Porn Copyright Trolls Use Other Companies’ Porn To Shame Alleged Pirates

Questions Malibu wants the court to compel a defendant to answer.

Questions Malibu wants the court to compel a defendant to answer.

Here’s how the basic porn copyright troll threat works: “We believe you downloaded ‘Backdoor Loving 23′ illegally and shared the file with others. Pay up or we’ll sue and everyone will know that you enjoy movies with titles like ‘Backdoor Loving 23.’” But just in case the porn named in the allegation doesn’t have a sufficiently lascivious title, the nation’s biggest porn troll also wants defendants to name every single porn they have watched and every single porn site they have visited.

Porn producer Malibu Media owns the adult subscription site X-Art, and a look at the videos immediately available to subscribers on the site shows that they have names like “Summertime Lunch,” “Sweet Before Awakening,” and “It Has Always Been You,” that wouldn’t immediately cause most people to go red in the face if they turned up on a legal document. But since Malibu is now also in the lawsuit business, it helps to associate a defendant publicly with as many porn-y titles as possible, whether they belong to Malibu or not, and regardless of where a defendant obtained them.

Over at FightCopyrightTrolls.com, they noticed that Malibu is demanding one defendant in a file-sharing case answer the following questions:

• “Have you or anyone who has had access to a wireless router(s) or modem(s) in your home visited an adult website within the last two years? If so, identify the websites and state how often those websites were visited.”

• “Have you ever watched x-rated, adult or pornographic movies or live feeds (collectively, “adult content”)? If so, when was the last time you watched adult content, how often do you watch adult content, which studios do you prefer, and what type of movies do you prefer?”

• “Have you ever subscribed to an internet company distributing adult content? If so, identify the company and state the period of time that you were a subscriber.”

To all three, the defendant responded with objections that the questions are irrelevant, “overly broad, vague, unduly burdensome, and part of a calculated strategy intended to threaten Defendant with an intrusive invasion of unrelated personal information as retaliation for his failure to submit to Plaintiff’s extortion tactics.”

The defendant maintains that these questions are “deliberately calculated to elicit information by which Plaintiff can then use to embarrass him as a viewer of pornography in order to facilitate a coercive and/or extortionate settlement or demand.”

Malibu admits that this information is indeed sensitive in nature but argues that the defendant’s “tendency and frequency to visit an adult website is directly related to this action because Plaintiff’s copyrighted works are the same genre.”

The company also claims that it’s relevant to ask about what other porn studios and types of porn the defendant may have watched because Malibu apparently occupies a certain niche within the adult industry and the defendant’s porn preferences may show he enjoys Malibu’s type of porn.

“[A]ny preference to studios that produce similar content can demonstrate a likelihood of infringement and may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” writes Malibu.

But FightCopyrightTrolls — which Malibu recently tried to label an Internet hate group — says that Malibu is apparently trying to have its cake and do naughty things with it too, pointing out that Malibu has used the defendant’s argument in its previous attempt to get out of providing similar personal information about the company’s owners.

Malibu was recently in the news for its attempts to use the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System set up by the cable industry and the MPAA and RIAA to obtain lists of possible known copyright offenders.

[via ArsTechnica]