MALIBU MEDIA – Looking Under The Hood of Infringement

One of the most active parties in enforcing against BitTorrent downloads is Malibu Media, who releases adult content under the X-Art brand. While the standard mantra is BitTorrent is largely innocent and about ‘file sharing,’ this is like calling a typhoon ‘rain sharing.’ The level of content distribution is far from trivial or inconsequential.

In a recent filing in the Southern District of Ohio (1:14-cv-493-TSB, Dkt. 9), Malibu Media has let the court see under the hood at some of what is going on. Depending on how you look at the data, Malibu has records of about 12,000 distinct IP addresses in Ohio sharing and distributing their content through BitTorrent. Based on this number, when compared to the population of Ohio (~12 million), there is evidence that approximately 1 in 1000 people in Ohio are ‘sharing’ X-Art’s media through BitTorrent.

Chart of Malibu Infringement Actions, p. 4 of 14-cv-493, Dkt. 9.

Malibu Media is by all accounts one of the most active copyright enforcement litigants in the United States with some sources reporting they filed 40% of all copyright suits in 2014. But with 172 suits in Ohio, and 12,000 known infringers, Malibu’s prolific filing of complaints is addressing less than 2% of the people stealing their work. Some may complain there are too many copyright suits filed (usually those who are being sued / have been caught) but the ratio of infringers to lawsuits is a disproportionate 70:1.  For any other kind of theft, 1 in 70 would lead to the calls for more enforcement, not complaints about excessive enforcement. If one in 70 cars were stolen, or if your car were stolen every 70 days, there would be a national call to action.

With respect to damages claimed and awarded, many may argue the $750.00 statutory minimum for copyright enforcement is draconian, but a one-month subscription to Malibu Media’s web site is $29.95. If Malibu Media’s claims are against 1 in 70 infringers, then the numbers pencil out to damages of at least $2,000 per defendant just to break even ($29.95 x 70 = $2,096.50).   In light of the extensive nature of the problem, the $750.00 statutory minimum starts to seem very reasonable.

Court Document:  Malibu Media v. John Doe, 1:14-cv-493-TSB, Dkt. 9 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 12, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Post Navigation