later), and Malibu Media LLC lawsuits are far from dead, or are they?!?
Here’s what I understand:
1) Lipscomb is no longer in charge of the Malibu Media, LLC lawsuits.
2) Individual attorneys (formerly, local counsel) appear to have taken Malibu Media, LLC as their own client, meaning that Malibu is creating relationships with each attorney, and each attorney appears to have a “territory” or a federal district court in which s/he practices.
3) I still think there is someone at Malibu Media, LLC headquarters (maybe Elizabeth Jones) still directing all of the attorneys.
In sum, Malibu Media, LLC and their lawsuits are not dead, at least not yet, but they continue to plague the federal courts and the accused downloaders with their high-ticket settlement prices, and thus they still need to be taken seriously, at least for now.
NEXT: Let’s go into the recent cases themselves to get an idea of what is going on with the last set of cases filed…
Arstechnica: “File-sharing lawsuit numbers drop by more than half; both Malibu Media and Prenda Law have run into different roadblocks.” on 7/19/2016.
Techdirt: “Malibu Media Sues Its Former Lawyer Over Missing Funds, Breach Of Bar Rules,” on 6/29/2016.
Arstechnica: “Porn studio that sued thousands for piracy now fighting its own lawyer,” on 6/28/2016
Fight Copyright Trolls: “Malibu Media sues its former counsel Keith Lipscomb and his firm for professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty,” on 6/28/2016
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